Albanian Fasuli Recipe - Authentic Recipe from Albania

Albanian Fasuli

Albanian Fasuli Recipe - Authentic Recipe from Albania
Region / culture: Albania | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 2 hours (or 45 minutes with meatballs) | Servings: 4-6


Albanian Fasuli
Albanian Fasuli

Albanian Fasuli is a traditional, hearty dish that embodies the rich culinary heritage of Albania. This comforting stew combines tender meatballs or lamb with creamy white beans, aromatic spices, and the unique flavor of ajvar sauce, creating a meal that's both nourishing and deeply satisfying. Perfect for cold days or any time you crave a taste of Albanian hospitality, this recipe is a testament to the simple, yet profound flavors that define Albanian cuisine.


The origins of Albanian Fasuli can be traced back to the rural heartlands of Albania, where it was developed as a practical solution to preserve meat and make use of available local ingredients. Over time, it evolved into a beloved national dish, enjoyed in homes and restaurants throughout the country. The recipe has been passed down through generations, with each adding their own touch, making Fasuli not just a meal, but a piece of Albanian cultural heritage.


How to prepare

  1. Boil beans in a pot of hot water (fill pot just over half full with hot water).
  2. Add lamb or meatballs (if using beef, cooking time will increase).
  3. When lamb/meatballs are halfway cooked, heat a pan and add onions. Cook in butter on low heat until golden.
  4. Once onions are cooked, add paprika and mix well. Pour into the pot with the beans.
  5. Add ajvar, vegetta, and mint.
  6. Cover tightly and cook over low heat for 2 hours. If using meatballs, cook for 45 minutes.
  7. The dish should have a thickened juice, about 40 mm or less.
  8. Taste the dish and add more vegetta if desired (it tastes like salt).
  9. Serve hot and try dipping bread into the juice. Add mild peppers for extra flavor.
  10. Enjoy!


  • While the traditional recipe is beloved, variations can include using different types of meat, such as chicken or beef, or adding other vegetables like carrots or celery for extra nutrition and flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Albanian Fasuli is as authentic and delicious as possible, consider these tips:

- Soak the white beans overnight to reduce cooking time and make them easier to digest.

- Use high-quality meat for the meatballs or lamb to enhance the flavor of the dish.

- Ajvar sauce is key to the unique taste of Fasuli; try to find an authentic brand or make your own.

- Cook the stew slowly to allow the flavors to meld together beautifully.

Serving Suggestions

Albanian Fasuli is best served hot, with a side of crusty bread to soak up the delicious juices. A simple salad of fresh greens dressed with olive oil and lemon juice makes a refreshing accompaniment.

Cooking Techniques

The key to a successful Fasuli lies in the slow cooking process, which allows the flavors to develop fully. Whether you're using a stovetop or a slow cooker, patience is your best ingredient.

Ingredient Substitutions

If ajvar sauce or vegetta is not available, you can substitute them with a combination of roasted red peppers (blended into a paste) and a mix of your favorite seasonings to mimic their unique flavors.

Make Ahead Tips

Albanian Fasuli tastes even better the next day, as the flavors have more time to meld. You can prepare this dish in advance and simply reheat it before serving for a convenient and delicious meal.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Albanian Fasuli in a deep dish or bowl, garnished with fresh parsley or mint for a pop of color and freshness. A dollop of sour cream or yogurt on top can add a creamy contrast to the rich flavors.

Pairing Recommendations

A light, dry white wine or a crisp beer can complement the hearty flavors of Albanian Fasuli, balancing the richness of the dish with their refreshing notes.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Fasuli in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, adding a little water if necessary to maintain the desired consistency.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A typical serving of Albanian Fasuli contains about 350-400 calories, making it a hearty and satisfying meal option that can fit into a balanced diet.


A serving of Albanian Fasuli is a good source of carbohydrates, primarily from the white beans, which provide energy and fiber. The beans contribute approximately 30g of carbohydrates per serving, making this dish a fulfilling part of a balanced diet.


The fat content in Albanian Fasuli varies depending on the choice of meat. Using lean meatballs can keep the fat content lower, around 10g per serving, while lamb might increase the fat content. The addition of ajvar sauce and cooking oil also contributes to the total fat content.


Albanian Fasuli is rich in proteins, thanks to the meatballs or lamb and white beans. Each serving can provide approximately 20-25g of protein, making it an excellent option for maintaining muscle health and overall body function.

Vitamins and minerals

This dish is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including iron from the meat and various B vitamins from the beans. The vegetables used, like onions and peppers, add vitamin C and other antioxidants to the mix, enhancing the nutritional profile of the dish.


Albanian Fasuli is gluten-free and dairy-free, making it suitable for those with common food sensitivities. However, it does contain potential allergens such as meat and legumes (beans), which should be considered if you have specific food allergies.


Overall, Albanian Fasuli is a nutritious dish that offers a balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It's a wholesome meal that supports a healthy diet.


Albanian Fasuli is a traditional dish that offers a taste of Albania's rich culinary heritage. With its comforting flavors, nutritional benefits, and versatility, it's a wonderful meal to share with family and friends. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or explore variations, Fasuli is sure to become a cherished addition to your cooking repertoire.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the excitement that washed over me when I first saw this recipe for Albanian Fasuli. It was given to me by a dear friend who had visited Albania and learned how to make this traditional dish. As someone who loves exploring different cuisines and trying new recipes, I was eager to give it a try.

My friend told me that Fasuli is a hearty and flavorful stew made with white beans, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and a variety of spices. It sounded like the perfect comfort food for a cold winter day. I couldn't wait to recreate the flavors of Albania in my own kitchen.

I started by soaking the white beans overnight to ensure they would cook evenly and become tender. The next day, I began preparing the stew by sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil until they were fragrant and golden brown. The aroma that filled my kitchen was already making my mouth water.

Next, I added diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and a splash of water to create a rich and savory base for the stew. I seasoned it with salt, pepper, paprika, and a touch of cayenne for a hint of spice. The colors and smells coming from the pot were inviting and promising a delicious meal to come.

Once the stew was simmering and the flavors had melded together, I added the soaked white beans and let them cook until they were soft and creamy. The beans absorbed the flavors of the stew, creating a thick and hearty consistency that was perfect for dipping crusty bread into.

As the Fasuli simmered on the stove, I couldn't help but think back to my friend's trip to Albania and the stories she had shared with me about the food she had enjoyed there. She described the warmth and hospitality of the Albanian people, and how they welcomed her into their homes with open arms and delicious meals.

I imagined myself sitting at a table in Albania, surrounded by new friends and enjoying a bowl of Fasuli together. The thought made me smile as I stirred the pot, tasting the stew to adjust the seasoning and make sure it was just right.

Finally, after hours of simmering and anticipation, the Fasuli was ready. I ladled it into bowls and garnished it with fresh parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. The stew was rich and flavorful, with a perfect balance of spices and textures. I couldn't wait to share it with my family and friends.

As we sat down to eat, the aroma of the Fasuli filled the room and brought smiles to everyone's faces. My grandmother, who had taught me so much about cooking and sharing meals with loved ones, was especially pleased with how the dish turned out. She had always encouraged me to explore new recipes and flavors, and this Albanian Fasuli was a perfect example of that.

I savored each bite of the stew, feeling grateful for the experiences and friendships that had led me to this moment. The flavors of Albania had traveled across oceans and continents to find their way into my kitchen, bringing with them a taste of tradition and a sense of connection to a distant land.

As I finished my bowl of Fasuli, I knew that this recipe would become a cherished part of my culinary repertoire. It was more than just a dish – it was a reminder of the power of food to bring people together and create lasting memories. And for that, I would always be grateful.


| Albanian Meat Dishes | Albanian Recipes | Bell Pepper Recipes | Lamb Recipes | Meatball Recipes | White Bean Recipes |

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