This simple Corn Succotash is made with fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob, and frozen lima beans or edamame. This veggie and bean sauté is a simple, colorful, and delicious 20-minute side dish to enjoy with a weeknight meal.
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What is Succotash?
Succotash is one of those dishes that feels like it’s been around forever, right? We had it as kids (and most of us hated it), and as we learned to cook and season our food, this simple vegetable stew became a staple side dish for most of us. Many think of succotash as a southern dish, but I think most people will be surprised to find its origins date all the way back to 17th-century Native Americans!
When Europeans immigrated to North America, the Native Americans introduced a meal comprised of three new ingredients that the colonists had never heard of: corn, beans, and squash. Succotash evolved based on which ingredients were available seasonally, but the base has remained relatively the same to this day! Different families have their favorite recipes though, and I’m excited to share my version of Simple Corn Succotash with you today!
Why We Love This Simple Side Dish
Recipes featuring sweet corn are on constant rotation through the summer months: From Grilled Corn On The Cob to Corn Chowder. I am always prepping it in one way or another! So it is no surprise that Succotash is a classic side dish in my family at this time of year!
Whether you’re bringing this dish to a family barbecue or enjoying it as a side for your weeknight dinner, corn succotash is simple to whip up and will feed a hungry crowd!
Ingredients for Succotash
I use shucked sweet corn for this recipe, but if you don’t have fresh corn available you can use thawed frozen corn.
Onion is one of the most essential ingredients in my kitchen and I wouldn’t have it any other way. For this succotash, you’ll want to use diced sweet onions because they are naturally sweet and a classic in southern cooking. Look for Vidalia or Oso sweets.
Lima Beans or Edamame
Look for 12-ounce bags in the freezer section. Before cooking, you’ll want to defrost them. You can let them defrost overnight in the fridge, in the microwave, or in a sieve under running water. Edamame isn’t in the traditional recipe, but it’s more of a healthy option and it’s widely available. It’ll provide the same shape and cheerful green hue but has a pleasant firm texture.
Adding bell pepper adds nutrition to your succotash as well as an additional bright color to your summer dish.
Butter and Olive Oil
Butter is the traditional ingredient for succotash, but we cut it with a little bit of olive oil to make it healthier. Be sure to save some of the butter so you can stir it in at the end and make it creamy.
We use fresh oregano at the end to preserve the flavor, but if you want to substitute dried oregano, you can use 1 teaspoon and add it in with the pepper and corn. Additional seasonings include fresh garlic, salt, and pepper.
Step By Step Instructions to Make This Recipe
Step 1: Soften Onions and Add Seasonings
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat, and add onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion begins to turn translucent.
Step 2: Stir in Corn and Bell Pepper
Add the corn and bell pepper to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes.
Step 3: Stir in Lima Beans or Edamame
Stir in the lima beans or edamame until they are heated through for 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
Step 4: Remove from Heat and Stir in Final Ingredients
Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the oregano and the rest of the butter until it’s melted and incorporated throughout the dish.
FAQs and Expert tips For Succotash
The word succotash comes from the Narragansett Indian word “msickquatash.”
The traditional ingredients are comprised of the “Three Sisters,” as Native Americans called them: corn, beans, and squash.
It’s a common misconception that succotash is southern! It is very popular in southern cuisine and the US south certainly puts its own spin on it by including additions like cream, or bacon, but it’s not originally southern.
It’s comprised of several vegetables and is high in vitamins and fiber. So yes, it’s healthy, but we made it even healthier with the substitution of edamame. We also keep the saturated fat in check with less butter and no added cream or bacon. Using fresh herbs to season the succotash adds healthy flavor without adding extra calories.
If you want to make your succotash ahead of time you can cut and defrost all of your veggies ahead of time so they’re ready to be cooked in your skillet.
It reheats well in the microwave or on the stove! In the microwave, heat the succotash for 1 ½ to 2 minutes on high power. Stir well and continue heating the dish until it’s steaming hot. If you’d prefer to reheat it on the stove, heat it over medium heat in a covered saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water until it’s steaming hot.
Variations to Try
- Add fresh sliced okra with the corn and peppers for an additional vegetable.
- You can also add chopped green beans, wax beans, summer squash or zucchini with the corn and peppers.
- For a variation on seasoning, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of paprika or smoked paprika in step 3 with the lima beans.
- In step 4, add a handful of chopped basil with the oregano.
- If you want to make this more of a filling dish, you can add protein. I’d suggest shrimp!
Additional Recipes to Try
Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie
This simple Corn Succotash is made with fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob, and frozen lima beans or edamame. This veggie and bean sauté is a simple, colorful and delicious 20-minute side dish to enjoy with a weeknight meal.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large sweet onion, such as vidalia, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 ears corn, cut off the cob
1 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 12-ounce package of frozen lima beans or edamame, thawed (3 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- Heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often until the onion is softened and turning translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in corn and red bell pepper and cook, stirring often until the pepper is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in lima beans (or edamame) and cook until the beans are heated through, 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and oregano until melted.
You can substitute frozen corn kernels. You’ll need 3 cups of thawed kernels.
Tip for cutting corn off the cob:
- Take a large bowl and set it on the work surface. If you do not have a non-skid bowl, you can set a damp cloth underneath it to prevent it from sliding around.
- Set a second, smaller bowl inside the large bowl, but upside down. This creates a little platform for you to stand your corn cob on.
- Stand the corn cob on end on the inverted bowl and cut the kernels off the cob with a sharp chef’s knife.
- The kernels will fall into the well around the smaller bowl instead of spilling off the cutting board. Repeat with the remaining cobs.
- Remove the smaller bowl and scrape off any kernels that stick to it.
This reheats beautifully in the microwave. Heat 1 ½ to 2 minutes on high power. Stir well and continue heating until steaming hot. To reheat on the stove, heat over medium heat in a covered saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water or broth. Stir often until heated through and steaming hot.
- Serving Size: 1 scant cup
- Calories: 150
- Sugar: 6 g
- Fat: 6 g
- Carbohydrates: 18 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 7 g