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5 from 6 votes

How to Cook Butter Beans

Butter beans cooked the old-fashioned way with bacon and just a little sugar.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 228kcal
Author: Lucy Brewer


  • 1 lb. butterbeans
  • 2 slices thick cut bacon
  • 2-4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Place butterbeans in a large saucepan. Fill pan with enough water to cover the butterbeans by about an inch. Add bacon, sugar, garlic powder, butter, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Turn down to a simmer and cook 45 minutes or until very tender. Taste and add additional salt and/or sugar if needed. Serve warm.


Tips for Making the Best Butter Beans

  1. Use fresh butter beans if they are in season. If not, frozen will work just fine.
  2. If your grocery store doesn't carry actual butter beans you can substitute baby lima beans.
  3. Season generously with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and don't forget to add a little sugar. Taste frequently. 
  4. Cook the butter beans until they are very tender.