Best Butter Beans Recipe

Best Butter Beans Recipe is one that simmers butter beans for 15 minutes with caramelized onions, celery, bacon, and vegetable broth, giving them the soft, buttery texture that’s most flavorful. They are the BEST Butter Beans we have ever had!

Eat them alone or serve them as a side dish to compliment any meat or poultry. These butter beans are so good, that they practically melt in your mouth!

Best Butter Beans Recipe by

My family loves butter beans and when I came across the fresh ones at the market, I had to buy them. These are smaller butter beans, the size of your thumbnail. 

They cook up very easily.

Here are a few QUICK TIPS!

  • If you cannot find “fresh” butter beans at the market, you can use “frozen” butter beans or even the canned ones with this recipe. 
  • And, you will only need to give them a good rinse before cooking them.
  • Also, I prefer using Vidalia onions and celery, along with some lean bacon for a hint of smoky flavor. Vidalia onions are sweeter than yellow onions, and celery adds natural sugar to the beans.

What is the difference between Lima Beans and Butter Beans?

  • There’s no difference. In fact, they are basically the same bean.
  • These beans are also called Lima Beans, Butter Beans, or Butterbeans, and depending on where you live, these beans are delicious and high in protein legumes.
  • There are nearly endless ways that they can be prepared and incorporated into dishes. From soups to stews, and even in salads, these butter beans are worth incorporating into your meals.
Best Butter Beans Recipe,

How to Make the BEST Butter Beans Recipe? (*full recipe card below!)

For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 16-ounce fresh butter beans
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large Vidalia onion
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 slices of lean bacon
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions to Make This Recipe for the Best Butter Beans…

1. First, you will need to slowly caramelize the Vidalia onions along with celery, creating a lovely flavor; almost like sugar.  This is the key to flavoring the beans, so you really don’t need to add any sugar. 

2. Next, you will need to simmer the beans with bacon, and vegetable broth until the broth is mostly absorbed.  The beans will be soft and tender, almost melting in your mouth.  Then serve.

What makes them best tasting?

Lean bacon along with the caramelized onions, celery, and crushed red pepper flakes give these butter beans their wonderful depth of flavor.

They’re rich and savory with every bite.  So good, they practically melt in your mouth deliciously!

Also, if you love butter beans, then try our easy butter bean salad.  It too is amazingly easy to prepare and very tasty!

Questions and Answers…

1. What to serve with our best butter beans recipe?

I served these butter beans as a side dish with our London Broil Steak Grilled to Perfection, and they were perfect.  These butter beans will make a lovely side to accompany any meat or fish entrée.  

These butter beans are so good, that you can serve them with any of these dishes: 

2. Are butter beans gluten-free?

Yes, they are. In fact, all legumes are gluten-free, which is why they’re commonly used to make pasta alternatives and other gluten-free products.

3. How to store butter beans?

Best to store any leftover butter beans in a sealed container and keep them chilled for up to 3 days. You can easily reheat them in a skillet or in the microwave. You may need to add a splash of water to give them their soft, rich consistency.

Try them!  Discover this little-known treat as the Best Butter Beans Recipe.  

… and Enjoy!!

…Don’t forget to PIN it!   

Best Butter Beans Recipe,

Additional Delicious Veggie Sides…

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Best Butter Beans Recipe

Best Butter Beans, by

Best Butter Beans Recipe are sautéed and simmered with caramelized sweet onions, celery, lean bacon, crushed red pepper, and fresh butter beans, creating rich and savory flavors making them the BEST tasting Butter Beans ever! Simple, easy and delicious tasting.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 16-ounce fresh butter beans - rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large Vidalia onion - thinly chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery - thinly sliced
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 slices of lean bacon - trim off excess fat and dice into small pieces
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. In a medium pot, over medium heat, add olive oil and butter. Add in the chopped onions, and cook the onions until softened for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the celery and bacon to the onions and reduce heat to simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook for about 8 to 10 minutes more, until the onions and celery caramelize, or turn golden brown.
  3. Add in the Butter Beans and crushed red pepper. Stir the butter beans and saute the beans for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
  4. Pour in the vegetable broth and cover with a lid.
  5. Simmer on low heat the butter beans for about 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Turn off heat. Taste, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
  7. Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Nutrition Information:


4 to 6 servings

Serving Size:

1/2 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 173Total Fat: 9.3gCarbohydrates: 17.8gFiber: 4.3gSugar: 2.2gProtein: 5.9g

Did you make this recipe?

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Happy Cooking! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by! 

xo anna and liz



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    1. Hi Gardenia, are you using fresh butter beans from your local farmers market? I don’t know if you used fresh, canned or frozen…to be able to help with that. All butter beans are different, even the dried ones will need to be cooked longer than fresh. So yes, you may have to simmer the beans longer to get them tender. I hope this helps.

  1. Hello
    Some fabulous recipes
    May I ask, what alternative would you use to chilli flakes (or any hot spice) as am severely allergic and I see lots of recipes with ‘chilli flakes’ in

    Anything chilli would kill me :-/

    Thank you in advance

    1. Hello Daisy,
      We have family members that are allergic to one thing or another, so we can understand. I would avoid that spice completely and omit them from our recipes. Our dishes will still be delicious and very flavorful even without the cayenne or red pepper flakes. In the meantime, we hope you will continue to cook and enjoy our recipes! Have a great weekend!

  2. I used the dried butter beans.
    Wonderful, just have to simmer longer for them to be tender.
    Thank you for the recipe.

    1. You are so welcomed! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Have a great weekend!

  3. Can you use frozen butter beans? Do you chop up the bacon before you add it to the onions, or put the bacon strips in whole?
    Could you use chicken broth in place of vegetable broth or should you just use water if you don’t have vegetable broth?

    1. Hi Debbie! I believe you can use frozen butter beans with this recipe. And yes, I chop up the bacon before adding it to the onions. I will go in and edit that – thanks for bringing it to my attention. Also, you can certainly use chicken broth in place of vegetable broth, and you can use water as well, but you will need to adjust the salt for more flavor. Hope that helps! 🙂

      1. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I will be making this recipe this weekend. Can’t wait to try it!

        1. Of course! We try to get back to everyone as soon as we can, and you are so welcome! So happy to hear you will try this recipe. If you use frozen beans, please let me know how they turn out.
          Thanks Debbie!

  4. I tried the recipe with canned beans and it came out kinda soupy but still quite delicious (my husband and 6 year old also liked it) 😁

    1. So glad you tried this recipe! I have never used canned beans with this recipe, but I would give them a good rinse before simmering with the onions mixture and then reduce the amount of broth to 1/2 cup instead of 1 cup for simmering the beans. This should give you the rich and thick texture as the final result. I hope this helps!:)

  5. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen fresh butter beans but use the canned ones in my baked beans recipe. Looks delicious!

    1. Fresh markets here in Charleston sell fresh butter beans from time to time. I think you might find them in specialty food markets or at your outdoor fresh markets. But the canned ones should work fine. Let me know how this recipe turns out with canned butter beans. Have a great week!

    1. Thanks Jennifer! I got hooked on them ever since we moved down to Charleston. Most of our favorite restaurants serve butter beans as a side to compliment their entrees and now we LOVE them! Have a great weekend!