Side Dishes

Bubbling Bacon Butter Beans

Photo by Simon Wheeler

Butter beans are just another name for lima beans, especially in the South. My recommendation for these beans is “Serve with anything,” because they go with everything. But I could also say, “Serve with nothing else,” because they are satisfying all by themselves and quite irresistible when you take them from the fire—steaming, bubbling, and fragrant.


Bubbling Bacon Butter Beans

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
  • 6 slices thick-sliced bacon, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled, plus 1 tablespoon grated garlic (use a Microplane) or garlic mashed to a paste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • 4 cups cooked butter beans or two 15-ounce jars or cans butter beans, drained, rinsed if canned
  • 1 cup Poni diced tomatoes (or other Tetra Pak tomatoes), drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup finely diced prosciutto fat (or additional bacon)
  • Sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • White wine vinegar

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Step 2: Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until it sizzles when a piece of bacon is added. Add the rest of the bacon, the shallots, crushed garlic, and sage and cook, stirring, until the shallots are just translucent, 2 to 4 minutes.

Step 3: Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, Add the beans, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 4: Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes, then add the grated garlic and oregano and cook until most of the moisture has evaporated and the tomatoes are crackling.

Step 5: Stir the tomatoes into the bean mixture, along with the prosciutto fat. Season with salt and pepper and pour into a 2-quart casserole or baking dish.

Step 6: Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the beans are velvety and creamy. If the beans start to look dry, add a splash of water.

Step 7: Stir the parsley into the beans, adjust the acidity with white wine vinegar as necessary, and drizzle generously with olive oil. Serve, or keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.

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