Butter Beans simple Italian style recipe

Pulses have found their way regularly in our weekly dinners and compared to our childhood boring brown and white beans, cooking with spices and herbs sure brightens our palate and lifts up the taste for more. Recycling in the house by reusing various glass jars filled with all kinds of dried beans in plain sight, in stead of storing in the cupboard makes it invisible and forgotten easily. Now I am in the habit of quickly grabbing a bean variety and letting it soak overnight to a maximum of two days if cooking plans changes or I prepare them and store them in the fridge or freezer. For example making re-fried beans recipe for breakfast burrito’s, dip, salads or as a side dish.

I’ve just re-stocked buying soybeans, chickpeas, kidney beans, black-eyed beans and while at it, brought home a bag of butter beans as new addition. Haven’t prepared these creamy whites in a long time, the butter bean is a well-rounded source of nutrition, rich in protein, fiber, iron and B vitamins. Hardly any fat and all these nutrients combined will provide you with everything you need to lose weight, build muscle and feel energetic.

“Lima beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other legumes. In addition to lowering cholesterol, lima beans’ high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, lima beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein. You may already be familiar with beans’ fiber and protein, but this is far from all lima beans have to offer.” (source:whfoods.org)

Butter Beans aka Lima beans

Dried butter beans or Lima beans

For dried beans how-to cooking instructions click on the link for instructions.

Style variations:

With the Italian style recipe here you can easily vary by using Chinese cooking wine, Chinese (or Thai) soybean sauce, Chinese mushroom soy sauce, fresh or dried peppers or other oriental spices as garam masala the variations are endless. Garnish with coriander, spring onion instead for an Asian finish.

Butter Beans Italian style

Butter bean simple Italian style recipe

More Butter Beans nutritional information and links:

Butter beans simple Italian style

By RongHua Ching Published: June 3, 2014

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 10-12 mins
  • Ready In: 8 hrs 15 mins

Butter beans aka Lima beans, use dried (min 8 hours soak or overnight) or canned beans with fresh herbs into an easy and flavorful Italian style dish.



  1. If using dried beans, use 1 cup dried beans in a big bowl pour 3 cups water (at least 2cm above) and soak for half a day preferably overnight. In between change with clean water and the beans will double in size. One cup dried beans will yield between 2½ -3½ cups soaked beans depending variety. Transfer to pressure cooker fill pan with water up to 1/2 and max 3/4 add a tbs oil and one heap salt. Close and cook on full heat till first whistle. Either count the whistles 5-6 times or lower down the heat to medium keeping the pressure but without whistle blows for 10-12 min. Let it cool down till the pressure is of or bring to the sink and cool directly with cold water tap rinsing over the pressure cooker. Drain the cooking water, rinse and the beans are ready for use.
  2. Add the oil in a saute pan, (if using onion and celery first fry for a minute than) add garlic as soon as it releases aroma add the tomatoes (splash of white wine if using) and stir. Add sugar, taste add if needed, followed by the butter beans stir.
  3. Optional: add chicken seasoning powder here and stir, for vegetarian style use marmite or Chinese Soybean sauce/Mushroom soy sauce for Asian flavor give it a good stir. Add the chopped oregano, thyme first, lower heat and let it simmer with lid on for 5 min.
  4. Remove lid, taste add salt & pepper if needed sprinkle basil on top for Italian style. For an Asian flavor use coriander and/or green onions to garnish instead. Ready to serve.

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