Homemade Roasted Broad Beans Recipe

These crispy roasted broad beans make the perfect snack, and a tasty alternative to crisps. A healthier version of habas fritas, this version is baked in the oven to crunchy perfection. They’re so easy to make, and are also great as an appetiser or salad topper.

Bowl of crunchy roasted fava beans

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What are broad beans?

Broad beans are also known as fava beans, and are a member of the legume family. They grow in pods, but are generally sold podded. You can buy them from the store or online, dried, canned, or frozen. 

They taste mild, nutty and buttery when cooked simply. When roasted, they easily take on the flavour of whatever you season them with, and develop a great crunch.

Why I love roasted broad beans

I love broad beans so much that I grow them in the garden! They’re super easy to grow and can be eaten in so many ways. Last weekend we grilled them in their pods and popped the cooked beans out to eat, but you can simply steam or boil the podded beans. 

You can also fry or saute them, add them to sauces or stews, or mix them into a salad. I also love to add them into hummus for a delicious boost of flavour, nutrition and creaminess.

One of my other favourite ways to make them is by roasting them in the oven to make a nutritious, crispy snack! This recipe is great because it’s a really cheap snack option, using ingredients that are readily available.

Roasted broad beans are easy to make with just 10 minutes of hands-on time, and then they just roast away in the oven. They taste delicious, and are crispy with a satisfying crunch, whilst being super nutritious thanks to the broad beans.

They are really convenient and make a great alternative snack to crisps or nuts. They’re perfect for packing into lunchboxes as a nut-free option, for pre-dinner nibbles when you have guests, and for snacking in front of a movie.

Roasted broad beans on a baking tray

Are roasted broad beans healthy?

Whilst deep fried habas fritas may not be very healthy, these baked fava beans are quite the opposite! Broad beans are really healthy, as a great source of protein and fibre, as well as vitamins A, B1 and plenty of minerals too. 

This means that these roasted broad beans are good for you too! All we’ve done is added a little bit of olive oil (⅛ tablespoon per portion) and some seasoning. So you can enjoy the crunchy beans knowing that you are choosing a healthy snack.

Which ingredients should I use?

There’s just 3 simple ingredients to make this roasted fava bean snack:

  • Broad beans
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

And that’s it!

Ingredients for roasted fava beans

Frozen, canned or dried?

To make this roasted broad beans recipe accessible for everyone, I’ve written it using frozen broad beans. So if you don’t grow them in your garden, and the dried variety are hard to find, you can still enjoy the pleasure of crispy broad beans!

I have also tried this recipe using canned beans. Whilst it worked, I found that canned broad beans are a little smaller and less meaty than the frozen type. When roasted, they shrivel up quite small. The taste isn’t impaired, and they are very crispy, but are slightly less satisfying.

If you have access to them, dried beans can also be used for this roasted fava beans recipe. Split fava beans are the best option here, as you don’t need to split them before roasting. If they are not split, you will need to remove them from their pods and split them as per the recipe for frozen beans.

Check if your beans need soaking overnight beforehand, and then simmer for around 7 minutes until they are soft with a little bit of a bite. You can then roast them as per the instructions for frozen broad beans. For this recipe, you will need around 140g or 1 cup of dried beans.

If you have access to fresh beans, simmer them for 3-4 minutes until slightly soft, then peel and continue with the recipe as below!

Overhead photo of roasted fava beans in a bowl

Seasoning options

I’ve opted for classic salted broad beans, but there are so many different ways you could season your broad beans. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your spice cupboard! Here are some of my suggestions for delicious crispy roasted broad beans:

  • Curry spiced- you can use a teaspoon of curry powder and a teaspoon of garam masala for an Indian inspired curry spiced flavour.
  • Smoky- a couple of teaspoons of smoked paprika gives the baked fava beans a smoky flavour. Try swapping out the salt for smoked salt for an extra smoky boost!
  • Herby- Dried herbs work really well with the flavour of broad beans. Use a couple of teaspoons of your favourite (I love the combination of rosemary and thyme). To get a better coating on your beans, you can grind the herbs down a little using a pestle and mortar
  • Chinese inspired- Chinese five spice makes for an interesting flavour for crunchy fava bean snacks. This has quite a strong flavour, so I would only recommend using one teaspoon.

Whatever you decide, sprinkle the herbs and spices over the beans and rub them in alongside the salt and olive oil for an even covering.

How to make roasted fava beans

Making crispy roasted broad beans is really simple. To start with, run some warm water over the frozen bread beans until they reach room temperature. I like to put them in a sieve or a colander to do this.

Next, it’s time to remove the beans from their second pod. One by one, gently squeeze the broad beans on the rounded edge, pushing the inner bean from the pod via the bumpy side. They should pop out relatively easily, and once you develop a bit of a rhythm you should be able to remove all of the skins in about 10 minutes.

Do I need to remove the skins?

If this seems like a little bit of a grinding task, it is possible to make roasted broad beans in their skins. I prefer to pod the beans as I find that the skins remain a little chewy after roasting, and it’s harder to get beans which are evenly roasted all of the way through. 
This is definitely personal preference though, so you can give it a go with the skins if you would rather!

How to roast broad beans in the oven

Take your podded beans and lay them out on a medium baking sheet. Drizzle over the olive oil, and sprinkle the salt. Any herbs and spices you are adding can go in here too, or you can keep things simple. 

Using your hands, massage the oil and seasoning into the broad beans. As you massage, the broad beans should begin to split down the middle into two parts. Try to split as many of them as you can, as this will make for crispier beans.

Pop them in a preheated oven at 180 celsius or 350 fahrenheit. Roast them for 30 minutes, stirring them around half way. If they aren’t quite crispy enough at 30 minutes, pop them back in the oven for 5 minutes at a time until the baked broad beans are crunchy!

Deep frying or roasting?

Traditionally, habas fritas would be deep fried to golden, crispy perfection. As I like to keep things on the healthier side, I have opted for roasting the fava beans in olive oil. 
I honestly think that this creates a snack which is just as crunchy and satisfying! This method takes a little longer, but results in healthy fava bean chips which you can enjoy any time of day.

Roasted fava beans after coming out of oven

Serving suggestions

Roasted broad beans are so versatile- here are some of my favourite ways to eat them!

  • Baked broad beans are an ideal snack as they are nutritious, delicious and satisfying. Pack them up into individual reusable containers for a perfect portion each time.
  • Lunchboxes Spanish broad bean snacks are a great alternative snack for children whose schools don’t allow nuts or processed crisps.
  • Try sprinkling the crunchy roasted fava beans over salads for a punch of flavour and an extra texture. It’s best to do this right before serving as the moisture from fresh vegetables may soften the broad beans.
  • Serve roasted broad beans as part of an appetiser for guests to nibble on. They pair perfectly with a nice glass of wine!
  • Are you a fan of the British delicacy, the crisp sandwich? Level it up by using baked fava beans instead of crisps!

How to store roasted broad beans

Broad beans will keep in an airtight container in a cupboard for up to 4 days. I wouldn’t recommend freezing them or keeping them in the fridge as this may be too moist of an environment and cause them to soften.

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Bowl of crunchy roasted broad beans

Homemade Roasted Broad Beans

Chloe from Forkful of Plants
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4
These crispy roasted broad beans make the perfect snack, and a tasty alternative to crisps. A healthier version of habas fritas, this version is baked in the oven to crunchy perfection. They’re so easy to make, and are also great as an appetiser or salad topper.

Ingredients
  

  • 325 g frozen broad beans* 2 cups
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Grind of black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180°c/350°f.
  • Put the frozen broad beans in a colander and run some warm water over them until they reach room temperature.
  • One by one, gently squeeze the broad beans on the rounded edge, pushing the inner bean from the pod via the bumpy side. They should pop out easily, and this process should be relatively painless, but I've put a note below on this**.
  • Take your podded beans and lay them out on a medium baking sheet. Drizzle over the olive oil, and sprinkle the salt and the grind of pepper. If you want to add any other herbs and spices, the time is now.
  • Using your hands, massage the oil and seasoning into the broad beans. As you massage, the broad beans should begin to split down the middle into two parts. Try to split as many of them as you can, as this will make for crispier beans.
  • Roast them in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring them around half way. If they aren’t quite crispy enough at 30 minutes, pop them back in the oven for 5 minutes at a time until the beans are crunchy.

Notes

*You can also use canned, fresh or dried broad beans- see notes in post above for tips.
**If podding the beans seems like a little bit of a grinding task, it is possible to make roasted broad beans in their skins. I prefer to pod the beans as I find that the skins remain a little chewy after roasting, and it’s harder to get beans which are evenly roasted all of the way through. This is definitely personal preference though, so you can give it a go with the skins if you would rather!
STORAGE: Broad beans will keep in an airtight container in a cupboard for up to 4 days. I wouldn’t recommend freezing them or keeping them in the fridge as this may be too moist of an environment and cause them to soften.
USING DRIED FAVA BEANS:
If you have access to them, dried beans can also be used for this roasted fava beans recipe. Split fava beans are the best option here, as you don’t need to split them before roasting. If they are not split, you will need to remove them from their pods and split them as per the recipe for frozen beans.
Check if your beans need soaking overnight beforehand, and then simmer for around 7 minutes until they are soft with a little bit of a bite. You can then roast them as per the instructions for frozen broad beans. For this recipe, you will need around 140g or 1 cup of dried beans.

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