Lebanese Ful Medames

5 from 1 vote

This recipe for Lebanese ful is hearty, comforting, and bursting with fresh, earthy flavors. Fava beans and chickpeas are simmered with smoky seasonings like cumin and black pepper before being hand mashed to perfection.

overhead: a plate of Lebanese ful medames

 Ful, also known as ful medames, is a traditional breakfast dish that is popular throughout North African and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is a creamy combination of smashed legumes topped with an intensely fresh garlic-herb lemon sauce and delicately diced veggies.

close up: a plate of Lebanese ful medames

If you caught my recent post about the Egyptian version of this dish — Foul Mudammas — you are going to love this related recipe. The ingredients are a bit different, but the concept remains the same.

For more bean recipes, check out this Turkish Navy Bean Salad, Greek Beans, or Bean Curry with Rice).

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Beans – We use a combination of fava beans and chickpeas. For both, be sure to soak overnight if you are starting with dried beans. For a more convenient option, I recommend the canned varieties. 
  • Cumin – Adds smoky warmth and accentuates the earthy sweetness of the beans. 
  • Black Pepper Perks up the beans with a peppery sharpness.
  • Sauce Ingredients Fresh onion, parsley, garlic, olive oil, and lemon come together to make a wildly fresh and flavorful sauce. 
  • Tomato – I recommend Roma or Beefsteak tomatoes for this one. They have a meatier texture that makes them easier to dice. 
  • Green Onions Add a flash of green and a mild, grassy onion flavor.
overhead: Lebanese ful medames ingredients

Tip From Kevin

Quick Method (Optional)

For a faster option, you can make this recipe with canned fava beans and chickpeas. Simply place them in the saucepan along with ½ cup of water, cumin, salt, and pepper over medium-high heat. Cook for ten minutes, then use a fork or potato masher to mash the beans together. Skip to Step 4.

How to Make Ful Medames

  1. Prepare The Beans. If using dried beans, rinse and soak them overnight in enough water to cover them by at least an inch. The next day, drain, rinse, and transfer to a saucepan with enough water to cover by an inch. Bring the beans to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for an hour or until the beans are quite tender. 
  2. Season & Smash. Drain all but ½ cup of the cooking liquid from the beans. Return them to the cooking pan along with kosher salt, cumin, and black pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Then, mash the chickpeas and fava beans together using a fork or potato masher — I prefer it to be a bit chunky. Add seasoning as you see fit.   
  3. Slice & Dice. Thinly slice the green tops of the green onions. Remove the seeds from the tomatoes, slice the flesh into strips, and then crosswise to dice. Set the chopped vegetables aside. 
  4. Make the Sauce. Add the onion, garlic, and parsley to a food processor and pulse several times. Then, add in the lemon juice and olive oil and continue pulsing until well combined. 
  5. Spread & Garnish. Use a large platter to spread out the mashed beans. Top it with the garlic-parsley sauce followed by the sliced onions and tomatoes. Finish it off with a healthy drizzle of olive oil. 
  6. Serve. Serve your ful with freshly baked pita bread, vegetables, and olives.
overhead: a plate of Lebanese ful medames with pita bread

Frequently Asked Questions

What does ful medames mean in Arabic?

As you may have guessed, ful is the Arabic word for beans. A little less obvious, however, is the meaning of the medames. Medames is a word derived from the old Coptic language that translates to mean buried.

Ful medames got this name because the dish was originally prepared by burying the cooking pot in hot coals.

What is the difference between hummus and ful?

Both hummus and ful are made primarily from beans, but they are actually worlds apart. 

Hummus is a combination of chickpeas and sesame tahini that is combined with olive oil, lemon, garlic, and spices and blended until smooth. The consistency is creamy, smooth, and satiny. It is served as a dip, spread, and condiment. 

Ful, on the other hand, is a combination of mashed beans, savory broth, spices, and veggies. It is often left quite chunky and is intended as the main course. Typically eaten at breakfast, this style works well as an appetizer snack as well.

How do you eat ful medames?

Ful medames is traditionally spread on a platter, seasoned, and topped with fresh veggie goodness, then served with warm bread, vegetables, and olives. It is often eaten for breakfast and makes a stellar meal or snack any time of the day.   

However, there is a ton of regional variation for this timeless dish. In some places, you might see it served with fried eggs, cured meat, or any number of sauces. 

Here are a few ideas of what to pair with your Lebanese ful. They might not all be traditional, but they will be delicious! 

– A flatbread like Pita Bread(Khubz), Barbari Bread, or Zaatar Bread
Roasted Vegetables, Mediterranean Vegetables, or simple sliced veggies
– A helping of Lamb Shawarma (Shredded) or Kafta (with Beef or Lamb)
– A fried egg or one of these Marinated Eggs (Adobo Eggs) 
Olive Tapenade and Red Pepper Dip

close up: dipping pita in Lebanese ful

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Lebanese Ful Medames

5 from 1 vote
Lebanese ful is a wholesome dish featuring a combination of perfectly seasoned fava beans, chickpeas, and a vibrant lemon herb sauce.
Servings: 8
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes


  • 2 cups dried fava beans soaked overnight (or 2-15 oz canned)
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight (or 1-15 oz can)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • 1 cup yellow onion quartered
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lemon juiced 3 tbsp



  • If using canned fava beans and chickpeas, place in a saucepan along with ½ cup water. Cook over medium-high heat and season with kosher salt, cumin and black pepper for 10 minutes. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the beans, leaving it somewhat chunky. Season to taste.
  • If using dried beans, rinse and cover with water by 1 inch. Soak overnight, covered. Rinse and cook with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, turn to simmer and cook, covered, for 1 hour or until tender.
  • Drain, or leave at least ½ cup cooking liquid. Transfer back into pan. Season with kosher salt, cumin and black pepper and simmer for 10 minutes. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the fava beans and chickpeas, leaving it somewhat chunky. Season to taste.
  • Slice the green tops of the green onion thin and deseed the tomatoes. Slice the tomato flesh into strips, then cross wise into small dice. Set both aside.
  • In a food processor, add the onion, parsley, garlic and pulse several times. Add olive oil and lemon juice and pulse until well combined.
  • Spread the mashed, warm beans on a platter and top with the parsley mixture. Arrange the diced tomatoes and green onion on top as desired and add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Serve with pita bread, sliced vegetables and olives.


*Nutritional information does not include the pita bread.


Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 452mg | Potassium: 729mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 469IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 5mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: breakfasts
Cuisine: Lebanese
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): Lebanese ful medames


I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This version was quite remarkable and that sauce contrasted nicely. I loved it warm with the cold sauce. Warm pita scooping up both was incredible. A little messy, but so good!

  2. Hi Kevin! I was once given a pita bread that had been halved, opened and thickly slathered with ful. Then a chopped salad and a quartered “jammy” boiled egg, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon were added. After one bite I demanded the other half as well and its lived in my memory as one of the best lunches I ever had!

    Now a quick question. Should the chickpeas and fava beans be soaked and cooked separately and THEN combined and mashed? The timing for dried beans varies so much and I don’t want to blow it.

    1. Lisa, that has me drooling, where were you when you had that? I recently spent three weeks traveling throughout Egypt and never had that, were you in Lebanon, Israel or where? As for the beans, they can be cooked together. If both are soaked overnight the time on the recipe is fine for them both together.

      1. Unfortunately Kevin, I haven’t had much opportunity to travel. I’ve been to France twice but that’s it. I’ve travelled vicariously my whole life through cookbooks LOL!

        I actually had this sandwich here in Vancouver BC many years ago. It was made by the friend of a friend who’s parents had emigrated here from, if I remember correctly, Alexandria.

        I’m drooling too!! I hadn’t thought about it for some time until I read today’s post. I’m going to try it next weekend