Let's talk about lima beans. The first time I tried them, I was about 12 years old, at a friend's house and I hated them. They were boring and bland. So one day, when my mom randomly made them, I was quite hesitant to eat it. But, I succumbed to the pressure and tried these beans once again. I was pleasantly surprised. Lima beans can actually be tasty and full of flavour!
Health Benefits of Lima Beans
If you don't normally eat these beans, or have never tried them, I don't know what you are waiting for! Lima beans are packed with protein and a wide array vitamins and minerals. They are particularly a good source of copper, manganese, folate, iron and cholesterol-lowering fiber.
They also provide numerous health benefits including:
- promoting heart health,
- producing energy, and
- stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Plus, they are readily available in your local grocery store. So no excuses! You can find them dried, canned or frozen. This recipe uses dried lima beans, since it is the only type that I have tried to make so far.
How to Prepare Dry Lima Beans for Cooking
To prepare the lima beans for cooking, you will need to do the following:
- pick them over to remove any small stones or debris that may be hiding in your beans.
- pre soak the beans for at least 8 hours or overnight. This will help the beans cook faster, and remove some of the gassiness from the beans.
How to Cook Lima Beans
So what is the secret to make them tasty? There really is no secret at all. There's no complicated way to cook them, nor is there a rare, secret ingredient. In fact, all it takes is a few basic ingredients to bring these beans to life: onions, garlic, turmeric, italian seasoning blend (which consists mainly of basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme), salt and pepper. Yup, that is ALL!
The key is that once everything has cooked in the saucepan, turn off the heat and set it aside (still covered) for at least 20 minutes. This is crucial! It enables the flavours from this combination of ingredients to really settle into the sauce to create the flavourful creaminess and richness that is so apparent in this dish. That's right, the creamy texture comes from the beans, not from any dairy. This dish is completely 100% vegan!
You can even create a more substantive dish by adding other hearty vegetables. Both carrots and potatoes taste incredible in this dish, hence why I added the carrots (which are optional). Adding corn or sweet potatoes will also result in a great stew. Experiment a little and see what works for you! 🙂
Serve hot or, once ready to serve, simply reheat the beans on the stove. Give them a taste and add more salt, pepper or italian seasoning as required. I love to keep this meal gluten-free and vegan by serving over a warm plate of Basmati rice. If you are not on a strict diet, you can also serve this with a dinner roll or homemade biscuit.
How to Store Cooked Lima Beans
If you realize that you have made too big of a batch, no need to panic! This recipe makes excellent leftovers! I personally think they taste even better the next day. They also freeze very well. So well, that I usually double this recipe just to freeze the rest. It makes my life so much easier on a weekday when I am super tired and do not feel like cooking! I just take one of these out in the morning and it is thawed out by the time I get home. I only need to reheat and possibly add more salt or seasoning.
More Bean Recipes
- How to Cook Dried Beans
- One Pot Red Kidney Beans
- 20-Minute One Pot Lentils
- Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
- Warm Lentil Salad with Butternut Squash
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Easy Lima Beans
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 2 cups
- Diet: Vegan
Lima beans don't have to be boring and bland. Bring them to life by making them tasty and full of flavour with this easy to follow recipe.
- ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup dry lima beans, pre-soaked
- 1 carrot, chopped or sliced (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend (consisting mainly of basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- In a medium frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
- Saute the onions for 2 minutes and then add the garlic and turmeric. Continue to saute until the onions are soft and translucent. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the lima beans, sautéed onions and garlic, carrot, italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer (covered) for 40 minutes until the lima beans are soft and tender. If the beans are still hard, continue to cook and check every 5-10 minutes until the beans are soft and tender.
- Turn off the heat and set the saucepan aside for 20 minutes (still covered).
- Reheat for serving. Add more salt, pepper or italian seasoning to taste.
How to store: Store lima beans in an airtight container and store the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator and then reheat on the stove or microwave.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Sides
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: easy lima beans, how to make lima beans, easy butter beans, how to cook beans
How to Use Leftover Lima Beans
A great way to use any leftovers is in a Homemade Veggie Burger with Lima Beans. So delicious and flavourful.
This recipe is excellent. I’ve made it twice thus far and it turned out perfect both times. The I first time I doubled it and this time I tripled it. Thank you for sharing
Delicious! I was looking for a simple way to use some dried lima beans I recently purchased and this was perfect for that. No changes other than I use vegetable broth instead of water and I cooked everything in the pressure cooker. I’m going to try using the leftovers in the Lima bean burgers that you mentioned. Thanks!
Dan Smith says
When measuring the beans, is it one cup BEFORE soaking or after (when the beans have expanded)?
I chopped up some bacon with the onions and garlic - happy teenagers, even my picky one. I did have to cook the beans about 2 hrs even though I presoaked them over 24. The turmeric was a nice touch I wouldn't have thought of.
Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme says
So happy to hear that!! Bacon sounds like a great touch!
I love lima beans and recently have had to change my diet. So, I was thrilled to find this recipe! I made it, my effort looked just like your photo, and most importantly, it was delicious as a side dish and as an add-in as this recipe makes a substantial amount for one person to eat! I made a pot of chicken soup and added a ladle-full (about a cup) of the lima bean recipe, and that was amazing too! So kudos to you for a lovely simple multi-use recipe! Thanks!
Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme says
Thank you so much! So happy you liked the recipe!