Shelling beans | CUESA

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Shelling beans

Unlike green beans, shelling beans are eaten for the edible seeds inside and have pods that must be removed before the bean can be cooked or dried. Nutritionally, shelling beans are similar to dry beans, but in the kitchen they are treated as a vegetable, often steamed, fried, or made into soups. Most shelling bean crops are harvested when the pods and beans inside are dry, just before the pod shatters, and then typically sold as a dried product throughout the year. But you can find some of these varietals in their fresh state at the farmers market during the late summer and fall. A shriveled and slightly moist pod indicates a plump bean inside and when purchased fresh, shelling beans take only minutes to cook and do not require an overnight soak. They require very little preparation to taste delicious and are perfect on their own in a simple salad or as a meaty topper to a pasta dish. Many shelling beans are also sold dry to extend the season.

In Season

August, September, October

Articles about Shelling beans

October 08, 2020

VIDEO: What Do You Do with Shelling Beans? with Brandon Jew & Lonely Mountain Farm

Chef Brandon Jew of Mister Jiu’s shares what to do with fresh shelling beans from Lonely Mountain Farm.

August 07, 2015

Shell Yeah: Fresh Beans Bring Full Flavor

Fresh shelling bean season has arrived! Get the lowdown from Iacopi Farms.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »