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Southern Style Instant Pot Creamy Lima Beans. Vegan (VIDEO)

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

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It's another winter day in the South, although it doesn't feel like winter and occasionally it does get chilly, windy and wet. Even though our winters are typically mild, we all are looking forward to warmer and longer days. Each day that passes brings us closer to summer, and yes, temperature wise there isn't much of a spring season. From wearing a warm jacket to t-shirt is only about a day of transitioning. Funny but the truth is the boots you may wear early in the morning are easily replaced with sandals by the afternoon. Such is the life we live in the Lowcountry!

Beach season is quickly approaching and before you know it, bikini time is here. And we all need a healthy habit of eating to continue our active lives. Don't we?

beans and two spoons

And today I would love to share with you a recipe that is light, healthy and not less important, is super easy to make.

bowl of creamy lima beans

And today I would love to share with you a recipe that light, healthy and not less important super easy to make.


  • No chopping veggies!

  • No washing veggies!

  • No soaking beans!

  • No stove or oven in use!

Sounds like it's not my recipe, doesn't it?

Yes, the recipe came from a mom who is a mother to 6 beautiful and healthy children, and is my dear friend. And not only did she give me the recipe, which everyone absolutely loves, but she came to my kitchen and made it for you.

This dish is constantly a popular hit at our church potluck dinners and there are never any leftovers!

Tracy is a true Southern girl, born and raised. Her grandmother taught her the proper way to cook lima beans.

two ladies holding a bowl with a lima beans

Tracy is from true South girl, raise and born. Her grandmother thought her how to proper way cook lima beans.

beans over rice

This is the true Southern way of preparing fresh beans; cook them low and slow until the starch releases creating an amazing sauce. Cooked this way, these beans are creamy, full of flavor, delicious and can be served anyway you prefer.

Two years ago, I posted a similar recipe, in the form of salad but the lima beans were not cooked the Southern way. My recipe combined the lima beans with fresh picked tomatoes, red onions and dressed with an amazing gut healthy dressing.

bowl of salad and feta on a side


When I moved to the South, lima beans were one of the many things that were unfamiliar to me. I discovered that they were not quite a vegetable, not grain, and most definitely not burpy peas that my mom cooked. These beans live in a category that I initially couldn't identify. Decadent tiny green packages of creamy comfort wrapped in a sheath of tight but tender skin, butterbeans (or their immature version - lima beans) were one of the few things I fell in love with when I moved to the Lowcountry area.

Butter beans and lima beans come from the Phaseolus lunatus family. Both are delicious and are a healthy complex carbohydrate. Buying frozen lima beans is very convenient and available in most supermarkets throughout the country. Southerners prefer to call lima beans, butter beans, especially when they’re fresh. You might even hear some people call the smaller varieties baby limas.

Doesn't matter what you call them, baby - lima beans belong to the legume family, which include lentils, peanuts, chickpeas, beans and peas.


lima beans in a bowl and veggies

Like other legumes, butter beans are a great source of protein. They might not be on the top of the legume family list, but these beans are wonderful for many other reasons. They contain a great amount of folate acids (vitamin B9), which is important for pregnant women, as well as many other vitamins and minerals. Lima beans have a low glycemic index, which is excellent for everyone, especially for people who are diabetic. Fiber, soluble fiber is another benefit in which we prize these legumes. If you are reading my blogs on a regular basis, you have noticed that rich probiotics (fermented foods) is a priority in my diet. No matter how much we give our body good bacteria (probiotics in a food form of course), feeding your good guys with soluble fiber rich foods is crucial to promote great growth. Keep your gut healthy!


First and foremost, they are naturally so creamy and so soft, creating a pleasing taste experience to our pallets. There are three things that make lima beans irresistible:

  • The base that people of Cajun cuisine call the Holy Trinity (onion, celery and bell pepper).

  • The right seasoning: The key spice is Adobo seasoning, if you don't have it on hand, don't worry, make your own. It will be fresher than pre-made, and this way you will be confident there is no MSG or other mystery ingredients. Simply mix the following seasonings:


6 tablespoons pink salt

6 tablespoons garlic powder

4 tablespoons​ Mexican oregano

2 Tablespoons Italian oregano

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons​ turmeric

2 tablespoons onion powder

Pinch of smoke paprika

  • And last but not least is a great amount of good quality olive oil.

Let's make it...

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes

Author: Inna of

Serves: 8 people


Ingredients for Southern Style Instant Pot Creamy Lima Beans

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cups frozen seasoning blend (onion, celery, bell pepper)

24 oz. bag frozen lima beans

4 cups hot water (more if you prefer to eat like a soup)

Celtic Salt, freshly ground black pepper to the taste

1 teaspoon cumin powder (grind yourself for the best result)

1 Tablespoon Adobo seasoning (see note above)

1/2 teaspoon dried Italian oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

Serve with steamed rice and hot sauce (optional).

Directions for Southern Style Instant Pot Creamy Lima Beans

  • First start your instant pot on the sauté setting, add olive oil and veggies (onion, celery, bell pepper). Because veggies are frozen, they may take a minute or two before you notice the sauté action happening.

  • Cook and occasionally stir for 8 to 10 minutes. When the onion looks translucent, add spices. If you do not see any remaining oil, feel free to add more at this point, but this step is optional.

  • Add lima beans and water. Stir. Set your instant pot for the bean setting and cook for 30 minutes.

  • Open the instant pot, check your beans for seasoning, add salt and pepper if needed. Continue to cook on the sauté setting for another 10 minutes or so. The length of time depends on your liking: If you like thick lima beans, cook longer, and if you prefer them on the thinner side (like I do) more like soup, cook less. It's totally up to you.

  • Serve imminently over steamed rice, or by themselves.


two bowls and one wooden spoon

I hope you'll make this recipe soon. If you do, please tag me #innichka_chef on Instagram, Facebook, Patreon or Pinterest.

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