12 Ways to Use Lima Beans

creamy succotash
Diana Rattray

Beans are having a moment right now, and it's not hard to see why. They're versatile, hearty, and have a long shelf life in your pantry. Large lima beans have a creamy texture and a mild flavor that works in a wide range of dishes. You can even use them as a substitute for potatoes or rice if you want to lighten up on starches. Store dried or canned lima beans in a cool, dark pantry. Dried beans will taste best if you use them within a year, while the canned variety will last about twice that long. You can still use older dried beans if yours have been in there awhile, but they may take longer to cook.

  • 01 of 12

    Brunswick Stew

    Brunswick Stew with Cornbread
    Brunswick Stew with Cornbread. Photo: Diana Rattray

    This classic Southern stew came about to stretch whatever people had on hand, so it works well to clean out your fridge too. Use chicken parts, red skin potatoes, lima beans, and corn in a satisfying tomato broth to make this version. Serve with biscuits to soak up every last drop.

  • 02 of 12

    Creamed Lima Beans

    Baby Lima Beans in Cream
    Baby Lima Beans in Cream. Photo: Diana Rattray

    Steakhouse fans already know the magic of creamed spinach, but you're in for a treat if you've never applied the technique to lima beans. Adding cream and butter just emphasizes the already silky texture in either canned or frozen lima beans.

  • 03 of 12

    Succotash with Okra

    okra, corn, lima bean succotash with tomatoes

     Diana Rattray

    Fresh and colorful succotash makes the most of summer's best produce, with corn, tomatoes, fresh lima beans, and okra. If they aren't in season yet, canned petite diced tomatoes and frozen corn, beans, and okra will work. Those who don't enjoy the texture of boiled okra may enjoy roasting it instead.

  • 04 of 12

    Creamy Succotash

    creamy succotash
    Diana Rattray

    You may already have the ingredients for this simple and creamy blend of lima beans, corn, and bell peppers. Frozen lima beans and either fresh or frozen corn works, depending on the season. This succotash recipe makes enough for six servings, but it scales up easily for a large gathering or potluck.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Lima Bean Soup with Ham

    Lima Bean Soup With Ham

    Alexandra Grablewski/Getty Images

    This ham, lima bean, and vegetable soup has enough staying power to serve as a main dish, and works well with frozen lima beans. If you only have dried, soak and cook them before adding them to the soup. It lends itself well to variation, so swap out the ham for sausage, use different veggies, or switch up the seasonings.

  • 06 of 12

    Slow Cooker Ham and Lima Beans

    lima beans with chopped ham and tomatoes and cornbread

     Diana Rattray

    Ham hocks and tomatoes give dried lima beans lots of Southern-style flavor in this slow cooker dish. If you like a little heat, add some red pepper flakes or diced jalapeno. Serve them with a side of corn bread and chow chow.

  • 07 of 12

    Lima Bean Dip

    lima bean dip
    Lima Bean Dip - Puré de Pallares. Marian Blazes

    This Peruvian dip makes a great substitute for guacamole with lime juice, cumin, and Sazón Goya seasoning highlighting the creamy, buttery beans. Try it with tortilla or pita chips, spread on toast or a sandwich, or as a base for vegetable pizza.

  • 08 of 12

    Slow Cooker Baby Lima Beans

    Slow cooker lima beans

     Diana Rattray

    Adding a ham bone and diced ham to baby lima beans, along with some Cajun seasoning and onion, gives the tender lima beans plenty of Southern flavor. The beans do need to soak overnight before spending 2-3 hours in the slow cooker, so plan ahead.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Baked Succotash Casserole

    Corn and Lima Bean Bake

    Philip Dowell/Getty Images

    Try succotash components in a whole new way with this baked recipe. Canned corn and lima beans blended with shredded cheese, milk, and eggs get topped with a buttery Saltine cracker crust for a bubbly, warming dish that makes the most of pantry staples.

  • 10 of 12

    Kentucky Burgoo Stew

    Kentucky burgoo recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Katarina Zunic

    The origin of this comforting stew's name is under some dispute, but you can't deny the flavor. Lima beans, cabbage, corn, peppers, carrots, okra, and both chicken and beef stew meat cook up into a delicious, nutritious meal.

  • 11 of 12

    Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup

    Beef and Barley Soup with Vegetables
    Beef and Barley Soup. Brian Hagiwara/Photolibrary/Getty Images

    Beef shanks give this hearty slow cooker barley and vegetable soup lots of meaty flavor. The long cook time lets the beef get fall-off-the-bone tender for a soup that has enough heft for a meal. Serve it with crusty bread and a green salad on the side.

  • 12 of 12

    Solterito Corn and Lima Bean Salad

    Solterito Corn and Lima Bean Salad

    Marian Blazes


    This Peruvian salad combines creamy lima beans, salty olives, zesty red onion, and creamy queso fresca cheese with a little spicy chile and a simple red wine vinaigrette for a lovely spring or summer side. It just gets better as it sits, so make a big batch to have on hand.