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Southern Style Baby Lima Beans are cooked low and slow with bacon and seasoned to perfection. This country delicacy is melt in your mouth deliciousness!

A white serving bowl filled with these southern-style baby lima beans

There is an age-old debate over whether they are Lima Beans or Butter Beans! Technically they are the same bean… But in my neck of the woods, a lima is green, young, tender, and sweet!

A butter bean, however, is the larger, older, and dried version (now this is an opinion y’all)! Both are slap your momma good! And they both are paired wonderfully with some good old buttered cornbread.

These beans can be found fresh in the summertime and you are so lucky if you get your hands on them! For the most part, you find them in your freezer section. Frozen, fresh, young, and tender green limas can be enjoyed year-round! Thank the good LORD above! We love them at my house.

What about you?  Do you love them too or have you never had them yet?? If you never have made them, now is the perfect time to give them a try! Either way, I think you will love this recipe!

What you need to make Lima Beans

  • Bacon
  • Chicken Broth or Water and Bouillon
  • Garlic
  • Onion Powder
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • Fresh Frozen Baby Lima Beans
A ceramic cooking pot filled with these southern-style baby lime beans

How to make Southern Lima Beans

Step 1.   It starts with some glorious bacon. Yep, you gotta have bacon to make this delish! I like to cut pieces of bacon with my kitchen scissors. Let them cook up a few minutes to render that delicious fat in the bottom of the pan. Now, if you don’t like the pieces of bacon in the beans, just cook the slices whole and then pull them out after they cook.

Step 2.   Add the broth, baby limas, minced garlic, onion powder, sugar, black pepper, and red pepper (if you like a kick).  Bring to a boil, then cover with a vented lid (that just means don’t cover completely, leave a little opening), and then reduce to simmer. My stove is about a medium-low. Each one cooks differently, so you know your settings best.

a closeup of these southern-style baby lime beans with the seasonings

Step 3.   Cook for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Then give it a taste and add the salt to taste. If it needs more liquid, add a little water or more broth now. They don’t have to be completely covered or drowning, but you want enough liquid in there so that they stay moist and don’t burn.

A close up of these southern-style baby lime beans

Step 4.   Then cook another 30 minutes until nice and tender.

Now it is time to enjoy these beauties!!

A ceramic cooking pot filled with these southern-style baby lime beans and a serving spoon with some ready for a bite

Other Southern Recipes You May Enjoy!

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A ceramic cooking pot filled with these southern-style baby lime beans

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A white serving bowl filled with these southern-style baby lima beans
Recipe
4.85 from 114 votes

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Southern Style Baby Lima Beans

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Nikki Lee
Southern Style Baby Lima Beans are cooked low and slow with bacon and seasoned to perfection. This country delicacy is melt in your mouth deliciousness!
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Ingredients 

  • 2 slices bacon, sliced
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ⅛ to ¼ red pepper flakes, (optional)
  • 16 ounces frozen baby lima beans
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • In a large pot, slightly saute bacon about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
  • Cook for 30 minutes, stirring periodically. If needed add water. You do not need a lot of liquid, but you don’t want them to burn. So add if necessary. Season with salt if desired.
  • Cook for another 30 minutes until buttery tender and enjoy.

Notes

If you prefer to not have the bacon pieces in the beans, you can cook the slices in them whole and remove to serve.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 11 serving Calories: 100kcal (5%) Carbohydrates: 16g (5%) Protein: 6g (12%) Fat: 2g (3%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 5mg (2%) Sodium: 347mg (15%) Fiber: 3g (13%) Sugar: 2g (2%)

Nutritional Disclaimer

Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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91 Comments

    1. Bee, I haven’ tested in the Instant Pot. But I would try for fresh frozen on high pressure for 4-5 minutes and then natural release for about 10 minutes before manual release. For dried lima beans I would cook at high pressure for 15-20 minutes and natural release for 15 minutes. If they are soft enough for you start again for 5 minutes. Usually about 20 will result in a nice tender bean. Hope this helps. Please feel free to reach out any time!

    1. That the best compliment I can receive. I am honored you tried them and will enjoy them over the holidays. Have a blessed holiday season!

  1. 5 stars
    I made these using frozen baby lima beans and added butter, but I didn’t add any red pepper flakes. They were delicious! I will definitely save this recipe!!

  2. I have made these a couple times, although I leave out the red pepper. My husband and daughter adore lime beans, but I’ve never been a fan until I found this recipe. It’s wonderful! It takes some time but we’ll worth it!

    1. Thank you so much Nancy! All the flavors and slow cooking them makes a big difference in the taste. I am so glad to hear you enjoyed them!

  3. 5 stars
    Closest thing to what my Grandmother fixed that I have found!!! And she was a great rural NC cook with requirements such as – gotta pick the beans before the dew dries, shelling and cooking immediately for the mid-day dinner.
    I used fresh butter beans, reduced to one slice of thick bacon, and did not add the optional red pepper flakes. Oh my – I am in heaven!!!!!

    1. Thank you so much! I am so happy to hear you loved them and that they remind you of your grandmother’s. Best compliment I could receive!

      1. If using dried beans, yes I soak them first. Or you can do a quick boil first and then proceed.