Succotash With Fresh Lima Beans and Corn

Succotash with lima beans, corn, and sweet bell peppers
Diana Rattray
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Traditional succotash is made with corn, lima beans (or butter beans), cream or milk, and simple seasonings. The word "succotash" comes from an Indigenous tribe, the Narragansett, which refers to a stew with corn. Even though the dish originated in the Northeast, it is far more popular in the South than in other regions. 

Feel free to use frozen vegetables in this recipe if that's what you have on hand, or use half-and-half instead of cream for a lighter dish.

Serve succotash with Southern fried chicken or catfish, ham, or pork chops.


  • 2 pounds lima beans (fresh, shelled)
  • 6 ears corn (fresh, husked)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place lima beans in just enough salted water to prevent sticking; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer the vegetables for about 25 minutes, or until the fresh beans are almost tender. Check frequently and add more water as needed.

  3. With a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cobs. With the dull back of the knife, scrape and reserve the liquid from the cobs.

  4. If there is still a lot of water in the cooked lima beans, drain off all but about 1/4 cup. Add the fresh corn and reserved corn liquid to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes longer.

  5. Add the heavy cream and butter to the vegetables. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Continue cooking the succotash until it is hot.

  7. Enjoy as a tasty side dish!


Edamame—immature soybeans—can stand in for the lima beans; they have twice the protein and are lower in carbohydrates. If you use edamame, cook it for about 5 minutes before you add the corn. 

Recipe Variations

  • Finish the creamy succotash with a grating of nutmeg.
  • Sautéed minced red bell peppers and onions will add a burst of bright color and flavor to the succotash mixture.
  • Add 1 cup of diced garden-fresh tomatoes along with the corn.
  • For a subtle garlic flavor, add a clove of minced garlic with the lima beans.
  • A variety of herbs and spices go well with succotash. Consider chopped parsley, chives or scallion tops, sage, thyme, or cayenne pepper.
  • Succotash With Bacon and Onions: In a skillet over medium heat, cook 4 to 6 strips of bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels and crumble. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the skillet and add 1/2 cup of chopped onions. Cook the onions for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are translucent. Add the onions and bacon to the succotash along with the corn kernels.
  • Succotash With Okra: Simmer 1 to 2 cups of sliced fresh okra along with the lima beans. Add a diced tomato when you add the corn.