Make Ahead

4th of July Baby Limas, Barbeque Style

March 19, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4 - 6
Author Notes

My mother made Barbequed Limas, and I loved them. They would show up at big family parties in the summer, like 4th of July. I never got the recipe, but the taste and smell wanted to be more than a fond memory. So I have cooked up a pot of baby limas, added a sauce that started life with Peg Bracken (seriously reinvented), and cooked it down until I had to turn off the stove to go to bed. Thanks, Mom! - susan g —susan g

Test Kitchen Notes

I have made baby limas, and I have made BBQ sauce, but I have never combined them. I can assure you I will now, again and again! They are a great combo – mild, almost sweet beans cooked to tender perfection in a tasty and not too spicy BBQ sauce (which could easily be amped up with more chili powder). Another great addition – tamarind in BBQ – I would never have thought of that but it really adds to the depth and flavor of the sauce. These will be put into our regular bean rotation from now on! - aargersi —aargersi

What You'll Need
  • 3 cups cooked baby lima beans (2 cans, or preferably home cooked)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (gluten free)
  • 2 tablespoons demerara sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (blend)
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
  1. If you are cooking the beans, soak 1 1/4 cup baby limas overnight (or quick soak: boil 2 minutes, soak 1 hour), drain; then cook with the onions and garlic until cooked through. Save the cooking liquid.
  2. If you are using canned beans, add the onions and garlic to the drained beans.
  3. Mix all the remaining ingredients for the sauce. Add to the pot with 1/4 cup of cooking liquid or water.
  4. Bring to a boil, then keep at a fast simmer, stirring occasionally. Add more liquid as the sauce thickens. When it is dark and thick, and the beans are very soft, flavorful but still intact... it is done.
  5. Cooking time can be an hour or more. Alternatively, it can be cooked in a slow cooker, to the same point of readiness.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • susan g
    susan g
  • BoulderGalinTokyo
  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly
  • aargersi
  • lapadia

11 Reviews

susan G. July 11, 2016
Latest adjustment -- double the sauce, add real heat. Mmmm...
BoulderGalinTokyo June 22, 2014
Limas were always my favorite, but none to be had here. Think I'll try with Great White Northern beans, thanks for your Mom's inspiration!
Cicciabella July 5, 2012
Did these for the 4th and found the recipe very disappointing as written. Flavor of the sauce was somewhat bitter, and needed a LOT of "doctoring." I would suggest sauteeing the onion and garlic in a good amount of olive oil first. You also need to add salt and pepper once the beans are fully cooked. We had a number of vegetarians who shared this dish but frankly I would have used some bacon or ham to give it some substance.
Kitchen B. June 14, 2011
This sounds stunning. Kind of smoky baked beans. I would think they'd make a great side to some tender pulled pork. Thank you!
susan G. May 18, 2011
Update: cook beans in the pressure cooker, then transfer with sauce to slow cooker. You might say, less pressure. And less fuel and power used, for the 'dirt cheap' gang.
aargersi May 10, 2011
I made these again last night - they are SO GOOD - love these beans!!!!!!!
susan G. May 13, 2011
Thanks -- and time for me to pull out the pressure cooker to see how they do in there.
lapadia April 17, 2011
We just planted some Lima beans, am saving your recipe to try with them! Stay tuned...
susan G. May 13, 2011
When will they be off the vine?
sheredel April 13, 2011
This sounds delish! On my list for a weekend recipe try. wonderful ingredience, can't wait to try-
luvcookbooks March 23, 2011
thanks, once had slow cooked sweet lima beans but have never seen a recipe before