By Joanne Bruno | June 25, 2012

If you’ve ever seen fava bean pods at the grocery store then you know how intimidating they can be. They’re hairy.  And thick.  And kind of look like they could take you in a bar fight.  It’s no wonder I’ve avoided them for most of my adult life.

Fava Bean, Spinach, and Quinoa Cakes

Fava Bean, Spinach, and Quinoa Cakes

fava beans

Two pounds of favas later, and I can speak from experience when I say that their bark is worse than their bite.  It took me all of ten minutes to shell those babies and it was so, so worth it to discover the little pale green gems inside. They were an excellent addition to these quinoa patties and added an element of freshness that canned beans couldn’t even come close to.  Served with some veggies or salad on the side, these make for an excellent lunch or light dinner!

spinach, quinoa, fava beans

Photos: Joanne Bruno
Recipe adapted from Umami Girl

A few more recipes from Joanne Bruno:

Fettuccine Tangle with Asparagus Puree

Curried Red Lentil Burgers with Mango Slaw

Peanut Noodle Salad

Fava, Spinach and Quinoa Cakes

Servings: 4-6
Calories: 300 per serving
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 20 oz frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen fave beans, thawed
  • 4 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 egg whites
  • salt and black pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400

2. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the spinach and place in a large mixing bowl

3. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fava beans and cook for 3 minutes. Drain them and place them in the bowl of a food processor, pulsing until a coarse puree forms. Add to the mixing bowl with the spinach

4.Stir the quinoa, garlic, salt, cumin, coriander, paprika, and turmeric into the spinach/fava mix. Stir in the egg whites until well combined

5. Form into 12-14 patties and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip and bake for another five minutes

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