Greek fava dip is a delicious traditional recipe made from yellow split peas. Smooth, creamy, and satisfying it is topped with roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions. Serve with homemade flatbread and lemon wedges and you will not stop eating it. 

If you love this Greek fava dip, you will also love tzatzikithe fried halloumi and tomato toast or the spicy red pepper tomato relish!

A serving plate with Greek fava dip with tomatoes and onions, some pieces of bread, half a lemon and partial views of a pan with onions and a pan with tomatoes with a spoon.

Why this recipe sings

Greek fava dip is a beloved appetizer made from mashed yellow split peas. In the traditional recipe, the yellow split peas are the seeds of Lathyrus clymenum L., a flowering plant grown on Santorini and seven more of the Cycladic islands in the South Aegean Sea. From seeding to packaging, all stages of production take place on the islands, using local methods that began a millennia ago.

The yellow split peas when cooked get a velvety texture and sweet taste. Traditionally they are eaten as a salad/dip with extra virgin olive oil and chopped red onions.

In this recipe fava is topped with roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, and lots of lemon juice. The velvety fava dip is perfectly paired with sweet, tangy tomatoes and caramelized onions. The lemon gives brightness and acid for a great balance of flavors.

Here is what you need

Ingredients for fava dip on a wooden cutting board.
  • Yellow split peas. The best peas for Greek fava dip come from the Cycladic Islands in the Aegean sea. Unfortunately, they are expensive and rare to find even in Greece. I like the Santorini yellow split peas. You can purchase them on Amazon or Greek grocers in your area. Try to use the best quality you can find within your budget. Yellow split peas are used in Indian cuisine for dal and other recipes. They call them split pigeon peas. Regular green split peas are used in Greece to make green fava.
  • Onions. One onion is used for cooking the fava and a couple are sliced thin to caramelize in olive oil for serving.
  • Lemons. Lemon juice is used in abundance both in making fava and serving it.
  • Carrot. It goes in the stockpot with the yellow split peas and onion.
  • Extra virgin olive oil. It is found in abundance in this recipe. 
  • Cherry tomatoes. You can also roast small Campari tomatoessugar bombs, grape tomatoes, or even multi-colored minis.
  • Garlic, white wine vinegar, and brown sugar. For dressing the cherry tomatoes before roasting.
  • Cinnamon. The onions are seasoned with cinnamon and sea salt and caramelize in the pan.
  • Sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and dry oregano.

Here is how you make it

Yellow split peas in a colander rinsed with water from a faucet.
Yellow split peas boiling and a hand holding a spoon picks up foam.

Put the yellow split peas in a strainer and rinse them well with cold water.

Place into a stockpot, add 3.5 cups / 850 ml of water, and place on high heat for about 5 minutes until it starts to boil.

Lower heat and skim the fava beans with a slotted spoon for about 5 – 10 minutes until the foaming slows down considerably.

Yellow split peas in a stockpot with a carrot and an onion.
Cooked yellow split peas in a stockpot with a carrot and an onion.

Add the carrot and onion, cover the pot with the lid and simmer for 50 to 60 minutes, until the peas are mushy and all the water is absorbed.

Cooked yellow split peas with seasonings olive oil and a wooden spoon in a stockpot.
Cooked mashed yellow split peas with seasonings olive oil and a wooden spoon in a stockpot.

Remove from heat and discard the carrot and onion. Add sea salt and pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice and mix with a wooden spoon until peas are mashed and creamy. You can use a food processor or hand blender for a smoother, creamier texture.

Grape tomatoes in an oval pan with garlic and seasonings.

Preheat the oven to 180°C 

In a medium bowl, mix the cherry tomatoes with the brown sugar, garlic, wine vinegar, dried oregano, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Pour into a baking pan and spread them in a single layer. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until they are soft. Remove from the oven and discard the garlic

Sliced onions with cinnamon in a pan.

Cut the onions into thin slices. Place a medium frying pan on low to medium heat, add onions, sea salt, cinnamon, and extra virgin olive oil, and sauté, often stirring, for about 30 minutes, until onions are soft and caramelized.

Roasted tomatoes in an oval pan with garlic and seasonings.
Sliced caramelized onions  in a pan.

Transfer the fava to a serving plate, place some of the roasted cherry tomatoes and caramelized onions on top, and serve with crusty bread, cut-up pita bread, or crackers.

A serving plate with greek fava with tomatoes and onions, and a spoon.

Tips and trivia

  • This Greek fava dip traditionally is served with lots of chopped onion on top, extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Often olives are served with fava.
  • It is a staple dish of the Cycladic islands. It is cooked every Wednesday without fail. When fava is served with the roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions, it is usually the next day and they call it “married fava” (pantremeni fava).
  • Store it in a glass container. Fava tends to absord odors from plastic so glass is always better.
  • Cover it with film while it is warm avoid the thicker texture that might formon top.
  • Fava is served family style on the tables with other dishes. It is enjoyed in room temperature and great next to smoked mackerel, grilled sardines, marinated gavros, seafood, crunchy eggplant, stuffed zucchini flowers etc.
A serving plate with fava with tomatoes and onions, a piece of bread with dip, and some herbs on a table.

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A serving plate with greek fave dip with tomatoes and onions, some pieces of bread, half a lemon and partial views of a pan with onions and a pan with tomatoes with a spoon.

Greek Fava Dip With Roasted Tomatoes and Onions

by Jenny | The Greek Foodie
This delicious Greek fava dip is made with yellow split peas and topped with roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, and lots of lemon juice.
5 from 11 votes
Print Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Greek
Servings 6
Calories 424 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the fava dip

  • 1 cup yellow split peas 250 grams
  • 1 onion cut in half
  • 1 medium carrot cleaned
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • dried oregano
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the roasted tomatoes

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes about 250 grams
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the onions

  • 3 red onions sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Put the yellow split peas in a strainer and rinse them well with cold water.
  • Place peas into a stockpot, add 3.5 cups / 850 ml of water and place on high heat for about 5 minutes, until the liquids start to boil.
  • Lower heat and skim the fava beans with a slotted spoon for about 5 – 10 minutes, until the foam stops.
  • Add the carrot and onion, cover the pot with the lid and simmer for 50-60 minutes, until the peas are mushy and all the water is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat.
    Discard the carrot and onion. Add salt and pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice and mix with a wooden spoon until peas are mashed and creamy. You can use a food processor or hand blender for a smoother, creamier texture.

Make the tomatoes and onions

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • In a bowl, mix 250 gr. cherry tomatoes, with two teaspoons brown sugar, three cloves of garlic, two tablespoons wine vinegar, one teaspoon dried oregano, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. Pour into a baking pan and spread them in a single layer.
    Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until they are soft.
    Remove from the oven and discard the garlic.
  • Cut three onions into thin slices.
    Place a medium frying pan on low to medium heat. Add onions, sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 40 ml of olive oil and saute, often stirring, for about 30 minutes, until soft and caramelized.
  • Pour the fava on a serving plate, place the roasted cherry tomatoes and caramelized onions on top, and serve.

Notes

The best yellow split peas for fava are from the Cycladic Islands in the South Aegean sea. You can find Santorini yellow split peas on Amazon or greek grocers in your area. However, they are pricey and not easy to come across, even in Greece. I recommend using the best quality you can find that fits your budget. Indian cuisine uses yellow split peas (split pigeon peas. ) for dal and other recipes. In Greece, we also use regular green split peas to make green fava.
Enjoy fava warm or at room temperature with grilled fish and seafood, tomato salad, pita bread, crispy fried potatoes, and chickpea fritters.
 
Nutritional Info – Please remember the nutritional information provided is only an estimate and can vary based on the products used.

Nutrition

Calories: 424kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 9gFat: 31gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 22gSodium: 19mgPotassium: 530mgFiber: 10gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1876IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 2mg
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Greek Fava Dip With Roasted Tomatoes And Caramelized Onions

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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We made this dip for a family gathering and it disappeared so fast. It’s super flavorful and I’ll be making it again. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    This dip was a hit! The texture was so wonderfully creamy, and I especially loved the flavor the caramelized onions and tomatoes added.

  3. 5 stars
    This greek dip was such a hit! I brought it to a family BBQ and my only regret is not making double the batch! We served it with pita and it was delicious!

  4. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe! I am always looking for more dips to serve at parties because they go so fast, and this was perfect with the pita chips and veggies. Healthy too!!!

  5. 5 stars
    I have never tried this dip before. It sounds delicious! Excited to give it a try! Thanks for the share!

  6. 5 stars
    When I first saw the name of this dip I thought it would be made from fava beans! Obviously I was wrong! I’m a big fan of all Greek mezze recipes. This Greek fava looks really good. I love the addition of roasted tomatoes and caramelized onions. Yellow split peas on my shopping list!