How To Cook Fresh Lima Beans 

Wondering how to cook fresh lima beans? It’s all about ensuring you have everything you will need on hand. Once you’ve accomplished that, getting started will be easier. 

Perfectly cooked fresh lima beans are usually described as creamy. Each bean is soft on the inside and maintains its shape. And the mild flavor of cooked fresh lima beans is similar to cooked, canned lima beans. 

Here is a quick breakdown of how to cook fresh lima beans.

What Are Fresh Lima Beans?

Named after Lima, the capital of Peru, these beans are a type of white bean from the legume food group. Unlike most white beans, lima beans come from the Phaseolus Lunatus plant. And they are also widely produced across the United States. 

Lima beans have a buttery, rich, and nutty flavor with a subtle sweetness. Their shape closely resembles a kidney bean. However, they are slightly flatter. In addition, they have a smoother texture with a slightly beige color. 

How To Cook Fresh Lima Beans

When you’ve learned how to cook lima beans, you may want to keep them in your pantry at all times. They’re delicious, easy to cook, and, most importantly, nutritious. 

The Stove Method

This is by far the simplest method for cooking fresh lima beans. All you’ll need is a few ingredients, and you’re set to begin your cooking journey. 

  1. Place your fresh lima beans in a pot or large saucepan and cover with water at a ratio of 1 part beans to 2 parts water.

  2. Add seasonings such as salt, cumin, and garlic powder to add more taste. You can also drizzle them with vegetable oil or add butter. It’s all based on your preference.
    In addition, you can add chicken stock for an enhanced flavor experience. 

  3. Lower the heat for it to simmer for 15 minutes and leave it to cook till the beans are tender. 

  4. Remove the saucepan from the stove and check if they’re ready by taking one from the saucepan and chewing on it. If it’s tender with a bit of texture, it’s well-cooked. 

  5. Strain the lima beans from the saucepan and garnish with black pepper or topping of your choice. 

  6. Serve as part of a delicious main or side dish, or eat them as is. They can also be mashed to use as a spread, or a nutritious replacement for mashed potatoes. Alternatively, you can store any leftovers in the fridge for later. 

The Slow Cooker Method 

You can also cook fresh lima beans in a slow cooker with various kinds of vegetables and seasonings. Although, this may not be the best method if you are in a hurry, as the beans need to cook for several hours. But, in the end, you will have deliciously tender lima beans.

  1. Wash the fresh lima beans and add them to the slow cooker. 

  2. Add enough water and chicken stock to cover the beans fully. If your chicken stock is already in broth form, you can combine it with water in equal parts. And you can add 2 cups of the broth and water mixture for every cup of beans.

  3. Sprinkle some seasonings such as garlic powder, salt, cumin, and more as desired. But remember that some seasonings, such as chicken stock, tend to be salty. So be mindful of how much salt you add when including other seasonings.

  4. Add meat chunks or different vegetables for more flavor or to make a complete meal.

  5. Cook for 4 to 5 on low until the beans are tender and soft on the inside.

  6. Scoop them out of the slow cooker and enjoy your tasty fresh lima beans. There’s no reason to rinse them when using the slow cooker.


Cooking fresh lima beans is a straightforward process. And the best part is it doesn’t require much effort and you don’t need many ingredients. In addition, if you have leftovers, they can be refrigerated in an airtight container for as much as 5 days. Once you learn how to cook fresh lima beans, you will create amazing dishes for friends and family.