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Classic Southern Succotash Recipe: A Symphony of Flavors

Experience the comfort of the South with our delightful Succotash recipe. Bringing together corn, lima beans, and a touch of bacon for a dish that sings with flavor.

August 16, 2023
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SuccotashPhoto By Canva
Difficulty Easy
Servings 6-8 people
Preparation 15 mins
Cooking 25 mins
Total 40 mins



  1. Prepare Lima Beans: If using fresh lima beans, place them in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until tender. If using frozen, follow the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the Bacon: In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the diced bacon until it renders its fat and becomes crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the skillet.
  3. Saute Vegetables: In the same skillet with the bacon fat, add the chopped onion. Sauté until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.
  4. Add Corn and Lima Beans: Stir in the corn, lima beans, and diced red bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Season and Finish: Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Season with salt and black pepper. Allow the mixture to cook for another 2-3 minutes until heated through. If desired, stir in butter for added richness.
  6. Garnish and Serve: Transfer succotash to a serving dish. Sprinkle with the crispy bacon bits and fresh chopped parsley. Serve warm.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Succotash
Serves 6-8
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Protein 8 g16%
Total Fat 5 g6.4%
Cholesterol 10 mg3.3%
Sodium 320 mg13.9%
Potassium 515 mg11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


  • Use Fresh Ingredients: While frozen corn and lima beans work, fresh ingredients will always give the best flavor, especially during the peak season.
  • Don't Overcook: Be mindful not to overcook the vegetables. Corn and lima beans should be tender but not mushy. Cook until they are just cooked through, retaining their vibrant colors.
  • Corn Cutting Tip: To easily remove corn kernels from the cob, stand the ear of corn upright in a large bowl and use a sharp knife to slice downwards, letting the bowl catch the kernels.
  • Add Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs like thyme, basil, or parsley can elevate the flavors of succotash. Add them towards the end of cooking for a burst of freshness.
  • Enhance with Bacon or Ham (Optional): For added richness and flavor, consider incorporating cooked and crumbled bacon or diced ham. These meats complement the vegetables and add a savory element.
  • Variations: Consider adding diced tomatoes or okra to the mix for a richer taste and more vibrant color.
  • Vegan Option: Skip the bacon and use olive oil for sautéing. Replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.
  • Storage: Succotash can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in a skillet or microwave.
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There are dishes that are so intertwined with a region's culinary culture that they become synonymous with it. Succotash, a Native American dish that found its footing in the heart of Southern cuisine, is just that—a melange of sweet corn, lima beans, and often punctuated with smoky bacon or ham. Its simplicity is deceptive; behind its humble facade lies a burst of flavors that dances on the palate, promising warmth, comfort, and the rich history of the South.

Succotash, with its Native American roots, showcases how the earliest inhabitants of the continent utilized the bountiful produce of the land. In the hands of Southern cooks, it transformed, adopting hints of European influence, like the addition of bacon. This dish, rich in history and flavor, is a testament to the melting pot that is American cuisine. Whether you serve it as a side at your next barbecue or as a comforting main dish, this succotash recipe is bound to make your heart sing with its symphony of flavors.

What Is Succotash?

Succotash is a traditional Native American dish made primarily of lima beans (or other shell beans) and corn. The word "succotash" is derived from the Narragansett Native American word "msíckquatash," meaning "boiled whole kernels of corn."

Historically, succotash was a popular and affordable dish during the Great Depression, as its main ingredients were relatively cheap and filling. Over the years, various versions of the dish have emerged, with ingredients such as tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, or garlic sometimes being added for additional flavor. In some regions, succotash might be seasoned with herbs or even incorporate meats like bacon or sausage.

Today, succotash remains a beloved dish in many parts of the United States, especially in the South and New England. It's frequently served as a side dish during holidays or as part of a summer meal when fresh corn and beans are in season.

What do you eat succotash with? What To Serve with Eat Succotash?

Succotash is a versatile side dish that pairs well with a variety of mains. Here are some dishes and ideas that complement succotash:

Grilled Meats: The hearty and earthy flavors of succotash pair perfectly with grilled chicken, steaks, and pork chops.

Seafood: Whether it's grilled, baked, or fried, succotash goes particularly well with fish like salmon, catfish, and cod, as well as shellfish like shrimp and scallops.

Barbecue: Whether it's ribs, pulled pork, or brisket, the sweetness of the corn and the creaminess of the beans in succotash make it a perfect side dish for barbecue meals.

Southern Classics: Think of dishes like fried chicken, country-fried steak, or buttermilk biscuits. Succotash adds a lovely, light contrast to these richer dishes.

Vegetarian and Vegan Mains:Tofu steaks, seitan roasts, or even just a mix of roasted vegetables can be paired with succotash for a hearty vegetarian or vegan meal.

In Salads: Some people like to chill succotash and mix it with lettuce, arugula, and other salad greens for a refreshing summer salad.

Eggs: A sunny-side-up or poached egg on top of a bed of succotash makes for a delightful breakfast or brunch dish.

As a Standalone Dish: You can also enjoy succotash on its own, perhaps with a piece of crusty bread on the side, as a light lunch or dinner.

Thanksgiving and Holiday Dinners: Succotash often finds its way to the holiday table alongside turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce.

When serving succotash, you might also consider topping or accompanying it with a dollop of sour cream, fresh herbs, or a squeeze of lime or lemon to enhance its flavors. Whatever you pair it with, succotash brings a delicious combination of textures and flavors that enhance many different meals.

What Are The Substitutes For Lima Beans In Succotash?

If you're looking for a substitute for lima beans in succotash, there are several options you can consider. Lima beans have a unique creamy texture, so you'll want to choose a replacement that offers a similar mouthfeel. Here are some alternatives:

Edamame: Edamame beans, also known as young soybeans, have a similar creamy texture to lima beans. They're a popular choice for succotash, providing a mild flavor and a nice pop of green color.

Black-Eyed Peas: These peas have a slightly firmer texture than lima beans, but they still offer a creamy element to your succotash. They have a slightly earthy and nutty flavor.

Butter Beans: Butter beans are larger than lima beans and have a rich, buttery taste. They work well in succotash and add a velvety texture.

Cannellini Beans: These white kidney beans have a mild flavor and a creamy texture when cooked. They can be a good substitute if you're looking for something less starchy.

Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans): While not as creamy as lima beans, chickpeas can provide a unique texture and a nutty flavor to your succotash.

What Is The Difference Between Succotash and Goulash?

Goulash and succotash are two distinct dishes with different origins, ingredients, and flavors:


Origin: Succotash is a Native American dish with a history dating back to the indigenous peoples of North America. It has been adopted and adapted by various cultures over time.

Ingredients: Succotash traditionally consists of lima beans and corn as the main ingredients, along with other vegetables such as bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions. The dish is often seasoned with herbs and sometimes bacon.

Cooking Style: Succotash is typically cooked by simmering the ingredients together, creating a medley of flavors and textures. It is a side dish that can be served warm or at room temperature.

Variations: While the classic succotash includes lima beans and corn, variations may include different types of beans, peas, or other vegetables based on regional preferences.


Origin: Goulash is a traditional Hungarian stew that originated in Hungary. It has a long history and is considered one of the national dishes of the country.

Ingredients: Goulash typically consists of tender chunks of meat (usually beef) that are cooked with onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and various spices such as paprika. It is often seasoned with paprika for a rich and savory flavor.

Cooking Style: Goulash is a hearty and flavorful stew that is slow-cooked to allow the meat to become tender and the flavors to meld together.

Variations: There are many regional and cultural variations of goulash, including variations made with different types of meat (such as pork or lamb) and additions like potatoes or noodles.

In summary, goulash is a Hungarian stew made with meat and a variety of vegetables, known for its rich flavors and use of paprika. On the other hand, Succotash is a Native American dish featuring lima beans and corn, often with other vegetables, and is known for its simple and hearty combination of ingredients.

What Is The Difference Between Succotash and Hash?

Hash and succotash are both types of dishes, but they differ in their ingredients, preparation methods, and flavors:


Ingredients: Succotash is a dish traditionally made with lima beans and corn as the main ingredients. It may also include other vegetables such as bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and sometimes bacon. The combination of lima beans and corn is a defining characteristic of succotash.

Cooking Method: Succotash is typically cooked by simmering the ingredients together in a pot. It is often seasoned with herbs and spices to enhance the flavors.

Variations: While the classic succotash features lima beans and corn, there are variations that incorporate different types of beans, peas, or other vegetables based on regional preferences.


Ingredients: Hash is a dish typically made from diced or chopped meat (such as beef, pork, or poultry), cooked together with diced potatoes and often onions. It can also include other ingredients like vegetables and seasonings.

Cooking Method: Hash is usually cooked in a skillet or pan, where the ingredients are sautéed or fried until they are browned and crispy. It is often mixed together to create a cohesive dish.

Variations: There are many variations of hash, and the choice of meat and additional ingredients can vary based on regional and personal preferences.

In summary, hash is a dish made from diced or chopped meat and potatoes, cooked in a skillet, while succotash is a dish made from lima beans and corn (along with other vegetables), simmered together in a pot. The key distinction lies in the main ingredients and cooking methods of each dish.

The Evolution of the Recipe for Succotash

While the recipe for succotash originated as a simple mixture of corn and lima beans, it has seen numerous transformations as it made its journey through various regions and cultures. In the hands of the colonists, who were introduced to this hearty dish by the indigenous people, succotash began to be adapted to fit the available ingredients and culinary preferences of the time. This exchange led to the integration of new ingredients like tomatoes, bell peppers, and even herbs.

Traditional Succotash vs. Modern Twists

A traditional succotash recipe often steered clear of meat, focusing on the harmonious combination of corn and beans. But as the dish traveled southwards, particularly into Southern American kitchens, it wasn't uncommon to find variations that incorporated bits of ham or bacon for added flavor. This fusion of ingredients and techniques is a testament to the dish's flexibility and enduring appeal. Today, while purists might stick to the authentic succotash recipe, many chefs and home cooks have embraced modern twists, adding everything from okra to spicy peppers, giving a new identity to corn succotash recipes.

Succotash: A Dish of Unity

One of the most remarkable aspects of succotash is how it tells the story of unity and the merging of culinary worlds. From its Native American roots, where it was a symbol of sustenance and collaboration, to the dinner tables of colonists who adapted the dish to their tastes, succotash has always been a reflection of communities coming together. Today, whether you're trying out an authentic succotash recipe or a contemporary variation, every bite is a nod to its rich history and the diverse hands that have shaped it.

Recipe byPetite Gourmets

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