20 Delicious Side Dishes that Complement Lima Beans Perfectly

Lima beans are a versatile and nutritious legume that can be used in a variety of dishes. From soups to salads to classic American dishes to international flavors, there’s something here for everyone! 

Lima beans can add flavor and texture to any meal. But what should you serve with lima beans? I’ll give some of the best ways to serve lima beans to make them shine.

In Short – What to serve with Lima Beans

Cornbread, Italian Pasta Dish, Lima Beans with rice, Lima Bean with beef stew, Salad, Mediterranean-Style Lima Bean Stew, Spicy Curry Lima Beans, Creamy Lima Bean Soup, Roasted Butter Beans with Sage, Coconut Curry Lima Beans, Charred Lime Butter Beans & Kale Bowls

What kind of beans are lima beans, and What do lima beans taste like?

Lima beans, also known as sieva beans, butter beans, or Madagascar beans, are a variety of legumes from the Phaseolus lunatus species. They are typically pale green in color and have a creamy texture with a slightly sweet taste when cooked. 

lima beans have a slightly sweet flavor with a creamy texture – making them an ideal addition to soups and salads.

Lima beans can be eaten fresh or dried, but they are most commonly found canned or frozen. 

Lima beans pair particularly well with root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes, as well as with grains like rice and quinoa. When combined together, they form a complete protein – making them an essential part of a vegetarian diet! 

Nutritionally speaking, lima beans are a great source of fiber, protein, and vitamins A and C. They also contain iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

20 Best Recipes to serve with lima beans

1. Cornbread

If you’re looking for a classic American side dish that pairs perfectly with lima beans, look no further than cornbread. 


For an extra bit of flavor, try adding some diced jalapenos to your cornbread batter before baking. This will give it a nice spicy kick that pairs perfectly with the creamy texture of the lima beans. 

You can also add cheese or herbs like thyme or sage to give your cornbread an extra punch of flavor. 

Know More: What to serve with Black Bean Burgers

2. Italian Pasta Dish 

Lima beans are also perfect for integrating into international dishes as well. For example, why not try making an Italian-inspired pasta dish? 

 Italian Pasta Dish
Italian Pasta Dish

Start by sautéing garlic and onions in olive oil until fragrant. Then add cubed tomatoes and fresh herbs like basil and oregano. Once everything is cooked through, add cooked pasta noodles along with the lima beans and finish off with grated Parmesan cheese. 

The result is an incredibly flavorful dish full of Italian flair! 

Know More: Best Pasta to Serve with Steak

3. Lima Beans with Rice 

One of the classic ways to enjoy lima beans is with a side of rice. This combination makes for a perfect dish that is sure to fill your belly and warm your soul. 

Lima Beans with Rice are excellent choice
Lima Beans with Rice

To make this traditional recipe, start by cooking the rice according to the package instructions. Then, sauté some onions and garlic on low heat until they’re tender. 

Add in your cooked lima beans, along with some spices like cumin, chili powder, and paprika. Finally, mix everything together and pour over the cooked rice. Enjoy! 

4. Lima Beans with Beef stew

Lima Beans with Beef stew is a heartier meal, with a hearty beef stew with chunks of beef and plenty of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, and lima beans. 

Lima Beans with Beef stew an excellent sides with lima beans
Lima Beans with Beef stew

Serve it over a bed of mashed potatoes or rice for an incredibly filling meal that’s sure to satisfy even the hungriest of appetites.

Serve it with some warm crusty bread, and you’ll have yourself a complete meal in no time at all! 

5. Lima Bean Salad 

For something light yet flavorful, consider making a simple lima bean salad. 

Lima Bean Salad goes excellent with lima beans
Lima Bean Salad

Start by combining cooked lima beans with diced tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and red onions in a large bowl or container. 

Then add in freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil along with salt & pepper to taste before tossing everything together well until combined. 

Serve as either an appetizer or side dish alongside grilled meats or fish for an extra dose of protein! 

6. Mediterranean-Style Lima Bean Stew

Mediterranean-Style Lima Bean Stew is a hearty and healthy stew loaded with tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, garlic, oregano, and basil for a flavor-packed dish. Serve it with brown rice or quinoa for a complete meal.

Know More: Elevate Your Bean Salad with Perfect Pairings

7. Spicy Curry Lima Beans

For a spicy kick to your lima bean dishes, try the spicy curry lima beans curry recipe. It uses cumin, coriander, garam masala, and other spices to create an aromatic and flavorful dish that can be served over basmati rice or with naan.

8. Creamy Lima Bean Soup

Creamy Lima Bean Soup.
Creamy Lima Bean Soup

Enjoy Creamy Lima Bean Soup creamy soup as an appetizer or light meal on its own, or pair it with crusty bread as well as a simple green salad to round out the meal.

9. Roasted Butter Beans with Sage

Aromatic sage pairs perfectly with butter beans in this simple yet flavorful side dish that is easily prepared in the oven and then served hot alongside your favorite main course.

10. Coconut Curry Lima Beans

Sweet coconut milk is an excellent partner for savory lima beans in this delicious curry recipe that can be served alone or over basmati rice for a complete meal.

11. Tomato Basil Butter Beans

Tomatoes add a refreshingly sweet flavor to butter beans that are infused with basil and other seasonings for an easy yet scrumptious side dish full of Italian flair.

12. Greek-Inspired Lima Bean Salad

Serve Greek-Inspired satiating salad (recipe) filled with lima beans, cucumber slices, feta cheese crumbles, parsley leaves and lemon juice as a side dish or serve it on its own for lunch or dinner any day of the week!

13. Charred Lime Butter Beans & Kale Bowls

Charred Lime Butter Beans & Kale Bowls goes excellent with lima beans

A perfect mix of crunchy kale paired with smoky charred butter beans in this bowl recipe that is topped off with creamy avocado cubes – yum!

14. Balsamic Glazed Butter Beans & Brussels Sprouts

Balsamic Glazed Butter Beans & Brussels Sprouts are excellent choices for lima beans.

Add some sweetness to your Brussels sprouts by glazing them in balsamic vinegar and then adding in some butter beans and roasted garlic cloves – yum!

15. Bacon-Wrapped Buttery Bean Fritters

Crunchy bacon coupled with creamy butter beans creates these delicious fritters that are sure to please everyone at your next gathering – they make great appetizers too!

More- 20 Best Sides to Serve with Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos

16. Beurre Blanc Lima Beans & Peas

Create this classic French sauce using white wine and shallots which pairs perfectly with lima beans and sweet peas – you won’t believe how good it tastes!

17. Crispy Roasted Butter Beans & Asparagus Tips

Roast up these tasty little bites made from butter beans and fresh green asparagus tips until crispy – they make great snacks or sides!

18. Lime Butter Bean Tacos

Take tacos to the next level by filling them with refried lime butter beans plus all your favorite taco toppings like lettuce shreds, shredded cheese and diced tomatoes – delish!

19. Grilled Butter Bean Burrito Bowls

Fill up these burrito bowls made from grilled flavored butter beans plus cilantro-lime rice plus all your other favorite burrito fillings such as guacamole and salsa – what’s not to love?

Lima Beans and Ham Casserole

This hearty lima bean and ham casserole combine tender lima beans, savory ham, and a delectable cheese sauce for an unbeatable dish. 

The creamy texture of the cheese sauce is complemented perfectly by the delicate lima beans and savory ham, making this a great dish to serve at family gatherings or special occasions. 

In addition to being incredibly flavorful, this casserole is also very easy to make. Simply layer cooked lima beans and pieces of cubed ham in a baking dish and top with a mixture of shredded cheese and cream. Bake until golden brown and bubbly for a delicious meal that all your guests are sure to love. Serve with crusty bread or a side salad.

For an even heartier meal, try adding cooked ground beef to the casserole. 

Simply brown the ground beef in a skillet before adding it to the dish. This will add more protein and flavor, making it an even better option for larger groups or special occasions.

Finally, an important tip: To ensure that your lima beans cook evenly, soak them overnight before using them in the dish. This will help soften their hard-outer shells, so they get perfectly tender when baked in the oven. 

Soaking beforehand will also reduce the cooking time and make sure that your casserole comes out perfectly every single time.

Butter Bean and Ham Soup

Butter bean and ham soup is a classic dish that has been enjoyed for generations. It has a creamy, savory flavor that is complemented by the salty flavor of the ham. 

The butter beans used in this soup add a delicate nuttiness, while the vegetables bring freshness and color. A great way to make this comforting soup even more delicious is to use high-quality ingredients like freshly smoked ham hock or thick-cut bacon and fresh seasonal vegetables like celery, carrots, red peppers, and onions. 

Simmering the soup in a stockpot on low heat will create an aromatic and flavorful broth that will perfectly complement the butter beans and ham. 

Adding herbs and spices like garlic powder, paprika, oregano, thyme, bay leaves and black pepper will give your butter bean and ham soup an extra kick of flavor. Enjoy it as is, or pair it with a crusty piece of bread for a hearty meal!

What are the best flavors to go with lima beans?

Lima beans are an incredibly versatile and flavorful ingredient, making them a great addition to any dish. When it comes to flavors that pair well with lima beans, some of the best choices are garlic, onions, chilies, tomatoes, cumin, and parsley. 

For a truly delicious combination, try simmering lima beans in garlic and onion sautéed in olive oil until they are soft. You can add some diced tomatoes and cumin for added flavor before finishing the dish with fresh chopped parsley. 

Adding a touch of chili powder can also add a bit of spice to the mix. The result is a flavorful and satisfying meal that pairs perfectly with crusty bread or fluffy rice.

For an extra kick, you can add salt and pepper, garlic powder, oregano, rosemary, thyme, paprika, curry powder, cayenne pepper and turmeric.

Other great flavors that go well with lima beans include bacon bits or diced ham; onions and herbs like chives or basil; cheese like Parmesan or cheddar; lemon juice and zest; roasted red peppers; tomatoes; olives; salami or Italian sausage; and nuts like pecans or walnuts.

How do you jazz up lima beans?

You can jazz up lima beans by adding some spices, herbs, and vegetables. Try roasting them with garlic, rosemary, bacon bits and hot pepper flakes for a savory flavor. 

You can also stir-fry them with diced tomatoes and onion for a spicy kick. For a sweet flavor, try adding honey and cinnamon or butter and brown sugar before baking them in the oven. Lima beans are versatile, so experiment to find your favorite combination! Enjoy!

Lima beans are a great addition to soups, stews and chilis. Simmer them with your favorite vegetables or add them to your existing recipes for extra flavor.

 Or try adding lima beans to salads for a nutritional boost. You can also mash lima beans with some broth, butter and garlic powder for a tasty side dish or dip. 

For an interesting twist, combine cooked lima beans with brown rice and diced vegetables, then bake in the oven until everything is hot and bubbly. The possibilities are endless!

What is the best way to serve lima beans on any occasion?

Lima beans are a versatile and nutritious side dish that can be served on any occasion. When cooked properly, they have a creamy texture and mild taste that pairs well with meat, fish or vegetables. 

For the best flavor, lima beans should be boiled until they are tender but still slightly firm. To add some extra flavor to the beans, try adding herbs like thyme and rosemary or spices like garlic powder and smoked paprika for a unique twist. 

Lima beans can also be cooked in a flavorful liquid such as vegetable broth or bone broth for an added depth of flavor. To make them even more enjoyable, try adding some chopped bacon or diced ham to the mix, which will give the lima beans an added savory boost. 

Once finished cooking, serve your lima beans as is or stir in some freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a delicious cheesy finish! Enjoy! 

10 best Butter beans recipes you should try

1. Buttered Beans with Bacon 

Buttered Beans with Bacon is a delicious side dish that combines creamy butter beans, crispy bacon and fresh herbs for a tantalizing combination of flavors. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any meal.

2. Slow Cooker Butter Beans with Cheese 

Slow Cooker Butter Beans with Cheese A creamy, cheesy version of butter beans that you can easily make in your slow cooker! The rich flavor of the cheese blends perfectly with the butter and seasoning for a comforting and satisfying meal.

3. Herb-Roasted Butter Beans 

Herb-Roasted Butter Beans will give butter beans a gourmet touch by roasting them in a mixture of fresh herbs, garlic and olive oil. They’re fragrant and flavorful, great as a side dish or even as part of an entree.

4. Parmesan-Crusted Butter Beans

Parmesan-Crusted Butter Beans will give your butter beans an Italian twist by coating them in parmesan cheese before baking! The little bit of crunchy crust is simply irresistible.

5. Spicy Mexican Butter Beans

Spicy Mexican Butter Beans is a delicious recipe that goes well; add some zest to your butter beans by stir-frying them with tomatoes, jalapenos and cumin! Serve over rice or on your own for a tasty and nutritious dish that will have everyone asking for seconds.

6. Butter Bean Curry 

Enjoy Butter Bean Curry, a classic Indian dish featuring slow-cooked butter beans simmered in an aromatic coconut curry sauce. Serve it over steamed basmati rice for an exotic dining experience at home!

7. Baked Barbecue Butter Beans 

Baked Barbecue Butter Beans are an excellent option to prepare; cover your butter beans in a homemade barbecue sauce before baking them in the oven for smoky sweet flavors that will tantalize your taste buds! Enjoy as part of a larger barbecue feast or as an easy weeknight dinner option served alongside some roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes.

8. Sweet & Sour Butter Bean Stew 

 Put together Sweet & Sour Butter Bean Stew featuring cubes of pork, onions, peppers and sweet potatoes all simmered together with tart plums and juicy pineapple chunks along with tender butter beans – Yum!

9. Creamy Italian Butter Bean Soup 

Make Creamy Italian Butter Bean, an Italian soup full of hearty ingredients like garlic, tomato paste, oregano and basil, along with white cannellini beans (a type of medium-sized white kidney bean) for added protein and nutrition benefits – delish!

10. Mediterranean-Style Grilled Butter Beans 

To prepare Mediterranean-Style Grilled Butter Beans, grill up some marinated butterbeans alongside other veggies such as bell peppers to create a light yet satisfying summertime meal that’s sure to be hit at any outdoor gathering or picnic table!


Lima beans are a great source of fiber and protein that can easily be incorporated into any mealtime routine! As you can see, there are many delicious ways to serve lima beans that will make them shine as part of any dinner table spread.

Whether you’re looking for something filling like rice or something lighter like a salad – there are plenty of delicious options when it comes to serving up these nutritious legumes.

So next time you’re planning what to serve with lima beans – think outside the box! You might just find yourself pleasantly surprised by these delectable little beauties!


Are large lima beans the same as butter beans? 

No, large lima beans and butter beans are not the same. Large lima beans, also known as ‘Sieva’ or ‘Fordhook’ limas, are larger than their smaller counterparts and typically have a creamier texture. 

They tend to be more favorable in flavor than butter beans, which have a more earthy flavor profile. 

Additionally, butter beans are more often used in Southern cuisine for dishes like succotash or baked bean casseroles, while large lima beans may be eaten whole or puréed as part of soups and other dishes. 

Do you have to soak lima beans before cooking?

Yes, it is recommended to soak lima beans before cooking. Soaking helps the beans cook faster and more evenly, which can prevent them from becoming mushy or breaking apart. 

Soaking also helps the beans become more digestible and easier to remove from their skins. It’s best to soak the lima beans in cold water for at least 8 hours, or overnight, before cooking. 

Additionally, soaking may help remove some of the sugars that cause intestinal discomfort in some people when they eat legumes like lima beans.
When finished soaking the beans, it’s important to discard the soaking liquid and rinse them in fresh, cold water before cooking. 

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