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How to Make Canned Lima Beans Taste Good

How to Make Canned Lima Beans Taste Good

Canned lima beans are a great pantry staple to keep on hand for their healthy and shelf-stable qualities, but they’re not the most exciting food. Learn how to make canned lima beans taste good by trying some of these proven tips and tricks listed below.

Lima beans are such a valuable vegetable. They have excellent levels of manganese, potassium, and magnesium, making them a healthy choice, but all those nutrients don’t make the lima beans taste any better. Luckily, these wonderful tips and tricks can solve that problem! Make the best lima beans of your life with these amazing ideas to make canned lima beans taste good!


What are Canned Lima Beans?

Lima beans are a type of legume that grows in pea-like pods. The inner seed is the edible lima bean we know. They are white beans with a uniquely vegetable-like flavor. Their texture is wonderfully smooth, making them great for stews, soups, and mashes.

Canning lima beans is a classic technique to preserve the beans and deliver farm-fresh produce to everyone all year round. For canning, the beans are picked at the peak of their freshness, washed, cooked, and packed in a mixture of water, salt, and sometimes other additives and spices. The canning process allows for the ease of fully cooked beans but with a tremendous shelf-life.


How to Cook Canned Lima Beans

Libby's canned lima beans

Unlike their dried counterparts, canned lima beans are fully cooked and ready for use in cold recipes. That being said, you may still want to warm your lima beans up. One thing is universal: after opening the can, you may want to wash the beans. Do this if you watch your sodium, as the bean liquid is very salty. Once your beans are opened (and washed), this is how you heat them:


On the Stove

Dump the beans into a small saucepan and heat on the stovetop on medium heat. Stir occasionally and heat until all the beans are at an evenly warm temperature.


In the Microwave

Pour the beans into a microwave-safe container and cover them with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel. Microwave at the standard setting for 1 minute, then stir. If the beans are not warm enough, return them to the microwave in 30-second intervals until warm.


How to Make Canned Lima Beans Taste Good

Delmonte canned lima beans

Canned lima beans are a great fallback food for any day of the week, but they can be so much more. Turn these legumes into something tasty with one of these ideas to make your canned lima beans taste good.


Chili Out

Lima beans have a flavor that stands out among other beans. They taste like green vegetables but with the texture of a smooth white bean. This makes them an interesting addition to many-layered bean dishes like chili. One excellent use for canned lima beans is in chili. They may not be a traditional choice for chili beans, but when used in conjunction with other beans, they bring an excellent vegetative flavor that elevates the chili and the lima beans.

Once you have a great lima bean chili, you can go wild, making elaborate junk foods like chili dogs and chili burgers. Make nachos topped with lima bean chili for a saucy and crunchy delight!


Pork Pick-Me-Up

Pork and beans are the perfect comfort dish. The beans, together with salty, succulent pork, sing in perfect harmony, and lima beans are an excellent twist on this classic. Cook bacon or a fatty cut of pork, like pork belly, in a hot skillet. Remove the pork when it’s fully cooked, and add the beans to the hot pan. The lima beans will render the pig fat becoming rich and delicious. Serve the pork and beans with rice and cornbread for a meal that not only tastes good but warms the soul.


Play with Puree

Lima beans have an amazingly velvety texture that makes them perfect for smashing or pureeing. Drain your canned lima beans, then heat them with a little olive oil. Once hot, use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the beans. Add a little citrus to balance the puree and serve it alongside rich, savory meats like steak or pork chops. A vegetable puree on the plate instantly makes the dish look gourmet, so be prepared for impressed faces.


Triple the Fun

Canned lima beans are fully cooked, so why not try them in a cold dish like three-bean salad? Three-bean salad combines different beans along with oil and spices to make a cool tossed salad that is sure to be a hit at any gathering. Many recipes call for green beans but try swapping them with lima beans for the same vegetable flavor but a different and interesting texture.



Lima beans flavored with slab bacon

Are Lima Beans and Wax Beans the Same?

Yes, the lima bean goes by many names, including wax bean, butter bean, and double bean. They are all varieties of the same legume plant.


Final Thoughts

Canned lima beans are an awesome food to keep on the shelf. They last forever and have lots of health benefits. Their flavor can be divisive, and their leafy vegetable-like notes may be a turn-off for some. These tips and tricks will help you change your mind about lima beans. Use these ideas to elevate your canned lima beans into something that tastes excellent!


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