Shuggie’s Totally Southern Lima Beans

Cast iron skillet filled with Shuggie's Totally Southern Lima Beans.

I’ve talked about my grandmother, affectionately known as Shuggie, before on the blog. She was a force to be reckoned with both inside and out of the kitchen. She LOVED to cook, and drew her greatest pleasure from dishing out all kinds of comfort classics for her family and friends. I recognize this trait in myself, too, only with slightly different sorts of recipes. However, I don’t deny that I still totally love some good, simple, comfort food. That’s why we’re going to talk about Shuggie’s Totally Southern Lima Beans today.

Butter melting in a cast iron skillet.

Why make Shuggie’s Totally Southern Lima Beans?

We all have those few dishes that bring us ultimate peace and comfort. Shuggie’s Totally Southern Lima Beans is absolutely one of those recipes for me. They are creamy, savory, brothy, and topped with a load of fresh dill from the garden. Who doesn’t love that?

When I was a kid, my mom would truck me across town to go spend the night with Shuggie and Grandfather every other weekend or so, and I could always tell that Shuggie had impeccably planned every part of what we were going to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner during my stay. For dinner, she would usually make chicken breasts marinated in Italian dressing, or her infamous meatloaf, or fried chicken. And, always, always, always, she’d serve her lima beans on the side.

My dad absolutely hates beans of any kind, so they were not something I enjoyed often at home. That’s why Shuggie’s lima beans were such a special treat, and they totally represented her love and comfort, just in legume form :).

Beans cooking in a skillet.

Our take on Shuggie’s Totally Southern Lima Beans

Now, as much as I would love to have Shuggie’s beans every day, that’s not really practical, nor is it healthy. Nope! Shuggie would usually put a tablespoon or two of bacon fat in her beans to make them extra savory. That’s why I wanted to make the S+H spin on these beans a little more practical from a health perspective. So, our version of these beauties is totally vegan, and we worked really hard to cut down on the sodium as much as possible.

We achieve plant-based nirvana by using Earth Balance vegan butter in place of the bacon fat. Shuggie also used to use chicken broth or beef broth as the cooking liquid for her beans. I’ve simply switched that over to Better Than Bouillon’s vegetable base. The rest is nearly exactly the same.

Vegetable broth heating.

A quick disclaimer: this recipe is super simple to make and requires just six ingredients. But, the key to doing it successfully is taking your time. You’ll definitely want to let these beans cook in the broth over low heat for at least an hour. You’ll notice that the skins on the outside of the beans will start to become crinkly, and may even begin to separate from the starch of the bean. That’s when you know they’ve cooked long enough. And, because that starch is released as the skins tenderize, your cooking liquid will also begin to thicken. That’s why they’re so creamy.

Onions sauteeing in a skillet for the lima beans.

How to serve Shuggie’s Totally Southern Lima Beans:

These would be the perfect side dish for our tender vegan meatloaf. Sometimes, in a pinch, I’ll even whip up a batch of these to go with a quick-baked and marinated tofu. And honestly, sometimes I just eat these straight out of the pot. No shame.

Or, if you aren’t vegan, you can do it like Shuggie used to and marinate some chicken breasts or thighs in Italian dressing and toss them on the grill or into the oven. Put these beans on the side. It’s a simple dish, but so, so comforting.

They’re versatile, so however you choose to do them up will be perfect. Just remember to cook them slowly and with love, and you’ll definitely be channeling my awesome southern grandma.

Cheers, guys! See you shortly, and be sure to check out our really quick, step by step video for this recipe! And of course, don’t forget to check us out on social media, leave your comments and questions both there and here on the blog, and subscribe to us!

Much love,

LM, Ryan, and Karl

Shuggie's Totally Southern Lima Beans.
Shuggie's Totally Southern Lima Beans

Shuggie’s Totally Southern Lima Beans

Creamy, delicious, and savory brothy beans that are totally southern and totally delectable.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan
Keyword: onion, creamy, Broth, lima beans, butter, comfortfood, dill, fresh herbs, savory
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 149kcal
Author: LM


  • Cast Iron Skillet or other heavy-bottomed skillet


  • 3 cups lima beans frozen
  • 2.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup dill chopped for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a cast iron skillet, add the butter and heat it over medium-high heat.
  • Add chopped onion and sauté over medium heat until the onion begins to brown and caramelize, about 10 minutes.
  • Add frozen beans, and toss to incorporate with the onion and butter. Continue to sauté until the lima beans are thawed. Add salt and pepper as desired.
  • Add the broth, stir, cover, and simmer over low heat for one hour until beans are tender and cooking liquid is thickened. If the cooking liquid reduces too much, add either water or more vegetable broth.
  • Stir and serve!


Serving: 1side serving | Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 427mg | Potassium: 533mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 689IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 3mg
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