How to Eat Broad Beans

Broad beans, or fava beans, are large, flat seeds in green pods. The beans grow and reach maturity in the cool season and are usually grown as a fall or spring crop. Broad beans are eaten in the green, slightly immature state. The pods aren't edible, but the large, flat beans can be used on their own or added to a variety of cooked dishes. Boiling makes the beans tender and flavourful, whether as a side dish or added to a soup or stew.

Split the broad-bean pods open with your thumb. Remove the beans, and discard the pod.

Place the beans in a colander. Rinse the shelled beans in cool water.

Transfer the clean beans to a pot. Add water to the pot until the beans are covered to a depth of 2 to 3 inches.

Bring the water to a full boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 1 minute.

Pour the beans into the colander. Run cold water over the beans to cool them quickly.

Pick up a bean, holding it between your thumb and forefinger. Squeeze gently until the bean pops out of the outer skin. Discard the skin. Skin each bean using this method.

Return the beans to the pot, and add water to cover. Boil for 5 minutes or until the beans are tender. Alternatively, bake the beans at 177 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes.


Add garlic, rosemary, lemon juice or your own preferred seasonings to bring out the flavour of the broad beans.


An allergy to broad beans can cause a life-threatening condition known as favaism.

Things You'll Need

  • Colander
  • Pot
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About the Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.