Spring Succotash

Springtime succotash with medley of corn, carrots, ham, spring onions, and fava beans.

  • Yield: Serves 4-6 as a side.


  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups shucked and shelled fava beans* (can substitute fresh or frozen lima beans or peas)
  • 2 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups diced ham (check ham ingredients for gluten-free if cooking gluten-free)
  • 2 diced carrots
  • 2-3 chopped spring onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint or parsley
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Salt to taste

* To get 2 cups of shelled fava beans, start with 3 lbs 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.


1 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 and toss to combine. Saute for another 2 minutes.

3 Add the fava beans, which already have been blanched, and cook for one 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.

Toss in the mint and serve hot or at room temperature.

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  • Lee

    I love succotash. Taking a cue from a restaurant I used to cook in, I add in fresh diced tomatoes. And because I don’t really like butterbeans/lima beans (shocking, I know, for a Southerner), I use either fresh peas or frozen edamame. Grill some shrimp with garlic, lemon and dill and serve it over the succotash – a great late spring/summer meal!

  • GM

    I made this and it is terribly tasty! I used peas, turkey ham, italian parsley, and left out the corn since we had none. Oh, and I cooked it in bacon grease instead of oil. The little one is eating it right now and she’s VERY picky. We’ll be making this one again.


  • Emily

    I made this tonight and it was yummy! I was actually just looking to see what to do with lima beans — my husband likes them and I bought some at the market and I wondered, “boil or butter?” when lo and behold, the first hit on your site was this scrumptious stuff. I love how colorful this dish is. Oh, and — I used beef hot dogs instead of ham. Yum! :)

  • Jodi

    Made this tonight and it was delicious. From the comments, I guess I would also try edamame. Thanks for this great recipe and your wonderful website. I love getting your email updates.

  • BB

    Yum! Made this last night, and it was wonderful. This recipe even made carrots, my veggie enemy, ham-flavored and tasty. I’m also from the succotash-free south, but this will be going into our regular veggie rotation! It was very good with frozen limas, but I may try edamame or favas next time.

  • Katie

    Thanks for this recipe – we all loved it! It’s fresh & light – perfect for spring & summer! I’m bringing it to work (for lunch) every day this week!


  • Kate

    I made this last night and it was WONDERFUL. I had parsley on hand, so I used that, but next time I want to try it with the mint.

  • Melissa

    Golly I’m ready for summer to come to harvest some of these luscious things!
    I really like sub-ing edamame for the fava or lima beans (I always use frozen). The firm nugget-y-ness of them makes a great contrast against fresh corn which just pops with sweetness. I serve the succotash with a thrown together Asian-inspired dipping sauce and some pot stickers from the freezer section (Trader Joe’s are choice and cheap) for a great meal on the fly during the week.

  • Niki

    Oh my! I’ve been intrigued by the fava beans I’ve seen at the farmer’s market and this recipe gave me the extra nudge to buy and try. Delicious! This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  • Colleen W.

    I found some peeled dried fava beans, do you know if these are an OK substitute? I have a 10 mo old, so time savings is a plus. Next Spring I’ll have her help me prep fresh fava beans. ;-)

    No, you want to use fresh for this recipe. ~Elise

  • Lisa

    I love making this dish. I make mine with corn of course, but I chop up red & green bell peppers, sweet onions and I use the frozen “green” lima beans. It is so good. The bell peppers give it a great taste.

  • Renee

    This looks and sounds great! What are “spring onions”? Green onions?

    Spring onions look like large, fat green onions. You can use green onions too. ~Elise