A delicious and savory quick-fix Butter Beans Recipe featuring frozen lima beans, chopped ham, garlic, and onion. After just 30 minutes of simmering, you can either serve this quintessential Southern dish as the main event with a hearty slice of Homemade Cornbread or as a starchy side to complement any Southern meal!
Need more Southern side dishes in your life? Bookmark these savory, full-flavored Collard Greens for next time!
WHAT ARE BUTTER BEANS?
Butter beans are tender, rich, and quite possibly the creamiest of all the legumes. They can be bought in frozen, canned, or dried form.
BUTTER BEANS VS. LIMA BEANS
There’s no “versus” to it: Butter Beans and Lima Beans are the exact same thing. Southerners and folks from the U.K. refer to them as Butter Beans, while pretty much the rest of the world calls them Lima Beans.
While deceptively starchy and buttery, they’re are actually very good for you. All legumes are known for being rich in protein and fiber, but these beans, in particular, are crazy high in the trace mineral, Molybdenum, which helps to detoxify sulfites. They also contain a good amount of iron and manganese per serving.
BUTTER BEANS & HAM. ALWAYS.
Pork and beans go together like bread and butter. Here lies no exception, and while these creamy legumes pair well with many things, it doesn’t get much better than Butter Beans and ham. Briny, salty ham in combination with these rich, buttery beans is, in a word, heavenly.
This recipe calls for easily accessible deli ham, however, if you have leftover ham from the holidays or a ham hock, feel free to sub them in. See the notes section of the recipe card for instructions.
- Yellow Onion
- Unsalted Chicken Broth
- Butter Beans/Lima Beans
HOW TO COOK BUTTER BEANS (FAST!)
- Melt butter and sauté the yellow onion.
- Add the ham and cook 2 minutes, then add the garlic and stir.
- Add the chicken broth, beans, salt, and pepper and simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
- Strain or serve with a slotted spoon.
5 MORE SOUTHERN SIDES YOU’LL LOVE
- Homemade Southern Biscuits are quick, simple and always bake up perfectly golden on the outside, flaky and buttery on the inside!
- Black-Eyed Pea Salad is a colorful and tasty mix of vibrant fruits, vegetables, and black-eyed peas tossed together in a vinaigrette dressing.
- Southern Cornbread is savory with a hint of sweet and completely full of flavor. Featuring moist cornbread dressing, made with sauteed onions and celery, amped up with fresh herbs like sage, thyme, and parsley.
- Cream Corn Casserole is loaded with sweet corn baked in a perfectly smooth and creamy sauce, topped off with melty Cheddar and buttery Ritz crackers, and baked to absolute perfection.
- Fried Green Tomatoes with a perfectly golden, crunchy cornmeal crust are the perfect summertime treat!
A quick and easy Butter Beans Recipe using frozen Butter Beans! Chopped ham, onion, and garlic help you get big flavor in a short amount of time.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 slices Black Forest Ham, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups unsalted chicken broth
- 1 (10 ounce) package lima beans (fresh or frozen)
- 3/4 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Add butter to a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the butter has melted, add the onion and sauté 10 minutes, stirring often.
Add the ham to the saucepan, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Then, add the garlic and cook 1 minute more, stirring occasionally.
Add the chicken broth, lima beans (i.e. butter beans), salt, and pepper to saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Cover and reduce the heat, if needed, to maintain a slow simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Strain or serve with a slotted spoon and enjoy!