Lima Bean Salad

Lima beans have long had a bad rap, but not so in this fresh Lima Bean Salad! Full of flavor, this is not the lima bean from a can that many of us cringe and remember from childhood. I really think you’ll be surprised at how delicious lima beans can be!

Lima Bean Salad

This fresh, flavorful Lima Bean Salad with lima beans, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, and onion will change how you think of lima beans!

Lima Bean Salad on a serving dish with cucumbers, tomatoes and red bell peppers.

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.

Dried lima beans in a dish.

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.

Lima Bean Salad on a gray dish.
A plateful of Lima Bean Salad filled with lima beans, sliced peppers, cucumbers, and red onion.

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.

Lima bean salad on a gray-blue plate with a fork.

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
Chickpea Salad
Lemony Kale, Avocado, and Chickpea Salad

Lima Bean Salad

Lima beans have long had a bad rap, but not so in this fresh Lima Bean Salad. Full of flavor, this is not lima beans from a can that many of us cringe and remember from childhood. I really think you'll be surprised at how delicious lima beans can be!
Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Chill time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 204kcal


  • 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.


Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 855mg | Potassium: 496mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1080IU | Vitamin C: 54.6mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 2.4mg
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante


Recipe Rating

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  1. Penny Habbeshaw

    Love this recipe. Especially the texture (thinly sliced bell peppers and onion, but chunky cucumbers). I thought about adding a little sumac, but decided the lemon was enough. Cut the recipe by a third since I’m only serving two people and don’t like the smell of raw onions in the leftovers. Very simple. Very nice.

  2. Mark

    I love the idea of your website but there is way too much advertising. Very frustrating when you want to support great content providers but are turned off from too much in your face advertising. You would probably make more money if there was targeted advertising that made me want to click but Nike ads when I want to look at food related stuff does not make sense. I wish you well but shan’t be returning.

    • Liren Baker

      Hi Mark, thanks for your feedback. Just so you know, I do my best to strike the right balance between having the least amount of ads possible while still being able to sustain the business of providing free content to you effectively — if you were able to look under the hood of my ad network settings, you would see that I am definitely on the conservative side of things. That said, I appreciate your feedback since sometimes adjustments are made on the ad network’s side without my knowledge, so I’ll definitely take a look and check, because like you, I am not a fan of too much advertising (though unfortunately, it is necessary, similar to the ads when you watch your local network TV).

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      Sorry to see you go, but if you ever need a recipe in the future, we’ll be here!

  3. Vince

    Been in the mood to use my Lima beans and came across your recipe. Just finished making it and the dressing. If the dressing is any indication this will become a staple in our house. I have to resist eating this until the chicken finishes baking !

  4. Glaucia Loiola

    I made it and it is delicious. Just left out the olive oil because we are oil-free. Please, tell me what do u suggest to serve with this salad (for those who are vegan). Thanks.

  5. Mina

    Coming from someone who loves all beans I haven’t made any bean salads I can remember. This recipe came out so good I’m adding it to my rotation meals. I didn’t have sherry vinegar so, I used a combo of rice and apple cider vinegar with a teaspoon of maple syrup. I recommend using the little yellow golden sunburst tomatoes, I’m sure any tomato would work but the sunbursts make the salad all the more tasty and I love the crunch from the cucumbers. Finished result is much better chilled.


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  11. Eileen

    These limas area far cry from the ones I ate growing up–just boiled and served with a little salt, nothing else. Bleah! But this salad looks fantastic! Love all the juicy tomatoes and herbs.

  12. Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    I have to confess that I’ve never tried lima beans so I don’t know how I feel about them… but your salad is far too gorgeous to pass up! :)

  13. Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet}

    Lima beans have not been on my favorite list BUT these ones look quite tasty. I always remember them being green not this beautiful opaque color. This is my kind of salad and putting on my list to make! Hope you are having a great SUNDAY! :-)

    • Liren

      I remember the green ones too, and I was excited to find these large lima beans in white. I believe they are also called butter beans? Hope you had a wonderful and restful long weekend, Lisa!

  14. Kankana

    I am not much of a bean lover, never was but these days I am finding ways to enjoy it more and lima beans makes me palate happy :)

    • Liren

      I have a whole new appreciation for beans in general now that I’m older, Kankana, that’s for sure. I can’t wait to use lima beans more :)

  15. Julia Chapman

    You have inspired me! This looks so fresh and full of flavour, I will be making this for supper tonight. Thank you for the inspiration!

  16. Rachel

    I absolutely love lima beans and have since I was a child. I generally just eat them with a little olive oil and salt, but this salad looks awesome! Can’t wait to try!

    • Liren

      You will love, this then, Rachel! My husband has also always loved lima beans, and he really loved this salad. Hope you enjoy it!

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