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Fabada Asturiana

Origin: Asturias

Fabada Asturiana

Fabada asturiana or simply fabada, is originally from the northern Spanish region of Asturias. However its consumption has spread all over Spain and is recognized as one of the most important dishes of the Spanish cuisine par excellence. It is therefore definitely one of the dishes to look out for when you visit Spain.

Fabada asturiana is made with fabes (white beans in Asturian), several types of sausages and pork, as well as spices such as saffron. These extra ingredients are often called the 'compango'. It's so popular that several brands of processed food have it in their catalogues and sold in cans in supermarkets. It's a highly caloric dish and most consumed during winter.

We have some records of of fabes, or white beans in Asturias that go back to the 16th century, though its consumption is perhaps earlier than that. Like many other examples of Spanish food, fabada asturiana has rather humble origins as it was the poorer people of Spain who would mix fabes with any meat leftovers that they had.

Some historians claim that fabada already existed in the 17th century, however there are no documents that confirm this theory. Even though fabes is mainly a rural ingredient, and was in fact cultivated in large amounts, it is believed that the dish fabada asturiana was actually created in the cities.

Some say it is similar to cassoulet from Languedoc in France that likely entered Spain though the French that took Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James) during the middle ages.

However the first written references there are of fabada asturiana dates back to 1884. Other authors say that fabada appeared in an undetermined period between the 19th and 20th century.

Fabada asturiana has a simple preparation, it uses inexpensive and easy to find ingredients and it's a potent caloric source perfect for the coldest winter months, however it is not easy.

With all of these great dishes from Spanish cuisine, the best version is one that is made at home which you can do by following the recipe below. However, in modern times, the production of fabada asturiana has become commericialised and you can now buy the dish pre-made in tins in your Spanish supermarket.

Fabada Asturiana | Pork and Beans Stew

Fabada Asturiana

Ingredients (6 portions):

  • 500 grams of white beans
  • 250 of streaky bacon
  • 2 chorizos
  • 2 blood sausages
  • 200 grams of ham bone
  • 3 strands of saffron
  • Water
  • Salt


  • Extend the white beans on a flat surface. Remove those that are damaged. Wash them and leave them soaking for some 12 hours.
  • Soak the streaky bacon, and the ham bone the night before to the preparation.
  • In a pan, better if it's low and wide (and even better if it's a clay pot) add the beans with the same water in which they soaked. They must be covered with two fingers of water. Stir well and cook at high heat until it starts to boil.
  • Once the water begins to boil add the streaky bacon, the chorizos, the ham bones and the blood sausages. Be sure to puncture the chorizos and blood sausages previously. Make sure that these two ingredients are always closer to the surface, as with too much heat they can break, which would ruin the fabada asturiana
  • Occasionally skim the broth, to make sure we remove the foam and also some fat.
  • Lower the heat and add salt to taste, make sure you taste it first though, as the ham bone is quite salty.
  • Let the fabada cook for two hours at low heat stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, careful not to damage the white beans. Add cold water twice.
  • After two hours taste the fabada to check if the beans are tender (if not let it cook for a while longer) and add more salt if necessary. Once it's ready remove from the fire and let it settle for an hour
  • Remove the meat and sausages and dice, then they can be added to the fabas.