Summer Butter Bean Salad

You know how when you're a little kid and you think certain foods, especially certain vegetables, are so disgusting?  That's how I felt about butter beans my entire childhood.  But I came around eventually and now I love them. Here is my favorite way to eat them, Butter Bean Salad!

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Butter beans are a Summer staple here in Southeastern North Carolina.

They were hard to escape in my family. My grandma would buy butter beans by the bushels every Summer. I spent many hours through the years helping her shell and freeze them to cook throughout the year. That was fun, sitting and shelling and listening and talking...

but I didn't like to eat 'em

Chances are if you were ever fortunate enough to put your feet beneath my Grandma Virda's table, there was bowl of her famous chicken salad and her peach lusterware bowl full of butter beans on it. 

This is her actual bowl, courtesy of my Mom, who made butter beans and chicken salad for me just for this post! 

Click here to find vintage peach lusterware bowls on Etsy. And here is the Villeroy and Boch Trianon china on Etsy.

But as I grew up, butter beans grew on me.

The way Grandma served them was unlike anyone else I've ever seen. She peeled and diced up a giant vine ripe tomato and added apple cider vinegar, lots of black pepper and a little salt and sugar to make a topping for the beans. It's the only way I would eat them.  

Now years later I've made the recipe my own and I'd love to share it with you! 

What if you can't find fresh butter beans? Try the freezer section of your grocery store. If all else fails you can substitute fresh or frozen baby lima beans.

And remember, this is heavy on the black pepper because that's how Grandma did it so if you aren't a huge fan of pepper you may want to reduce it a little.

What does this Butter Bean Salad pair well with? It's great to serve at a BBQ or potluck. I served this salad in an outdoor dinner recently with grilled chicken. You can see that dinner here Outdoor Dining in the Cabin Garden . And don't forget a delicious Southern delight, Mama's Fast and Easy No Cook Banana Pudding for dessert!



1 lb butter beans
water to cover beans in pot
2 large vine ripe tomatoes, diced
1/2 large vidalia sweet onion, diced 
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper 
3 teaspoons sugar or equivalent subsitute


Put the beans in a medium sized pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil on high heat and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the beans are tender.

In the meantime, in a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar together.  Add the tomatoes and onion and toss.

Once the beans are done, drain them, let them cool in the refrigerator a little bit, and then add them to the bowl. Toss the mixture gently to completely mix.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes, but it's even better the next day if you can wait that long!  Make sure to stir it well before you serve. 

By the way, this 6" chef's knife is my favorite knife ever!  It is super lightweight and easy on the wrist! I've started collecting a set of them. My husband loves the fillet knife for filleting fish and he keeps it in this scabbard.

I served this salad in an outdoor dinner here at the cabin recently. If you'd like to see that special evening and the whole menu, you can find it here Outdoor Dining in the Cabin Garden. 

Let me know if you try this one! It's special to me and I hope you can enjoy it too!