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The 5 Best Substitutes for Fava Beans

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Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are a versatile and delicious legume used in various dishes.

Though they may be unfamiliar to some, fava beans are actually quite easy to cook and use.

Here are some tips on how to get the most out of this flavorful ingredient.

Fava beans can be used both fresh and dried.

If you’re using fresh fava beans, they should be shelled and then cooked until tender.

You can then use them in salads, soups, or pasta dishes.

Dried fava beans will need to be soaked overnight before cooking.

Once they’re tender, you can add them to stews, casseroles, or rice dishes.

If you can’t find fresh or dried fava beans, a few substitutes can be used in their place.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the five best substitutes for fava beans.

What is Fava Bean?

what is fava bean

As mentioned above, fava beans, also known as broad beans, are a legume popular in many Mediterranean cuisines.

The beans are large and flat and have a creamy texture when cooked.

Fava beans can be enjoyed fresh, frozen, or dried and can be used in various dishes.

To prepare fava beans:

  • Start by removing the beans from their pods.
  • Blanch the beans in boiling water for two to three minutes.
  • Drain the beans and shock them in ice water.
  • Peel off the outer skin and enjoy.

Fava beans can be eaten as a side dish or added to soups, salads, and pasta dishes.

They are a great source of protein and fiber and contain vitamins A and C.

When shopping for fava beans, look for bright green beans with a firm texture.

Avoid yellow or brown beans, as these may be old and past their prime.

Fava beans can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores.

If you can’t find them fresh, look for frozen or dried fava beans.

Fava beans are a versatile and nutritious ingredient that can be enjoyed in many different ways.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Fava Beans

If you’re in the mood for a fava bean dish but can’t find the beans, don’t worry.

There are plenty of substitutes that will give you the same flavors and textures.

Here are the five best substitutes for fava beans.

1 – Lima Beans

lima beans

Lima beans are a type of legume that is native to South America.

They are typically small and green, although they can also be white or yellow.

Lima beans are a good source of fiber and protein and can be used in various dishes.

To cook fresh lima beans, boil them in water for 10-15 minutes.

You can also add them to soups or stews or mash them and use them as a replacement for mashed potatoes.

Try roasting lima beans in the oven with olive oil and garlic for a more intense flavor.

No matter how you prepare them, lima beans make a delicious and healthy addition to any meal.

2 – Cannellini Beans

cannellini beans

Cannellini beans are a type of white bean that is popular in Italian cuisine.

These beans have a mild, slightly nutty flavor and a creamy texture.

They can be used in various dishes, from soups and stews to salads and pasta.

When cooking cannellini beans, it is important to soak them overnight before cooking.

This helps to soften the beans and improve their flavor.

Once soaked, the beans can be simmered in water or broth until tender.

For a richer flavor, try cooking the beans with some garlic, onion, and herbs.

Cannellini beans are a versatile ingredient that can add creaminess and flavor to any dish.

3 – Kidney Beans

kidney beans

Kidney beans are a type of legume that is named for their shape, which resembles a kidney.

They are popular in many cuisines, including Mexican, Indian, and Chinese.

Kidney beans are typically red, but they can also be white or black.

They are sold dried or canned, and they can be used in a variety of dishes, such as stews, salads, and rice dishes.

To cook kidney beans, simply soak them overnight in water and then cook them in boiling water for about an hour.

You can also add them to soups and stews that are already cooking.

Just be sure to add an extra hour or so to the cooking time if you do this.

Kidney beans are a delicious and versatile ingredient that can add flavor and texture to any dish.

4 – Chickpeas


Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a type of legume popular in many cuisines worldwide.

They are a good source of protein and fiber and can be used in various dishes, from soups and stews to salads and dips.

Chickpeas can be purchased either dried or canned, and both types must be cooked before they can be eaten.

To cook dry chickpeas, simply soak them in water overnight, then drain and rinse them before cooking them in fresh water for about an hour.

Canned chickpeas can be used straight from the can, although many prefer to give them a quick rinse first.

Once cooked, chickpeas can be enjoyed on their own or added to other dishes.

Experiment with different recipes to find new ways to enjoy this versatile legume.

5 – Edamame


Edamame is a type of soybean that is often eaten as a snack.

The beans are picked before they mature and are typically boiled in salt water.

They can then be eaten whole or shelled.

Edamame is a good source of protein, fiber, and vitamins and can be a healthy addition to any diet.

To cook edamame, start by boiling a pot of water.

Then, add the desired amount of beans and let them cook for 3-5 minutes.

Once they are done cooking, drain the water and add them to a bowl.

For added flavor, you can sprinkle on some salt or other seasonings.

To shell the beans, simply pop them out of their pods with your fingers or a fork.

Edamame can be enjoyed as is or added to salads, soups, or other dishes.


In conclusion, there are a few great substitutes for fava beans.

Whether you’re looking for a legume similar in taste and texture or just want a bean that can be used in the same dishes, any of these five options should work well.

Just be sure to cook them properly, so they are safe to eat.

Do you have a favorite substitute for fava beans? Let us know in the comments below.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Fava Beans

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Substitutes


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Cooking time


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  • Lima Beans

  • Cannellini Beans

  • Kidney Beans

  • Chickpeas

  • Edamame


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

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