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Lima Beans with Ham over Rice

These dried lima beans cooked with garlic and ham and served over rice will make your mouth water!  Just add a tall glass of sweet tea and some cornbread muffins slathered with butter and you have a meal your family will love.

Lima beans with ham can be done in the crockpot or on the stove top.

1 (1 pound) bag of large dried lima beans
1 large ham hock with some meat still on the bone or 1 cup chopped ham of your choice
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 – 4  cups rice, cooked according to package directions depending on how many people you are serving
Rinse and sort beans, soak overnight in a large pot of water. Next morning, drain soak water and rinse beans.  Add six cups of fresh water, the chopped onion, garlic,  pepper, and ham or ham hock.  Simmer beans with lid tilted on pot for about 3 hours until tender, then add salt. (I always salt dried beans after they are done. They take longer to cook if you salt them during the cooking process.)   If using a ham hock, remove it from pot and take the ham from the bone and add back to the beans. Serve over rice.
These beans can be cooked in the crockpot as well.  Cook on high for 4 hours or low about seven hours until tender.  Enjoy!
You might like to serve these with my cornbread muffins. You might also like this recipe for Baked Chicken with Peaches.
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  1. Good Evening,
    I’m confused about some of the comments on this recipe, so I posted a few questions to your Facebook Fan Page. Hope that’s okay. Thank you!

    • The Southern Lady says:

      Hi Diane, I don’t think you would have to soak the beans if making this in the crock pot but it may take longer to cook. Also, I have always heard adding baking soda would make the beans mushy. Hope this helps and you enjoy the recipe.

  2. Shirley Outen says:

    This recipe brings back so many fond memories. My mom used to cook large dried lima beans in this manner, but without garlic. She always made a fried “hoecake” to go with the beans and ham hock. I’m going to have to make this now and since I love garlic I will be adding it as well. Thanks for sharing all the great recipes.

  3. When adding limas to crock pot how much water do u use

    • The Southern Lady says:

      I would add enough to cover the beans at least or add more if you want more soup with your beans.

  4. Thanks for the salt tip. I wondered why mine took so long to cook!

  5. I’ve never eaten them over rice, just in a bowl with cornbread on the side. Think ill make these this week!

  6. Buy the big white limas (butter beans) not the small green ones.

  7. could you use chicken instead of ham?

  8. OK, I’ve never cooked lima beans; Northern, cranberry, and pinto I’m familiar with. When you soak lima beans prior to cooking, do they become quite mushy? Also, if you add them dry to the crockpot do they remain whole even after several hours of cooking? I know Northern beans don’t remain whole if soaked overnight and then cooked, which I why I only do the quick soak method with them. Pinto & cranberry are heartier and will stand up to soaking overnight.

  9. Would these large lima beans be the same type of bean my grandma used to call ‘butterbeans’?

    • Yes, a lot of people call them butterbeans.

      • I happened across a recipe in Southern Living last winter for butter beans. I was thinking lima….hmmmm…not a lot of interest here. However, there is a slight difference; I did some research. Lima, butter, calico, Madagascar, and sieva beans are all known as Phaseolus lunatusis. Lima beans are small and green whereas butter beans are large and yellow. I thought butter beans also had light-colored spots on them. (I have no idea what the others look like.) It’s no wonder most of us are confused when recipes call for a bean we have never heard of, yet it turns out it just has another name…or two.

      • Renee, there are also speckled butter beans as well as the large white/off white ones.
        They are also FABULOUS!

  10. I’m putting the ingredients on my shopping list. My health is not good and now that the weather is turning colder, crock pot recipes seem to be the way to go. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I love beans, rice and ham so I’m really looking forward to making this.

  11. Marie Crawford says:

    Made these for the hubby tonight. He went back for seconds. The only thing I did different was not put quite so much onion in it. Recipe is A+.

  12. Alan Ashworth says:

    These are also good if you use smoke sausage cocktail weenies instead of ham give them a good smoky flavor.That is a old firehouse recipe from years ago we would put thm on in the morning run calls while they cooked and ate at supper time.

  13. I am crazy about Dried Lima beans. Our family had a meal of lima beans …no ham.;;;just butter and a little canned milk after they had cooked down. She served them over drop biscuits…with a side dish or two. I could never could make them taste like hers so creamy and delicious…..later found she added a tablespoon of sugar too. Loved that meal.

  14. I have never heard your not suppose to add salt while cooking dried beans. Thanks for the tip!

  15. Thank you! I’ll be making this soon!

  16. Does the lid need to be tilted if using the crock pot method?

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