How Do I Cook Lupini Beans (Without It Taking 5 Days?)

Good Questions

Q: I came across a bag of Lupini beans while cleaning the pantry. When I bought them, the guy at the store told me to boil them then shower with salt, lemon juice and parsley like you might do with fava beans. After coming home, I googled them and read a few things that makes it sound like they need to be boiled/soaked for days on end.

Is that for real? Any suggestions on how to cook and use these beans? And if they take days, are they really worth it?

Sent by Nithya

Editor: Nithya, we have never cooked lupini beans, but we know that they are a classic Italian antipasti, often included on holiday platters at Christmas and Easter. They are fun to eat in a big communal setting, as you have to squeeze the beans out of their jackets, rather like favas.

But lupini beans do have a lot of bitter alkaloids, so you have to find a way to leach those out before they are edible. There are a couple different ways to do that.

• Wise Geek recommends soaking them in a brine solution.
• This blogger gives a recipe where she cooks the beans upfront, but then rinses the beans every day for two weeks.

Both methods are definitely time-consuming, but the Chowhounders seem to agree that it's worth it!

Readers, what do you think? Have you ever eaten or cooked lupini beans?

Related: How To Pick, Clean and Prepare Fava Beans

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.