Southern Style Baby Lima Beans are cooked low and slow with bacon and seasoned to perfection. This country delicacy is melt in your mouth deliciousness! A white serving bowl filled with these southern-style baby lima beans There is an age-old debate over whether they are Lima Beans or Butter Beans! Technically they are the same bean… But in my neck of the woods, a lima is green, young, tender, and sweet! A butter bean, however, is the larger, older, and dried version (now this is an opinion y’all)! Both are slap your momma good! And they both are paired wonderfully with some good old buttered cornbread. These beans can be found fresh in the summertime and you are so lucky if you get your hands on them! For the most part, you find them in your freezer section. Frozen, fresh, young, and tender green limas can be enjoyed year-round! Thank the good LORD above! We love them at my house. What about you? Do you love them too or have you never had them yet?? If you never have made them, now is the perfect time to give them a try! Either way, I think you will love this recipe!

What you need to make Lima Beans

  • Bacon
  • Chicken Broth or Water and Bouillon
  • Garlic
  • Onion Powder
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  • Fresh Frozen Baby Lima Beans

A ceramic cooking pot filled with these southern-style baby lime beans

How to make Southern Lima Beans

Step 1. It starts with some glorious bacon. Yep, you gotta have bacon to make this delish! I like to cut pieces of bacon with my kitchen scissors. Let them cook up a few minutes to render that delicious fat in the bottom of the pan. Now, if you don’t like the pieces of bacon in the beans, just cook the slices whole and then pull them out after they cook. Step 2. Add the broth, baby limas, minced garlic, onion powder, sugar, black pepper, and red pepper (if you like a kick). Bring to a boil, then cover with a vented lid (that just means don’t cover completely, leave a little opening), and then reduce to simmer. My stove is about a medium-low. Each one cooks differently, so you know your settings best. a closeup of these southern-style baby lime beans with the seasonings Step 3. Cook for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Then give it a taste and add the salt to taste. If it needs more liquid, add a little water or more broth now. They don’t have to be completely covered or drowning, but you want enough liquid in there so that they stay moist and don’t burn. A close up of these southern-style baby lime beans Step 4. Then cook another 30 minutes until nice and tender. Now it is time to enjoy these beauties!! A ceramic cooking pot filled with these southern-style baby lime beans and a serving spoon with some ready for a bite

Other Southern Recipes You May Enjoy!

a close up of baked macaroni and cheese and a spoon scooping up a serving of it A close up of these Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes in a white bowl A white serving bowl filled with these southern-style green beans with crispy, crumbled bacon Southern Fried Pork Chop

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A ceramic cooking pot filled with these southern-style baby lime beans A white serving bowl filled with these southern-style baby lima beans Southern Style Baby Lima Beans are cooked low and slow with bacon and seasoned to perfection. This country delicacy is melt in your mouth deliciousness! Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 1 hr Total Time 1 hr 5 mins Course Sides Cuisine American Servings 8 Calories 100 kcal

  • 2 slices bacon, sliced
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ to ¼ red pepper flakes, (optional)
  • 16 ounces frozen baby lima beans
  • salt to taste
  • In a large pot, slightly saute bacon about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer.
  • Cook for 30 minutes, stirring periodically. If needed add water. You do not need a lot of liquid, but you don’t want them to burn. So add if necessary. Season with salt if desired.
  • Cook for another 30 minutes until buttery tender and enjoy.

If you prefer to not have the bacon pieces in the beans, you can cook the slices in them whole and remove to serve. Serving: 1 1 serving Calories: 100 kcal Carbohydrates: 16 g Protein: 6 g Fat: 2 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g Cholesterol: 5 mg Sodium: 347 mg Fiber: 3 g Sugar: 2 g Soulfully Made is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information. Let us know how it was!

A no-fail Southern recipe for tender baby lima beans (butterbeans) cooked low
and slow with bacon.

There’s a local meat-and-three restaurant chain here in my neck of the woods
called Lizard’s Thicket that we go to
a good bit. It’s the perfect place to go when you’re craving country cooking…
especially vegetables! They offer over 25 vegetables every day (plus daily and seasonal specials)
which is why it’s my go-to when we need to pop out for a quick bite to eat. I should probably point out that they lump other side dishes into their
‘vegetable’ category and that’s fine by me! They serve actual vegetables like Cabbage, Green Beans, Black-Eyed Peas, Fried
Okra, Fried Squash, Baby Limas, Fresh Collards, Okra and Tomatoes, Creamed
Corn, Candied Yams, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Grilled Mixed Vegetables,
Pickled Beets and Sliced Tomatoes. And they also offer side dishes like Rice and Gravy, Macaroni and Cheese,
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Cornbread Dressing with giblet gravy, Country
Skillet Apples, Applesauce, Sliced Peaches, Alabam’ Slaw, Carrot and Raisin
Salad, Potato Salad, Jell-O, Cole Slaw, Squash Casserole and Kale Salad. Seriously, it’s a country girl’s dream! Because I’m used to ordering my favorites (black-eyed peas, squash casserole,
macaroni & cheese, cabbage, cornbread dressing, collard greens and/or
green beans) I rarely glance at the menu. A few weeks ago, a few of us from
the office went for lunch and my work bestie, Brooke, ordered the baby limas. As soon as she placed her order I got to thinking how long it had been since
I’d had some good butterbeans so I changed my order and got some too! They
were delicious and I’ve been craving them ever since so I made some this
weekend! I grew up simply calling these ‘butterbeans’, though I’d certainly know what
you meant if you called them ‘lima beans’, ‘baby limas’, or ‘baby lima beans’.
In my family, we just call fresh baby lima beans ‘butterbeans’ and we call
dried butterbeans, well, ‘dried butterbeans’. Over the years with this blog I’ve learned that different regions of the South
have different names for things (cubed steak vs. country style steak vs.
chicken fried steak, for example). I think folks in my neck of the woods
mostly just call these butterbeans. They’re all the same beans. The small, green beans are those that are picked
early (when they’re ‘babies’) and the larger, whiter beans are just the mature
beans which are often dried. I’m going to call these ‘baby lima beans’ in my
recipe to be clear which these are. This is exactly how I cook fresh peas too. You can use this recipe to cook
fresh or fresh-frozen crowder peas, butter peas, black-eyed peas, field peas,
speckled butter beans, purple hull peas, pink lady peas, etc.

Try these Three Meat Crock Pot Cowboy Beans with one of these awesome main

  • Crock Pot Pulled Pork
    – Perfectly seasoned, tender, juicy pulled pork cooked low and slow
    in a slow cooker.
  • Sticky Chicken
    – Marinated slow-roasted chicken pieces braised in a slightly sweet, tangy
  • Fall-Off-The-Bone Baby Back Ribs
    – Easy, oven-baked ribs cooked low and slow on a bed of onions.
  • Fried Chicken with Gravy – Simple fried chicken marinated in buttermilk with country gravy.
  • Barbequed Steaks
    – Thinly sliced grilled steaks marinated then basted in a homemade
    barbeque sauce.

Country-Style Baby Lima Beans

Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 15 M A no-fail Southern recipe for tender baby lima beans (butterbeans) cooked low and slow with bacon.


  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 lb. fresh or fresh-frozen baby lima beans
  • 4 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)


  1. Cut bacon into small pieces then cook until crisp in a large saucepan.
  2. Add beans then add enough broth or water to cover the beans by a little less than an inch of liquid (you may not need all 4 cups).
  3. Cook over medium heat until just boiling then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer beans for 30 minutes.
  4. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt then continue cooking for 30 minutes or until beans are very tender (sometimes frozen beans take longer to get tender).
  5. Taste for salt then add more if desired.
  6. Turn off heat, uncover pan, then let beans rest for 15 minutes before serving.


If I have chicken broth, I use it, but water is just as good so long as you have bacon (fatback, ham hocks, smoked turkey wings, etc.) to add flavor. The amount of salt you need depends on how salty your bacon is and whether you use water or broth. You’ll need at least 1/2 teaspoon and will likely add more. I don’t salt the beans the first 30 minutes of cooking because salt can sometimes make peas and beans tough. You don’t want to drown these in water or broth when you’re cooking them but you may want to keep an eye on your pan to make sure you don’t need to add more liquid. The beans need to be submerged the entire time they’re cooking. Feel free to saute diced onion with the bacon for another layer of flavor. Once cooked, these can sit on the stove (with no heat) for a looooong time without getting mushy. The longer they set, the better they are! Just bring them back to temperature over low heat when you’re ready to eat. butterbeans, lima beans, butter beans, bean, limas, recipe, southern, bacon, country, fatback, beans, vegetable, best, easy, how to, classic, country, country-style, southern, lizard’s thicket, cracker barrel side dishes, vegetables american, southern

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