Greek Fava

Recreate a Greek culinary classic at home with this quick and easy Greek Fava recipe. Just a handful of ingredients and 30 minutes are all you need to enjoy this rich, smooth dip with your favorite bread and vegetables.

Traditional Greek Fava in a bowl with a slice of bread in it.

Have you ever tried Greek Fava? If not, you’re definitely missing out. This dish is all about simplicity, yet it bursts with flavor. Alright, I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t I just post a fava bean dip recipe? But, okay, here’s the thing: Greek Fava is different from fava bean dip. In fact, it’s not even made from fava beans. It’s made from yellow split peas! This little detail changes the game completely, offering a unique taste and texture that’s distinctively Greek.

I had this for the first time when I was visiting Athens (check out ‘How to See Athens in 48 Hours‘). I saw it on a menu, and when I ordered it, the restaurant’s proprietor told me how unusual it was for a tourist to order fava. But either way, this definitely needs to be something that everyone eats on a regular basis! It is a great Mediterranean Diet recipe. This Greek Fava pairs well with other Greek dishes like my Greek Horiatiki Salad, Authentic Tzatziki, and Chicken Souvlaki.

Reasons to Love Greek Fava

  • You only need a few basic ingredients for making Greek Fava. It’s easy and accessible for everyone to prepare.
  • It’s packed with protein and fiber.
  • This recipe is a versatile dish, perfect as a dip, spread, or side.
  • Despite its simplicity, Greek Fava is flavorful. It offers a rich, savory taste that’s both comforting and delicious.
  • It’s the perfect balance of being light enough for a snack but satisfying enough to be filling.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for Greek Fava dip presented in white bowls.
  • Dry Yellow Split Peas: Yellow Split Peas provide the base and texture of the dish. You can use any yellow split peas for this recipe, or you can splurge and get Santorini Fava Beans.
  • Red Onion: Adds depth and a slight sweetness to the flavor profile.
  • Garlic: Offers a pungent, aromatic touch that enhances the overall taste.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Used both in cooking and as a garnish, it gives a rich, smooth finish.
  • Salt: Essential for seasoning and bringing out the flavors of the other ingredients.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

  • Adding Herbs and Spices: You could try adding herbs like fresh parsley, dill, or thyme for a burst of freshness. Alternatively, spices like cumin, turmeric, or even a touch of cayenne pepper can add a warm depth of flavor.
  • Lemon Zest/Juice: For a tangy twist, add a bit of freshly grated lemon zest or a squeeze of lemon juice at the end of cooking. This will give your Fava a bright, citrusy note that’s particularly refreshing in the summer.
  • With Vegetables: You can add finely diced vegetables such as bell peppers or tomatoes for added texture and flavor. You can sauté these before adding to the Fava for a deeper flavor.
  • Vegan Option: The recipe is already vegan. However, for an extra touch, you could top the Fava with vegan feta cheese or olives just before serving.
  • Roasted Garlic Version: Instead of using raw garlic, you could roast a head of garlic in the oven. Then, squeeze out the soft, caramelized cloves and add them to the Fava. This would give it a sweet, mellow garlic flavor that’s absolutely delicious.

How to Make Greek Fava

Step #1: Place the split peas in a large saucepan with 5 cups of warm water. Set the burner to high heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Skim any foam that forms on the surface of the liquid.

Skimming foam that forms on the surface of the liquid.

Step #2: Add the red onion, scallion, and garlic.

Adding the red onion, scallion, and garlic.

Step #3: Return the liquid to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the peas are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Greek fava peas in a pot.

Step #4: Once the peas are tender, turn off the heat and add the olive oil and salt. Use an immersion blender to purée the mixture (or process in batches in a tabletop blender). Taste and add more salt as needed.

Using an immersion blender to puree the mixture.

Step #5: The fava will thicken as it cools. This is because the starches in the split peas continue to absorb the liquid, causing the mixture to thicken. If it becomes too thick, you can simply stir in a bit of water or olive oil to loosen it up.

Step #6: Serve topped with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika. Provide crusty bread like my Honey and Herb Bread and/or sliced vegetables for dipping.

Greek split fava beans in a white bowl with a slice of bread in it.

Expert Tips

  • Skimming the Foam: Skim off the foam diligently. This step is crucial for a clearer, more aesthetically pleasing final dish.
  • Stirring Occasionally: Stir the mixture occasionally to prevent sticking at the bottom and to ensure even cooking.
  • Adding Olive Oil Off Heat: After turning off the heat, add olive oil to retain its flavor and health benefits.
Traditional Greek Fava in a bowl with a swirl of olive oil and paprika on top

Frequently Asked Questions

What are yellow split peas?

Yellow split peas are a type of legume similar to lentils. They’re dried and split in half, which makes them quicker to cook.

Why is this dish called ‘Fava’ when it doesn’t include fava beans?

The word ‘fava’ comes from the Greek word for ‘yellow split peas.’ While it’s the same word used for fava beans in many other languages, in this context, it refers specifically to a dip made from yellow split peas.

Can I use a food processor if I don’t have an immersion blender?

Yes, you can use a food processor or even a regular blender to puree the cooked split peas.

How can I make my Fava creamier?

To make your Fava creamier, you can add more olive oil or a little bit of vegetable broth or water when blending the cooked peas.

What other dishes pair well with Greek Fava?

Greek Fava pairs well with other Greek dishes like Greek Salad, Greek Chicken Gyros, Chicken Souvlaki, or moussaka. It’s also great as part of a Mediterranean mezze platter.

Traditional Greek Fava on bread on a plate with carrots and celery.

Storage Info

To store Greek Fava, place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where it will stay good for up to 5 days. To freeze it, just portion it into freezer-safe containers, and it will last for up to 3 months. For reheating, thaw it in the refrigerator if frozen, then gently warm it in a saucepan over low heat, adding a little water if needed to adjust the consistency. You can also reheat it in the microwave, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating.

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Greek Fava in a bowl served with bread.

Greek Fava Recipe

Recreate a Greek culinary classic at home with this quick and easy Greek Fava recipe. Just a handful of ingredients and 30 minutes are all you need to enjoy this rich, smooth dip with your favorite bread and vegetables.
4.5 from 124 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: Greek
Diet: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 343kcal
Author: Linda
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ~500g dry yellow split peas, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped red onion
  • 3 scallions - chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic - peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil - plus more for serving
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Paprika for garnish - optional

Instructions

  • Place the split peas in a large saucepan with 5 cups of warm water. Set the burner to high heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Skim any foam that forms on the surface of the liquid.
  • Add the red onion, scallion, and garlic.
  • Return the liquid to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the peas are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Once the peas are tender, turn off the heat and add the olive oil and salt. Use an immersion blender to purée the mixture (or process in batches in a tabletop blender). Taste and add more salt as needed.
  • The fava will thicken as it cools. This is because the starches in the split peas continue to absorb the liquid, causing the mixture to thicken. If it becomes too thick, you can simply stir in a bit of water or olive oil to loosen it up.
  • Serve topped with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika. Provide crusty bread like Honey and Herb Bread and/or sliced vegetables for dipping.

VIDEO

NOTES

Storage Info:
To store Greek Fava, place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, where it will stay good for up to 5 days. To freeze it, just portion it into freezer-safe containers, and it will last for up to 3 months. For reheating, thaw it in the refrigerator if frozen, then gently warm it in a saucepan over low heat, adding a little water if needed to adjust the consistency. You can also reheat it in the microwave, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 787mg | Potassium: 698mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 158IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 3mg

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About the Author

Linda

Hi, I'm Linda! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel adventures from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. Be adventurous and try a new recipe and travel somewhere you have never been before.  Bon Appétit! Bon Voyage!  

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Comments:

  1. I am native Greek. The recipe is more or less right. For almost six decades I’ve been enjoying fava. It’s the first time, however, that I read about lava being a dip. Eaten plain, fave has its own subtle flavor. Less is more.