Slow Cooker Baby Lima Beans and Ham

Baby Lima Beans in white bowl

Diana Rattray

  • Total: 7 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 7 hrs
  • Soak: 8 hrs
  • Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
123 Calories
1g Fat
22g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 123
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 2mg 1%
Sodium 88mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 6g 23%
Protein 8g
Calcium 44mg 3%
*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.)

This is an easy, basic lima bean recipe with ham, onion, and seasonings. Even if you think you don't like lima beans, you're sure to enjoy this dish. Dried lima beans, also known as butter beans, become tender and creamy when cooked, and they're much better tasting than canned. Besides, one pound of dried beans makes as much as almost four (15-ounce) cans, making them much easier on the budget. 

The lima beans must be soaked overnight (or about eight hours) so plan accordingly. Salt can sometimes inhibit dried beans cooking properly in the slow cooker, so salty seasonings are added after the beans become tender in this recipe. A ham bone adds tons of savory flavor to the beans. Never throw away the leftover bone from a bone-in ham—it will create depth of flavor in soups, stews, bean dishes, and more.

For a true Southern meal, serve the lima beans with freshly baked cornbread along with a tossed salad or cooked greens. Macaroni and cheese, potatoes, and corn also go well with these lima beans. This recipe feeds a small crowd, making it good for a family meal or a potluck. The leftovers are delicious, too.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound baby lima beans (dried)
  • 2 quarts water (for soaking)
  • 2 medium onions (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 ham bone
  • 3 to 4 cups water (to cover)
  • Leftover diced ham (as desired)
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun or Creole seasoning blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • Salt (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Soak the lima beans in about 2 quarts of water overnight.

  2. Gather the rest of the ingredients.

  3. Drain the lima beans and add them to the slow-cooker insert. Stir in the chopped onions and add the ham bone. Add 3 to 4 cups of fresh water just to cover the beans.

  4. Cover and cook the beans on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the lima beans are becoming tender. 

  5. Add any extra diced ham, Cajun or Creole seasoning, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Taste and add salt as needed. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours, or until the beans are very tender.

  6. The beans can be kept warm in the slow cooker until serving. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of a ham bone, use ham hocks, smoked pork shanks, or add salt pork or bacon.
  • For a vegetarian version, leave out the ham altogether.
  • If you don't have Creole or Cajun spice blend handy, you can make your own.