Here Are The Best Lima Beans Substitutes You Can Use Today

Lima beans are a popular legume that are commonly used in stews, soups, and salads. They are high in fiber, protein, and various essential nutrients, making them a healthy addition to any diet. 

With a smooth flavor and a buttery texture, Lima beans are used in various dishes worldwide. Whether they be used as a main dish or as a side dish with some vegetables, Lima beans are a versatile ingredient that can improve your dish.

Lima beans are usually pretty easy to find in most grocery stores and can be bought in frozen, canned, and fresh forms.

Sometimes, however, you may not find Lima beans at all as they may have sold out or your local grocery store doesn’t stock them (which is rare).

Here Are The Best Lima Beans Substitutes You Can Use Today

If your recipe requires Lima beans but you haven’t got any to use, do not despair! There are many great substitutes you can use in place of Lima beans that will still provide you with the same health benefits and culinary versatility.

Whether you have run out of Lima beans or you’re not a fan of their taste and texture, read on as we discuss the best Lima beans substitutes to try today.

Whilst they are not all like-for-like replacements, our selection of alternatives below can work well in a variety of dishes. It’s just up to you to try them out and see which you prefer.

Lima Beans – What Are They?

Also known as butter beans, Lima beans are large, flat, edible seeds that come from the Lima bean plant. They are a member of the legume family and originated in the South American region.

These beans are usually pale green or cream-colored, with a slightly sweet, nutty flavor and a smooth, creamy texture when cooked.

They are commonly used in soups, stews, salads, and side dishes, and are a popular ingredient in many cuisines around the world. 

Lima beans are also a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them a nutritious addition to any diet.

If you want to replace them with an alternative, there are a number of options you can try. Check out our favorite substitutes below so you can get back to cooking again.

Lima Beans Substitutes To Try

1. Red Kidney Beans

When it comes to finding a suitable substitute for Lima beans, red kidney beans are a top contender, despite having different taste and color profiles.

Thankfully, the cooking process for these beans is quite similar to that of Lima beans, so adapting your recipe won’t require significant adjustments.

Red kidney beans possess a stronger flavor profile than Lima beans, making them a great substitute for chili beans, stews, and salads, too.

While the taste may be slightly different, the added flavor can elevate your dish to new heights. So, if you’re looking for a way to switch things up in your cooking routine, red kidney beans might be the perfect ingredient to try out.

2. Fava Beans

Fava beans are an excellent replacement for Lima beans. These beans are unique in that they can be eaten raw, unlike many other types of beans.

To enjoy fava beans, it’s important to remove their peel before consuming them. Doing so will reveal a flavor profile that is remarkably similar to that of Lima beans.

Moreover, without their peel, fava beans have a comparable texture to Lima beans, making them an excellent substitute.

To cook fava beans, follow the same method as you would for Lima beans and enjoy a tasty and nutritious meal. So, next time you’re in the mood to mix up your cooking routine, try using fava beans and you may enjoy them more!

3. Butter Beans

Butter beans supply a similar taste and texture to Lima beans and can actually be used interchangeably with Lima beans in recipes or as a substitute for a pound of dried Lima beans.

There is one significant difference between these beans, however, and this is that butter bean pods can not be consumed. Instead, they serve as storage pods for baby seedlings growing inside.

Conversely, while Lima bean pod skins are edible, they can be bitter and are typically used in salads or side dishes, such as stir-fries or soups.

4. White Kidney Beans

White kidney beans are an excellent substitute for Lima beans in a whole host of recipes, just like red kidney beans we discussed above.

As the name suggests, these have a white color to their outsides, which will not noticeably alter the appearance of your dish.

However, white kidney beans do have a distinct nutty flavor that sets them apart from Lima beans. Despite this, they are a suitable replacement in any recipe that calls for Lima beans.

It’s worth noting that white kidney beans may require a longer cooking time than Lima beans, too. This is because they tend to have a firmer texture.

Therefore, depending on how you choose to prepare them, you may need to add extra cooking time to your recipe.

5. Soybeans

Soybeans are a versatile ingredient that can be used in various recipes, making them a suitable substitute for Lima beans. Their mild flavor profile makes them a great addition to baked dishes, salads, stir-fries, and more.

It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that soybeans have a tougher texture than Lima beans, which means they may require a longer cooking time to achieve the desired buttery texture.

However, with a bit of extra cooking time, you can enjoy a similar or even the same delicious taste and texture as Lima beans.

6. Navy Beans

Also known as Boston beans, Navy beans, are another excellent substitute for Lima beans. They are particularly well-suited to baked dishes and have a creamy, distinctive flavor that makes them a great addition to salads and soups.

In addition to their delicious taste, navy beans are also a healthy option as they are high in fiber and low in cholesterol. So, if you’re looking for a nutritious and flavorful substitute for Lima beans, navy beans are a great choice.

7. Edamame Beans

Edamame beans are a type of immature soybean harvested a little before reaching full maturity. Edamame beans are like Lima beans in that they are rich in magnesium, folate (vitamin B9), and potassium.

They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber and protein, with one cup providing about six grams of protein and eight grams of fiber.

Like other legumes, such as lentils and chickpeas, edamame beans can be used in various ways.

They can be mashed into salads, prepared for stir-fries or soups, steamed whole, or used with mung bean sprouts for an extra crunchy texture. Edamame beans offer a versatile and nutritious alternative to Lima beans that can be used in a wide range of recipes.

In Summary 

When cooking dishes with Lima beans, you have an abundance of alternatives to try instead.

Our selection of substitutes above work well in most recipes that call for Lima beans and some even provide a slightly different flavor that you may enjoy.

Let us know which substitute you like the most. 

Here Are The Best Lima Beans Substitutes You Can Use Today

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Substitutes


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Cooking time






  • Red Kidney Beans

  • Fava Beans

  • Butter Beans

  • White Kidney Beans

  • Soybeans

  • Navy Beans

  • Edamame Beans


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy
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