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Butter beans with pork in a white bowl beside a red napkin and wooden spoon.

Southern Butter Beans

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins


  • 5 slices lean bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (16-ounce package) frozen butter beans (baby lima beans)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less, to taste)


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon and onion until bacon is cooked and onions are tender (about 5-7 minutes).
  2. Add brown sugar and chicken broth. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Add frozen butter beans and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until tender. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.


Adapted from Southern Living