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Lemon-Garlic Lima Beans

When I was growing up on Cyprus, my mother would often make this side dish to have with roast lamb. Although I hated lima beans when I was a kid (who didn't?), I love them now. They always remind me of home. —Paris Paraskeva, San Francisco, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. + soaking Cook: 1-1/4 hours
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 pound dried lima beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Additional chopped fresh parsley


  • Rinse and sort beans; soak according to package directions. Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid.
  • Place beans in a large saucepan; add bay leaves and water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until beans are tender, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. Drain.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add next 6 ingredients. Stir in drained beans and remaining oil; toss to combine. Sprinkle with additional parsley.

Test Kitchen tips
  • Eat these as a warm salad, or pulse them in a food processor for a hummus-style dip.
  • Electric Pressure Cooker Option: Rinse and sort beans; place in a large bowl. Add 2 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt; stir to combine. Soak, covered, at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid. Transfer to a 6-qt. electric pressure cooker. Add enough water to cover and 1 teaspoon canola oil. Lock lid in place; make sure vent is closed. Select manual; adjust pressure to low, and set time to 8 minutes. When finished cooking, allow pressure to naturally release for 5 minutes, and then quick-release remaining pressure according to manufacturer's directions. Drain and proceed as directed.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1/2 cup: 326 calories, 8g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 209mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 16g fiber), 16g protein.

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    Average Rating:
    • 10282
      Oct 9, 2020

      Lima beans are more than just related to butter beans, they are the same thing! In the South, lima beans are often called butter beans and in the UK they almost exclusively refer to them as butter beans. ... Lima beans can be consumed in both their immature stage (fresh and green) as well as their mature (dried and beige)

    • justmbeth
      Aug 24, 2020

      Great lima bean recipe. Have to plan ahead but flavor is worth it.

    • Edna
      Aug 12, 2020

      Lima beans are green. Period. Whereas i am not familiar with butter beans, they are not the same bean as mentioned in earlier reviewm

    • Diana
      May 7, 2020

      Fasolia majnoun! I love this dish, and is full of memories of Beirut. ? @bayarearob? Lima beans ARE butter beans. Check your facts before you mansplain, friend. ??

    • BayAreaRob
      Apr 14, 2020

      Looks good but those are not lima beans. Those are butterbeans. Lima beans are green.

    • Naomie
      Oct 16, 2018

      Oh yum! Almost identical as to what my Austrian mom used to make. I love lima beans, even when I was a kid. Thanks for sharing this delicious side dish, hopefully others will try and enjoy them too.

    • Beema
      Nov 10, 2017

      There being only two of us, I didn't want to make the full recipe for six, so I used a package of frozen lima beans in place of the dried beans. and cut the remainder of the ingredients in half. Absolutely delicious. A nice change to an old favorite.

    • kimspacc
      Nov 8, 2017

      Delicious dressing. I loved the lemon-herb combination.