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This classic Succotash recipe is a great way to infuse vegetables into any meal! It’s a healthy side dish with a long history.


Here’s a delicious veggie-packed dish with a long history: Succotash! Did you know this traditional pairing of corn and beans originated with the native Narragansett people in New England? (We didn’t.) While you might associate it with Southern American cooking, it’s even older than that. It’s a great way to infuse a colorful dose of veggies into any meal: an ideal healthy side dish! Here’s our spin on this classic and how to add it to your mealtime repertoire.

What is succotash?

Succotash is a dish of corn, lima beans and other vegetables that was introduced to American colonists by native Americans in the 1600’s. The Narragansett people in New England ate this dish featuring the “three sisters” or three crops that thrive and grow together: corn, beans, and squash. The colonists put their own spin on this dish, and Americans have been riffing on it ever since.

Succotash is most often associated with Southern cooking, but it’s served all over the US. Every cook has their own spin, like any great recipe from mac and cheese to potato salad! Often you’ll see tomatoes, peppers, onion, okra, or bacon in the dish.

Succotash recipe

Ingredients in a succotash recipe

What ingredients are in succotash? To achieve the name, corn and lima beans must be present. With those, you’ll see all sorts of other ingredients: tomatoes, onion, peppers, zucchini, okra, and often bacon or pork. This spin is a vegetarian succotash, and we’ve amped up the flavorings to get a deliciously savory flavorings evenly distributed throughout. Here’s what you’ll need for this succotash recipe:

  • Onion
  • Corn
  • Lima beans
  • Red pepper
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Seasonings: garlic powder, smoked paprika, sage, parsley, salt and pepper
  • Butter and olive oil, for cooking

Use fresh or frozen veggies

This succotash recipe is so quick and easy using frozen corn and lima beans! Contrary to what you might think, eating frozen veggies are just as nutritious as fresh. So stock up on some frozen corn and lima beans, for any time you need a delicious veggie-packed side dish!

If it’s corn season, succotash is incredibly flavorful with fresh corn! You can cut it off the cob and then use it fresh right in this recipe with the same cook time.


A great option as a healthy side dish

Succotash is a side dish rounds out nearly any meal! It has lots of colorful vegetables and plant-based protein. The lima beans infuse 30 grams of protein into the recipe, and one bell pepper has 350% of your daily Vitamin C. We love adding this to any plate…because not only is it full of nutrients: it’s absolutely delicious!

Ways to serve this succotash recipe

This succotash recipe goes with virtually any dish, from vegetarian mains to seafood. Here are some favorite ways to pair it:


This succotash recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Easy Succotash

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x


This classic Succotash recipe is a great way to infuse vegetables into any meal! It’s a healthy side dish with a long history.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, minced
  • 4 cups frozen corn (or fresh corn cut off the cob)
  • 2 cups frozen lima beans
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter (or olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, optional


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes, until translucent.
  2. Add the corn, beans, red pepper, tomatoes, garlic powder,  smoked paprika, dried sage, salt, and the fresh ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until all vegetables are tender and nearly cooked, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Stir in the salted butter and parsley (if using) and cook 1 minute more, until the butter is melted. Taste and add the additional salt if desired. Serve warm.


This is the cast iron pan we use.

  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Succotash, Succotash recipe, what is succotash

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. This looks like a great recipe – but how can it be Vegan if it uses salted butter? I’m not a vegan, but I am curious.

  2. It was wonderful to read your recipe. My in-laws made it every summer with all fresh ingredients out of their garden.
    The next couple of days I will cook Succotash with frozen vegetables.
    An easy way to cook delicious veggies.
    Thank you very much, Angie L

  3. Nutrients are useless without the size of a “serving”. Cup or fraction thereof; ounces or grams. Jeez, it’s the 21st century. People have been counting calories forever and, now, carbs.

  4. I plan to make this because it looks and sounds delicious. I do have a couple of questions, though. Are the lima beans and corn supposed to be put in frozen or thawed. Do the lima beans get cooked at all ahead of time? Thank you for your help!

  5. I love your succotash recipe. I’ve made it a couple times. It’s not too heavy and the seasonings are just right, they really enhance the dish!

  6. Looks interesting! I’m curious about the history of this dish – what was the third “sister”?