This fresh, flavorful Lima Bean Salad with lima beans, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, and onion will change how you think of lima beans!
Note: This recipe for Lima Bean Salad was originally published on May 26, 2013 as part of the Simple Sundays series here on Kitchen Confidante. It has been updated with improved kitchen notes and recipe annotation. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen!
The hallways were filling up quickly with a sea of little heads, bobbing and darting, their little legs excitedly running from one room to the next, with sudden stops at the science posters lining the hall. The grown-ups strained to keep up, which became more and more difficult as more families made their way into the school. My husband and I had to be strategic as we navigated Back to School Night with our children: half an hour at each child’s classroom, hitting the science and computer labs along the way.
Their pride was endearing, as we toured each nook and cranny of their classrooms. We were introduced to pet tortoises and read poems and papers in their best penmanship. Our arms were filled with binders of artwork and stories and 3-dimensional crafts, a year’s worth of hard work, all to go home. My son guided us to the window in his classroom — it was time to bring home their plants. As we approached the rows of plastic cups with little sprouts peeking through the dirt, I asked my son, “Lima beans?” “No. They’re sunflowers!” he corrected.
I felt pity for the lima bean, it doesn’t seem to get much respect, not even in 1st-grade science these days. When I was a little girl, I confess to hating lima beans (especially the canned or frozen variety), and I would pick them out and push them to the edge of my plate. It was the one thing my mother never tried to convince me to eat, to my relief. But I did love learning more about the plant life cycle when we would get to germinate lima beans at school. To me, that’s what they were good for.
This morning, I decided I would give the lima bean another chance. I had a bag in my pantry, and I pulled it out from the back recesses and began the soaking process. A Lima Bean Salad came together as I sliced up heirloom cherry tomatoes and sweet red bell peppers. The beans soaked in a lemon garlic vinaigrette as it mingled with cubes of cucumber and slivers of red onions. And you know what? I am no longer a hater. Lima beans are delicious, and it was time they got a little more love in my kitchen. This won’t be the last time, that’s for sure.
MORE BEAN SALAD RECIPES TO TRY
Mango and Black Bean Salad
Chicken, Black Bean and Charred Poblano Salad with Pumpkin-Red Curry Vinaigrette
Quinoa Black Bean & Corn Salad
Falafel Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing
Summer Lentil Salad
Lemony Kale, Avocado, and Chickpea Salad
Lima Bean Salad
- 1 1/2 cups dried large lima beans
- 1 cup diced English cucumber
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/2 cup cilantro minced
- 4 garlic cloves mashed
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- Rinse and sort the lima beans and place in a medium saucepan. Cover with about 3 cups hot water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Let it boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat, cover and let it sit for 1 hour. Drain, then add about 4 cups of hot water. Let it come to a boil again, then lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 45 minutes partially covered, or until the beans are cooked (do not overcook, as it will be mushy). Drain and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the drained and cooled lima beans with the cucumber, tomato, red bell pepper, red onion, and cilantro. In a small bowl, mash together the garlic and salt. Whisk in the lemon juice, mustard, vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste with pepper. Toss the dressing into the lima beans and vegetables. Let it sit for at least an hour in the refrigerator. Give it one final toss before serving.