This Easy Southern Succotash is a down home vegetable filled side dish packed with freshness and flavor. Lima beans, fresh corn, and cherry tomatoes are sautéed in bacon drippings with fragrant seasonings, sweet Vidalia onion and red bell pepper. Succotash doesn't have to be served as a side dish, it can become the centerpiece of the meal when spooned over a piece of hot buttered cornbread or rice, making a hearty and budget friendly dish come to life.
Easy Southern Succotash
Succotash is one of those simple dishes often associated with garden season in the South. While it's roots aren't inherently Southern, variations featuring okra make it ours to enjoy. I've read that during the Great Depression succotash became popular as it was tummy filling and inexpensive to make. Funny enough, I love it for those very same reasons today. Typically, those who grow their own produce would begin this dish with home grown lima beans putting their gardening bounty to good use. For those of us who don't grow our own, frozen lima beans work like a charm.
Easy Succotash Variations
It's not unusual here in the South for there to be variations of succotash using other shelled beans or the addition of different types of bell pepper and vegetables such as fresh okra. Every recipe has slight adaptations based on the cook's preference or what you have on hand. If you prefer, fresh dill could be used in place of tarragon but. I personally love the flavor tarragon gives. As with every dish, this succotash has evolved in my kitchen through the years and this is how I prepare it for my family. I'm delighted to share it straight from my kitchen to yours. You may also like to try my Southern Style Creamed Corn or this Chicken Succotash Pot Pie from Betty Crocker.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Easy Southern Succotash
- 1 16 oz bag frozen Lima beans
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 medium sweet Vidalia onion diced
- ⅓ cup diced red bell pepper
- 3 cups fresh or frozen corn thawed
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt More or less to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- Cook the Lima beans in salted water per the package directions. Drain and set aside. (Reserve 1 cup cooking liquid)
- In a large skillet cook the bacon slices over medium-high until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain then chop. Reserve 3 tablespoon drippings freeze the rest.
- In the drippings, cook the onion and red pepper over medium-high for 2 minutes or until translucent and beginning to brown.
- To the skillet, add the Lima beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, vinegar, tarragon, garlic salt, black pepper, and reserved cooking liquid. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the corn is tender.
- Add butter and stir until melted.
- Mix-in chopped bacon and chives, serve immediately.
My husband asked for this dish so I saw your recipe and decided to make it. Needless to say, it was a real success.
The only changes I made were to the seasonings. Instead of one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar I added three more. I did add some parsley about 2 tablespoons full. We both loved it and this will become a great side dish.
Outstanding and easy to make. Delicious.
Thanks so much!
This looks and sounds delicious, Melissa!!! Could this be made the day before and served at room/outdoor temperature for a picnic lunch? I would reserve the bacon to be added before serving (for crispiness and to accommodate vegetarians).
Also, we are feeding a few vegan/vegetarians in the group and would want to replace the bacon drippings and butter. Any suggestions? Thank you, Melissa!! Can't wait to try it . . .
Hi Mary Beth, this could be made in advance and warmed before serving. It doesn't have to be piping hot, no. Absolutely, fry the bacon and serve it on the side and cook the succotash with butter, it will be delicious. Enjoy!
Fantastic, Melissa—thank you!! Yummmmmmm . . . Intent on introducing Northerners to the fine art of succotash. Your version is sure to please!!
My husband asked for a succotash recipe and I had never made one but really love this recipe!! I substituted red pepper instead of tomatoes, omitted the onion, and added jalapenos but it was perfect!! We are a picky household 🙂 Will definitely make again.
Wonderful, thanks so much!
Pretty much followed your receipt except. Instead of cherry tomatoes, I diced up 2 large ones from my garden. Also used 4 ears of fresh corn & 2 cans of Lima beans. Since corn was raw I added that into to pot right behind onions, sautéed then 15 minutes to cook, then added Lima, tomatoes & other ingredients. Simmered 15 minutes low heat with cover on. Came out great.
Can't beat garden fresh veggies!
Melissa, I am making this for dinner guests tonight......I would like to make it earlier in the day and reheat it. Do you think it would still be tasty?
Yes, no problem at all.
Hi, i’m born, raised and live in the Netherlands, Europe but if i was born in America it should have been in the southern part of it! I’m sure of it cos i really, really loooooove your recipes! They’re always a hit on my diner table. I really love southern fonds but unfortunatelly not all ingredients are available here. And that’s not easy to get the right flavour of things. But that has nothing to do with your recipes.
So from a wet and windy Netherland, thank you for your delicious recipes.
Hi Marja, consider yourself an adopted Southerner. I'm thrilled you're finding some dishes to enjoy and I might add that I've visited Amsterdam myself several times and LOVE it. Thanks so much for stopping by my kitchen visit anytime.
Can't wait to try your Easy Southern Succotash!!
Your recipes are always a hit at our table!
Hi Eva, thank you!!