Fava Beans

Recipe and Food Styling by Michelle Rabin   Photo by Paul Buceta

It ain’t easy being beans. Never first picked for side dishes or ingredients, they have a bad rap for being bland, mushy, and having some unsavory side effects (you know what we’re talking about). But beans, especially fava bean, have so many redeeming qualities. Not only are their culinary possibilities virtually endless, they also come with a number of health benefits, including being good for your heart, muscles, and waistline.

Studies and reviews of fava beans highlight their high-protein-low-calorie and high-fiber-low-carb content that work together to deliver a plethora of benefits to one’s diet and health. Per cup, these legumes pack 10 g of protein and 9 g of fiber for only 111 calories and 22 g of carbs.

If you’re not a big bean fan, sneak them into foods like blended into dips or even pureed and added to baked goods. Or try them in these summer-perfect tacos and guacamole.

Fava-Chicken Tacos with Bean Guacamole

Prep Time: 20 minutes    |    Total Time: 40 minutes    |    Makes 12 tacos


  • 4 cups roasted chicken, shredded
  • 1½ cups fresh fava beans, removed from pod*
  • 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1½ cups cubed pineapple
  • 1 cup parsley or cilantro, finely chopped
  • 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lime
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 thai chili (if you like heat)
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • 12 small corn tortillas


  • Parsley or cilantro sprigs
  • Lime wedges

You can use canned fava beans for convenience (1 540 mL can, drained and rinsed). 

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fava beans and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain well and set aside ¼ cup of the beans for later. NOTE: If using canned beans, skip this step.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the remaining beans, orange pepper, red onion, pineapple, and chopped parsley.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine 3 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, the apple cider vinegar and juice from ½ of the lime. Whisk to combine and pour over the bean mix, stirring to coat well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. To make the guacamole, place the avocados, reserved ¼ cup of beans, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and 2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a food processor. Mix well until all ingredients blend together. If you like spice, you can add one Thai chili here.
  5. To make the chipotle sour cream, combine the sour cream with the cayenne pepper, paprika, and ½ the lime’s juice. Mix well to combine all ingredients. If you find this too spicy, you can add ¼ tsp of sugar (optional).
  6. Place ⅓ cup of shredded chicken onto each taco shell. Top with the bean slaw, guacamole, chipotle sour cream, fresh herbs, and a lime wedge.
Nutrients per serving (2 tacos):

Calories: 352    |    Fat: 14 g    |    Carb: 22 g    |    Protein: 36 g    |    Fiber: 6 g

STRONG Fitness
STRONG Fitness Magazine is a trusted source of cutting-edge fitness and health information for the modern woman who lives to be fit. STRONG’s sophisticated editorial voice combined with raw, powerful imagery and a modern, athletic design reflect the direction fitness has taken in the last decade.