More Butter Beans Please!

Butter Beans: An Acquired Taste

It was a typical late summer Indiana evening. The sun hung low in the sky, glowing like a red rubber ball. Locusts were shrieking their evening news: tomorrow was going to be a scorcher. The neighborhood gang was hard at play trying to get in one last round of kickball. No one wanted to quit to run home for supper.

I purposefully cheered others on so that they kept engaged and forgot about the time. Today was Wednesday and this was leftover day at home. Worse, it was my mother's attempt to serve "healthy" foods hoping we would find them appealing. On occasion, the offering was butter beans. Served plain, seasoned with pepper and salt, topped with plenty of onion. Ugh!

Over the years, due to my hubby's love of butter beans, I learned to tolerate them. Not love them, just generally accept them. Like spinach, butter beans were a gradually acquired taste for me.

Over a cup of tea last week, a friend and I shared recipe ideas our families found delicious—as well as secretly nutritious. I copied her recipe for maple bacon butter beans, thinking it might just be a win for both my hubby and me. I found it mouth-watering and scrumptious! I can't express how wonderfully the flavors mingle in your mouth. Trust me—if you have kids, they will be asking for seconds!

This recipe blends the nutty taste of beans and sweetness of maple quite nicely.

This recipe blends the nutty taste of beans and sweetness of maple quite nicely.

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A Little Bean Background

These beans are known for helping a body to lower cholesterol intake and adding fiber to a diet. As a protein food they are a great substitute for meats such as chicken and beef. Their low fat content also makes them a great alternative to fatty marbled cuts of red meat.

Generally, they are rinsed, sometimes soaked in baking soda, and boiled for eating. Stir fry them with onion, peppers, and a little seasoning and you have a delectable side dish. Butter beans make a great vegetarian meal when used as the main ingredient in soup. Used right out of the can, these legumes can make any salad a tasty meal.

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Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

20 min

50 min

Serves four to six

Baked Maple Bacon Butter Beans

  • olive oil, or olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 (14-15 ounce) cans butter beans, drained
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 cup tomato, diced
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9-inch pan with olive oil cooking spray or coat with olive oil (about 1 teaspoon). Cut a garlic clove in half and smear the bottom and edges of pan with cut side. Discard.
  2. Preheat large sauté pan (using a cast iron pan will add to the homemade taste) for 2 - 3 minutes. Place cut bacon in pan; cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until browned.
  3. Add onions; cook 3-4 minutes, stir occasionally, cook until tender and lightly browned.
  4. Stir beans, ketchup, syrup, diced tomato, and seasonings into bacon mixture; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  5. Transfer mixture to the baking dish, cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.
  6. Remove foil. Bake 5 more minutes or until top begins to brown. Serve.

Growing Pole Beans

If you are looking to add food items to your garden, pole beans are an excellent choice, as they are full of nutrients and vitamins, as well as fun to pick. Introducing them early to children will give them a head start in keeping healthy, building their immune system.

The video below demonstrates how to plant them in a home garden environment or greenhouse. It also shares a little on the history of butter beans and their value to any meal. I have listed their main minerals and vitamins below for your reference. I hope you try the recipe, and if you do, let me know how it turned out. Enjoy!

Greenhouse Butter Beans

Nutrients in Butter Beans (1/2 Cup Serving)



Just 130 calories in 130 grams


17 grams


4 grams


10% daily value


10% daily value


15% of daily value

Vitamin B

1% of daily value

© 2016 Dianna Mendez


Dianna Mendez (author) on April 27, 2019:

Linda, I've never had purple hull peas (that I know of), I will have to try them soon. Enjoy your weekend, friend.

Linda Chechar from Arizona on April 24, 2019:

I do like butter beans. When I was a teenager our rural garden had butter beans and purple hull peas although I didn't like shelling them. Your recipe sounds yummy!

Dianna Mendez (author) on April 13, 2019:

Christine, thanks for the add on combating high cholesterol with this recipe. Good reason for me to make it more often.

Cristina Santander from Manila on April 12, 2019:

Great and healthy recipe, a good treat for the whole family. Good for those who have problems with high cholesterol level. Thanks for sharing it.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on April 09, 2019:

Hello Dianna, you are welcomed indeed. Help yourself with more. But remember, if you eat beam daily as I once did to my regret, you'll put on more weight, because of its carbohydrate content. And, you can even land in the doctor's consulting office for a fever, and or high blood pressure. Enjoy the bean. It's delicious. Thank you.

Dianna Mendez (author) on April 09, 2019:

Miebakagh, beans are great side dishes anytime for my family meals. You have me hungry for some now with all the ways you mentioned enjoy them!

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on April 08, 2019:

Hello, Dianna, thanks for sharing. I like bean because these are good nutritious foods in the legume family. I like eating them plain with onions, fresh garlic, a little salt, dried pepper, and slightly cooked virgin peanut oil. But I will try the butter bean for its flavor and thirst. Many thanks again.

Dianna Mendez (author) on October 27, 2018:

RTalloni, yes, do try them. They are really good this time of year as comfort food.

RTalloni on October 19, 2018:

Have not tried this yet but I do love butter beans–seasoned correctly. This recipe will be a delight to my husband who struggles to like them. I believe it will put them on his "I want" list. :) Thanks for sharing your friend's family recipe!

Dianna Mendez (author) on October 19, 2018:

My pleasure to share this recipe idea with you, Katrinasui. It is about the time of year again where I make this to compliment my fall dinner menu.

katrinasui on October 17, 2018:

I will try this. Thanks Dianna for sharing such wonderful recipe.

Dianna Mendez (author) on October 17, 2018:

You should give them a try, Rajan. They have a mild butter taste and so healthy for you. Be well and safe.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 12, 2018:

The dish looks very appealing. I guess I need to try butter beans. Never tried them before. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Dianna Mendez (author) on April 14, 2018:

Friend bacon and cabbage, I will have to try it. Who doesn't love a fresh garden tomato? I would add that to any dish! Thanks for coming by here, Jackie.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on March 29, 2018:

I did try this and it was very good. Another one I found at Facebook with the fried bacon and cabbage added to it was so good too. I guess bacon just makes anything better, doesn't it?

I am hearing it is not so bad for you either as once thought, but still I leave very little of the grease, just enough for flavor.

I allow myself bacon gravy with fresh sliced tomatoes once every summer and I am looking forward to that!

Dianna Mendez (author) on December 21, 2017:

Nadine, Chitrangada, Catherine, glad you ladies enjoy this recipe idea. I have a can of beans sitting on my kitchen self ready to use this week. Thanks for coming by to remind me.

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on December 20, 2017:

What a great tip: These beans are known for helping a body to lower cholesterol intake and adding fiber to a diet. I will now value these beans a lot more. Thanks for the recipe.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on December 19, 2017:

Came back to read this interesting recipe once again. Very well written, with helpful pictures and nice video.

I had prepared this recipe as per your instructions and it came out really well.

Thanks for sharing!

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on December 19, 2017:

I eat beans fairly regularly, but not butter beans. No reason. They are just not in my repertoire. I will have to pick up a can later today when I go shopping. What do you like to serve this recipe with?

Dianna Mendez (author) on October 03, 2017:

Ann, glad you enjoyed the recipe idea. It is one of my husband's favorite meals.

Fiona, I will have to try them in stew. Thanks for coming by here today.

Ann Carr from SW England on September 29, 2017:

Sounds delicious! I love butter beans though many people I know are not keen. I'll keep a copy of this recipe and try it out. I know I'll like it but a couple of the grandchildren are very fussy so we'll see!

Thanks for sharing this.


Fiona from South Africa on May 16, 2017:

I am looking forward to trying your butterbean recipe - I usually just add them into stew.

Dianna Mendez (author) on December 23, 2016:

Thank you, MinneTonka, Don, and RTalloni for your visit here and supportive comments. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I love making it for my family.

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on December 10, 2016:

NUMMY! I love butter beans and their so healthy and good for you. Good source of protein and fiber. Thanks for the delicious recipe my friend. By the way, why isn't their a twitter icon her anymore?

Don Bobbitt on November 18, 2016:

Butter Beans as well as Lima Beans were a regular dish on our table when I was growing up. And, my wife and I still make a pot of them occasionally.

I remember several of our uncles and aunts were farmers, when I was young, and they would "can' both of these great sources of protein.

And, of course, they would always stop by our house with a few jars of each several times a year.


RTalloni on November 18, 2016:

Oh yum! This recipe is going to be on our Thanksgiving table. So looking forward to trying it out! Thanks, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Dianna Mendez (author) on October 16, 2016:

Text123, if you try it once you may just be hooked for life! Keep eating those yummy beans.

Dianna Mendez (author) on October 16, 2016:

Hello Exploring! I only wish I would have known how good they were when I was young. Soup beans sound good right now. As always, you bring a smile to my day when you visit.

lex123 on October 15, 2016:

I love butter beans. Your recipe sounds yummy, must try once.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on October 14, 2016:

I grew up loving butter beans. Homemade soup needs butter beans to make it really good. I like your recipe. Thanks for sharing..

Dianna Mendez (author) on October 14, 2016:

Chef or not, this recipe is simple to make and always a win at any meal. Thanks for your humorous comment, Linda. I am happy to hear of someone else who likes butter beans.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on October 01, 2016:

Yum! Butter Beans are one of my favorite. When I grow up I hope to cook as well as you do. Or have my own chef. Either is fine.

Dianna Mendez (author) on October 01, 2016:

Hi Audrey, sorry it took me awhile to get to your comment. I drained mine a little because I wanted to cover the beans with the sauce. Generally, if I cooked them plain, I will leave the liquid in for flavor. However, I recommend buying a brand that is either organic or with natural ingredients. I am going to try to make these again this week as well. Thanks for your support -- enjoy those beans!

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on September 30, 2016:

Hi Dianna -

I'm back again with a question. Once in a great while I eat butter beans from the can. Should I rinse the beans, draining the liquid from the can? I prefer a little liquid but not if it's harmful. (I eat butter beans 3-4 times a week )

Dianna Mendez (author) on September 04, 2016:

I am making this butter bean recipe this week as well. My hubby enjoys the dish but I love it! So glad you tried it and liked it, Audrey. Enjoy your next family dinner serving this one.

vocalcoach on August 27, 2016:

Hi Dianna

I tried your recipe today and was it ever delicious! I absolutely love butter beans. I usually just cook them with a little onion and seasoning but your recipe was such a big hit I promised my family plenty more for dinner. Thanks so much and sharing.


Dianna Mendez (author) on August 17, 2016:

Deb, my hubby would agree with you on having them plain. I myself can tolerate them as such but this recipe really makes them come alive for me. Enjoy your evening and have some butter beans on me.

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 17, 2016:

Shauna, I thought the same thing about the syrup but it does add to the flavor. I use organic pure syrup in my recipe for the healthier version. Hope you enjoy it when you try it.

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 17, 2016:

Peggy, it is a recipe most people would enjoy, even those with particular tastes. I may have to make this recipe again soon.

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 17, 2016:

Diana, I would love to see your recipe for sweet and sour sauce. I can use another great meal idea for this legume!

Deb Hirt on August 14, 2016:

This is a good reminder to have some butter beans, which I really do love. I just like them with salt, pepper, and a little butter. Guess I'm just a weird sort!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 11, 2016:

I love butter beans. Lima beans, too. I never do much to them other than add butter, salt and pepper. I'm sure bacon would be good in them too, but I'm not so sure about the maple syrup.

Great recipe article. You added a lot of character and interest to your recipe.

Diana Abrahamson on August 08, 2016:

I really enjoy butter beans. Eat them with our barbecues. Also make a sweet and sour sauce for them.

Peggy Woods on August 08, 2016:

I like just about any kind of bean and know how healthy they are for us to consume. Your recipe certainly sounds like it would entice any child...or adult for that matter...to give butter beans a try! Thanks for sharing your recipe with us.

Dianna Mendez (author) on July 31, 2016:

ChitrangadaSharan, I think beans round out any meal. They are so good for the body. I hope you enjoy this recipe idea. Have a great week, dear friend.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 31, 2016:

This sounds delicious and easy to prepare!

I do cook beans very quite often but this is different. And I like variety. I am sure it would come out really tasty.

Thanks for sharing the recipe in this well presented hub!

Dianna Mendez (author) on July 30, 2016:

Peach, I'll take that compliment and thank you. It means much to me coming from another writer. Maybe I should make it a novel.... The butter bean mystery!

peachy from Home Sweet Home on July 29, 2016:

Wonderful recipe but i must admit that i love your hub opening paragraph.

It sounds like reading a new chapter if a mystery book

Dianna Mendez (author) on July 28, 2016:

Ms Dora, I have to consider the value of nutrition for our bodies when I eat these beans. Always a plus when you eat veggies. Your visit was refreshing!

Dianna Mendez (author) on July 28, 2016:

Jackie, I thought the same about this recipe idea. It will be a nice side dish for special days. Have a blessed day, dear lady.

Dianna Mendez (author) on July 28, 2016:

Alicia, I now realize lots of people love these beans. Glad to know you are one of the elite with great taste! As for me, I hope to get there one day. Enjoy the recipe.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 28, 2016:

Thanks for the recipe (no bacon for me). I like butter beans too. The nutritional value is a plus.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on July 27, 2016:

Well I already love butter beans but I will have to try this recipe too. It does sound fantastic and something special to fix now and then. Thank you.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2016:

This recipe sounds like it could be delicious, Dianna. I enjoy spicy food. I have to admit that I didn't know what butter beans were and had to do some research. I discovered that they are also called Lima beans, which made me very happy about your recipe. I love Lima beans in any form!

Dianna Mendez (author) on July 27, 2016:

Pop, butter beans in this recipe wins for me -- otherwise, it's up for grabs! Glad you stopped by today. Enjoy the rest of the evening, dear friend.

Dianna Mendez (author) on July 27, 2016:

Larry, I love a man who says it like it is! Butter beans are great! Be well and safe.

Dianna Mendez (author) on July 27, 2016:

Paula, you and I had similar childhood experiences with veggies. I am thankful my mother forced to try a variety of them. Today, I benefit from the good health outlook. Your simple recipe sounds good and one I will try next time I serve these beans. Yes, we called them lima beans in the Midwest.

Dianna Mendez (author) on July 27, 2016:

Nell, you are so precious! I would not eat them ever if it were not for my hubby. Thank God I found this recipe that is so yummy!

Dianna Mendez (author) on July 27, 2016:

Bill, I am thrilled with your comment on the opening to this post. Coming from you, I feel like I just earned an A+! Yes, try the beans next year. I'm sure you will reap baskets full.

Dianna Mendez (author) on July 27, 2016:

Rajan, I think this recipe would do nicely without the bacon. The tomato-maple base is what holds it together. I appreciate your feedback.

Dianna Mendez (author) on July 27, 2016:

Jodah, like you, I learned to love veggies as I grew older. If you like bacon, this is a must try. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Dianna Mendez (author) on July 27, 2016:

Diana, glad you like these beans. I didn't realize they were so versatile until I started looking at recipes. Good to know! You take care and enjoy your evening.

Dianna Mendez (author) on July 27, 2016:

Flourish, you have my admiration on loving these beans as they are. Some day I hope to be able to eat them right off the vine! Have a day.

breakfastpop on July 27, 2016:

I love butter beans and just recently tasted pole beans. For me, butter beans win.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on July 27, 2016:

I like butter beans.

Great read.

Suzie from Carson City on July 27, 2016:

Dianna, Growing up, my mother served a lot of veggies and all different kinds of veggies. In our particular area, butter beans were called Lima beans. I remember years ago when someone referred to them as butter beans, I had to look up what the difference was. LOL I found out they are one and the same veggie but called butter or lima, depending on the area of the country you live. I do love them! I have to appreciate being introduced to all veggies as a child because they're so healthy for us.

I'm happy with butter/lima beans cooked with a bit of olive oil or real butter (or a little of both) salt & pepper & a dash of garlic powder. Your recipe sounds yummy and I will try it. I'm sure I'll love it and it will be nice for a change of pace! Thanks.....Paula

Nell Rose from England on July 27, 2016:

I have never ever tried butter beans, but after reading this I think I will go find some! lol! thanks for the recipe, I will come back when I have bought some. we don't tend to use them over here.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 27, 2016:

I like the personal touch to this food article. Nicely-written, Dee! We grow pole beans every summer but have never tried butter beans. Thanks for the suggestion for next year.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 27, 2016:

Nice recipe. Never tried these beans. Maybe I should minus the bacon as I do not eat meat.. Thanks for the recipe.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on July 26, 2016:

I wouldn't say I love butter beans, but I do like them as I do most vegetable (though not as a child). This recipe looks and sounds delicious and I think it will be on the have to try list.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on July 26, 2016:

I wouldn't say I love butter beans, but I do like them as I do most vegetable (though not as a child). This recipe looks and sounds delicious and I think it will be on the have to try list.

Diana Abrahamson on July 26, 2016:

Butter beans are are a favourite. They are so versatile too!

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 26, 2016:

I love butter beans cooked any which way. They're one of the few vegetables I love without reservation. I'll have to try your recipe. Looking forward to it.

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