Super Simple Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Fresh Favas (or Edamame)

This recipe will provide you with a quick, simple and tasty side dish or first course. Plus, bonus title alliteration! 😉

Living in a primarily Italian neighborhood has its advantages.  I’ve learned how to grow tomatoes (of course, “knowing how” doesn’t necessarily guarantee success); that bocce ball is not (No, no, Signora, not at all!) the same as cricket; how to make great pesto with my home-grown basil; that “basta!” is not, as I imagined, an obscenity; what a lawn is supposed to look like in summer (hint: it’s not that one the HH just mowed); that there’s a huge difference between authentic oil-cured olives and the ones you get in the grocery store; and that there are three–yes, three–forms of fava beans to eat (dried, roasted, and fresh).

Having already soaked and cooked the dried beans in one of my favorite breakfast dishes, and having snacked incessantly on the roasted beans, I figured it was finally time to approach the fresh.

When I first spied the gargantuan fava pods (also called Broad Beans) in the grocery store, I had to ask the produce manager what they were.  Tugging at the stringy fiber along one side so the pod slit open, he removed one of the raw beans, popped it directly into his mouth and offered me one to try.  I immediately decided that the raw beans are an acquired taste.  However, lightly sautéed with garlic and olive oil, tossed with a drizzle of citrus–and they’d likely appeal to anyone.

I do “peel” the beans (remove the waxy coating on each individual bean), which takes a bit of prep time.  But you can easily do this while the brussels sprouts cook, and it’s kind of fun to perfect the “squeeze and pop” technique of ejecting the beans from their casings. Then just toss them with the shredded sprouts, and voilà!–a simple and fancy side dish, both at once.

When shredded and cooked al dente this way, the brussels sprouts are crisp, green, not bitter!, and even just a little bit sweet.  The combination of starchy beans and zesty lemon offers a great counterpoint in flavor and texture–all in all, a satisfying, substantial, and yet still light side dish.


“Si, looks great, Madre! And how about uno or due biscotto for us–?”

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© Ricki Heller

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  1. That is one lovely dish, Ricki!

  2. Looks great, Ricki! I picked up some frozen shelled fabas for a few upcoming recipes, but if I see them fresh, this will be my go-to recipe, for sure! 🙂

    Discovering new beans is an exciting hobby of mine. 🙂

    • I’m sure frozen ones would work just fine, too! I’ve never seen the frozen ones but I’m going to try them next time–much easier than shelling by hand. 😉

  3. I made shredded brussels sprouts last year and loved them, but for some reason, I haven’t made them again. I need to fix that!

  4. Love the sprouts but find fava beans (which I think is the same as our broad beans) not quite worth the effort – but I did find out recently that shredded brussels sprouts don’t keep so well if you don’t eat them the first day – do you ever have leftovers – maybe they would keep better with the citrus dressing!

    • Yes, I do think they’re the same as broad beans. And as for the sprouts, they did turn a little darker on the second day–not quite as lovely as the first, but still tasty. The key is to slightly under-cook them, I think!

  5. Secret: for over a year, I had a bowl of micrwaoved-from-frozen fava (broad) beans every night. And by every night, I mean in that entire over-a-year period, I didn’t have broad beans three or four times. I pretty much was a walking fava bean.

    Which pretty much means I MUST MAKE THIS.

    • Wow, I am seriously impressed. 😉 There’s only one food I can imagine eating every single day for an entire year (and I’m sure I’ve done so, at some point in my life. . . ). 🙂

  6. I’m so happy you posted this recipe! I have 4 Brussels Sprout plants growing in my backyard and I need something to do with them 🙂 This looks fab!

  7. Excellent, another excuse to enjoy fava beans! I love those green podded babies, but I can hardly justify the time it takes to shell them on a regular basis… An inspiring recipe for encouragement does help, though. 🙂

  8. You’ve put two of my favorite ingredients together! This looks so delicious.

  9. The salad looks fantastic! Not sure I could convince the hubby tho…he loves brussels in salads but won’t eat cold beans…oh well, guess that just means more edamame for me 🙂

    BTW, I just love your sense of humour! Your blog postings are always ones that I enjoy reading from beginning to end


    • Thanks so much, Laureen! I actually intended this to be served hot/warm, not as a cold salad. Gotta agree with your hubby on this one–I’m not sure how much I’d like the brussels sprouts cold, either!

  10. this sounds awesome. so perfect for summer!

    • I agree–though it’s funny, I guess brussels sprouts aren’t really “summer food.” But shred them, and they are! 🙂

  11. I’ve only had fava beans in Middle Eastern restaurants — have never come upon the pods. I need to start looking closer so I can spot some and try cooking them at least once. Have you tried frozen ones? I love Brussels sprouts prepared just about any way, but, although I’ve cut them into lengthwise pieces, I don’t believe I’ve ever shredded them. Looks great, though, and I mean to try it!

  12. Thanks for the reminder that brussels sprouts are a really tasty addition to salads. A Texas summer calls for lots of salad!

  13. I got some favas in my CSA and had no idea what to do with them. This looks perfect!

  14. Deeeelicious! Made this just now!!

    • Yay! So glad you liked it! I find that the brussels sprouts are so much more appealing when slightly undercooked this way. . . who knew? 😉

  15. I’ve never seen fresh fava beans! I love the sound of this salad though.

  16. We loved this Ricki! And it didn’t have a million and one ingredients! 😉 I always find myself reading your recipes and wishing I could just be in your kitchen noshing as you cook instead of having to go through the production of making them myself. Lazy girl! 🙂

    Hope you don’t mind me reposting the recipe on my blog with due credit? I’ll take it down if you do!

    Thanks again!

    • So glad! I loved that this was so easy, too. Though I must admit I’m also a “lots of ingredients” gal at times. 😉 And you’re welcome in my kitchen any time! Thanks for blogging about the recipe (and linking up). 😀


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