Fava Bean Dip with Caramelized Onions

fava bean dip

I am about to say something I thought I would NEVER say… I found a dip that I love more than hummus.  It sort of chokes me up to admit that, but it’s true.

I was browsing the internet trying to figure out a way to use my bag of dried fava beans, when I came across a mention of a “hummus”  using favas.  The idea was intriguing, so I ran to the kitchen, proceeding as though I was making hummus (minus the tahini).  From what I saw briefly on the web, it seems like a popular way to use fava beans.  I was too impatient to research and just let my imagination lead the way. Thoughts of a new and exciting staple food danced wildly in my head…

The outcome was good.  Very very good.  But, sadly, “staple” it will not be.  It just took too damn long to make.  And, my fingers sort of hurt from skinning all those beans.

I could just suck it up and admit that some of life’s finer pleasures take a little more time and effort to produce.  Then I think about how easy it is to soak and cook some chickpeas and end up with some killer hummus in no time. :\

Would I make this dip again? Absolutely.  Will it replace my daily hummus?  Not unless my husband is willing to dedicate an hour of his day to the prep-work of the beans.

I would really like to try this using fresh favas.

Here’s how I did it:


Fava Bean Dip with Caramelized Onions


  • 1 bag (about 3 cups) of dried fava beans~ soaked, rinsed, skinned, rinsed and finally cooked
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 medium sized onion (or as many as you would like), sliced
  • Earth Balance margarine for cooking
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • paprika for garnish

To cook fava beans, soak them for about 8 hours.  After they have soaked, rinse and de-skin them.

fava beans

skinned fava beans

At the end of this, I ended up with about 3 cups of fava beans.  Be sure to adjust the other ingredients accordingly if you end up with less or more.  Next, rinse them again and place them into a pot and cover them with water.  Make sure there is at least an inch of water above the beans.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes to an hour, or until tender. Be sure to scoop off any foam from the top that accumulates while cooking.  Drain and then rinse the beans  in cold water.

Set beans aside and place your onions in a small frying pan and add about 2 tbsp (or more!) of Earth Balance.  I cook them first on medium until nice and golden, and then I reduce the heat and cook until caramelized.  They should be soft and sweet when ready.

Now, place beans, olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic, cumin, salt and cayenne pepper into a food processor and blend until smooth.

fava bean dip

Top with caramelized onions and paprika and you’re done!  Eat at room temp or chill in fridge for about an hour.

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22 Responses to Fava Bean Dip with Caramelized Onions

  1. Fifi says:

    When do you add the olive oil?

  2. bc says:

    you can go to any arabic store and buy dried skinless fava beans. it takes all the prep work for the beans out of it. besides rinsing them in a strainer. I use them to make a moroccan soup with cumin, paprika, garlic and olive oil. it is delicious

  3. Koko says:

    This looks wonderful, I think I will make this right now! Though…I have frozen, PEELED fava beans in my freezer. Hope they work!!

    • allyson says:

      Oh, I will have to keep an eye out for the frozen peeled ones! That seems muuuch easier. :)

  4. Mary says:

    I have never eaten fava beans (I’m too intimidated by all that prep work). This dip looks lovely, especially with the caramelized onions.

  5. Xiaolu says:

    For something this good, it’s definitely worth a little extra effort. And caramelized onions is a recently discovered favorite food of mine. Wonderful creation!

  6. I LOVE DIPS! Seriously, I’m a fan of any kind of dip, especially hummus and moutabel. But if you say this is better – I believe it! Anything topped with caramelized onions is going to be a hit with me. Thank you for this recipe, I can’t wait to give it a try.

  7. Bria says:

    Smart idea. Love the addition of caramelized onions. I will be trying this soon. Like you, I adore favas. They’re so tasty.

  8. Katrina says:

    This dip looks fabulous! I can’t wait to try :)

  9. Rusty M. says:

    Great blog! I just made your wilted kale and mustard greens salad and all I can say is “WOW”! Absolutely delicious. Thanks so much for all the fabulous recipes. Just wow.

    • allyson says:

      Awe… thank you so very much! What a supernice thing to say!! :) Glad you are enjoying my blog!

  10. Pharaoh's Cat says:

    Hey!! This sounds delicious! I live in Egypt and the fava bean is a staple food. We eat them every which way. (And no, we don’t skin them.) There’s the Alexandria style which has onions and parsley and olive oil. There’s mashed fava beans with tomato sauce and corn oil. There’s whole fava beans with cumin, oil, and salt (that’s the most popular, Cairo style)…I could go on for ever….Some people eat it in bread like a sandwich, some with a spoon like a stew….

    We love them!

    • allyson says:

      No skinning??! really?…. yay!! I will be trying that very soon and maybe then I can retract my statement that they won’t be a staple in my house. Now I am totally convinced the fava is my new favorite bean friend. :) Thank you!!

  11. Rose says:

    This sounds delicious! I love favas; they are good replacements for chick peas in falafel too. Thanks for describing how to do this and for the recipe.

  12. Mihl says:

    I really, really wish I could lay my hands onto fava beans. Your dip sounds very delicious!

    • allyson says:

      Mihl, you could do some amazing things with fava beans!! I can always send you some… there’s plenty here. :)

  13. Abby says:

    Hey there,

    Am I the only one who skins my chickpeas?

    Also, are you vehemently opposed to canned (cooked) beans?

    • allyson says:

      Hi Abby,

      Both good questions… the only skins I personally remove from my chickpeas are the ones that fall off during rinsing after I cook them- which is most of them. :)
      I find the “skins” on the fava beans to be MUCH more difficult to remove than chickpeas, (maybe I am doing it incorrectly?) If anyone knows of a better method, I would seriously love to hear it!!

      I am not vehemently opposed to any kind of bean. For me, dried is much cheaper (since I make large quantities at once) and I prefer the taste of dried over canned. I am all about a tasty bargain! Canned would work well here too. I definitely use them in a pinch, but I had a bag of dried fava beans calling out my name.

      And, the dried favas are so beautiful~ hard to resist!

  14. Becky says:

    ooh that looks amazing! I’m always looking for new bean dip ideas. Hummus is yummus, but sometimes a gal needs variety!