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Down Home Southern Large Lima Butter Beans Recipe

Y’all get ready for a flavorful sensation! In this post I am sharing my Down Home Southern Large Lima Butter Beans Recipe. You’re gonna love it!

A big ole pot of flavorful beans is a Southern delight, Y’all. Often a one pot meal main dish, but beans can also be a tasty side dish.

It may sound a bit off to refer to creamy butter beans as comfort food, but for me they are. This is a classic meal found on Southern tables as a staple of growing up. 

We’re kicking up the flavor game of large lima beans a notch with the smoky goodness of Andouille sausage and the sweet, succulent charm of shrimp. Trust me, honey, your taste buds are gonna thank me!

So get ready to take a flavor-packed journey down South, where every bite is a taste of pure comfort and love.

Let’s head into the kitchen and whip up some deliciousness!

Easy Southern-Style Creamy Butter Beans

Southern large lima beans recipe with Cajun flavors

Are butter beans large lima beans? Yes, they are. I’m not really sure why some of us call them butter beans. Maybe it is a regional thing. We call the baby lima beans, the little green ones, lima beans. 

Y’all, don’t they look amazing? With this easy butter bean recipe you will be upping your dried beans game for sure!

Southern Large Lima Beans Recipe

Ingredients for preparing large lima beans southern style

Here’s a list of what you will need to make this delicious butter bean recipe:

  • Large Lima Beans: Also known as butter beans. You’ll need the dried beans. I was lucky to have these in my pantry that I picked up from the local farm store last summer.
  • Chicken Broth or Stock: Using stock for soaking the beans, as well as for cooking them, adds flavor. Water can be used but using broth is a super easy way to add more layers of wonderful flavor to the meal.
  • Bacon Fat: Just a little bacon grease for sautéing the veggies will add a hint of smokiness to the bean broth.
  • Yellow Onion, Bell Pepper, Celery, and Garlic: – Aromatics that add flavor to this lima bean soup.
  • Andouille Sausage: Adds a kick of Cajun heat and flavor. If you’re sensitive to a bit of spicy flavor then feel free to use a regular smoked sausage in your beans.
  • Seasonings: Salt, cracked black pepper, and a little bit of Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning make the butter beans taste amazing. The Creole seasoning is optional, but I do recommend it.
  • Shrimp: 2 or 3 shrimp per person to garnish the butter bean soup is optional, but really make this dish more special.

If there are other seasonings or herbs that you enjoy with beans then feel free to adjust to suit your own tastes.

Other Options for Cooking Large Lima Beans

Okay, I know some of y’all are thinking “Julia, this looks delicious and I will make it sometime soon, but I just want a simple butter bean recipe today“. I got you friend! It is so easy to switch things up and keep it super simple.

Instead of the veggies and sausage: add a little bacon grease to your Dutch oven and throw in a ham hock and let it sizzle a minute or two. Add the drained soaked beans and broth, season and let it cook on a simmer a few hours. Easy peasy, right?

Yes, you can make them in your slow cooker too. They’ll cook on the low setting for about 8 hours or so until you get those nice creamy butter beans that we all love. Cooking time can vary according to how you like them.

No ham hock? Use a ham bone leftover from a holiday meal or salt pork, fat back, chopped bacon, leftover ham, or a smoked turkey leg to season the beans as they cook.

As far as seasonings go, salt and black pepper are a good start, but feel free to experiment with onion powder, garlic powder, a bay leaf, fresh thyme, Cajun seasoning, or red pepper flakes to add different flavors to the beans.

Sorting Dry Beans to Inspect is Important

finding a pebble in dried lima beans

The first step in prepping any dry beans is to sort through them. You’ll need to discard any broken beans or the ones that don’t look good, as well as look out for pebbles or stems that may be mixed in with the beans.

I don’t always find stuff in dry beans, but this time there was a pebble. You don’t want to break a tooth biting into something that shouldn’t be there. Always, always, always, sort through your beans.

After sorting the dried beans, transfer them to a colander and give them a rinse under cold water then transfer them to a bowl for soaking.

Infuse Flavor while Soaking Beans

soaking dried butter beans in a large bowl with chicken stock overnight to infuse flavor and soften

Dried beans can be soaked just using water, but as I mentioned above, using chicken stock or broth will infuse more flavor.

To soak my beans, I brought four cups of water to a boil then removed it from the heat and stirred in four teaspoons of Better Than Bouillon chicken base. Allow the stock to cool completely.

Once the chicken broth has cooled, pour it into the bowl with the beans, cover with a lid and refrigerate overnight in the airtight container.

When you are ready to cook the beans, drain the soaking liquid.

Butter Bean Soup

Large Dutch oven sautéing onion, celery, and bell pepper in bacon fat

Now, let’s make the kitchen smell amazing with the aromas of the bacon fat with the sautéing onion, celery and bell pepper. 

Do this in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat.

A Touch of Cajun Flavor with Andouille Sausage

a yellow cutting mat with slices of Cajun Andouille sausage

Slice the Andouille sausage into manageable bite sized slices. You can tell by looking at it that it is full of flavor.

Southern Butter Beans Recipe

Dutch oven with sautéed trinity of veggies with sausage

The next step is to add the sliced of sausage to the sautéed vegetables. Stir to combine everything together and allow to sauté for another two or three minutes.

Big Pot of Butter Beans

adding soaked beans to the Dutch oven with sautéed veggies and sausage

Time to add the minced garlic and drained soaked beans to the pot and give everything a quick stir.

The Rich Broth

rich flavorful broth in beans soup

And finally the broth and seasonings. If the chicken broth or stock doesn’t cover the beans then add just enough water so that they are covered.

Give everything one more stir then cover the pot with a lid and bring to a boil. 

Once the large limas are boiling, reduce the heat to a medium low, and allow the beans to simmer for a couple of hours allowing enough cook time for the beans to get really tender. The longer that you allow the beans to cook the more the creamy texture you’ll get.

Some folks may like a little more bite to the beans and others more creamy beans so adjust cooking to your preference.

After cooking, it is time to serve up your delicious down home large lima butter beans to enjoy! Y’all, this is some Southern flavor at its best! Get ready to sink your teeth into the deliciousness!

Southern-Style Lima Beans Recipe Card

Table set with a bowlful of bean soup and corn muffins

I am so excited for you to try this amazing meal and know you are gonna love it!

Yield: 8 Servings

Southern-Style Large Lima Butter Beans Recipe

Southern large lima beans recipe with Cajun flavors

Y'all are in for a treat today with this down home recipe for Large Lima Butter Beans with a good ole Southern twist! We're gonna take those creamy butter beans and jazz 'em up with some smoky andouille sausage and plump, juicy shrimp. This delicious pot of butter beans can be the main meal or a hearty side dish. There is so much flavor that your taste buds are gonna fall in love with these creamy butter beans.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 pound Dried Large Lima Beans
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth or Stock, for soaking the beans
  • 1 teaspoon Bacon Fat
  • 1 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 cup Diced Celery
  • 12 ounces Andouille Sausage, sliced
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 8 cups Chicken Stock, for cooking the beans
  • 2 teaspoons Salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Creole Seasoning, I used Tony Chachere's, optional
  • 24 Sautéed Seasoned Shrimp, 2 to 3 shrimp per serving for garnish, optional
  • Chopped Parsley, garnish, optional


  1. The day before cooking: sort through the dried beans and discard any broken pieces or debris. Rinse; transfer the beans to an airtight container and add 4 cups of chicken stock. Cover with lid and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Before cooking, drain and rinse the soaked beans; set aside.
  3. Place a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add the bacon fat to melt.
  4. Next, add the diced onion, bell pepper, and celery to the pot and sauté 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the sliced Andouille sausage to the pot and continue to sauté and additional 2-3 minutes.
  6. For the next step, add the minced garlic and beans; stir to combine then add 8 cups of chicken broth or stock. If the broth doesn't cover the beans then add just enough water to cover them.
  7. Add the seasonings, stir, cover the pot with a lid and bring to a light boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 2 hours, or until desired doneness. The longer butter beans cook, the creamier they become.
  8. Serve the Southern style lima beans with a few sautéed shrimp and chopped parsley for garnish and enjoy.


See the full post for more tips on how to cook dry lima beans as well as serving suggestions.

Leftover beans may be refrigerated and re-heated up to 3 days.

If the heat of Andouille sausage is not to your liking, use regular smoked sausage instead.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 2189mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 7gSugar: 13gProtein: 24g

What to serve with Large Lima Beans?

A white bowl of creamy butter beans with shrimp and sausage served with cornbread

When serving Southern butter beans, it’s all about creating a delicious meal that captures the essence of Southern comfort food. Like I said before, you can enjoy a bowl of beans on their own. But if you’re hankering for more, here are some classic accompaniments and dishes that pair beautifully with Southern butter beans:

  1. Cornbread: You can’t go wrong with a side of warm, golden cornbread. Serve it up as a cake of cornbread or corn muffins.
  2. Collard Greens: A classic Southern side dish, collard greens cooked with bacon or ham hock.
  3. Pork Chops: In Southern cuisine, pairing pork with butter beans is a classic and delicious combination. Pan seared or breaded and fried would be so delicious.
  4. Fried Chicken: Southern fried chicken is an iconic pairing with butter beans. The crispy, seasoned coating of the chicken pairs wonderfully with the creamy beans.
  5. Roasted Turkey Wings: Roasted turkey wings provide a flavorful and protein-rich accompaniment to the creamy and buttery taste of the beans. 
  6. Rice: Steamed white or brown rice is a simple yet satisfying option. Spoon the butter beans over the rice for a hearty meal.
  7. Hot Sauce or Vinegar Pepper Sauce: Many Southerners enjoy a dash of hot sauce or a splash of vinegar on their butter beans to add a bit of heat and acidity.
  8. Sliced Tomatoes: A fresh tomato salad or sliced ripe tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper can provide a refreshing element to balance the meal. If the tomatoes are in season, of course.
  9. Pan Fried Potatoes: Fried potatoes and beans make for a delicious and satisfying side dish that can be enjoyed with various meals.
  10. Chopped Fresh Onion: To sprinkle over top of the beans for a bit of crunchy texture and flavor. We love chopped onion with beans at our house.

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Down Home Southern Large Lima Butter Beans Recipe

Well, sugar, there you have it, a taste of Down Home Southern comfort right on your plate! A taste of country cooking soul food love in every Southern bite!

These Lima butter beans, cooked up with all that love and care, are like a warm hug from Granny herself.

I hope y’all enjoyed this recipe as much as I do, and remember, in the South, we believe in sharing the love through our food.

So, whip up a batch, gather your friends and family, and let the Southern hospitality flow.

Before you go, be sure to sign up for my e-newsletter. Subscribers receive a weekly email from me with all of the latest recipes and news here on the blog, so you never miss a thing.

Until next time, love and happy cooking!

Meet Julia

Author of Julia's Simply Southern

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