Sautéed Fava Beans

Sautéed Fava Beans
Molly Watson
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
546 Calories
6g Fat
88g Carbs
38g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 546
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 71mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 88g 32%
Dietary Fiber 34g 123%
Protein 38g
Calcium 159mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Simple sautéed fava beans are a lovely, super spring-y side dish. I find that they are particularly delicious alongside chicken or egg dishes, but don't feel limited by my tastes. Look for fava beans with plump pods that have just started to turn shiny—you want that sweet spot between super-young favas with beans so tiny it will take forever to prep them, and older pods with beans that have started to turn a tad starchy.

As always when making fava beans, one must ask oneself: Is it really worth the hassle of double-shelling them? Why go to all this trouble of shelling the beans out of the fat pods, briefly boiling the beans, and then removing the shell of each individual fava bean? Well, those shells tend to have a bitter, tannic edge and removing them reveals a remarkably sweet and nutty (not to mention bright green!) bean inside. In the case of this recipe, where the sweet tenderness is of the essence and the unique flavor of the shelled fava beans really shines through, I think it's worth the prep work.


  • 3 pounds fava beans
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • For garnish (optional):
  • Mint (minced)
  • Dill (minced)
  • Parsley (minced)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Remove the fava beans from their pods (there's usually a stringier side to each pod, and you can "zip" them open by pulling off that string).

  3. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add enough salt to make it taste as salty as the sea. Blanch the beans for about 1 minute.

  4. Drain the fava beans and rinse with cold water to cool them off until they're cool enough to handle.

  5. Remove the shell from each bean.

  6. In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the fava beans and cook, stirring frequently, until the favas are tender (about 3 minutes).

  7. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the fresh herbs if you like, and serve immediately.

  8. Enjoy!


  • Make ahead tip: These are ideal to make ahead, and they don't suffer too much. You can most certainly do all the shelling up to a day ahead and store the double-shelled fava beans, covered and chilled, until you're ready to sauté them.