This Southern Succotash is a bright and fresh combination of corn and lima beans with sweet cherry tomatoes, okra, and jalapenos for a little spicy kick. Add some salty, savory bacon and some fresh herbs, and you have a crowd-pleasing favorite.
This Southern Succotash recipe has it all, with fresh, sweet corn, traditional lima beans, and bright cherry tomatoes. Plus some extras including jalapenos for a little spice, bacon for a little extra salty and savory, lime juice, and fresh basil.
Many succotash recipes call for cream for richness, but will turn the vegetables dull or gray as a result.. In this recipe cream is replaced with butter, which adds the same richness while keeping the vegetables bright and colorful.
It is a beautiful summer side dish that can (and should!) be made all year round (with the help of some frozen veggies, of course!).
What IS Succotash?
Succotash is an American dish that was originally introduced to us by the indigenous people of northeast America in the 17th century. It has since been anglicized, into different popular versions known today.
What's In Southern Succotash?
The two main ingredients found in succotash are corn and lima beans. Other vegetables such as bell pepper and tomtaoes, as well as meats such as corned beef or salted pork are often added depending on region.
In the southern succotash recipe I'm sharing today, there are the traditional corn and lima beans as well as jalapeno, cherry tomatoes, and okra. You can also add in your own fresh or frozen vegetables to this recipe that you'd like to use up such as bell peppers or zucchini.
Fresh vs. Frozen Okra
In all honesty, this recipe is better with fresh okra. However, here in the Midwest, I have a very difficult time finding fresh okra for most of the year. If you can find fresh okra, absolutely use it! I'll include directions in the recipe notes as well, but you'll want to use 1-2 young okra, sliced. Then add it with the onion and garlic, which will allow for a longer cook time. When the succotash is done, the okra should be soft, but not mushy.
Otherwise, you can use frozen okra (which, fair warning, can often have a slimy texture), or omit it. For frozen okra, add with the corn and lima beans for a shorter cook time.
What to Serve with Southern Succotash
Serve this southern succotash as a side dish to your favorite protein such as grilled or baked chicken or pork. Some of our favorites are this oven fried chicken or some smoked sausage or kielbasa.
You can also serve this succotash as the focal point of your meal over buttered southern cornbread.
More Southern Favorite Recipes You'll Love
- Creamy Southern Coleslaw - creamy simple southern classic made with fresh cabbage and carrots and creamy, sweet and zesty dressing.
- Best Southern Potato Salad - the best potato salad ever with all of the fixings.
- Southern Buttermilk Biscuits - soft, buttery, flaky, and mile high.
- Southern Deviled Eggs - classic deviled egg with just a hint of sweet tanginess
- Southern Oven Fried Chicken - a great main dish to go with this delicious side!
Southern Succotash Video
- ¼ pound sliced bacon
- 1 small sweet onion diced
- 1-2 okra sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 4 ears corn kernels cut off and cobs discarded (about 2-3 cups)
- 1 large fresh jalapeno seeded and finely chopped
- 1 package frozen lima beans (10 ounces)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 3 tablespoons butter
- Juice from 1 lime about 2 tablespoons
- ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives for garnish
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon in hot skillet until crisp, turning once. Transfer bacon to paper towels, leaving drippings in the pan. When cool enough to handle, crumble bacon and set aside.
- To the large skillet with drippings, add onion, okra, and garlic. Cook until onions are tender, about 4 minutes.
- Stir in corn, lima beans, jalapeno, and cherry tomatoes. Cook, stirring often until heated through, and corn is tender and bright yellow.
- Add butter and lime juice. Stir until butter is melted. Remove from heat.
- Stir in basil and salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and chives. Serve immediately.
- This recipe is naturally gluten free. To make dairy free, use olive oil instead of butter.
- Corn: This recipe calls for fresh corn (my preference when it’s in season). You can also use frozen or canned corn.
- Lima Beans: If you can get fresh lima beans from the farmer’s market, that’s great, but I’ve used frozen before and they work well too. Just be sure they’re already cooked for use in this succotash recipe. You can also substitute butter beans instead of lima beans.
- Okra: You can use fresh or frozen okra (although fresh is preferred. See notes in article). You can also omit if you have difficulty finding it.
- Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerators for up to 3-5 days. Reheat in a skillet or in the microwave.
- Freezer Directions: To freeze, allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze for up to 3-6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a skillet. The texture may be slightly softer upon thawing.
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