Brothy Lima Beans and Greens (Stove or Instant Pot)

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Somewhere between a thick stew and soup, these Brothy Lima Beans and Greens are hearty comfort food and budget friendly. Stove and Instant Pot.

Brothy Beans and Greens
Brothy Lima Beans and Greens

Brothy Beans and Greens are the perfect Sunday dish because they need only a little prep on the front end, and then you can leave them alone to simmer. The results are a deeply flavorful stock and super-tender beans. Make them on the stove on weekends or in the Instant Pot if you want them ready in under an hour, I tested them both ways. More of my favorite bean recipes are these Dominican Beans, Puerto Rican Beans and Mexican Pinto Beans with Queso.

Pot of Beans and Greens

Dried lima beans have an incredibly buttery texture when cooked this way, but any bean will work with this method. Think of this recipe as a template: use any dried bean, whatever herbs and hearty greens you have on hand, and your favorite aromatics. You can also drop in a Parmesan rind if you have one lying around; it will add a deeply savory flavor.

Brothy Lima Beans Ingredients

  • Vegetables: Celery, carrots, yellow onion, kale
  • Bacon: If you’re a vegetarian, keep reading for directions on making the beans without meat.
  • Dried Lima Beans, or any white bean
  • Aromatics: Garlic, fresh thyme, lemon, salt

How to Make Vegetarian

If you’re vegetarian, sauté the vegetables in two tablespoons of olive oil and add eight ounces of sliced baby bella or white mushrooms along with the onions.

What to Eat with Brothy Beans

Serve brothy lima beans with bread or a hearty grain like wild rice, farro, or barley. This dish would also be great with a simple green salad on the side.

How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat Beans

These lima beans will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days. They also freeze really well and will last for up to three months in freezer-safe containers. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave.

Lima Beans and GreensBrothy White Beans and Greens

More Bean Recipes You’ll Love:

Brothy Beans and Greens
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4.69 from 16 votes
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Brothy Lima Beans and Greens

299 Cals 19.5 Protein 44 Carbs 6.5 Fats
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins
Yield: 8 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: American
Somewhere between a thick stew and soup, these Brothy Lima Beans and Greens are hearty comfort food and budget friendly. Stove and Instant Pot.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces center-cut bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound dried large lima beans
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • water
  • 1 bunch kale, or collards, chard, stemmed and coarsely chopped or torn
  • ½ lemon

Instructions

Instant Pot Method:

  • No need to soak the beans in the pressure cooker. Press saute.
  • Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s cooked through and crispy, 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a plate, leaving the rendered fat in the pot.
  • Add the celery, carrots, and onion to the pot and season with salt.
  • Stir to incorporate and sauté for 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and some of their liquid has cooked out.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add the beans and thyme to the pot with the reserved bacon and 6 1/2 cups of water.
  • Select manual pressure and cook high 25 to 30 minutes, natural release.
  • When the pressure subsides, open the lid and add the kale. Press saute and cook 2 minutes, until wilted.
  • Squeeze lemon over the beans. Makes 9 to 10 cups.

Stove Directions:

  • For best results, soak beans overnight.
  • Add the bacon to a large pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s cooked through and crispy, 5 to 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a plate, leaving the rendered fat in the pot.
  • Use a knife to remove any visible seeds from the lemon half and place it, cut side down, in the pot.
  • Cook undisturbed for 3 to 5 minutes, until caramelized. Reserve.
  • Add the celery, carrots, and onion to the pot and season with salt. Stir to incorporate and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and some of their liquid has cooked out.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  • Add the beans and thyme to the pot with the reserved bacon, lemon, and 12 cups of water, or enough to fully submerge by about 2 inches (the beans will absorb a lot!).
    how to make brothy beans
  • Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a gentle simmer without letting the water boil.
  • As soon as you see tiny bubbles in the water, decrease the heat to medium-low and cook at a gentle simmer uncovered for 2 to 3 hours, until the beans are very creamy. (Start checking for doneness after 1 1/2 hours if your beans are pre-soaked.)
  • Keep an eye on the water as it cooks and add more, 1 cup at a time, to keep the beans fully submerged. Add kale and cook 2 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add the lemon juice. Makes 9 to 10 cups.

Notes

If you're vegetarian, sauté the vegetables in two tablespoons of olive oil and add eight ounces of sliced baby bella or white mushrooms along with the onions.

Nutrition

Serving: 1generous cup, Calories: 299kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 19.5g, Fat: 6.5g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 5.5mg, Sodium: 741.5mg, Fiber: 15.5g, Sugar: 8.5g
Keywords: brothy beans, budget meals, lima beans, white beans

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47 comments

  1. So good – one of our family’s favorites. Tastes buttery, lemony, fresh, healthy and satisfying.

  2. This is so good!  I halved the recipe for the two of us. We are vegetarians so I used Morningstar Farms Italian sausage crumbles in place of the bacon and frozen collard greens instead of kale. I also used veggie broth instead of water.  It was delicious. My wife, who is not generally a fan of beans, ate two bowls. Another winner from Gina. 

  3. Made this but added chicken sausage. Quite good!

  4. Delicious!  I was concerned that there wouldn’t be enough seasoning, but boy was I wrong!  Followed the recipe exactly and it was perfectly seasoned without any additions.  And I love that the points go directly to my WW app.

    [The only thing that doesn’t work perfectly for me is the shopping list.  When using Walmart (I didn’t try any other) you need to be mindful of the quantity that is added or you may wind up with way more than needed.]

  5. Tasty & easy to cook recipe.
    Be aware that with the onions & the carrots it is a bit sweet. However, that’s to be expected. You could also easily replace the bacon with ham.
    All said, this is going in the rotation.

  6. Tonight I made this for my husband who
    Loves Lima beans!  I made some adjustments though to expedite the recipe. Instead of dried Lima beans I
    Used 2 cans of Lima beans rinsed and drained. Instead of water I substituted low sodium chicken broth. I simmered it 30 minutes before adding the Trader Joe’s baby kale mix. Another note: my husband is a cancer patient and ate his whole bowl!  This was satisfying in many ways to see him eat it and love it!  Thanks. 

  7. Just delish…..perfect for a chilly day.  Prepared as suggested in the Instapot.   Subbed frozen spinach instead of kale.  I order dried beans from  Rancho Gordo beans in CA and the Lima beans didn’t disappoint.    There is something about this stew that reminds me of Cassoulet.  Can envision several tasty additions to this, though it’s perfect as is.  Thanks for another great recipe Gina!

  8. I had a cup of this recipe for dinner the entire week. I haven’t had Lima beans since I was a kid and hated them then. This recipe turned out delicious and I now am a big fan of lima beans!  I did find that I needed to add a little extra salt for my taste. Also I  could only find baby lima beans which turned out just fine. 

  9. For those of you saying oh I don’t like Lima Beans, please know dried Lima beans taste nothing like frozen or canned Lima beans. My family hates frozen Lima beans while I love them. However when they find out I am making Lima Bean Stew, which is like Gina’s recipe but with ham they are so excited!  I also add some liquid from Trappy’s Hot Peppers in Vinegar and it is awesome. 

  10. I love Skinny Taste recipes, but this one is a no for me. Perhaps cooking in an instapot would have made this a different experience but for the amount of time required for stovetop cooking, it was not worth it. It was bland and unexciting for me. I’m bummed about this one but excited to try the next!

  11. This recipe was a little flat for us. We’ll try making it again but may try using chicken or veggie broth instead of some of the water.  May also try adding some more fresh herbs or sub sausage for the bacon. Not sure exactly, it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t up to the level of of other skinny taste recipes. 

  12. This is so good and filling. I added a couple of tsp of better than bouillon chicken paste to the mix.  Pressure cooked for 28 minutes and then manually released the pressure after 20 minutes – the Lima beans were cooked perfectly. It tasted so good just after being cooked and I suspect it will just get better.

  13. Where in the recipe do you add the 1 Tbs of kosher salt? 

  14. My grocery store didn’t have dry Lima beans so I used a bag of 15 beans. It turned out AMAZING! So many great flavors! Thank you for another great recipe!

  15. I can only find baby lima beans in our grocery store. Any downside to using those?

  16. Can I use broth instead of water?

    • sure it may still need salt

      • Oh Gina, you nailed it with this recipe!  I’m a huge Lima bean fan.  The only change I made was I omitted the bacon and added 6oz of diced Canadian bacon.  I had prepped it the night before we ate it so the flavors had time to sit and meld.   This will be on repeat.

  17. When do you add the kale?

  18. Any suggestion for using a slow cooker?

  19. Which is your preferred green to add, kale or collard greens?

  20. This is the first time I’ve made one of your recipes and didn’t like it.  It seems so bland to me.  I made it on the stove as I don’t have an insta pot.  I used black eyed peas as that’s what I had on hand.  I’ve triple checked the recipe to make sure I didn’t mess up somewhere and I didn’t.  It smelled so delicious and flavorful and yet was a huge let down.  I’m so sad!

  21. Can you use baby Lima beans? 

  22. Do you think I could sub spinach for the greens or would it break down too much?

  23. Can you use frozen lima beans?

  24. I absolutely love your recipes!  Have recommended your site to others looking for healthy alternatives. 
    We don’t eat beef or pork and was wondering if turkey bacon would work.  Since you wouldn’t have the traditional bacon fat, any suggestions on what to substitute? 
    Looking forward to trying this recipe.  Thank you. 

  25. Do you put the lemon in with the beans for the instant pot version? Your instructions for the stovetop method says to add lemon at the same time as adding the beans.
    Thx

  26. My email is invalid ? It isn’t 

  27. Lima beans are one of the few types of beans I don’t like. Any suggestions for substitute beans? The recipe looks wonderful. 

    • Any white bean works!

      • Yummy! And so easy. I used turkey bacon (that’s what I had) and collards (that’s what I love) and it was perfect.

        I think people remember canned small lima beans, which tend to be starchy, and shy away from this recipe. Large lima beans are totally different – silky smooth and lovely. There’s a reason they’re also known as Butter Beans!

    • This was so delicious. It took about 10 minutes longer in my instant pot, I ended up with a total cook time of 40 minutes. I also substituted chicken broth, it added a few more calories but overall this was great!!

  28. Did the stove cooked version taste better, richer, deeper etc.?