A list of butter bean recipes may seem like a weird thing to write about, I know.
After all, they’re butter (or lima) beans! You stick them in a pot with some water and let them boil, right?
Well, you could, but as it turns out, there are plenty of other butter bean recipes out there, as well. Some are just different ways to cook butter beans.
While others, like the vegan butter bean burgers and butter bean pasta, are entirely different recipes that use butter beans in them.
So, whether you’re looking for a new and exciting way to cook your butter beans or you’re looking for something unique to do with them, you’ve come to the right place.
Check out this list of 10 butter bean recipes, and be sure to try them all.
Pan-Fried Southern Butter Beans and More!
1. Creamy Butter Beans
“Creamy butter beans” sounds like a bowl of butter beans in a thick, creamy sauce.
And while that’s kind of what this recipe is, there’s much more to it than that.
For one thing, there are quite a few other veggies in this recipe, including carrots, onions, and celery.
You’ll also add smoked ham and ham hocks and lots of herbs and seasonings.
The result is a thick and creamy, somewhat spicy, and herby side dish with plenty of protein and a ton of smoked ham flavor.
Pair it with anything you like, or eat a big bowl of it by itself.
Either way, you’re sure to enjoy your meal.
2. Classic Butter Beans
This recipe gives you a more conventional way to cook classic creamy butter beans but leaves out the celery and carrots and calls for ham as an optional ingredient.
Otherwise, the recipes are pretty similar. You’ll still use beans, onions, garlic powder, Creole seasoning, crushed red pepper, black pepper, butter, and bay leaves.
These have just as much flavor but aren’t quite as chunky, and if you’re not a big fan of salty foods, this recipe may be the better option in that respect, as well.
3. Southern Butter Beans
Southern butter beans, too, are thick, creamy, and full of herbs and seasonings. However, they’re a little soupier than the two creamy recipes above.
You’ll use a chicken or vegetable bouillon and water base.
To that, you’ll add the beans, your herbs, salty diced bacon, and a few veggies (onions, carrots, and celery).
The garlic and thyme come through more strongly in this one, giving them a fantastic flavor that isn’t masked by the traditional Creole seasoning.
4. Vegan Butter Bean Burgers
If you’re in the mood for something different, use your butter beans to make these vegan-friendly butter bean burger patties.
They’re thick and have a surprising amount of flavor, thanks primarily to the red onion, ginger, paprika, and tomato puree.
They won’t taste precisely like ground beef burgers, but they’re good.
Pro tip: Butter bean burgers, like most bean-based burger patties, can be dry and prone to falling apart. To combat this, add a bit of potato starch. It adds moisture and holds the patties together.
5. Butter Bean Soup
Butter bean soup is another great vegan-friendly recipe that doesn’t require much work at all.
It takes about 2 hours to make, but much of that time is idle simmering time for the soup.
It has a rich tomato base, which is always yummy. (Tomato-based soups are my favorite.) Plus, you’ll pack it with other veggies besides the butter beans.
As for seasonings, you won’t need much more than salt, pepper, garlic, bay leaves, and dill, and don’t leave out the dill. I can’t stress that enough.
I don’t know why, but making the soup without the dill completely changes the flavor and makes it not nearly as good.
6. Orecchiette With Spinach and Butter Beans
If you’ve never added butter beans to pasta, then you’re in for a real surprise.
The textures of both ingredients pair so well together, and the whole dish is insanely buttery and yummy.
It’s also an excellent meal for weeknights when you don’t have a ton of time, as it takes only 5 minutes of prep work and another 25 to cook.
The spinach and Parmesan bring out the flavor of the pasta, and the nutmeg, garlic, and red pepper flakes finish rounding out the dish.
This is one 30-minute meal that you’ll want to make again and again.
7. Butter Bean Pasta
Here’s another fantastic butter bean pasta recipe that you can whip up in no time.
It uses a few more ingredients than the orecchiette one above but takes only 30 minutes to make.
There are herbs, parmesan, zucchini, and onions for flavor and pine nuts and broccoli for crunch.
Put that all together – along with a few other things – and you’ll have a hearty meal that’ll keep you full all night.
8. Spanish-Style Tomato and Butter Bean Dip
This dip is absolutely scrumptious. It’s like a thicker, chunkier salsa, and you can serve it with chips, toasted pita bread, or crackers.
There’s no heat to it, but it’s delicious.
It’s somewhere between salsa and bruschetta, only you’ll add a ton of butter beans to it. Trust me: That makes it even tastier.
9. One-Pot Butter Beans and Greens
For most of us, the worst part of cooking any meal is the clean-up process afterward.
You spend all that time cooking and then have to get up on a full stomach and clean. No, thank you!
That’s why I adore one-pot meals, and with this one, you’ll get your beans and greens all in one tasty package.
You can add rice, pasta, quinoa, or some meat dish if you like, but honestly, it’s filling enough all on its own.
10. Broccolini With Butter Beans
If kale isn’t your thing, but you’re looking for a beans and greens dish to enjoy, this one made with broccolini may be the better option.
Not only is it vegan-friendly, but it’s also low-carb and gluten-free, making it perfect for people with all types of dietary restrictions.
A handful of toasted slivered almonds gives it a slightly nutty flavor and a bit of crunch.
Like the recipe above, you can make the entire thing in just one cast-iron skillet.
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