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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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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48 comments

  1. So delicious! And so good the next day. Instead of bacon, I used diced ham. Boars head has an uncured ham that is delicious, saves points if you’re on WW. Will make again for sure!!

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

  3. 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. 

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

  5. 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.]

  6. 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.

  7. 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. 

  8. 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!

  9. 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.