As a plant-based eater, I thought I was well-versed in the bean department. But out of all the kinds that make their way onto my plate on a regular basis, the “butter bean” is one I had never heard of.
As it turns out, butter bean is just another name for the nutrient-dense Lima bean—one that’s more common in the southern United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, among other places. The flat, cream-colored beans get the nickname from their soft, buttery texture, which makes them a great choice to use in dips and veggie burger patties. High in protein and fiber, butter beans contain more potassium than bananas and they’re a great source of iron.
Canned butter beans are also really inexpensive: You can get a 16 oz can for less than $1. After you stock up, here are some of the best butter bean recipes.
Creative and delicious butter bean recipes
The next time you want to make a warm and savory side dish, try this recipe that’s loaded with butter beans, cauliflower, garlic, and pesto.
Aside from butter beans, this stew also uses red onions, garlic, and tomatoes. “It’s so great to make a big batch ahead of the week,” said Rachel Ama, a vegan recipe creator and author of Rachel Ama’s Vegan Eats. “Store it in the fridge and you’re good to go.”
Get the recipe: Butterbean stew
Get the recipe: Butter bean and coconut curry
Chickpeas aren’t the only legume that can be turned into a creamy dip. Butter beans can too, and this flavor-packed sun-dried tomato version is proof. It also contains 6 grams of protein per serving.
Get the recipe: Butter bean dip with sun-dried tomatoes
Mashed potatoes… or mashed butter beans? This version is creamy, healthy, and filled with protein.
Get the recipe: Butter bean mash
These burgers are super-simple and affordable to make. After blending up a handful of ingredients—including butter beans, onion, coconut oil, and tomato purée—in a food processor, you can bake them, grill them, or make them on the stovetop.
Get the recipe: Butter bean burger
Butter beans and mushrooms are the stars of this mouth-watering casserole that belongs on every weeknight dinner line-up.
Get the recipe: Casserole with butter beans and mushrooms
Next, whip up these black bean brownies for dessert:
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