Lupini Beans Recipe (Portuguese Tremoços)

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In Portugal, Lupino Beans are called Tremoços and they are served in every bar along with beer, wine, or any alcoholic drink. They are a popular snack when sharing a beer with friends. 

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Benefits of lupini beans

Lupini beans are a type of legume that has been consumed for centuries in various parts of the world, especially in Mediterranean countries. 

Nutrient-rich: they are a good source of essential nutrients, including protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. They are particularly rich in protein and dietary fiber, which can aid in satiety and digestive health.

Low in Fat: they are naturally low in fat, making them a healthy option for those looking to reduce their fat intake. The fat they do contain is primarily unsaturated fat, which is considered heart-healthy.

Low Glycemic Index: they have a low glycemic index (GI), meaning they have a relatively low impact on blood sugar levels when consumed. This makes them a good choice for people looking to manage their blood sugar.

Rich in Antioxidants: these beans contain various antioxidants, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and may have anti-inflammatory properties. They also are a good source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and copper.

Source of protein: they should be considered the best power snack that you can get. They are the legumes with the most protein content per gram. 100 gr of lupini beans has approximately 15 gr of pure protein.

Warning about toxicity in Lupini beans

Lupini beans uncooked and without rinse several times are toxic. They have a significant amount of neurotoxic alkaloids — the source of its natural bitter flavor—- that it’s removed when you soak the lupini beans and change the water several times for 4-7 days.

So, please don’t eat uncooked lupini beans. 

How to cook Lupini Beans safely

Lupini beans are laborious, there is no way to deny that, but I tell you, you will see the payoff.

First, you will need to cook them in a big pot over high heat with enough water to cover them completely. They must cook for 40-50 min. If the water is evaporating too fast, add more. Don’t let them dry, that is the important thing. Let them cool and then rinse.

This is the boring part of cooking lupini beans: they need to soak and release the toxic alkaloids to be safe to consume. Therefore for the next days, you need to let them soak in clean water and rinse them at least 4 times per day. This constant change of water will progressively eliminate the bitter taste.

After 4 days of soaking and rinsing, taste one lupini bean, and if there is a bitter aftertaste you will need to continue changing water.

This process can take over 2 weeks. It’s important that the beans are not bitter before moving to the next step. If you feel a weird aftertaste, keep soaking! 

After they are no longer bitter we can proceed to season with salt, garlic, parsley, and olives. This will give it a delicious taste.

To save your Lupini beans for later — they can last up to 1 month in the fridge — you need to get a glass container with a lid and place them with enough water to cover them. Then add all the seasoning and shake. The longer it soaks, the more garlicky flavor it gets. I like to season my lupini beans at least 2 days before serving them.

Because this is a time-consuming recipe I like to make big batches of Lupini beans and keep them in my fridge ready to use.

Can you eat the skin of the Lupini beans

Yes, the skin of lupini beans is edible and it’s more of a personal preference. Personally, I prefer to let the skin out.

Here in Portugal is pretty common that people don’t eat the skin. That’s why usually they serve a small bowl with the Tremoços, this way you can let the skin in the bowl while you finish your beer.

Shortcut for Lupini Beans

But if you don’t have the time nor the patience — Most of the time I don’t have it either. You can buy pre-made lupini beans and just seasoning to taste. 

Here in Portugal, it’s way more common that people just buy canned beans because of the convenience. Not only for tremoços but for other types of beans like black beans, red beans, and black-eyed peas. 

In a lot of Mediterranean supermarkets in the USA, you can buy canned Lupini beans ready to eat. You only need to season with garlic and herbs. DO NOT ADD SALT. Most of these canned beans already had a lot of salt. I usually replace the salty water with clean water and then I season it. 

I recommend that if you use this method, let it simmer with the spices and garlic at least overnight. the longer you let it rest in your fridge, the more flavor the beans will have. 

What to use for seasoning Tremoços?

Personally, I love the Madeira-style seasoning with fresh parsley, garlic, and bell pepper. But this combination has one problem: it only lasts for up to a week in the fridge. Because using fresh ingredients spoils the beans faster. So if you are making a small batch I highly recommend you this seasoning. 

The classic seasoning is basically just garlic and salt and in some regions like Aveiro, a touch of oregano and olives.

5 from 1 vote
Lupini beans
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
45 mins

In Portugal, Lupini Beans are called Tremoços and they are served in every bar along with beer, wine or any alcoholic drink. They are the favorite Portuguese snack

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Portuguese
Keyword: lupini beans
Servings: 10 people
  • 300 gr uncooked lupini beans
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • Water (a lot)
  • Olives (optional)
  1. Cook the lupini beans in boiling water for 45-50 min over medium-high heat. The water must be always covering the beans, so add more if needed during the cooking process.
  2. Rinse the beans and soak them in clean water. Change the water completely 4-6 times a day for 4- 7 days until there is no bitter taste in the lupini beans.
  3. In a glass container add the beans. Cover with clean water. Season with salt, minced garlic, and if you desire a stronger flavor some olives. Seal with a lid and store them in your fridge for up to 1 month.

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