The Difference Between Lima Beans and Butter Beans
You may have wondered what the difference is between creamy favorites commonly called lima beans, and the velvety staple referred to as butter beans. And you wouldn’t be the first.
Lima Beans vs. Butter Beans
Well, rest assured; the two are actually one in the same. There’s no difference between lima beans and butter beans, though sometimes they’re sold at different stages of maturity. As a matter of fact, our Large Lima Beans packaging actually states Butter Beans in parentheses, just to clarify. The younger green-hued beans are often called Green Baby Limas and are more tender than their larger counterparts. Despite that, all varieties come from the same plant. Interestingly, whether you prefer to call them lima beans or butter beans is a result of your own geographical traditions and how your family and friends refer to them.
A Southern Staple
Regardless, these tasty beauties have been a Southern staple for generations. Often cooked with ham or bacon and served over rice, they’re high in fiber and trace minerals, super hearty, and offer a deliciously creamy, velvety, and well, buttery flavor. If prepared right, they offer a lush creamy goodness encased and embraced by a firmer, shape-holding skin.
We pronounce “lima” beans like this: “lime” with an “a” on the end. However, these New World native beans originally came from Lima (pronounced “LEEma”), the capital city of Peru. These luscious legumes have made themselves at home all over the Americas, and especially so in the South.
How to Cook Lima Beans, aka Butter Beans
Whatever you insist on calling them, what’s important is how you cook and enjoy them! Here are some of our favorite recipes for lima beans, “aka” butter beans.
Instant Pot Southern Large Limas with Ham Hocks
Mushroom & Butter Bean Ragù with Cheesy Grits
Simple Southern Lima Beans
Butter Beans with Pickled Pork or Smoked Ham Hocks
Vegetarian Lima Beans with Mushrooms
Lamb Shanks with Garlic & Butter Beans