How to cook dried lima beans on the stove, microwave or in a slow cooker is here! Boiling frozen lima beans is great too and a healthy side dish we all love too.
Dried lima beans are easier to make delicious than you might think. Once you understand how to cook dry beans to tender you can do it for others as well. A cheap and easy side dish with tons of flavor you’ll love. (affiliate links present)
How to Cook Dry Lima Beans
There are three steps to this; soaking, boiling, and then cooking with all the seasonings until perfect. There are a few ways to do this but on the stovetop is explained in detail below. If you want to know the fastest way to cook dry beans it is in a pressure cooker. There is NO soaking required for that method. To use a pot you’ll need;
- Large dry lima beans
- Enough water to cover beans to soak, then enough to boil
- 1 chicken bouillon cube, or you can use chicken broth instead of water in the last step
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- Minced onion and garlic, onions are optional but add a bit of texture
- Onion powder and garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
Some cajun seasoning, red pepper flakes and/or dry Sriracha can make them spicy if you want to add some heat to them.
What is the Best Way to Cook Dried Lima Beans
You always want to rinse dry beans to remove debris. If you can imagine when they are processed they aren’t and the machines don’t always catch the tiny rocks or dirt on them. If you use a colander you can do that pretty easily so they are clean when you start this whole process.
- Pour large dried limas a bowl covered with water to pre soak + 2 inches above top of beans.
- Leave on the counter and soak overnight.
- soaking beans will help them get perfectly tender, cut down on the cook time and isn’t so hard on your gut
- The next day drain beans and put into a pot filled with new water covering the beans.
- Set to medium heat and boil until they are tender, this will take about 1 hour.
- When tender, drain that water.
- Cook the beans in a pot with the 1 cup of water and all the seasonings listed above. Stir.
- Set pot on low medium heat where it is at a low continuous boil.
Leave on the burner for about 20 minutes or until most liquid has been absorbed and they are as tender as you would like them to become. With the seasonings you already added they should be good but you can season with salt and pepper when done.
How to Cook Frozen Lima Beans
If yours are frozen out of the bag that means they were previously tender already, they just need to be defrosted and warmed. SO you can skip the first 2 steps and skip to the second where you boil with the seasonings suggested below. Just takes about 20 minutes this way.
Frozen Lima Beans in Microwave
If you want a faster method there is one. You can nuke them in less than 10 minutes but won’t make as many. Just place frozen beans in a microwave safe dish + 1/3 cup water or broth + 3 tablespoons of beans + seasonings of your choice. Use a plate to cover the top and cook on high (regular mode) for 8 minutes or until tender.
Copycat Cracker Barrel Lima Beans
If you have ever visited this popular restaurant you may have had these as a side dish. This lima bean recipe tastes quite a bit like those so if you don’t have one in your area you can still enjoy them year round.
Southern Lima Beans with Ham
Oh but you can make these even better with a few ham hocks thrown into a larger pot when they are boiling. Once you drain the water the meat should be super tender so you can pull it off and put it into the next pot to cook together for the next bout. It will give you the sodium you need so you won’t need any additional salt with these.
Pressure Cooker Lima Beans
Cooking lima beans or butter beans this way is the fastest and do not need to be soaked beforehand. You can use this Instant Pot cooking times for beans chart to see how long each one takes. With a natural pressure release it takes a fraction of the time.
Can You Eat Cooked Beans the Next Day?
Yes! They save quite well in a closed container for up to two days. You would want to save a bit of the liquid with it so they don’t dry out as well.
Reheat with a bit of broth in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, again for half a minute and keep doing this until warmed to your liking. Season and enjoy again with a second meal.
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
Dried Lima Beans
- Rinse dry beans to remove debris. Pour into a bowl covered with water + 2 inches above top of beans. Leave on the counter and soak overnight.
- The next day drain beans and put into a pot filled with new water covering the beans. Set to medium heat and boil until they are tender, this will take about 1 hour.
- When tender, drain that water. Pour beans into a pot with the 1 cup of water and all the seasonings listed above. Stir. Set pot on low medium heat where it is at a low continuous boil. Leave on burner for about 20 minutes until most liquid has been absorbed. Serve.