Fava Bean Spread

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gorgeous, chunky, filling, fantastic fava bean spread on toast!

The avocado toast trend’s got nothing on this traditional amazingly tasty, incredibly simple Greek power breakfast: 5 minutes, 5 ingredients, one bowl, and done!

KouKOfava (κουκόφαβα) or fava bean spread originally hails from the island of Crete and is a positively delicious, incredibly nutritious and absolutely beautiful spread made from fava or broad beans. Each bite of fava bean spread comes with a natural boost of B vitamins, plant protein, minerals, anti oxidants and fiber.  I absolutely LOVE it on everything but most especially, on toasted multigrain bread drizzled in olive oil. Koukofava – the breakfast of real champions!

fava bean spread on multi grain bread for midday snack 🙂

Ok, maybe kouKOfava doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily as Wheaties but you NEED to make this dish. This Cretan recipe for fava bean spread is made with fava or broad beans and not to be confused with the Greek dip fava which is made with yellow split peas – also amazing, here! They’re both made in a very similarly simple fashion with the tell-tale difference being that one is bright green and the other a soft yellow 🙂

multi grain bread toasted under the broiler!

My go-to for fava beans is Melissa’s Produce steamed fava beans. Just cut open the bag, drain and use – see why they’re my go-to? Oh, of course, they’re also fresh and delicious beans too! There are also plenty of good frozen options that simply need to be thawed on the counter for usually less than 30 min and you can always go with dried fava or broad beans. Fresh beans are hard to come by in my neck of the woods, I might bump into them once or twice a season so the steamed, frozen or dried options are for me.

just whiz ingredients together and you’re good to go! again – apologies for photo exposure!

Something to note: in traditional Greek cooking, fava beans are used with the peels on in almost all recipes.  Thing is, I have never found UN-peeled fava beans either dried or frozen SO both the fava bean and artichoke stew and this fava bean spread call for peeled beans. It took a little bit to realize, when working on this recipe for TGV, because authentic Greek cooks in Greece use peel-on fava beans, our recipe with peeled beans had less bulk to soak up the olive oil called for so the trickiest part of the conversion was getting the olive oil quantity right. An exact third of a cup gives the most perfect, chunky, velvety, satisfying spread ever.

  • 2 cups cooked, peeled fava beans
  • 1 shallot, rough chopped
  • 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • additional thyme leaves, lemon zest, fresh ground black pepper and olive oil to garnish

In medium bowl, combine all ingredients – except olive oil – and stir gently to combine completely.

Transfer ingredients to bowl of food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Scrape down sides of bowl and add olive oil. Process for between 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on your desired chunky-ness or creaminess.

I use a-few-days-old bread, slice off the crusts (out they go for the birds!), brush top side liberally with good olive oil and toast under the broiler for just a minute or so. A thick slice of tomato and heaping scoop of fava bean spread on top of the toast and you’ll be in heaven. Go full-stop with a drizzle a olive oil over top with a few thyme leaves and lemon zest and you’ll have a breakfast/snack/dinner to die for! Yes, really good food brings out my more dramatic side 🙂

Kali Orexi!

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11 Responses to Fava Bean Spread

  1. Maxine G May 26, 2017 at 5:53 pm #

    This looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it this weekend!

  2. Ioanna May 26, 2017 at 11:37 pm #

    Oddly enough when i was in Crete last month the restaurants were serving FAVA bean spread that was made from yellow lentils– no joke.

    • Kiki May 27, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

      fava (φαβα) is amazing, made from yellow split peas, but a different dish entirely.
      We have a great go-to, ridiculously easy recipe for fava here
      fava bean spread, or κουκόφαβα, featured in this recipe is made from actual fava beans 🙂

  3. patti May 27, 2017 at 5:44 am #


  4. Sadie DeSimone May 27, 2017 at 10:01 am #

    I just returned from a trip to Greece. They served a delicious fava dip EVERYWHERE but they used yellow split peas. They never used actual fava beans.

    • Kiki May 27, 2017 at 3:21 pm #

      Yes, there are two types of very similar spread. As I mentioned in the post, fava is made from yellow split peas (delicious recipe also on TGV!) and fava bean spread or κουκόφαβα is made with actual fava/broad beans. Two different and equally wonderful dishes 🙂

  5. Renee June 18, 2017 at 6:08 am #

    I’m SO GLAD I found your website!
    Looking forward to recreating many of these.

    Renee, Melbourne

  6. laura September 12, 2017 at 8:29 pm #

    cannot wait to make the favabean spread.. and the nistisima kourambiedes….thank you thank you thank you kiki for the inspiration and yummy recipes xoxo, laura, ny

  7. Flavia October 5, 2017 at 4:05 pm #

    Hi! I’m looking forward to make this, can we keep it in the fridge? for how long?
    Thanks 🙂

    • Kiki October 5, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

      Yes! It keeps, covered in the refrigerator, for up to a week – though, around here, it’s always finished off well before then 🙂 🙂

  8. Tony Davis October 4, 2018 at 7:50 pm #

    I made this recipe, I used frozen beans, really easy to do and very tasty. I spread it on homemade Spelt bread, so Greek and Roman culture! I also drizzled Greek Kalamata Olive Oil over it, so delicious.

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