Grilled Fava Beans Recipe

If you haven't tried grilled fava beans, you must! You can make them on the grill or in a grill pan. Toss them out onto a newspaper where people can dive in and make a bit of a mess with the pods and skins.

Grilled Fava Beans

When Wayne and I went to Japan earlier this year, one of the highlights of our trip was a quiet little dinner at Asahi. It is an artisan soba spot so tiny you feel as if you could touch all four walls from the center of the place. It is Tokyo's only ital noodle shop (Rastafarian veg cuisine), but the noodles weren't the only highlight. I knew we were in for a great meal when chef Koichi Nakajima started our night with two deeply charred fava beans served on a piece of paper. We split the pods open with our fingers, slipped each fava bean from its skin and popped them in our mouths one after another. It doesn't get much better - simple, smoky, perfectly cooked, and fun to eat. If you haven't tried grilling fresh favas, you must! You can make them on the grill or in a grill pan, then toss them out onto a newspaper where people can dive in and make a bit of a mess with the pods and skins.

Grilled Fava Beans

Here's the secret. Any seasoning you put on the pods will stick to your fingers. In a good way. Toss the pods with a few glugs of olive oil and some sea salt before placing them on the grill, you can certainly play around with ideas beyond that. I sometimes add crushed red pepper flakes to the olive oil, or finish the favas with lemon zest or freshly chopped dill (or chives) after they come off the grill. The key is getting the grill (or pan) the right temperature - too hot and the pods char before the beans have time to steam in their pods.

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Grilled Fava Beans

1 pound of fresh fava beans, still in their pods
a couple glugs of olive oil
a few pinches of salt

optional: crushed red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and or chopped fresh herbs.

In a large bowl toss the fava bean pods with olive oil and salt. Arrange them in a single layer on a grill over medium-high heat. If you're using a grill pan, you may need to cook them in batches. If I'm using an outdoor grill I don't bother covering the favas, but when I use a grill pan, I typically cover the pan with a flat baking sheet to keep more of the heat in the pan and circulating. Grill until blistered on one side - 4 to 5 minutes, then flip and grill for a few minutes more on the other side. If you aren't sure when to pull them off, take a pod off the grill, open and taste one of the beans. You want the fava beans to be smooth and creamy when you pop them out of their skins - not undercooked. But keep in mind that they'll keep steaming in their pods for a few minutes after they come off the grill, unless you eat them as soon as you can handle the pods without singing your fingers - which is what I encourage you to do :) Season the grilled favas with a bit more salt (if needed) and any herbs or lemon zest if you like. To eat: tear open the puffy green pods, take a fava bean, pinch the skin and slide the bright green fava from its slipper. Eat them one at a time and be sure to lick your fingers.

Serves 2 - 4

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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I recently saw whole fava beans in the market and wondered what to do with them. I suppose now I know. Thanks!

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen)

I definitely like fava beans, very delicate flavour...and youraccompaniement is dworth a try, it sounds very fresh.


yummy. I just spent a couple hours grilling buckets of asparagus (with olive oil and salt) at work today. It's so simple but so good.


Yumm. I grow these annually, more for the soil than for the food. I have not had good enough, or more to the point, easy enough recipes. THIS should be the trick to get more favas onto our plates and less into the compost where they again serve the soil so effectively. Thanks again for making us happier and healthier with your fabulous recipes.!


I love fresh fava. I never try to grill it. It is not easy to find it here in the states.This weekend I saw them in the grocery store. I was so surprized and bought some, for sure. I hope, I can post to recipe this coming week.


Yes, I do this with edamame now and can't believe I didn't think to do this with Fava beans...good thinking, Heidi! I love your site!

Sue's Good Eats

yum! i have never used fresh fava beans before. they look yummy.


Actually, if you get the favas young enough, you can eat the whole thing, pod and all! Pizza Delfina (here in SF) is featuring them on their menu this week fried whole, tempura style, with a little pot of aioli for dipping. Simply, amazingly wonderful! The tempura coating is very light, so the fava flavor really comes through.

Dana V

Good lord, this would never in a million years have occurred to me! I love it, the first favas of the season are most definitely getting this treatment.

Laura [What I Like]

I recently made fava bean tacos...filling them with a relatively classic fava bean salad. Next time (and there will definitely be a next time), I will try simply grilling them. I will lay out the accoutrements (tortillas, gaucamole, sour cream, cilantro, onion, etc.) and let everyone form their own! Great idea - thank you for sharing!

Michelle @

Just saw fresh favas at the store this weekend and picked some up. Great timing with this recipe entry! Favas are great - there's a nice Persian rice dish I like that is made with favas and dill. The flavors are great together. Not sure about grilling, but in general, the closest substitutions for fava beans are lima beans or edamame. If you see fresh favas, don't wait - the season for fresh favas is very short. Deana

Deana Gunn

Heidi, I LOVE FAVAS! This sounds great! I've been making a great fava recipe from Suzanne Goin's book Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Fava bean puree with french feta and black olives on garlic toast. It is INCREDIBLE and has been the hit of every function I've gone to in the last month. Question: Favas have a very different quality depending on their maturity, and thus cook differently. Is this better with younger beans, or will large starchy ones work as well?


Fava's are lovely. I have always gone through the hassle of boiling, shelling and then cooking and buttering. Now I will do it this way and enjoy them even more. Thank you so much. I have also e-mailed your site to my DD. Bev

Beverly Jane

That does it! I have to start cooking with fava beans! These look like a delicious and highly-addictive snack.

Cookin' Canuck

Brilliant and tasty! And none of that second skin hassle...

Cook 4 Seasons

I love the simplicity of this recipe. Delicious and simple, right? Yum.

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

Heidi, do fava beans taste like edamame?? I wonder if you could use the same technique for edamame in their shells. Its sounds wonderful, but I've never had fava beans before if you can believe that!


These look wonderful! I have never branched out to try anything with fava beans, but this looks easy enough to try!


this is fantastic! my favas are just about ready for picking and this is the perfect way to honor the bean.


Many of your recipes don't work for me, because I'm vegan - but this one is fantastic! (Even more so, because I adore fava beans.) I so look forward to making this.


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