Recipe for Classic Succotash | Almanac.com

Classic Succotash

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Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock
6 to 8 servings
Preparation Method
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Succotash is an easy side dish for any cookout, potluck, or dinner. The traditional dish includes corn, lima or butter beans, and pork. Interestingly, this dish has Native American origins. 

Rich in nutrients and inexpensive to make, it became prevalent 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 cherry tomatoes for added color. Bacon can also be substituted for pork. 

Or, go vegetarian, but you’ll need to add a tablespoon or two of olive oil instead of the pork.

See more historically inspired dishes, including roast goose 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
  1. Use a sharp knife to cut kernels from the corn cobs and set kernels aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Stir in corn and add enough water to cover by 1/2 inch. Add sugar and the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Bring to a gentle bubble and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove salt pork and season with salt and pepper.  
  5. Add cream (if using) and serve hot.
About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann