Southern Butter Bean Succotash

Butter beans and lima beans are the same bean! I couldn’t find canned lima beans, only because they were labeled as butter beans. In the southern U.S. and in the U.K., people often refer to them as butter beans. There is no butter in the beans, it’s just a name. The word “succotash” originates from a late 1700s Narragansett Indian (from Rhode Island) word “msickquatash,” which was a simmering pot of corn and vegetables. Such fascinating food history for such a humble dish!

Typically, southern succotash has okra added to it, but I didn’t have any okra on hand during this COVID-19 isolation quarantine. Never fear, the dish is perfectly delicious without the okra. Often corn, beans and squash are added to succotash, a combination commonly called the Three Sisters (sort of like the Trinity of New Orleans cooking). Beans, corn and squash were the three main crops grown by the Native Americans in the 18th century. If you use all three, you can call your dish Three Sisters Succotash. When adding fresh okra or squash, 1 cup will work for either one, or between 1/2 and 1 cup of each if you want to go crazy and add both vegetables. Just increase the veggie broth to 3/4 cup or 1 cup rather than the 1/2 cup in the recipe, to keep it moist.

southern butter bean succotashI like a little spicy flavor, so I add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun or Creole spice. Try my recipe to make your own spice mix if you don’t have any on hand.

Southern succotash can be eaten hot or cold. But it’s so much tastier when cooked a few hours ahead, cooled and refrigerated, then eaten. You can reheat it in a skillet on the stove, or microwave individual portions 30 to 60 seconds before serving. Even though lima beans are most commonly used in succotash, any shelled bean will work, even chickpeas or black beans. Go crazy! It’s also very delicious served over rice or cornbread, corn waffles or corn pancakes (flapjacks).

I’ve made succotash with dried lima beans which were soaked, cooked and cooled first, or by using the canned precooked butter beans. Both ways are equally as delectable and the texture of the beans isn’t any different.

Some people insist on using a red bell pepper for this dish, but I like using green bell pepper since the fresh tomatoes already add red to the dish. Any bell pepper will do!

If you like this dish, you might enjoy other dishes in my Cajun Cuisine and US Southern Cuisine recipe categories.

 

Print Recipe
Southern Butter Bean Succotash
A delicious vegan version of a classic southern U.S. comfort food. Delicious served hot or cold. Serve over rice, cornbread, or corn pancakes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, cook the vegan bacon according to package instructions, until browned somewhat. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, sauté the diced onion and bell pepper, drizzling with additional oil while cooking if needed. Cook until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown, 2 to 4 minutes.
    southern butter bean succotash
  3. Add minced garlic to the skillet and cook 1 minute more.
  4. Add the cooked butter beans (lima beans), corn, tomatoes, vinegar, vegetable broth or stock, and salt and pepper to taste. If using okra and/or squash, add them at this time. Simmer 5 to 6 minutes, until the corn is tender and bright yellow and most of the liquid has cooked away.
  5. Stir in the vegan butter until melted. Add the Cajun or Creole seasoning. Tear or cut the bacon into small 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces and stir into the skillet.
  6. Succotash may be served warm immediately and is delicious served over rice or cornbread. You can also let it cool to room temp, then refrigerate it, warming it up later before serving. Succotash is also good eaten cold.
Recipe Notes

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