Portuguese Fava Beans with Cilantro

A liberal amount of chopped cilantro and chopped tomato stirred into the beans just before serving makes this a particularly interesting and memorable way of serving fava beans. It’s a classic in Portugal, and you’ll see in home and in small tavernas and tascas, or small, family-run eateries.–Hilaire Walden

LC Portuguese Note

This recipe is Portuguese through and through. That’s why we love it.

Portuguese Fava Beans with Cilantro Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4


  • 2 ounces bacon (about 2 strips), chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound shelled fresh or thawed frozen fava beans
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  • 1. Cook the bacon in a heavy saucepan until the fat runs. Stir in the onion and cook until softened. Add the beans, barely cover with water and simmer until they are tender, 5 to 15 minutes depending on the age of the beans. (If using frozen beans, cook them the amount of time indicated on the package directions.)
  • 2. Drain the beans and return them to the pan. Stir in the salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and then cover and heat gently, shaking pan occasionally for a few minutes to warm the tomatoes. Stir in the cilantro and serve.
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