Classic Southern Butter Beans Recipe: A Must-Try Delight!

Indulge yourself in the rich and flavorful taste of southern cuisine with my recipe for Southern Butter Beans cooked in a Crock-Pot. These creamy butter beans, also known as lima beans, are slow-cooked to perfection, resulting in a dish that’s packed with buttery flavor in every bite.

Picture yourself enjoying your favorite Sunday evening meal with your family gathered around the table, relishing that comfort food that warms your heart and soul. It’s time to bring some southern flair to your dinner routine and step up to the plate with this classic southern recipe.

There’s nothing quite like the delicious aroma of southern-style butter beans cooking on a lazy afternoon, delivering a warm and filling satisfaction that lingers long after the meal is over. With its ease of preparation and luxurious flavors, this dish is perfect for any occasion or simply when you want to savor the tastes of southern-style cooking at its best.

So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to cook up some old-fashioned, slow-cooked Southern Butter Beans in your crock-pot that will provide you with an unforgettable dining experience.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Butter Beans (Crock Pot)
Southern Butter Beans (Crock Pot)

If you’re seeking the perfect southern-style comfort food, then look no further. The Southern Butter Beans (Crock Pot) Recipe is a warm and hearty dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Here are several reasons why you’ll love this recipe:

Firstly, it’s easy to prepare. With simple ingredients such as water, salt, chicken bouillon, and butter, anyone can make these luscious beans in no time. Using a slow cooker or crock pot, all you have to do is place the ingredients in the pot and let it do its job. It’s an ideal recipe for busy people looking to make something tasty that’s also effortless.

Secondly, these creamy butter beans have a distinct southern flair. From ham hocks to baby limas, they’re cooked with typical southern ingredients and are undeniably delicious. It’s a recipe that embodies traditional Southern comfort food in every bite.

Thirdly, the slow-cooked southern-style lima beans recipe is perfect for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. If you’re vegan or don’t eat pork, use smoked turkey as an alternative or eliminate the meat altogether. No matter which version you choose to make, the result will always be an incredibly flavorful and delicious dish.

Lastly, this dish pairs well with anything from cornbread to brisket or even green beans. Its versatility makes it a perfect addition to any style of meal prep or party menu. Whether hosting for friends or family or just having dinner at home, Southern Butter Beans (Crock Pot) Recipe bring heartiness and rich Southern flavors to your table.

In conclusion, this slow-cooked Southern Butter Beans (Crock Pot) is both satisfying and straightforward. It brings together classic Southern components into a flavor-packed dish that everybody will enjoy eating. Use smoked turkey if you prefer vegan-friendly versions of this dish or stick with traditional ham for meat-lovers! Regardless of how you choose to cook it, this recipe will undoubtedly become a staple in your regular meal rotation.

Ingredient List

 Creamy, savory, and slow-cooked butter beans for the soul.
Creamy, savory, and slow-cooked butter beans for the soul.

Before we dive into the recipe, it’s important to gather all the ingredients for this Southern Butter Beans (Crock Pot) Recipe. You can easily find these ingredients at your local grocery store. Remember to check your pantry first to avoid purchasing duplicates.

  • 1 pound of dried lima beans or butter beans
  • Enough water to cover the beans
  • 6 cups of water or chicken broth (broth is preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 smoked ham hock, or ham bone (you can substitute this with smoked turkey or salt pork)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

If you prefer a vegan option, you can substitute the ham hocks with vegetable broth and remove the butter from the recipe. Also, feel free to adjust the amount of salt and pepper depending on your personal preference.

The Recipe How-To

 These butter beans are so tasty, you'll want to lick the crock pot clean!
These butter beans are so tasty, you’ll want to lick the crock pot clean!

After soaking the dried butter beans in water overnight, it’s time to start cooking. First, rinse and drain the beans in a large bowl. Then, place them in a 6-8 quart slow cooker or crock pot.

Lima beans may be used as a substitute for butter beans in this southern-style dish. In that case, use baby lima beans or green lima beans, but soak them only for about four hours instead of overnight.

To the slow cooker, add enough water to cover the beans completely. Usually, 4 cups of water is enough, but this may vary depending on the size of your slow cooker. Then stir in 1-2 tablespoons of salt and 1-2 chicken bouillon cubes or 1-2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon granules, depending on your preference.

Next, add 2 tablespoons of butter and any additional seasonings such as garlic powder or chopped onion (optional). For a smoky flavor, some people add smoked turkey legs or pieces of smoked ham hocks. You can also use a ham bone or salt pork if you like.

Cover the beans and cook on high for about 3 hours, or until they are soft and creamy. Check occasionally to ensure there is enough water; if needed, add more by stirring in a cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

After the required time has passed, turn off the heat and let the beans sit covered for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the flavors to meld together.

Finally, remove any bones or unappetizing bits from the pot, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot with cornbread or rice for an authentic southern meal that will make you feel right at home.

Substitutions and Variations

 Southern-style goodness in every spoonful - butter beans done right.
Southern-style goodness in every spoonful – butter beans done right.

This southern butter beans recipe can be adjusted to suit your preferences and accommodate the ingredients you have on hand. Here are some substitutions and variations to consider:

– Meat substitutes: If you’re looking for a vegetarian or vegan option, you can swap out the ham hocks or salt pork for smoked turkey or pinto beans. These options will give your dish some smoky flavor, without adding any meat.

– Lima beans: Although this recipe is specifically made with butter beans, you can also use baby lima beans or green lima beans instead. While lima beans are sometimes overlooked, they make a flavorful substitute that is packed with nutrients.

– Broth or water: Chicken broth and water are both used in this recipe, but feel free to use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth if you prefer. You can also adjust the amount of liquid you use depending on how soupy or creamy you like your beans.

– Slow cooker variations: If you don’t have a crockpot, no worries! You can make this recipe on the stovetop by cooking it in a large saucepan over low heat. Or, try using an instant pot to speed up the cooking time.

– Seasonings and additions: Depending on your taste preferences, you can add other seasonings such as chili powder, onion powder or cayenne pepper to give your butter beans an extra kick. You can also add chopped onions or garlic during the cooking process to add more flavor.

These substitutions and variations will allow you to experiment with different flavors and textures while still making a delicious southern-style dish. Try them out and see what works best for you!

Serving and Pairing

 A true comfort food, perfect for any chilly evening.
A true comfort food, perfect for any chilly evening.

Once your Southern Butter Beans have slow-cooked to creamy perfection, it’s time to think about how to best serve them up. These beans can be enjoyed as a hearty main dish or as a side dish to complement any Southern-style feast.

Serve these buttery beans hot, garnished with freshly chopped parsley or a sprinkle of black pepper, alongside some seasoned rice for a complete and satisfying meal. They also make the perfect topping for grits or cornbread, adding a rich and savory flavor to each bite.

Pair these Southern-style beans with some pan-fried, crispy bacon or country-style ham, for an even more delicious and indulgent meal. For vegans or those who prefer meatless dishes, you can swap out the ham hocks for smoked turkey, salt pork or go without any meat entirely.

These slow-cooked Southern Butter Beans also pair well with a variety of other classic Southern dishes such as fried chicken, collard greens and macaroni and cheese. A simple salad dressed with vinaigrette on the side will balance out the richness of the buttery beans.

Whatever way you choose to serve them up, these Southern Butter Beans are sure to be one of your new family favorites. Enjoy!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The ultimate crock pot hack, low-effort-high-reward butter beans.
The ultimate crock pot hack, low-effort-high-reward butter beans.

Southern Butter Beans can last up to 4 days in the fridge if stored properly. I suggest storing them in an airtight container with the broth/water combination to keep the beans moist. However, they can also become dry over time, so add more water or chicken broth when reheating.

If you plan to make this recipe ahead of time, I highly recommend letting it cool down for 30 minutes after cooking in the crockpot. Once it has cooled down, place it into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve the butter beans again, you can reheat it in the microwave or on the stove. To reheat it on the stove, place a pot over medium heat and bring the butter beans back up to a boil then let them simmer until they’re heated all the way through.

It’s not recommended to freeze Southern Butter Beans because they will lose their texture and flavor. However, if you want them to freeze them anyway, it’s best to keep everything separate: store the cooked butter beans in one container and keep the broth/water mixture in another container. This will help maintain its taste and texture after giving it a good stir upon thawing.

In terms of reheating your frozen butter beans, make sure you thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before reheating them. Once they’re thawed, heat them on medium heat over a stovetop until heated thoroughly.

By following these storage tips and techniques, you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious serving of Southern Butter Beans whenever you’re craving that creamy buttery flavor that comes with southern-style cuisine.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Don't underestimate the power of butter - these beans are proof!
Don’t underestimate the power of butter – these beans are proof!

Cooking southern butter beans is a special experience that requires patience and attention. While the recipe itself is simple, achieving delicious and creamy texture in each bean can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you make the perfect crock pot southern butter beans.

1. Use Chicken Bouillon and Ham Hocks

For the best flavor, add chicken bouillon and ham hocks to the crock pot along with your beans. These ingredients will create a rich broth that infuses the beans with savory goodness.

2. Overnight Soak

Soaking your dried beans overnight will help them cook evenly in the slow cooker. Be sure to cover your beans with enough water when soaking, at least 2-3 inches above the level of the beans.

3. Rinse Beans Well

After soaking, rinse your beans thoroughly with cold water to remove any dirt or impurities. This step is essential for a clean taste and will prevent any debris from clouding up the cooking liquid.

4. Fill Slow Cooker with Water

When filling your slow cooker with water, ensure it covers all the beans by about 1-2 inches. Do not overload your slow cooker as it can cause uneven cooking and mushy beans.

5. Don’t Add Salt Early

Adding salt before or during cooking can toughen the bean skins and prolong cooking time. Wait till the end to season carefully with salt.

6. Cook on Low Heat

Cooking southern butter beans on a low heat for at least 3 hours will result in tender, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth texture that everyone loves! Patience is key – slow cooking is essential for achieving optimal results.

7. Taste Frequently

Tasting occasionally is important to track progress and detect flavor shifts in broth needed by adding spices or herbs.

Follow these tips for perfect slow cooked southern butterbeans every time!


As with any recipe, there may be some questions that arise while trying to make these delicious Southern Butter Beans. Fear not, as I have put together some frequently asked questions to help guide you through any potential roadblocks that may come up during the cooking process. Read on to find the answers you need!

Do butter beans need to be soaked before cooking?

When it comes to preparing butter beans, the method largely depends on whether you’re using canned or frozen beans or dried ones. If you’re using the former, all you really need to do is give them a rinse or thaw. However, if you’ve got dried butter beans, there are a few extra steps involved. You may choose to soak them overnight to speed up the cooking process, but before you do, make sure to wash, drain, and carefully sift through the beans for any unwanted debris.

Do beans have to be soaked before cooking in a crock pot?

When it comes to cooking beans, pre-soaking isn’t always necessary – except for kidney beans, which contain a toxin that requires soaking prior to cooking. To get started, sort your beans, then add water, garlic, salt, and pepper, and allow them to cook for 8 to 10 hours, or until they are tender.

How long do beans need to soak before cooking in crock pot?

For delectable southern-style cooking, soaking beans for at least 6 hours is highly recommended. Cover the beans and leave them out overnight or for the specified time. Before cooking, make sure to drain and rinse them with a colander to remove excess water. Next, put the soaked beans into the crock pot for the next step in the recipe.

Is it safe to cook butter beans in the slow cooker?

As a seasoned chef in southern-style cuisine, when it comes to butter beans, I have found the perfect cooking method. Gently simmering them in a slow cooker produces tender and flavorful beans. I recommend cooking them dry in order to avoid any sogginess – just toss them in the pot, pour ample water to cover them, add a pinch of salt, and simmer them until they reach the perfect level of tenderness.

Bottom Line

Southern Butter Beans are the epitome of comfort food. Indulging in a bowl of these creamy, buttery beans will transport you to the heart of the South. This recipe is perfect for cold, winter days or for a weekend dinner with your loved ones.

Using this recipe, I can guarantee that your Southern Butter Beans will become your go-to dish. The ingredients are affordable and easily attainable, and the preparation is easy and quick when using a crock pot. You can truly put it in the crockpot before bed and wake up to the delicious aroma of Southern-style cuisine.

Making these butter beans is not only satisfying but also adds a piece of tradition and heritage to your cooking. Mastering this recipe and serving it to your family is a way to connect with Southern culture and celebrate its rich culinary history.

In conclusion, if you love comforting food that is packed with flavor, then you need to try these scrumptious Southern Butter Beans. Not only are they easy to make, but they are also versatile and can be paired with many different dishes. So pull out your crock pot, grab some butter beans, start cooking, and enjoy the mouth-watering flavors of Southern cuisine!

Southern Butter Beans (Crock Pot)

Southern Butter Beans (Crock Pot) Recipe

I love fresh butter beans but wanted easy of prep (no watching the pot in case the beans boiled dry) and found this recipe online and made a slight change to suit my personal preference.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern American
Calories 151.3 kcal


  • 4 cups fresh butter beans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ham soup base (Better than Bouillon) or 1 1/2 tablespoons chicken bouillon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • water


  • Place washed butter beans in slow cooker (I use a 1.5 qt size).
  • Add butter, bouillon, and salt.
  • Add water to cover and stir to mix ingredients.
  • Cook on HIGH for 1.5 hours, then cook on LOW for 2-3 hours or til butter beans are tender.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 171gCalories: 151.3kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 6.8gFat: 4.3gSaturated Fat: 2.5gCholesterol: 10.2mgSodium: 1025.3mgFiber: 6g
Keyword Beans, Easy
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