Sautéed Fava Greens Recipe

broad bean fava plant leaves

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Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
126 Calories
7g Fat
13g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 225mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 9g 32%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 41mg 206%
Calcium 322mg 25%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 267mg 6%
*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.)

The green leaves from the fava plant—yes, the one that grows the beans that are so much work to double-shell—have a fabulously fresh yet nutty flavor. If you're lucky enough to find them, try sautéeing them to highlight their delicate flavor. Look for them in the early to late spring at your local farmers' market, or grow your own and harvest them yourself. The leaves are clipped from the top of the plant, and you want to select the young leaves over the older ones as they will be more tender. 

This recipe for sautéed fava leaves is as much a method as a recipe, so increase amounts and add seasoning as you like. We used only three simple ingredients, which you likely have on hand, besides the leaves. When sautéeing, make sure your pan is hot and large enough to accommodate the leaves. If you don't have one large enough, then cook the leaves in batches. Continuously move the fava leaves around in the pan to properly sauté them. 

Enjoy these leaves with the optional fresh lemon juice squirted on for an additional burst of flavor. They are also a great addition to pasta or quiche


  • 2 pounds fava greens

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, or olive oil, or a combination

  • Fine sea salt, to taste

  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Thoroughly clean the greens and pick them over for damaged leaves and thick stems.

  3. Heat a large frying pan, sauté pan, or pot (the key here is a wide surface area) over high heat. Once hot, add the butter and/or oil. It should melt and/or heat immediately. Quickly add fava greens and cook, stirring, until they're wilted. The high heat and stirring help any liquid the leaves release evaporate quickly.

  4. Transfer the cooked fava greens to a serving platter or plates and sprinkle with salt to taste.

  5. Serve the fava greens hot or warm. A squirt of lemon isn't a bad addition if you have fresh lemons around.


  • Fresh fava leaves should be stored in a zip-top plastic bag or airtight container in the fridge and eaten within two days.
  • These fava leaves are wilted, similar to what is done when sautéing spinach.

Recipe Variations

  • Add a small clove of garlic, minced, to the pan and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the fava leaves.
  • Chop up a spring onion and add to the pan about a minute before adding the fava leaves.
  • Sprinkle some fresh parmesan cheese or feta cheese on top before serving. Or use nutritional yeast for a vegan alternative.
  • Drizzle with toasted sesame oil for a nutty hint of flavor before serving.

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