This Sweet Corn Succotash recipe is vibrant, bursting with fresh flavor and only requires 8 easy-to-find ingredients along with a few pantry staples! This savory side dish is overflowing with buttery corn, tender lima beans, crispy bacon, sweet peppers, juicy tomatoes, fresh herbs and flavorful seasonings! This crowd-pleasing favorite is the perfect combination of beautiful colors and bright, delicious flavors! Plus, it’s totally flexible – you can make this Southern succotash with fresh or frozen vegetables and easily customize it with whatever produce you love! And, you can serve it as a warm side dish or a cold salad!
Continue to read on for simple tips and tricks for preparing the best succotash! Plus, unique ideas for serving it! And, don’t miss the comprehensive step-by-step photographs showing you exactly how easy it is to make this classic dish at home!
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Sweet corn succotash: overview
This Southern Succotash is bright, fresh, vibrant and brimming with buttery corn, creamy lima beans, salty bacon, sweet bell peppers, juicy tomatoes, fresh herbs and aromatic seasonings! The flavors and textures in this vegetable salad or side dish are everything you could hope for! It’s light, yet filling and bursting with creamy, crispy, juicy, salty, savory, slightly sweet and bright elements. And, it’s all built around super fresh ingredients!
You can serve this recipe one of two ways – as a warm side or as a cold salad! If you are looking for a warm, hearty side dish, you can go all out and melt a few pats of butter into the succotash for a touch of beautifully rich flavor. Or, if you are looking for a veggie-centric salad, you can garnish this succotash with a healthy sprinkling of crumbled cheese (think feta or goat cheese) and plenty of creamy avocado!
And, did I mention this recipe is super easy to prepare (just one pan!) and totally customizable!? You can use fresh or frozen corn depending upon the season, substitute the lima beans for your favorite beans, and throw in whatever produce you love (or whatever’s in season)! Hooray!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Celebrates summer’s bounty! Fresh, homemade succotash is the perfect way to celebrate the abundance of delicious, fresh summer produce!
- Flavorful! This corn and lima bean dish is perfectly flavorful – it’s fresh, bright, savory, slightly sweet and 100% delicious!
- Easy to find ingredients: This colorful dish is made with just 8 easy-to-find ingredients, along with a few pantry staples! Plus, you can use fresh or frozen vegetables depending upon the season!
- Simple and fast to make! This straightforward recipe can be ready in 40 minutes or less!
- Customizable! You can completely customize this flexible recipe! Feel free to throw in your favorite produce or any vegetables you have hanging out in the refrigerator!
- Versatile! Succotash pairs well with a wide variety of dishes! Plus, you can use it as an ingredient in omelets, salads, soups, burritos and more!!
- Crowd Pleaser! Everyone loves this colorful dish! Even people who think they hate lima beans fall in love with this flavorful succotash!
What is succotash?
Succotash, pronounced suh-kuh-tash, is a vegetable dish featuring sweet corn cooked with lima beans. The succotash we know today is actually an adaptation of Native American vegetable stew. Today, succotash is a flexible dish and it can contain a wide variety of vegetables. You will often see tomatoes, bell peppers, okra and onions added to this dish. However, to be considered succotash, it must contain, at the very least, corn and beans as prominent ingredients.
This succotash recipe includes corn, lima beans, peppers, onions, tomatoes and a small amount of bacon.
What is the origin of succotash?
Succotash has deep Native American roots originating in Northeast America. The name succotash comes from the Narragansett Native American word ‘sohquttahhash’ which means “broken corn kernels”.
Corn and beans were core crops and a foundation in many Native American diets. In the 1600’s, the Native Americans taught the Pilgrims how to prepare succotash in order to help them survive. And, as time went on, succotash became a popular dish that spread across America – with regional communities each lending their own interpretation and variation to the dish.
What is corn succotash made of?
This southern succotash is a colorful, simple dish made with corn, lima beans, cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers, red onion, flavorful seasonings and fresh herbs! (Please see below for substitutions and variations!)
Ingredients in succotash recipe
- Bacon (optional): You need 8 ounces of bacon for this recipe. I recommend cutting your bacon into larger 1/2-inch pieces or strips. (See substitutions below for vegetarian option!)
- Bell Pepper: A fresh red bell pepper adds a delicious, slightly sweet flavor! You can use green, orange or yellow peppers if you would like!
- Onion: Red onion provides a mild, yet bright onion flavor and beautiful pops of color!
- Seasonings: A combination of ground cumin, cayenne pepper, kosher salt and ground black pepper all provide a depth of flavor!
- Garlic: Two cloves of fresh garlic provide a distinctive, yet subtle punchy taste! Make sure you use fresh garlic and not the pre-minced variety sold in a jar.
- Corn: You will need 4 cups of corn to prepare this recipe. You can use fresh corn on the cob or frozen corn kernels, depending upon the season!
- Beans: Baby lima beans provide the most delicious creamy texture that perfectly complements juicy corn! I use frozen-fresh beans for ease and convenience.
- Vinegar: A touch of apple cider vinegar adds a layer of complexity and enhances all the flavors.
- Tomatoes: One cup of cherry tomatoes adds juicy pops of bright, sweet, concentrated tomato flavor! You can substitute Grape or Roma tomatoes if you prefer!
- Herbs: A combination of fresh basil and green onions add a ton of bright, earthy, fresh flavor that really brings this succotash to life!
All the ingredients below are completely optional; however, if you are looking for the most flavor, they are highly recommended! You will use the below ingredients depending upon how you are serving your homemade succotash – warm (butter) or cold (cheese)!
- Butter: If you want to serve your succotash warm, I recommend adding a couple pats of butter to your succotash just before serving! Butter provides the perfect touch of rich flavor!
- Cheese: If you prefer to serve your succotash cold, as a salad, I recommend garnishing the dish with a healthy scattering of feta or goat cheese! Either cheese will add the perfect tough of creamy, rich flavor!
This corn and lima bean recipe is extremely flexible! Feel free to omit any ingredients you don’t have and substitute them for ones you love!
- Vegetarian Option: If you want to make this a vegetarian succotash, simply omit the bacon and use 2 tablespoons of good-quality olive oil to sauté the peppers and onions.
- Lima Beans: You can swap out the lima beans for your favorite bean. The following beans all work great: edamame, red kidney, Fava, borlotti and even black-eyed peas!
- Peppers: Want to add a layer of smoky flavor? Try substituting some or all of the red bell peppers for poblano peppers!
- Onion: If you are looking for a milder onion flavor, you can swap the red onion for sweet onion or shallots instead!
This southern succotash is incredibly easy to customize! Plus, it’s a great way to use up your farmer’s market haul or any produce you have hanging around the kitchen! Feel free to add whatever vegetables, seasonings or fresh herbs your family loves!
- Zucchini or Squash: Fresh zucchini or summer squash are popular additions to succotash! If
- Okra: If you are looking to make a creole succotash, okra is a classic addition! Okra will add a mild, grassy flavor.
- Avocado: If you are looking to add a super creamy element, try using diced avocado as a garnish!
- Jalapeños: If you like your succotash with a bit of spicy heat, try adding in finely chopped or raw jalapeños!
- Seafood: If you are a seafood lover, you can add chopped cooked shrimp or lobster meat to succotash (add it in step 4 of the recipe)!
- Heavy Cream: If you prefer creamy succotash, you can stir in 1/3 to 1/2 cup of heavy cream along with the vinegar in step 4 of the recipe!
How to make succotash at home?
This humble, yet delicious dish is incredibly simple to make! This recipe can be prepped, ready and on the table in 40 minutes or less!
- Cook bacon (Optional): Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Use a slotted-spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- Add the pepper, onions + garlic: Reduce the heat to medium and add the bell peppers, onions and seasonings. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft. After that, add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the corn + lima beans: Add the corn and lima beans to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender.
- The next step will depend upon how you want to serve your succotash – warm or cold.
- SERVING WARM – Add the butter + vinegar: Add the butter and vinegar to the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the butter melts. Remove from heat and proceed directly to the next step.
- SERVING COLD – Add the vinegar: Turn off the heat and add the vinegar to the pan. Stir the succotash to combine. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes before proceeding to next step.
- Add tomatoes + fresh herbs: Add all of the cherry tomatoes, along with half the basil and half the green onions. Gently stir to combine.
- Garnish and Serve: Top the succotash with the crispy bacon and the remaining fresh herbs (basil and green onions). Serve and enjoy!
How to make it: step-by-step photos
(Don’t forget to scroll down for the detailed instructions in the complete printable recipe at the bottom of the page.)
Succotash recipe: FAQ
Frozen or fresh corn to make succotash?
You can use fresh or frozen corn to make succotash at home, depending upon what is readily available at the market!
- Fresh corn: Use a sharp knife to slice the kernels off of the cob before preparing succotash.
- Frozen corn: Thaw the corn under cool running water and drain well before using in the recipe.
Do you serve succotash warm or cold?
You can serve corn succotash warm or cold, depending upon your preference!
- Serving warm: If you are serving succotash warm, I recommend melting a few pats of butter in the succotash just before serving for a luxurious, buttery, rich finishing touch.
- Serving cold: If you prefer to serve succotash cold as a vegetable salad, I recommend sprinkling a bit of cheese, such as feta, goat or parmesan, over the dish just before serving!
Is corn succotash healthy?
Homemade succotash is a hearty vegetable dish made with fresh ingredients! It’s low in sodium and low in unhealthy fats, plus it’s a good source of potassium, vitamins and antioxidants!
How many calories and carbohydrates?
The exact number of calories and carbohydrates will depend upon the precise measurement and ingredients you use. This recipe serves six and has approximately 196 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving.
Is it keto?
Since corn succotash is a starchy dish is is not keto-friendly.
Are you looking for delicious, exciting ways to serve your succotash? Below are a few of my family’s favorite ways to enjoy this recipe!
What to serve with succotash?
Succotash is an incredibly versatile dish that can be served as a light main or as a vegetable side dish! This dish pairs well with a wide variety of mains and sides! It goes perfectly with everything from grilled meats, fish and seafood to burgers, roast chicken, sandwiches and ribs!
Chef serving recommendation: Try pairing this corn and lima bean recipe with Chicken in Beer, Pulled Pork, Slow Cooker Brisket or Ultimate Black Bean Burgers for a hearty meal the entire family will love!
16 delicious dishes to serve with sweet corn succotash
- Bread: A big ‘ole bowl of succotash and a few slices of crusty artisan bread make a wonderful quick and easy lunch.
- Fruit: Keep things light and healthy with fresh fruit, fruit parfaits, or vibrant fruit salads. My family loves berries, cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew!
- Bacon: Double up on the bacon and serve your corn dish with maple candy bacon for a meaty delight.
- Coleslaw: Crisp coleslaws pair perfectly with this vegetable dish.
- Soup: Summer soups are a great pairing option if you are looking to keep things light! My family loves pairing gazpacho or spring minestrone with this lima bean salad.
- Italian Salad: A hearty, meaty Italian salad is a great option if you are looking for a hearty side dish.
- Broccoli Salad: A crunchy broccoli salad perfectly contrasts and complements creamy succotash.
- Potato Salad: If you are planning a picnic, potato salad and cold succotash salad are fantastic side options.
- Pasta Salad: Opposites attract – try pairing hot dish succotash with cold pasta salad.
- Sandwiches and Paninis: Finger sandwiches or warm paninis make a quick and easy pairing option.
- Hot Dogs: Hot dogs or chili dogs are a must if you are planning a BBQ.
- Ribs: Saucy, tender ribs pair perfectly with this vegetable side dish.
- Pork: Melt-in-your-mouth easy pulled pork is a classic summer dish that pairs brilliantly with corn and lima beans.
- Grilled Meats: Succotash is the perfect light pairing option for steaks and burgers.
- Chicken: Your favorite chicken recipe (think grilled breasts and thighs or kebabs and chicken sausages) goes great with succotash.
- Seafood and Fish: Try grilling your favorite fish or poaching seafood for a light, yet hearty dinner.
- Meatloaf: Have a southern-style dinner by pairing it with classic meatloaf and cheddar bacon deviled eggs.
Unique serving suggestions for succotash
Most people think of this corn and lima bean dish as side; however, you can also use it as an ingredient to create a new recipe or dish!
9 ways to use succotash
- Omelet: Add a few scoops of succotash to your next omelet!
- Frittata: If you prefer a more hands-off approach to breakfast, try adding succotash to your egg frittata!
- Dip: Try serving this lima bean dish as a cold dip with plenty of salty, crunchy chip!
- Soup: Make a quick and easy soup by using succotash as the vegetable component!
- Salad: Spruce up your next salad by tossing in some corn and lima beans!
- Grain Bowls: Top your favorite grain bowl with this vegetable dish along with your favorite protein and toppings!
- Nachos: Do you load your nachos up with plenty of veggies? Save yourself some time and try using succotash as a nacho topping!
- Burgers: Try using this dish as a relish (topping) for your burgers!
- Burritos: Give you next burrito a southern spin by using succotash as a filling!
- Quesadillas: Prefer crispy quesadillas over burritos? Succotash makes a great filling for those too!
Tips for storing this corn and lima bean recipe
Follow the simple tips below to ensure you are properly storing, freezing and reheating your leftovers!
Can I prepare this in advance?
This corn succotash recipe can easily be prepared in advance! The vegetables can be chopped, and the bacon can be cooked up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated.
- Veggies: Place the peppers, onions and garlic together in a storage bag or container, and the corn and lima beans together in a separate bag.
- Bacon: Store the crisped bacon in a separate container.
- Herbs: Make sure you wait to slice the fresh herbs until just before serving!
How to store succotash?
This sweet corn side dish stores beautifully, making it perfect to have on hand for easy lunches!
To store, first allow the succotash to cool completely to room temperature. Next, transfer the cool leftovers to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Can you freeze this dish?
You can absolutely freeze leftover succotash! However, you will need to make a few minor adjustments to the dish.
- Undercook it: To protect the texture, I recommend undercooking succotash if you plan of freezing it. Undercooking the vegetables will prevent them from becoming mushy when upon thawing and reheating.
- Store the bacon separately: Transfer the crispy bacon to a freezer-safe zip-closure bag and store it separately in the freezer.
- Hold the fresh herbs: Do not add the fresh herbs until serving the succotash.
To freeze succotash: After making the alterations above to the recipe, allow the succotash to cool completely to room temperature. Transfer the dish to a freezer-safe airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Join me in celebrating the best of summer with this easy, crowd-pleasing recipe!
More summer corn recipes!
If you love this Southern succotash, try one of these delicious recipes next:
- Roasted Chili Corn Salsa (Chipotle Copycat!)
- Mexican Avocado Corn Salad
- Corn BLT Salad recipe
- Easy Chicken Corn Chowder
The best Succotash recipe 👇
Corn Succotash Recipe
- Large, Straight-Sided Skillet
- 6-8 slices Bacon – cut into ½’’ pieces (about 6-8 ounces) (SEE NOTES for vegetarian option)
- 1 medium Red Bell Pepper – seeded & small dice (about ¾ cup)
- ½ medium Red Onion – small dice (about 1 heaping cup)
- ½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
- ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper - to taste
- 2 cloves Garlic – finely chopped
- 4 Ears Corn – shucked & kernels cut from cob (or 4 cups frozen corn kernels) (SEE NOTES)
- 2 ½ cups Fresh-Frozen Baby Lima Beans - thawed (about 10 ounces) (SEE NOTES)
- 2 TBS Butter – cut into small cubes (OPTIONAL – IF SERVING WARM ONLY!)
- 2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes - halved (about 6 ounces)
- ¼ Cup packed Fresh Basil – thinly sliced & DIVIDED
- ¼ Cup Green Onions – thinly sliced & DIVIDED
- Cook bacon: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp and the fat renders, about 8-10 minutes. Use a slotted-spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan.
- Add the pepper, onions + garlic: Reduce the heat to medium and add the bell peppers and onions. Season cumin and cayenne, along with 1 ¾ teaspoons of salt and a ¾ teaspoon of black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the corn + lima beans: Add the corn and lima beans to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just heated through and just tender, about 6-7 minutes.
- IF SERVING WARM - Add the butter + vinegar: Add the butter and vinegar; and cook, gently stirring constantly until the butter is melted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and proceed directly to the next step.IF SERVING COLD - Add the vinegar: Turn off the heat and add the vinegar to the pan. Gently stir the succotash to combine. Remove from heat. Let cool for 10 minutes before proceeding to next step.
- Add tomatoes + fresh herbs: Add all of the cherry tomatoes, along with half the basil and half the green onions. Gently stir to combine.
- Garnish and Serve: Top the succotash with the crispy bacon and the remaining fresh herbs (basil and green onions). Taste and adjust for seasoning and vinegar before serving. Serve and enjoy!
- Vegetarian option: Omit the bacon and skip step 1 of the recipe. Use 2 tablespoons of good-quality olive oil to sauté the vegetables in step 2.
- If using frozen vegetables: You will need to lightly thaw the frozen vegetables before proceeding with the recipe. To thaw frozen veggies: Place the vegetables in a colander and gently rinse for 1 minute with cool water. Let the vegetables drain and continue to thaw at room temperature while you prep the rest of the ingredients. Drain the vegetables well before using!
- Serving: You can serve this succotash as a warm side dish or as a cold salad! If serving warm, I recommend adding a few pats of butter to the pan for a touch of luxurious, rich flavor (see step 4). If you are serving it cold, I love to add crumbled feta or goat cheese along with some avocado just before serving for a bit of creamy, rich flavor!
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