Creamy Southern Succotash

Creamy succotash recipe

The Spruce Eats / Diana Mocanu

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
197 Calories
8g Fat
28g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 197
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 103mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 12mg 62%
Calcium 25mg 2%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 475mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Succotash is far more popular in the South even though the word comes from Northern Indigenous peoples. The word comes from the Narragansett word msickquatash, which means "a dish of boiled or stewed corn."

A typical classic succotash contains corn and lima beans. Just before the dish is ready, butter is added along with some milk or cream. This lima bean and corn succotash is a creamy mixture of fresh and frozen vegetables with heavy cream and complementary seasonings.

In this version, butter is used to sauté the onions and peppers, but salt pork, pork belly, or bacon are frequently used in the dish. Feel free to cook some bacon or diced salt pork and cook the onions in that fat instead of butter. Add the crispy bacon or salt pork pieces to the succotash as a garnish. Some other vegetables common in succotash include sliced fresh okra, pimentos, cut green beans, or other kinds of cooked beans.

The dish is an excellent side dish that is special enough for a holiday feast, yet easy enough to fix and serve any day of the week. This recipe makes a generous batch, enough for 6 people, and it is easily scaled up for a party or potluck


Click Play to See This Creamy Succotash Recipe Come Together

"This simple succotash is a great side for busy weeknights since it comes together so quickly. I appreciate that you can use fresh or frozen corn and lima beans, but I highly suggest you use fresh, sweet corn if available for the best flavor!" —Kayla Hoang

Creamy Southern Succotash Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 4 to 5 ears corn, or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels

  • 1 (10- to 12-ounce) package frozen lima beans

  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper, red or green

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, or light cream

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt, more to taste

  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gather the ingredients for creamy succotash
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Mocanu
  2. If you are using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cobs with a sharp knife and scrape the cobs with the back of the knife to get all of the sweet corn milk. If you are using frozen corn, cook following the package directions and then drain.

    Cut corn
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Mocanu
  3. Cook the frozen lima beans following the package directions.

    Lima beans
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Mocanu
  4. Drain the lima beans.

    Drain lima beans
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Mocanu
  5. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes.

    Melt butter
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Mocanu
  6. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic and bell pepper; continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

    Reduce the heat
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Mocanu
  7. To the onion and bell pepper mixture, add the drained corn and lima beans. Simmer the mixture for about 5 minutes.

    Add corn
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Mocanu
  8. Add the light or heavy cream, the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and the salt and pepper, to taste. Heat through, about 4 minutes.

    Add light cream
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Mocanu
  9. Serve as a side along your main dish and enjoy!

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Mocanu

Recipe Tips

  • While frozen corn is a good option in a pinch, fresh corn is preferred for its sweeter flavor.
  • Make sure the lima beans are tender before adding them to the succotash. They hold up well and if they are undercooked they can have a chalky texture.

Recipe Variations

  • Seafood Succotash: Add 8 to 16 ounces of cooked chopped lobster meat or cooked shrimp along with the cream.
  • Creole Succotash: Add a 14.5-ounce can of tomatoes and 1/2 cup of chopped celery to the pan with the onions. Add cooked sliced okra along with the lima beans and corn, and then add some sliced cooked andouille sausage and cooked shrimp just before serving. Season with your favorite Creole seasoning blend.

How to Store

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat (you may need to add a splash of water) or in the microwave until heated through.