9 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 09

    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 09

    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 09

    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 09

    Creamy Succotash

    Creamy succotash recipe

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Mocanu

    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 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Lima Bean Soup with Ham

    Lima Bean Soup With Ham

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    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 09

    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.

  • 07 of 09

    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.

  • 08 of 09

    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 meal.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    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.