Creamy Butter Beans

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Creamy Butter Beans have lots of smoked ham flavor. They’re so thick and creamy and make a fantastic side for any southern meal.

Creamy Butter Beans with Ham


This recipe is adapted from Deep South Dish Cookbook and it is phenomenal. Butter beans never tasted so good.

You have to make these beans to see how much flavor they have. And while you’re at it, make a side of cornbread to serve with them. They’re so meaty and delicious, you can serve them over rice for a whole meal.

Creamy Butter Beans with Ham


To make Creamy Butter Beans, start by bringing 1 pound of dried lima beans, covered with water, to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover the pot, and let soak for 1 hour.

While the beans are soaking, you’re going to start to build all the flavors for the beans.  Cook some onion, celery, and carrots in some bacon grease until soft. Then add chopped smoked ham, 2 ham hocks, a large container of chicken broth, 4 cups of water, 2 bay leaves, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, dried thyme, and pepper. Simmer these ingredients for 1 hour then add the beans, 4 tablespoons of butter, and some Cajun seasoning. Cook 60 to 90 minutes, until the butter beans are soft and the liquid gets thick.

You won’t believe how unbelievably meaty these beans taste!

Creamy Butter Beans with Ham

More Southern Sides

Creamy Butter Beans
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs 5 mins
soak beans
1 hr
Total Time
2 hrs 15 mins

Creamy Butter Beans have lots of smoked ham flavor. They're so thick and creamy and make a fantastic side for any southern meal.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Servings: 8 servings
  • 1 pound dried large lima beans
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease or butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped smoked ham
  • 2 ham hocks
  • 1 (32-ounce) carton chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun or Creole seasoning
  1. Rinse and sort the beans, getting rid of any broken pieces. Place in a stockpot or Dutch oven and cover with 1-inch of water. Bring to a boil. Place lid on pot and remove from heat. Let sit 1 hour.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot or Dutch oven, heat bacon fat over medium heat. 

  3. Add onion, celery, and carrots and saute until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.

  4. Add ham, ham hocks, chicken broth, water, bay leaves, garlic powder, thyme, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.

  5. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour.

  6. Once beans have been sitting for an hour, drain them.

  7. Add beans, butter, and Cajun or Creole seasoning to the chicken broth mixture after it has simmered for 1 hour. Continue to simmer for 60 to 90 minutes. If liquid level gets too low (ie not all the beans are submerged), add more water.

  8. Remove ham hocks. Let cool slightly and then remove any meat from the bone, chop it up and return it to the pot.

  9. Serve as is for a side dish or serve over rice with a side of cornbread for a main dish.

Recipe adapted from Deep South DishCreamy Butter Beans #southern #sidedish #beans

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