Quinoa Succotash

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!

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4 as a side


  • 1 thick cut strip of bacon, cut in half (note you can sub out the bacon for another Tbsp of butter if you want)
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup baby lima beans (can sub edamame)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup chicken or beef stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter or unsalted stock)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions and/or chives
  • 2 teaspoons of 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

6 Stir in the lemon juice and chopped chives and/or green onions and fluff up with a fork.

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  • Nick

    This is a very straightforward, delicious, and healthy dish. I served it as a side dish with salmon and it worked great. Quinoa is a favorite of mine.


  • Shelley

    Yummy and easy! Because at least one member of our family is currently a practicing vegetarian, we skipped the bacon. One of us decided upon tasting that a handful of golden raisins was the finishing touch this recipe needed. Another tossed in some roasted cashews. We all thought that more corn and lima beans could have comfortably been added… 3/4 cup or maybe even a full cup of each.

  • Yooli

    Oh man, what a great idea – I bet you could do something like a quinoa jambalaya that way too!

  • Kari

    This was an amazing dish! Very tasty! I used fresh corn, straight off the Cobb, home grown tomatoes and canned Lima beans. I personally feel that limas are terribly underrated. I think this would work to make and freeze. Next time I’ll experiment leaving out the bacon and chicken stock for my vegetarian daughter.


  • Burke

    Great recipe! Always looking for new uses for Quinoa. If you can get your hands on some roasted frozen corn from Trader Joe’s, use that. Or roast your own. Smokey corn adds to the flavor of the bacon… Mmmm bacon.

  • Rebekah

    I have a quick question…. are the lima beans already cooked (canned) or dry? Thank you, I can’t wait to make this!

    • Elise Bauer

      The lima beans I used in this recipe are frozen, which means they were fresh, then blanched, then frozen. They still need to be cooked, but they are not dry.

  • Brian

    Tried this the other night. Had to use red quinoa because of availability, and I threw in extra lima beans because I love ’em. Absolutely loved this dish. It’s going to have a spot in our favorites rotation.
    Matter of fact, I have the leftovers of this prepared for my lunch today – tossed in chunks of the smoked pork loin we had with it and transformed it into a kind of jambalaya. Can’t wait to dig in!


  • Gary

    If you want to take this up a notch, sprinkle with chipotle tabasco to serve! you said!!!!!! I did…. and what a wonderful dish this was. Of course those who don’t like it on a spicy side, I must say it does not make it very spicy since one only adds the amount they like but oh boy the flavor is fantastic.

  • Liz

    Thank you for the nice recipe.

  • Enas

    can i add chicken cubes to it ? or sliced hot dogs? i love to have meet n my meal

    • Elise Bauer

      Of course you can. Or just serve it as a side to chicken, which is what I do.

  • Kristopfer

    This looks delicious, but I’m Vegan. What would be a good substitute for the bacon?

    • Elise Bauer

      Just skip the bacon and use olive oil (use a Tbsp of oil in place of the bacon). Skip the butter too and do the same.

      • Kristopfer

        I think I may add calamata olives to replace the saltiness one gets from bacon.