buttery lima beans & spinach

buttery lima beans & spinach

Butter Beans

Buttery lima beans with spinach and seasoned with ham, yes, you’ve died and gone to bean heaven! Eat ’em with a big spoon to get the creamy sauce!

Are butter beans and lima beans different? Not really lima beans are precisely the same thing. Southerners use the term butter beans, but I grew up calling them lima beans. Yes, I grew up in southern West Virginia, but I had to move further South to learn that my beloved limas are called butter beans. 

Lima Beans Nutrition

What are the world’s healthiest foods? Well, according to WHFoods one of them is buttery lima beans. And, when you add spinach, you make them even healthier!

Besides being a natural cholesterol lowing food, lima beans give you lots of fiber and protein. They’re great for folks with diabetes, insulin resistance and hypoglycemia. These buttery lima beans and spinach are stick-to-the-ribs comfort food. They keep you going long and strong for hours.

This energy you get from eating a bowl of these beans is because you’re getting energy while stabilizing blood sugar. It’s what we call ‘slow burning energy’. You’re not dealing with the spikes. Ups and downs. Things that you eat that after 30 minutes, you get the jitters.

I’m adding more nutrition in this recipe with the spinach. Plus, the vibrant green of the spinach leaves is mighty pretty and it makes this a bowl meal! 

Dried Lima Beans Recipe

Dried lima beans are considered ‘mature’ and as such they’re a beige almost while hue. If you get frozen lima beans, they’re more immature in their stage of development, so they’re fresher and green. I love both frozen, green, and mature dried lima beans. This recipe is for the dried lima beans! 

Now you can buy dry baby limas or large limas. I love the large ones because they’re heartier and seem to have a buttery taste to me. Plus, you can almost eat them with a fork! My Mom would make lima beans often when I was growing up in West Virginia. It was a filling cheap dinner. One that we kids ate regardless of whether we liked them or not (which I LOVED them!).

Lima Beans

If you think they’re just a ‘soup’ to be eaten in a bowl, look at these other ideas from WHFoods for lima beans:

A Few Quick Serving Ideas
  • If you can find whole lima beans in the market, you can serve them as an appetizer sprinkled with seasoning just like edamame (whole soy bean pods).
  • Mix puréed lima beans with chopped garlic and your favorite fresh herbs. Use this spread as a sandwich filling or a dip for crudité.
  • The heartiness of lima beans make them a great soup bean, especially when added to a soup that features root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, beets, and/or rutabagas.
  • For a twist on the traditional native American dish succotash, make lima bean burritos. Fill corn tortillas with lima beans and corn kernels, and then top with chopped tomatoes, avocado and scallions.
  • Blend cooked lima beans and sweet potatoes together. Serve this tasty dish on a plate accompanied by your favorite grain and fresh vegetable.

buttery lima beans & spinach

buttery lima beans & spinach

buttery lima beans & spinach

Yield: 6+ servings

Buttery lima beans with spinach and seasoned with ham, yes, you've died and gone to bean heaven! Eat 'em with a big spoon to get the creamy sauce!


  • 1 pound bag dried large lima beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth + 4 cups water, can use chicken or beef bone broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, skin on
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onions
  • 2 Tbl. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbl. dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. coarse ground pepper
  • ½ tsp. red chili flakes
  • 1 (10 oz.) packaged previously frozen creamed spinach (can use regular chopped frozen spinach or fresh spinach)
  • 1 cup ham, diced, optional


  1. Put the rinsed beans in a large Dutch oven with the broth and water.
  2. Throw in the garlic whole cloves.
  3. Turn heat to medium high. Put lid on, slightly askew to let steam escape. Bring to a boil for 45 to 60 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and a simmering boil for another about 30 minutes. Check to see if water needs to be added. Beans should remain covered in liquid during cooking. Stir occasionally.
  5. Put the spices in a small bowl and blend. Pour into the beans and stir well.
  6. Continue in a simmer boil another about 30 minutes. You know they're done when they're tender when pierced with a fork.
  7. Add the spinach and blend in. Add the ham (optional) Turn heat to low. Cover and let the beans simmer cook about 30 minutes.


I love ham in these beans, but if you prefer chicken or beef, then add diced pieces for more heartiness.

Fresh or frozen spinach is optional.

Your sharing is GOLDEN! Thank you!

Your sharing and comments help me stay in business! Share a photo if you make the recipe #allyskitchen Thank you! xo Ally

buttery lima beans & spinach

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