Recipe for Classic Succotash Recipe | Almanac.com

Classic Succotash Recipe

Photo Credit
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock
6 to 8 servings
Preparation Method
Print Friendly and PDF

Succotash is a truly vintage dish with Native American origins. The traditional dish includes corn, lima beans or butter beans, and pork. Rich in nutrients and inexpensive to make, it became especially popular during the Depression and World War II.

Cranberry beans are closest to the type of bean that would have originally been used in this dish, but fresh or frozen lima beans or butter beans are common today. The added heavy cream at the end is optional. If you’re using the butter beans, a nice variation for a light sauce is a mix of the butter bean liquid and lemon juice. 

You can also add other ingredients to your succotash. Today, it’s common to add fresh tomatoes (regular or cherry) for added color and sweetness. Bacon can also be substituted for pork. Or, go vegetarian but you’ll need to add a tablespoon or two of olive oil in place of the pork.

See more historically-inspired dishes including roast goose, roasted stuffed pheasants, and chestnut croquettes.

6 ears corn
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 pounds cranberry beans, lima beans, or butter beans (cooked, canned, or frozen)
1/2 small onion, finely diced
2 teaspoons sugar
Optional: 1/8 pound salt pork, cut into 4 pieces
Optional: 1/4 cup heavy cream
Optional: salt and pepper to taste

Use a sharp knife to cut kernels from cobs and set kernels aside.

In a pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add beans, onions, and salt pork (if using) and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until onion is golden.

Stir in corn and add enough water to cover by 1/2 inch. Add sugar and remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Bring to a gentle bubble and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Remove salt pork and season with salt and pepper.  

Add cream (if using) and serve hot.