Quinoa Succotash

Quinoa cooked with a succotash of corn, bacon, baby lima beans, and fresh tomatoes.

quinoa succotash
Elise Bauer

The kitchen is a place of marvelous experimentation. Sometimes things go well, sometimes not so well, and once in a while you'll have a happy accident that you can't wait to repeat.

This my friends is my happy accident. I had a fresh batch of quinoa and just a little bit of leftover succotash; I put them together, and WOW. That was good. So good I set out to make it intentionally, all in one pot.

You see, succotash is essentially boiled corn and shell beans (in fact, the word "succotash" comes from a Narragansett word for boiled corn.) To cook quinoa, you have to boil it. So, why not make them all together?

quinoa succotash
Elise Bauer

Cook the onions, quinoa, corn, lima beans, and tomatoes in a little bacon fat and/or butter, add stock and water. Twenty minutes later you are feasting on a marriage of two ancient food traditions and continents—succotash from North America, and quinoa from South.

By the way, I say this dish serves 3 to 4. And it should, but I keep eating entire batches. So make it once, and if you like it, you might want to double the recipe the next time.

Quinoa Succotash

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 3 to 4 servings

No need to defrost the corn kernels or lima beans if they are frozen.

We are using less liquid than is typical of quinoa recipes because the vegetables (especially the tomatoes) release liquid as they cook.

If you want to take this up a notch, sprinkle with chipotle tabasco to serve!


  • 1 thick cut strip bacon, cut in half (note you can sub out the bacon for another tablespoon butter if you want)

  • 1 cup dry quinoa

  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen

  • 1/2 cup baby lima beans (can sub edamame)

  • 1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 cup chicken or beef stock

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter or unsalted stock)

  • 1/4 cup green onions and/or chives, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice


  1. Cook the bacon:

    Place the bacon strip halves in a 3 to 4 quart, thick-bottomed pot. Heat on medium heat and gently cook the bacon, turning every so often, so that much of the fat renders out.

    When the bacon is lightly browned, remove it from the pot and place it on paper towels. Keep the fat in the pan. Chop the bacon and set aside.

    Elise Bauer
  2. Rinse the dry quinoa:

    While the bacon is cooking, place the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse until the water runs clear. Note that most quinoa packages suggest that you rinse before cooking. If you are using a quinoa brand that does not suggest rinsing, rinse anyway.

    Elise Bauer
  3. Cook the onions:

    Add the chopped onion to the pot you used to cook the bacon, along with the butter. Cook on medium heat until the onions are translucent, about 3 or 4 minutes.

    Elise Bauer
  4. Add the quinoa:

    Add the rinsed quinoa to the pot and increase the heat to medium high. Stir to combine the quinoa and onions. Let cook for a couple minutes on medium high to high heat, until the onions and the quinoa get a hint of color.

    Elise Bauer
  5. Add veggies, thyme, bacon, water, stock:

    Add the corn, baby lima beans, chopped tomato, chopped bacon, and thyme to the pot, and stir to combine. Add the water and stock (and salt if using unsalted butter or stock).

    Increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for another 5 minutes.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  6. Stir in the lemon juice and chopped chives:

    and/or green onions and fluff up with a fork.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
324 Calories
11g Fat
47g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 324
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 484mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 10mg 51%
Calcium 49mg 4%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 638mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.