Summer Succotash

I don’t know why Sylvester always said “sufferin’ succotash!” because I sure don’t feel like I’m suffering when I’m eating it! Succotash may have started out as an inexpensive meal in the depression era, but it’s stuck around because it’s tasty and filling. There are many different versions of succotash, but most start with a base of sauteed corn and lima beans.

The succotash I made this week is a very light and fresh version. The lima beans and corn are just lightly cooked to allow their sweet, fresh flavor to shine through. Acidity from the fresh tomatoes and parsley keep the overall flavor light and fresh. The first time I had succotash it was a more “smothered” version. It had more butter and was cooked down with chicken stock until it was coated in a rich, flavorful “sauce.” That version was also incredible, but because it’s summer and I served this with fish, so I wanted to keep it light and fresh.

Frozen lima beans and corn are usually fairly inexpensive, but during the summer months you’re likely to find fresh corn for super cheap too. Often times I see corn on sale for 3/$1 or even 4/$1, making that the more economical (and delicious) choice! Simply cut the kernels from the cob and you’re good to go!

Summer Succotash

Summer Succotash

5 from 2 votes

Summer Succotash

Summer succotash is a bright and delicious combination of summer beans and vegetables.

Total Cost $5.53 recipe / $0.92 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 small yellow onion $0.60
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.20
  • 1 lb. frozen lima beans $1.49
  • 1 lb. frozen corn kernels $1.49
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.03
  • generous freshly cracked pepper $0.05
  • 1 tsp or to taste salt $0.05
  • 1 large tomato $1.03
  • handful fresh parsley, optional $0.43


  1. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cook both down in a large pot over medium heat with 2 Tbsp of butter until the onions are soft and transparent (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add the thawed lima beans and corn to the pot. Also add about a half teaspoon of salt, a generous amount of cracked pepper, and a half teaspoon of thyme. Sautee the vegetables just until tender and warmed through (about 10 minutes).
  3. While the lima beans and corn are sauteing, dice the tomato and roughly chop the parsley leaves.
  4. Once the lima beans and corn are tender, add the tomato and parsley. Season with more salt, pepper, and thyme to taste (I added about 3/4 tsp more salt). Serve warm.

Summer Succotash

Step By Step Photos

onion butter garlic
Begin by dicing the onion and mincing the garlic. Throw them into a large pot with 2 Tbsp of butter. Saute over medium heat.

saute onions
Saute them down until the onions are soft and transparent.

corn and lima beans
Add the corn and lima beans. It’s best if they are at least mostly thawed. If you’re using fresh corn, you may want to add it first and saute for a few minutes before adding the lima beans. Frozen vegetables are blanched before freezing which means they are ever so slightly cooked already. So, the fresh corn will take just a bit longer than frozen lima beans. If both are frozen, just toss them in together.

Season with a little bit of salt (you’ll add more later), pepper, and thyme. Saute this mixture until the lima beans and corn are tender and warmed through.

tomato parsley
While the pot is cooking, dice the tomato and roughly chop the parsley. Add them in only once you have the lima beans and corn cooked to your liking (I like mine still fairly fresh). Adding the tomato and parsley at the end keeps the flavors light and bright.

final seasoning
Once everything is stirred together, give it a taste and season it more with salt, pepper, and thyme if needed. I ended up using just over 1 tsp (total) of salt, but season it until it tastes right to you! Remember, start small because you can always add more but you can’t take any away ;)

succotash and fish
Add some fish, a cool glass of white wine, and you’ve got yourself a fancy-schmancy summer meal!