Skip to Content

Southern Speckled Butter Beans Recipe

In this post I am sharing a savory and delicious Southern Speckled Butter Beans Recipe.

What the heck are speckled butter beans? Speckled butter beans have been referred to as the creamier nuttier cousin to the lima bean.

All I know is that they are delicious and you will too! Speckled butter beans are a lovely brownish red color with freckles. I mean speckles.

They are usually found in the fresh frozen section at the grocery store. I’ve never seen these beans canned or dried in stores. Speckled butter beans are a gardener’s favorite though and you could preserve them at home as you wish.

Fresh frozen beans are wonderful because they cook up fast and are packed with garden fresh flavor. This variety of beans, like others, is perfect as a side or as the main meal itself with a few additional ingredients.

Savory Bean Soup

White cutting board with a package of speckled butter beans, vegetables and smoked sausage

This savory bean recipe is a mighty fine meal with a few vegetables and smoked sausage added to the mix. It’s hearty and so nutritious. Serve with a slice of cornbread and you’re all set. 

If you prefer to prepare speckled butter beans as a side, just cook them with some seasoning meat as you would with other beans.

As I mentioned, fresh frozen beans cook up faster than dried beans. The package directions will say to cook about half an hour. While they are technically done at they point, there is still a bit of bite to me. 

I prefer to simmer the beans for about an hour so they are a bit more tender and creamy.

Speckled Butter Beans Recipe

Cutting board with slices sausage and diced vegetables for bean soup

As with most of my bean recipes, this one begins with a bit of bacon grease. It adds such a nice smoky flavor to this Southern Speckled Butter Beans Recipe.

Once the bacon fat has melted in a cooking pot add the onion and celery and saute about five minutes until tender.

At this point you’re ready to add your cooking liquids. I use a mix of chicken stock and water. You can certainly use all water if you don’t have stock on hand.

Stocks and broth add additional flavor to meals like this. Bring your beans to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer.

You’ll add the smoked sausage, if you’re using some, the last few minutes of cooking. It just needs to heat through and your hearty bean soup is ready to serve.

A pot of beans in broth

Beans are packed with protein and a great budget friendly meal. You can really stretch those grocery dollars with a bean soup meal. 

Leftovers are also great. Just reheat and serve.

This recipe could be easily adapted for your slow cooker by following the same steps in your heated crockery then cooking on the high setting for two hours.

Bowl of Southern speckled butter beans soup

Printable Recipe Card

Yield: 1 Pot of Beans

Southern Speckled Butter Beans Recipe

Recipe photo for Southern speckled butter beans with smoked sausage

Speckled Butter Beans are a Southern favorite. These tasty beans are great as a side dish or with a few more ingredients make a wonderful budget friendly meal.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 tsp Bacon Grease
  • 1 Small Onion, diced
  • 1/2 c Celery, chopped
  • 2 Small Hot Pepper, seeded and diced (optional) or a sweet bell pepper.
  • 28 oz Package of Fresh Frozen Speckled Butter Beans
  • 2 c Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • 2 c Water
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, crushed
  • Salt and Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
  • 6.5 oz Smoked Sausage (see notes)


  1. Add a teaspoon of bacon fat to a soup pot or dutch oven; heat over medium.
  2. Once the bacon fat has melted; add the diced celery, onion and peppers. Saute 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Next, add the crushed clove of garlic, frozen speckled butter beans, stock and water. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes.
  4. Lastly, add the sliced smoked sausage and simmer an additional 15 minutes.


I only use 1/2 of the package of smoked sausage and freeze the other half for another meal.

Leftovers may be refrigerated and reheated up to 3 days.

If preferred, you may use all stock or all water.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 281Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 387mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 8gSugar: 5gProtein: 19g
Speckled Butter Beans Recipe Pinterest Image - Julia's Simply Southern Recipes

You might also enjoy this Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup from The Country Cook.

Meet Julia

Author of Julia's Simply Southern

Sharing is Caring

Barbara Miller

Thursday 17th of August 2023

This recipe is so good. TY for sharing it with us. I make it once a month since that first time in 2022.

Mary Thomas

Saturday 22nd of July 2023

I canned speckled butter beans this week. This was a perfect 1st meal with them. 5 stars!

Julia Jordan

Sunday 23rd of July 2023

Mary, Thank you so much! I appreciate you taking time to let me know. Made my day! ~Julia

Barbara Miller

Wednesday 19th of October 2022

Made these for a quick supper after a doctor's appointment and afternoon of shopping. Sure hit the spot and so easy.

Julia Jordan

Thursday 20th of October 2022

Barbara, I am so glad that you enjoyed it.

Barbara Miller

Friday 6th of May 2022

I finally found some here in NE TN. Cooking them right now.

Barbara Miller

Saturday 7th of May 2022

@Barbara Miller, My word. These beans and your recipe for cooking them are outstanding. So creamy. I'm like you and cooked them longer. TY so much for sharing these. My son loved them and I ate 3 bowls.


Sunday 2nd of August 2020

These look so flavorful. I am becoming more and more of a bean fan all the time!

Skip to Recipe