Appetizers, Beans, Dairy free, Dips and Sauces, Gluten free, Mediterranean Diet Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Traditional Greek Santorini Fava-Yellow Split Pea Dip

As a child my mom for some reason never made fava, we ate plenty of lentil soup but not the Santorini fava dip, this yellow split pea puree. I came across it as an appetizer in tavernes (plural in Greek for taverna) here in Greece, but unfortunately modern Greeks rarely eat it at home anymore.

Once my older son began eating solid food I made sure he ate traditional, seasonal, organic Greek dishes. So when he started eating beans, I made him fava. It’s easy, tasty, and hearty, especially on a cold day.

I use the original recipe from the traditional Greek cookbook from Hrisa Paradisi. You basically boil the beans and onion, and then puree them. I used a food mill instead of a food processor to puree the beans, but you can use whatever you feel comfortable with.

I ate the fava right after I took it off the stove; it was creamy, it was warm, it was the ultimate comfort food. Of course, it’s not only soothing to eat, it is healthy. Obviously the beans are healthy, full of antioxidants and non-animal protein, but also the combination of lemon, onion, and olive oil make fava an antioxidant powerhouse.

It is thought that this dish is only an appetizer or dip but it can also be a main course.

Traditional Greek Fava-Yellow Split Pea Dip

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Appetizer, dip
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean, Vegan, Vegetarian
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
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  • 1 pound fava about 1/2 kilogram. These are not broad beans but yellow split peas.
  • 2 whole onions chopped
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon
  • Parsley


  • Rinse the fava.
  • Boil the beans together with the onions and 6-7 cups of water for about 1 ½ hour.
  • Pass it through a food mill or puree sieve or a food processor.
  • Put the puree in the pot again and warm up, add some salt, pepper and about ¼ cup of olive oil. Let it come to a boil for a few minutes.
  • Serve with some chopped raw onion, parsley and lemon.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Leave a comment or share on instagram and mention @greekdiet

Photo Credit: Santorini Fava Purée by Klearchos Kapoutsis

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  • Reply Thunderstorms and Fava – My Year in Athens December 2, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    […] Fava (confusingly not made with Fava beans): this is honestly a beautiful thing! I could eat my own weight in it (I think last night I tried, they bought us so much!) It is made with yellow split peas and forms a sort of dip, which is wonderful spread on bread, or salad, or with chips, or even just eaten on its own. It is a gorgeous yellow colour, often with red onions and capers on top. Vegetarian and vegan (unless the place you are eating adds something to it), it is a wonderful addition to any meal. I have not yet tried making it myself but there are plenty of recipes on the internet if you google it and I fully intend to do so once I am back in the UK and have access to a blender! (One recipe) […]

  • Reply Maria Spelleri August 18, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    I had fava that was cooked in a rectangular pyrex baking dish and cut up and served in squares like lasagna. It had a consistency almost like flan and was delicious. I never knew how they did that. Now that I have found your recipe, I’m guessing they put it in the baking dish after it was pureed and maybe warmed it again and let it settle.

  • Reply Lynn September 29, 2019 at 8:46 am

    We eat it in Crete all the time and love it. Just made it at home and it’s delicious. One question though – can I freeze it?

  • Reply Nicole August 29, 2020 at 3:51 am

    I started making this for my family – when I was looking for low fat high fibre recipes trying to heal from gall stones.
    I made it without the oil for me for now, and it’s delicious- just with the lemon juice.
    We ate this in Lemnos at a Taverna near Gomasi beach, which is where my father in law grew up.
    It’s the only place we saw it on the menu during our 2 month trip there.
    My father in law won’t eat fava anymore because I think it was pretty much all they had back in the 50’s when they were poverty stricken subsistence farmers.
    He likes to eat meat now.
    My husband loves it though. I think he feels a strong connection to his people when eating this kind of food.
    Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN September 18, 2020 at 6:01 am

      Thank you for sharing Nicole. Yes, many of the bean recipes are associated with poverty for the older generations.

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