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Spanish Fava Beans Recipe

This easy vegan fava beans recipe is the perfect easy tapa. Take some frozen tender baby fava beans (also known as baby broad beans) and cook them up with olive oil, garlic, onions, smoked paprika, and white wine to bring you the tastiest vegetarian version of habas con jamón.

Close up of broadbeans, onions and bread

No peeling, no muss, no fuss, and ready in under half an hour, serve this gorgeous easy tapa with some good crusty bread for mopping up the juices, and as part of a mezze meal or along with some other delicious Spanish tapas.

I highly recommend slicing up the bread and popping this baby on the table along with some Mediterranean white bean salad (takes just five minutes to make), vegan coleslaw, olives, peperoncino or guindillas (pickled basque peppers), roasted red peppers, and my easy creamy vegan goat cheese for a Spanish style tapas meal that is sure to impress.

Spanish fava beans are traditionally served at room temperature in bars here in Spain and usually have ham added for extra flavor, but you won’t find this ham-free vegetarian version lacking in flavor.

Bread and broadbeans

How to make this fava beans recipe

As with most good Spanish dishes, there are just a handful of ingredients but they do need to be high quality.

You MUST use young fava/baby broad beans for this dish, the larger old ones won’t do as they will need to be peeled to remove the tough exterior.

broad beans with onion and garlic

I use frozen ones for convenience but you can also use fresh ones as they should cook through with the same amount of cooking time.

First, grab a large onion, peel, and chop finely. Cook in four tablespoons of olive oil over high heat for five minutes, stirring often. You really do need to use quite a bit of olive oil as it’s crucial to the flavor, but if you really must, you can reduce it to three tablespoons.

We’re frying the onions over a high heat to get them nice and brown and you will need to stir them often to stop them burning.

If you have a particularly hot efficient stovetop and you notice the onions starting to blacken, do turn the heat down to medium-high or move to the next step.

Fried onions and spices in a pan

Add in the chopped garlic (3 cloves), smoked paprika (preferably hot smoked paprika, not the sweet one which has a bit of a claggy taste), and freshly ground black pepper (around 1/4 tsp).

Reduce the heat to medium-high and fry a further five minutes, again, stirring often.

fried onions and paprika

Now add in the frozen or fresh young fava beans (baby broad beans) and stir to coat well with the onion and olive oil mixture.

Broad beans in a black pan

Add the white wine and deglaze the pan using a wooden or plastic spoon to scrape up any bits that have stuck to the pan. After one minute, add half a cup of good quality vegetable stock and half a teaspoon of salt.

Turn the heat up to high and cover with a lid, and cook for ten minutes, stirring now and then, more often as the level of liquid reduces.

Broad beans in stock in a black pan

Remove the lid, reduce the heat to medium and cook a further five minutes or more if needed, stirring to prevent sticking until the sauce is thick and nearly evaporated. There should be a little sauce, but not much.

Sprinkle over some chopped fresh parsley (optional). It’s not a traditional addition but a little will pep up the dish.

If you have some typical Spanish-style glazed terracotta dishes, spoon the baby broad beans into them to cool, while you get together any other tapas you wish to serve, and slice up some crusty bread for mopping up leftover sauce.

Bread and broadbeans

You can serve this on one dish as a big tapa (called a ración) that everyone helps themselves to, or in smaller plates for individual servings. This will make about 4 tapa-size servings or 2 raciones.

This dish will keep about 4 days tightly covered in the fridge but it’s best to allow it to come to room temperature for serving.

Buen provecho!

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how much you loved it with a star rating in the recipe box, review, or comment below.

Or take a picture and tag me on Instagram (@the_fiery_vegetarian), I love seeing all your creations!

Yield: 4 tapas

Spanish Fava Beans Recipe (Broad Beans)

broad beans with onion and garlic

This easy vegan tapa consists of baby broad beans (young fava beans) cooked up with olive oil, onion, garlic paprika and black pepper to create the perfect accompaniment to any Spanish-style meal, with some fresh crusty bread to soak up the moreish sauce.

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes


  • 4 tbsp olive oil,
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped,
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped,
  • 1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper,
  • 17.5 oz fresh or frozen young fava beans (baby broad beans, 500g),
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine,
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock,
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped finely (optional, to serve)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan on a high heat and add the chopped onions. Cook for five minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the garlic, paprika, and black pepper and reduce to medium-high, cook five minutes more stirring often.
  3. Add the beans and toss to coat, followed by the white wine to deglaze the pan.
  4. One minute later, add the vegetable stock and salt. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on high heat for ten minutes, stirring every now and then.
  5. Remove the lid and reduce the heat, cooking for a further five minutes or until the sauce has thickened and reduced considerably to your liking, stirring to prevent sticking.
  6. Plate and leave to cool while you put together the rest of your tapas.
  7. Serve close to or at room temperature and enjoy!

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 308Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 0mgSodium 677mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 7gSugar 4gProtein 10g

Did you make this recipe?

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Thursday 14th of January 2021

Can I use soaked Fava beans? I figure it would taste a bit different with the dried soaked...but thought I'd ask.

Deirdre Gilna

Thursday 14th of January 2021

Hi Lorena, good question! You can definitely use soaked Fava beans, although as they're not baby fava beans they'll need to be peeled before adding them in. You may also need to add some extra water to help them cook as they'll need at least ten minutes instead of the five in the recipe, and they may not hold together as well as baby fava beans, but it should still be very tasty!


Friday 4th of September 2020

So delicious! Muchos gracias from West Clare! Broad beans are ready for picking here now, so delighted to find your superb recipe. Susanne

The Fiery Vegetarian

Sunday 6th of September 2020

Thanks Susanne! Man, I really miss home-grown broad beans from back home!

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