Classic Succotash Recipe

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Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock
6 to 8 servings
Preparation Method

Classic Succotash Recipe

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A combination of cranberry beans and corn kernels, succotash was one of the first foods that the Native Americans shared with the Plymouth settlers. Rich in nutrients and inexpensive to make, it was 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, such as tomatoes, red pepper, or bacon for color and flavor!

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.