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A close up of baby lima beans stewing in a pot with a wooden spoon
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5 from 8 votes

Southern Butter Beans

These Butter beans are simmered in vegetable broth and liquid smoke for that authentic smokey flavor you get from a traditional pot of butter beans. It’s an alternative way of cooking your favorite soul food comfort food.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Soak Time8 hrs
Total Time9 hrs 55 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: soul food, south, Southern
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 180kcal


  • 16 oz large dried lima beans 1 lb
  • 1 tbsp oil olive or vegetable or canola
  • 4 tbsp vegan butter, divided I used Earth Balance
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 Not Chicken Broth Cubes
  • 1/2 tsp hickory liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 dried bay leaves optional


  • First you will want to soak your beans for 8 hours or overnight. This helps the beans cook faster as well as release enzyme inhibitors on the beans allowing you to digest them better.
  • Place a large pot over medium high heat. Add oil, 1 tablespoon of vegan butter, chopped onions, black pepper, and garlic powder. Saute’ onions for about 3 minutes until they are soft and translucent.
  • Next, add water, Not Chicken Broth Cubes, soaked large dried lima beans, hickory liquid smoke, organic cane sugar, dried parsley, dried thyme, sea salt, and bay leaves to your large pot.
  • Bring your pot to a boil (should take around 5 to 6 minutes). Then reduce heat to a simmer and cover with lid for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, until your lima beans are thick and creamy.
  • Once done, remove bay leaves, and adjust seasoning to your liking (adding additional pepper or sea salt to taste). Allow your beans to sit and cool for about 10 minutes. This will help it thicken even more. Serve.


Even though this recipe is meant as a side dish the great thing about vegan eating is side dishes are often turned into main courses! So serve a big bowl of this up with some cornbread and your good to go!
If you prefer to use a pre bottled vegetable broth/stock (or your own veggie broth), simply replace the amount of water in the recipe with the broth or stock of your choice and omit the Not Chicken Vegetable Broth Cubes.


Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 225mg | Potassium: 665mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 3mg