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Southern Style Green Baby Lima Beans


I’m sharing how to cook Southern Style Green Baby Lima Beans using fresh frozen beans rather than dried.

I don’t know about you but beans are a staple at our house. I tend to make a lot of them during the cooler months of the year.

Beans are nutritious and can be served as a filling meal themselves, with a side of cornbread of course, or served as a side dish.

I cook a pound or slightly more of beans at a time, which yields a lot of cooked beans. There are just two of us so we may have leftovers for a couple of days. Cooked beans can also be frozen in batches to reheat later.

Green baby lima beans are a particular favorite at our house. I also really enjoy the larger creamy lima beans, which we call butter beans.

How to Cook Fresh Lima Beans

Have you ever had fresh beans? We’re all familiar with the dried beans and they are a pantry staple! You can keep a bag of dried beans on hand for quite some time.

I recommend trying fresh beans too. You can keep fresh frozen beans on hand. Fresh beans can be found at farmer’s markets after harvest and easily found frozen at your local grocery store.

What’s the difference, they are both lima beans? True, they are the same bean but there is a bit of difference between using fresh beans vs the dried variety.

Fresh beans are tender and the skins hold up well to cooking. There is no splitting. There is no need to soak fresh beans and they cook faster than the dried variety….by half.  Some even say that fresh beans have a slightly sweeter and floral taste about them.

I’m not fancy enough to pick up on all of that but they are delicious, tender and make a wonderful meal.

Fresh Frozen Green Baby Lima Beans and how they are different from dried beans

How to Cook Green Baby Lima Beans

What makes Southern style beans so different? Flavor! Seasoning and flavoring beans can make all the difference whether folks find beans delicious or are put off by them.

Here’s what you’ll need: (Full Printable Recipe can be found below in this post) fresh frozen lima beans, flavorful meat pieces (such as cut up bacon, country ham pieces, salted pork, or a smoked ham bone), vegetable stock, some water and seasonings.

Southern Style Green Baby Lima Beans

Searing meat pieces before cooking beans

Step 1: Begin by searing the meat pieces in the bottom of the pot over medium heat. I use country ham pieces a lot when cooking beans. Chopped bacon works nicely too. Allow the meat to cook a few minutes to render some of the flavorful fat in the bottom of the pot.

Step 2: Next, add the beans, vegetable stock and water. I use my own homemade stock which are so rich and flavorful but store bought is just fine too. Next, season the beans with salt and cracked black pepper.

Some folks like to add aromatic vegetables to their beans while cooking, such as onion or celery. I don’t but do like to have some fresh chopped onion on the side to eat with my beans.

Lima Beans and Ham Recipe

How to cook flavorful beans

Step 3: Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover with a lid, leaving a slight tilt to vent, and simmer for one hour or until tender as desired. The fresh beans are done in an hour but I do cook mine for a half hour more to thicken up the juices.

Before y’all ask…no I didn’t throw the juices away. I’ve been yelled at before about that. I set it aside to get a good picture for y’all so you can see the beans.

Southern Butter Bean Recipe

Delicious Southern Green Baby Lima Beans using fresh beans

Let’s make these Southern Style Green Baby Lima Beans!

Yield: 1.5 lb Lima Beans

Southern Style Green Baby Lima Beans

How to cook lima beans using fresh frozen rather than dried

A classic Southern favorite of green baby lima beans as a meal or side dish.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 1.5 lb Fresh Frozen Baby Lima Beans
  • Country Ham Cooking Pieces or 2 strips of bacon chopped
  • 2 c Vegetable Stock
  • 6 c Water
  • 1 tsp Salt, or to taste
  • Cracked Black Pepper, to taste


  1. Begin by heating a soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the meat pieces to the pot and cook a few minutes to release some of the fats to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Next, add the beans, stock and water then season.
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. 
  5. Cover the pot with a lid leaving a slight tilt to vent the steam.
  6. Cook 1 to 1.5 hours until desired tenderness and juices thicken.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

.5 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 94Total Fat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.1gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 239mgCarbohydrates: 17.5gFiber: 5.4gSugar: 1.2gProtein: 6g

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See this recipe at the Weekend Potluck and Meal Plan Monday

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Monday 1st of February 2021

Love Lima beans & love your recipe - Thank You so much!

Julia Jordan

Monday 1st of February 2021

Sue, Thank you for letting me know how much you enjoyed my Southern style green baby lima beans! I am so happy that you enjoyed the recipe. ~Julia

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