Food & Drinks

Christmas Lima Beans: An Easy Recipe For The Holidays

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Christmas Lima Beans: An Easy Recipe For The Holidays
Photo beckisue78/Instagram

Have you discovered the pleasure of dining on Christmas lima beans? Their rich texture, nutty flavor and beautiful patterned exterior makes these beans a luxurious addition to any meal, especially Christmas dinner.

What are Christmas Lima Beans?

Christmas lima beans are larger than regular lima beans. They are considered an heirloom variety and come in a variety of colors. Some beans are cream-colored with dark specks while others are reddish or a deep blue with beautiful white streaks. 

Christmas lima beans are also called chestnut lima beans and are pricier than regular beans, which makes them an ideal holiday treat.

How To Cook Christmas Lima Beans

Christmas lima beans are cooked in much the same way regular beans are prepared. They benefit from an overnight soak and are best simmered with aromatics such as garlic, onions and carrot for added flavor.

The best way to eat Christmas lima beans is to allow the cooked beans to sit overnight in a zesty vinaigrette. You can enjoy the beans as a salad or pair them with grains, vegetables or meats.

A Christmas Lima Beans Recipe You'll Love


2 cups of Christmas lima beans, picked over and rinsed
1 carrot, cut in half
1 onion, cut in half
1 shallot minced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch of Italian parsley
the zest and juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (more for serving)
salt and pepper

1. Place the beans in a large bowl, cover with water and soak overnight. The next day drain the beans, rinse and put them inside a large pot or pressure cooker. Add the onion, carrot, one garlic clove and about 10 sprigs of parsley. 

2. Cover with water and cook until tender, about 35 minutes on the stove top or about 12 minutes in an electric pressure cooker (with natural steam release).

3. Once they have softened salt the beans to taste and allow them to sit in the cooking liquid for 20 minutes. Reserve one cup of the cooking liquid and drain the beans.

4. Mince the remaining four garlic cloves and sauté them in extra virgin olive oil for five minutes. Add the beans and toss well.

5. Chop the remaining parsley and sprinkle over the beans. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with lemon zest and lemon juice. Toss well. Season to your liking with salt and pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least an hour before serving (or better yet allow the beans to sit in the fridge overnight). Drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil before serving.

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