This recipe for Easy Canned Butter Beans is a creamy and comforting main or side dish! It is a quick vegan bean recipe is easily the best butter bean recipe ever!
These beans. Are. EVERYTHING.
Are you looking for vegan camping food? You got it. Side dish for a backyard barbecue? Right here, baby.
Comfort food on a cold, rainy day? This one, obviously. A healthy, high protein meatless option? You already know the answer!
I had a dish similar to this at a New Year’s Eve dinner at a local restaurant and have been perfecting it at home, making it dozens of times ever since. Can you believe in a five course dinner with a talented chef my favorite thing of all was butter beans?!
Most butter bean recipes use pork of some kind. Instead of using meat, this recipe gets plenty of flavor from good quality vegetable stock and herbs.
This makes a great pantry meal that is very inexpensive. Add a side salad and some bread and you have a full meal.
Easy butter bean recipe ingredients
- Olive oil
- Canned large butter beans
- Vegetable Broth
- Dried thyme
- Salt + pepper
How to cook canned beans
The great thing about canned beans is that they’re already cooked, so you’re basically just heating them up and adding flavor.
You could definitely make this recipe with cooked dried beans, but I love the convenience of canned beans. I also have yet to perfect my dried bean cooking skills, so the flavor and texture of canned always seems better to me.
This recipe is super easy. A tiny bit of chopping and a little bit of simmering and you’re done. The vegetable broth cooks down with the beans to give it a nice creamy texture that I keep craving again and again!
What to serve with canned butter beans
I like to serve these beans the same way I received them at the restaurant – with a few toasted flatbread points and a spicy arugula salad.
I legitimately might eat this, alternated with burrata with fresh cherry tomatoes, for the rest of the summer. Life has just never tasted this good!
Top tips and questions
Are butter beans healthy?
Yes, butter beans are full of fiber and protein. They also contain nutrients like iron, zinc, and magnesium.
Are lima beans and butter beans the same thing?
Lima beans and butter beans are similar varieties of beans. You may find lima beans are smaller and greener than butter beans.
It is easier to find beans labeled as butter beans at the grocery store than those labeled lima beans.
Will the broth thicken after cooking?
Yes, the broth will thicken slightly as it sits and cools. The longer you cook it, the more it will thicken.
If you want to cook the beans longer than the recommended 20 minutes you may want to use more stock. The cooking is what will give the beans a creamy texture without adding cream.
Is this butter bean recipe vegetarian?
Yes, this recipe is vegetarian, vegan, and naturally gluten-free (double check your canned beans for gluten ingredients).
Can I make butter beans ahead of time?
These beans make for great leftovers. Simply reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
I haven’t tested freezing the beans, but I think they would come out just fine. Make sure they are cooled before placing in a freezer safe container and transferring to the freezer.
Tips for customizing:
- Use finely chopped shallots in place of the garlic
- Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes with the garlic
- Use 3 cups of vegetable broth to make a simple butter bean soup
- Sauté other veggies with the onions such as celery or zucchini
- Spread the beans on sourdough toast and top with arugula salad for an on-the-go lunch option
More butter bean recipes
- Butter Bean Soup
- Greek Pizza
- Orecchiette with Spinach and Butter Beans
- White Bean Dip
- Double Bean Pita Sandwich
- Chipotle Veggie Quesadillas
More vegan recipes
- Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Spinach and White Beans
- Easy Stir Fried Tempeh
- Crispy Tofu
- Fajita Veggies
- Oven Roasted Corn and Black Bean Pico de Gallo
If this butter bean recipe looks good but you’re new to vegetarian cooking, be sure to check out my post on how to transition to vegetarian!
If you make this recipe be sure to rate it, leave a comment, or tag #theliveinkitchen on Instagram!
Easy Canned Butter Beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 15 ounces canned large butter beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 15 seconds.
- Add the beans, vegetable broth, thyme, salt, and pepper, stir, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and the beans are hot, 15-20 minutes.
- Serve warm, sprinkled with paprika.