Lima Bean Recipes

Cooked lima beans sprinkled with cracked pepper

Many people enjoy lima beans, but they don't realize how many ways they can prepare them. Having a few good recipes in your back pocket can help you put this healthy and delicious ingredient to good use.

Cooking Dried Lima Beans

This is a basic method for cooking dried lima beans for use in other recipes such as soups or salads. Since lima beans take so long to soften, it's best to cook them before adding them to other dishes.


  • ½ cup of dried Lima beans
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Cold water
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of salt


  1. Soak the beans overnight in about one quart of cold water.
  2. Rinse the beans well.
  3. Place the beans in a large pot, cover them with water, and cook on high heat.
  4. Bring the beans to a boil. Lower the temperature to medium and cover.
  5. Simmer until tender. This will take about 1 hour for baby lima beans or about 1½ hours for large beans. Replenish the water as needed.
  6. Add the salt about ½ hour before the beans are cooked.
  7. Add the butter and pepper, and stir gently to distribute through the beans.
  8. When the beans are fork tender, remove the pan from the stove and drain the beans.
  9. If you plan to use the beans for a recipe later, or in a cool dish such as bean salad, place them in a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking.

Baked Lima Beans

This recipe uses dried lima beans. Since the beans need to soak overnight, you'll need to start the recipe the day before you plan to serve it.


  • Lima beans in a casserole dish
    1 quart dried lima beans
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1½ tablespoons salt
  • 3 cups milk


  1. The evening before you plan to serve your lima beans, place them in a bowl, cover them with water, and let them soak overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse the beans. Place them in a large pot and cover with water.
  3. Bring the beans to a boil and cook them until tender, about 1 hour for baby lima beans or 1½ hours for large lima beans.
  4. While the beans boil, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  5. When the beans are fork tender, drain them and place them in a medium-sized, oven-proof casserole.
  6. Add the butter, milk and salt.
  7. Bake for 1 to1½ hours.
  8. Serve immediately.

Slow Baked Lima Beans

This recipe flavors the beans with salt pork as they boil, and then transfers to the oven for a long, slow bake to meld the flavors. Soak the beans the night before you plan to serve them.


  • Slow baked lima beans
    One pound dried lima beans
  • ½ pound salt pork
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and roughly chopped


  1. The night before you plan to cook the beans, place them in a large bowl, cover them with water, and soak them overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse the beans.
  3. Score the salt pork with a knife. Place it in a large cooking pot with the beans.
  4. Add water to just cover the beans and pork. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  5. Boil the beans and pork for 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.
  6. If the pork didn't break up on its own, shred it with a fork.
  7. Heat the oven to 300 degrees.
  8. Place the onion, jalapeno, and green pepper in a food processor and pulse for 1 second a total of 10 times to combine well.
  9. Stir the chopped ingredients into the pot with the beans, pork, and water.
  10. Add the molasses, ketchup, mustard, vinegar, and brown sugar.
  11. Stir to combine.
  12. Place the mix in a large casserole.
  13. Bake, uncovered, for three to four hours until the beans are fork tender.

Lima Bean Salad

This salad is best served at room temperature or slightly chilled.


  • Lima bean salad
    1½ cups of cooked lima beans (fresh, canned or dried)
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ of a chili pepper, minced exceedingly fine
  • 1 teaspoon of grated onion
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar


  1. Place the beans in a large bowl.

  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the salt, chili pepper, onion, parsley, olive oil, and vinegar.

  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the beans and mix well.

  4. You can let this salad stand a few hours to let the flavors combine, or you can serve it immediately.


This is a classic lima bean recipe made from lima beans and corn. For best results, use fresh corn.


  • Succotash with lima beans and corn
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups corn
  • 2 cups cooked lima beans
  • ¼ cup water
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste


  1. Heat two tablespoons of butter over medium high heat in a saucepan until it's melted and bubbling.
  2. Add the onion and red pepper, and cook about five minutes until soft,.
  3. Add the lima beans, corn, and water.
  4. Cover and bring to a simmer.
  5. Cook at a simmer for three minutes.
  6. Add the remaining two tablespoons of butter, salt, and pepper.
  7. Serve hot.

Get Cooking!

While cooking lima beans is time consuming, it isn't difficult to make delicious dishes with them. Use these recipes just as they are, or let them serve as inspiration for your own lima bean dishes.

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Lima Bean Recipes