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 sauteed 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.
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.
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. 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.
- 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 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 tsp garlic salt (More or less to taste)
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp 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 Tbsp 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.