What to do with broad beans

  • By
    Roxanne Fisher - Health editor - bbcgoodfood.com

Love broad beans but unsure how to use them? Our top tips and recipes will provide inspiration beyond the obvious...

Broad beans on toast

Podding broad beans with my grandmother will always be an enduring childhood memory of mine. The unassuming legume is both easy to grow and full of protein plus is a great source of vitamins A, B1 and B2.

Despite this vivid memory of preparing the veg, my imagination for its subsequent use has been somewhat limited - time to explore what these smooth, sweet beans can really do.

Broad bean and feta cheese toastsSalt of the earth

Anchovies, feta, halloumi, bacon - the creamy texture of broad beans complements sharper, salty flavours perfectly. Toss beans with Greek cheese to create a tasty topping for bruschetta, simply sauté with anchovy fillets and seasonal tomatoes to accompany meat dishes or combine with lemon juice for a warm, zesty salad base for halloumi.

Broad bean & feta cheese toasts
Broad beans with tomatoes & anchovies

Broad beans with parsleyServe on the side

Give Sunday lunch a nutrient boost with a side of broad beans. Enjoy alongside meaty mains or try adding texture to creamy potato salad.

Broad beans with parsley, feta & almonds 
Creamy potato salad with broad beans

Pea and broad bean houmousHealthy snacking

Did we mention broad beans are good for you? With a little forward thinking it's easy to keep healthy snacks on hand, helping you to avoid an afternoon sugar fix. Mix beans with peas for a gloriously green colour, either leaving whole or crushing to create a houmous spread - perfect for spreading on sourdough or your favourite wholemeal bread.

Pea & broad bean houmous with goat's cheese & sourdough
Crostini with pea purée, rocket & broad beans

Broad beans with peas and mint butterMinty treats

Create a taste sensation and super fresh flavour by combining broad beans with mint. If you like it subtle, add a few mint leaves to soup or sides or intensify the taste by stirring in a couple of tablespoons of mint sauce.

Broad bean, yogurt & mint soup
Broad beans & peas with mint butter
Lamb & potato kebabs with minty broad beans

Beef, cheese and broad bean quesadillasThe spice of life

Broad beans work brilliantly in light suppers such as risotto, and adding a touch of heat can really bring your dish alive. Combine with spicy chorizo for a bit of an edge or throw in some jalapeño peppers or chilli flakes. The smooth beans will also bring welcome freshness to a spicy meal.

Chorizo & broad bean risotto 
Beef, cheese & broad bean quesadillas

Springtime minestroneFull of beans

Adding beans to a dish is a surefire way to make your recipes low-GI, meaning energy will be released slowly into the body, keeping you satisfied for longer. For an assemblage of flavour and texture, combine the goodness of broad beans with cannellini beans, mangetout, green beans and beyond.

Rack of lamb with warm salad of mixed beans & slow-roast tomatoes
Springtime minestrone

Rump of lamb, kidneys, shallot puree and broad beansFor the love of lamb

The best of pairings, clean tasting broad beans sit perfectly beneath a loin of lamb with herbs such as thyme, parsley or rosemary adding the finishing touches. Use your podded beans to act as a refreshing palate cleanser alongside rich gravy or combine with other seasonal greens in a warm salad.

Rump of lamb, kidneys, shallot purée & broad beans
Warm salad of spring vegetables with griddled lamb
Ceremonial lamb with broad beans & mint

For more ways to use broad beans take inspiration from our broad bean recipe collection.

What are your top tips for using broad beans?