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Nov 4, 2022

Creamed Lima Beans with Bacon

Creamed lima beans enriched with smoky bacon.... the perfect side dish for a Southern-style holiday dinner. 

Creamed Lima Beans with Bacon Serving in a bowl.

Pair these creamed lima beans with roast turkey, sweet potato mac and cheese, and some corn bread stuffing for a dinner that will please your family and your guests. Finish your meal with a piece of sweet potato pie and everyone will go to bed very happy. 

Ingredient Notes:

These beans require very few ingredients and everything is easy to find. You just need some frozen lima beans, bacon, onion, chicken broth, heavy cream, and butter. 

To season the beans, all you need is some dried tarragon, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. 

Creamed Lima Beans with Bacon in a casserole dish.

The beans are simmered with the bacon, onion, tarragon, and seasonings, and then are simmered at the end with the cream before adding the butter. 

Tips for Making these Lima Beans:

I used the smaller lima beans. If you use the larger Fordhook lima beans, you may have to adjust the timing just a little. 

First, cook the bacon in a 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan until cooked through, and then add the onions and sauté them until they are softened. 

Next, add the lima beans and cook them until they are slightly browned. Add the broth and seasonings and simmer the beans, covered, for about 10 minutes. 

After that, boil the beans uncovered for about 5 minutes before adding the cream and letting the beans boil for another two minutes before adding some butter. 

Creamed Lima Beans with Bacon in a small bowl in front of a casserole dish.

This recipe can easily be doubled. Just use a 4-quart saucepan. 

Lima beans are super nutritious and high in protein, fiber, and iron. They are indigenous to the western hemisphere, originating Peru. Evidently butter beans are part of the lima bean family too. 

For this recipe, you can substitute any kind of pork for the bacon, including ham, prosciutto, or even leftover pork from last night's dinner. Just add some oil or bacon fat if necessary to replace the fat that is generated by frying the bacon. 

Creamed Lima Beans with Bacon in a casserole dish.

Welcome to Holiday Side Dish Week 2022 hosted by Heather from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks. This year we have over 45 side dishes to help you plan your holiday meals.

Friday Holiday Side Dish Recipes:

Creamed Lima Beans with Bacon in a casserole dish.

Creamed Lima Beans with Bacon

Creamed Lima Beans with Bacon
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 40 Min
Creamed lima beans enriched with smoky bacon.... the perfect side dish for a Southern-style holiday dinner.


  • 4 strips bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 12 ounces frozen lima beans, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter


  1. Sauté the bacon pieces in a 3 to 4 quart saucepan until fully cooked but not overly crispy. Add the chopped onions and cook, over medium heat, for 3 to 4 minutes, until tender. Add the lima beans and cook, stirring often, until the beans are slightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken broth, the tarragon, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper, and stir. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. The beans should be slightly tender.
  3. Remove the pan lid and raise the heat to medium, and boil for about 5 minutes. Add the cream, stir, and continue to boil for 2 to 3 minutes, until the liquid is reduced. Turn off the heat, add the butter, and stir until the butter has melted.
  4. Serve right away. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave.

Nutrition Facts



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lime beans
side dish
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Recipe adapted from Tupelo Honey Cafe: New Southern Flavors from the Blue Ridge Mountains, publshed 2014. 

This is volume two of three volumes. 

Volume 1 is Spirited Recipes from Asheville's New South Kitchen

Volume 3 is Southern Spirit and Small Plates

Would you like to comment?

  1. What a lovely southern meal you suggest here. Lima beans do not get the attention they deserve.

  2. I've never had creamed lima beans but I like that you make these with bacon! Yum!

    1. Lima beans haven't been on my radar for a long time. They were fun to rediscover!

  3. I haven't had lima beans in years and I always loved them. Thanks for helping me rediscover them!

  4. Oh my! My mom will flip for these! She loves lima beans.

  5. Karen these creamed Lima beans look wonderful!! I just know these will be delicious served beside our traditional cornbread dressing! Thanks so much for this recipe!

  6. This creamy version sounds delicious. We love lima beans and I am going to try this rightaway.


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