Spring Succotash

This springtime succotash is a riff of the traditional Narragansett combo of corn and carrots, with fava beans standing in for limas. We add ham, too. Great way to use up leftovers from an Easter dinner!

Spring Succotash
Elise Bauer

"Sufferin' succotash!"

Raise your hand if you grew up with Looney Tunes on Saturday mornings. I'm guessing that these days there are more people familiar with Sylvester the cat's oft-uttered exclamation than there are those who have actually tried the dish.

What Is Succotash?

If you are unfamiliar with succotash, according to the The Story of Corn by Betty Fussell, the word "succotash" is derived from a Narragansett word for "boiled corn kernels". And indeed, corn is the central ingredient in this dish. Usually succotash is a combination of corn and lima beans.

But if you make it in the late spring, when the first corn comes into the market, and fresh fava beans are on sale, you can make a spring version of this classic recipe that's terrific.

Fava Beans and More Make a Playful Twist on Succotash

We decided to make a hearty version of succotash with some diced ham, and add a Mediterranean touch by using olive oil and a little lemon. Mint adds a bright flavor to the dish. We used fresh corn in this recipe, but you could use frozen corn.

Fava beans are available at many farmer’s markets or at high-end supermarkets. They require some work to process, but it’s worth it. If fava beans are not available, you can use peas to stay with the spring theme, or use lima beans for a more traditional approach.

Did I mention how good this is? Trust me, it's good. It's one of those "you should make this" dishes. I practically ate the whole batch.

More Recipes for Leftover Ham

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Spring Succotash

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings

To get 2 cups of shelled fava beans, start with 3 pounds of whole fava beans. Working over a large bowl, remove the outer shell by bending a pod near one of the beans, cracking the pod and then squeezing the bean with your fingers to shoot it into the bowl. Once you have filled your bowl, take the beans and boil them in salted water for 5 minutes. Shock them in ice water to preserve their bright green color. Then peel off the outer peel of the bean.

No fava beans? You can substitute fresh or frozen lima beans or peas.


  • 4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cups fava beans

  • 2 cups corn, fresh or frozen

  • 2 cups diced ham

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 2 to 3 spring onions, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint or parsley

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Salt to taste


  1. Sauté the carrots and ham:

    Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan – large enough to hold all of the vegetables and the ham. Add the ham and the carrots and sauté, stirring from time to time, until the ham begins to brown, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the corn and spring onions:

    Add the corn and spring onions and toss to combine. Sauté for another 2 minutes.

  3. Add the fava beans:

    Now add the blanched, shelled fava beans and cook for 1 more minute. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice, and taste for salt. You might not need any because the ham is salty. Cover the pot and let it sit for 2 minutes, to steam.

  4. Toss in the mint and serve:

    Add the mint. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
306 Calories
15g Fat
31g Carbs
16g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 306
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 29mg 10%
Sodium 687mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 16mg 78%
Calcium 40mg 3%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 517mg 11%
*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.