Savory Southern Butter Beans Recipe: A Hearty and Comforting Classic

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Published: 02/07/2024 | Updated: 02/09/2024

This butter beans recipe brings a taste of the South to your kitchen, featuring creamy butter beans simmered to perfection. Originating from Southern recipes, this classic Southern comfort food is often served at family gatherings and special occasions.

Butter beans provide a blank canvas for various flavors, making this recipe adaptable for any event. It’s especially favored on busy weeknights due to its simplicity and quick preparation time.

These butter beans are stewed with aromatic onion and garlic, embellished with lemon zest, and finished with fresh parsley. The dish is versatile enough to double or triple for larger serving sizes or to be part of your meal prep. Whether for a vegan meal or a heartier meal with added proteins, this butter beans recipe is sure to satisfy.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
  • ½ teaspoon pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 can canned butter beans, drained
  • Chopped fresh herbs for garnish

Instructions

Step 1: Heat the Olive Oil

Start by heating the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.

Step 2: Cook Ingredients

Add the minced garlic and cook until it is fragrant, roughly 30 seconds, being careful not to burn it. Stir in the smoked paprika, chili, and pepper flakes, and cook for another 2 minutes, allowing the spices to release their flavors.

Step 3: Add Salt

Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Step 4: Add Butter Beans

Add the drained butter beans to the skillet and pour in the vegetable broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let the butter beans simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are tender and the broth slightly thickens.

Step 5: Add Lemon Juice

Remove from heat, stir in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and garnish with fresh herbs.

Step 6: Serve

Serve warm with crusty bread if desired.

Optional Additions/Variations

Personalize this butter beans recipe with various additions such as bell peppers or Brussels sprouts for added texture. For a spicy kick, consider including more chili flakes or pepper flakes.

If you prefer a non-vegan version, ham hocks or chicken stock can be used instead of vegetable broth. Dried herbs can substitute for fresh ones if needed, and lime juice can offer a tangy alternative to lemon juice.

Cooking Tips

For the best flavor, use fresh herbs instead of dried ones, and add them towards the end of cooking to preserve their brightness. If you find the beans too firm, cover the beans with a lid while simmering to retain moisture.

A dash of garlic powder can be used in place of fresh garlic if necessary. As a tip, always taste and adjust seasoning before serving to ensure the perfect balance of flavors.

Equipment Needed

  • Large skillet
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Lid for the skillet (optional)
  • Citrus juicer (if using fresh lemon juice)

Preparation Time

This butter bean recipe’s preparation time is minimal, making it ideal for a quick and nourishing meal. From start to finish, you can expect to spend about 20 minutes on prep and another 15 to 30 minutes on cooking, depending on your desired tenderness of the beans.

Serving Suggestions

For a wholesome meal, serve these creamy butter beans alongside a portion of roasted vegetables or a fresh green salad. They also pair wonderfully with a slice of crusty bread to soak up the flavorful broth. Add grilled chicken or sausage to transform the dish into a heartier meal. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs and lemon zest for a zesty touch.

Storage Instructions

Leftover butter beans can be stored in an airtight container with a drizzle of olive oil to maintain their moisture. Refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat gently on the stove or microwave, seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. If the beans have absorbed most of the broth, add a water or vegetable stock splash when reheating to revive their creamy texture.

Recipe Notes

This butter beans recipe is a testament to the simplicity of using fresh, quality ingredients. The use of olive oil and kosher salt elevates the natural flavors of the butter beans, while fresh herbs add a final touch of freshness. Enjoy these beans year-round, and remember that the flavors deepen if allowed to rest, making it an excellent choice for meal prep.

 

Savory Southern Butter Beans Recipe: A Hearty and Comforting Classic

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Dinner/Lunch
Keyword: butter beans recipe
Author: Natalie

Equipment

  • Large skillet
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Lid for the skillet (optional)
  • Citrus juicer (if using fresh lemon juice)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
  • ½ teaspoon pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 can canned butter beans, drained
  • Chopped fresh herbs for garnish

Instructions

Step 1: Heat the Olive Oil

  • Start by heating the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.

Step 2: Cook Ingredients

  • Add the minced garlic and cook until it is fragrant, roughly 30 seconds, being careful not to burn it. Stir in the smoked paprika, chili, and pepper flakes, and cook for another 2 minutes, allowing the spices to release their flavors.

Step 3: Add Salt 

  • Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Season with salt and black pepper to taste.Step 4: Add Butter Beans

  • Add the drained butter beans to the skillet and pour in the vegetable broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let the butter beans simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are tender and the broth slightly thickens.

Step 5: Add Lemon Juice

  • Remove from heat, stir in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and garnish with fresh herbs.

Step 6: Serve

  • Serve warm with crusty bread if desired.

Notes

  • This butter beans recipe is a testament to the simplicity of using fresh, quality ingredients. The use of olive oil and kosher salt elevates the natural flavors of the butter beans, while fresh herbs add a final touch of freshness. Enjoy these beans year-round, and remember that the flavors deepen if allowed to rest, making it an excellent choice for meal prep.

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