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Instant Pot Baby Lima Beans

Instant Pot Baby Lima Beans | The Foodie Eats

Instant Pot Baby Lima Beans

Baby lima beans (aka butterbeans) are one of my favorite foods in the whole world. And that’s not an exaggeration. I’ve even been known to eat a bowl of these for breakfast. Before the Instant Pot entered my life, making baby lima beans was a 45 minute process that involved simmering on the stove top.  But now, with just two minutes of prep, these Instant Pot baby lima beans couldn’t be any more simple to make – not to mention incredibly delicious!


Instant Pot Baby Lima Beans | The Foodie Eats


The Difference Between Butter Beans and Lima Beans

There seems to be some debate over the difference between butter beans and lima beans. Some people swear they’re different beans. Others say that lima beans are a mature butter bean, while butter beans are baby limas. And even some others state that there is no difference at all.

So, is there a difference? The short answer is: No. Butter beans and lima beans are simply different names for the same bean. In the US south and in the UK, they’re commonly referred to as butter beans, while going by the name of lima beans in most other areas. So, you say lima bean, I say butter bean (and vice versa). Still not convinced? You can read more about the difference between butter beans and lima beans, along with several other names they go by, here.


Baby Lima Beans vs. Lima Beans

Now that we’ve established butter beans and lima beans are actually the same thing, what’s the difference between baby lima beans and lima beans? Baby lima beans are fresh and green, while regular lima beans (which are more mature), are typically dried and beige. For this recipe, you’ll want a bag of fresh frozen baby limas.


The Process

(Easiest on the Whole Internet!)

Instant Pot Baby Lima Beans | The Foodie Eats

Place beans, water, black pepper, butter, and bay leaf in IP. Lock lid, close vent, and set manual time for 7 minutes on high pressure.


Instant Pot Baby Lima Beans | The Foodie Eats

Open lid and add salt. Mix well, then allow to sit for at least 10 minutes on warm setting. Serve and enjoy!


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Instant Pot Baby Lima Beans | The Foodie Eats

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!


Instant Pot Baby Lima Beans | The Foodie Eats
5 from 10 votes

Instant Pot Baby Lima Beans

Super simple meatless butterbeans that are tender and sweet. Vegetarian or vegan recipe (depending on the butter you choose).

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Resting 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 126 kcal
Author The Foodie Eats


  • 28-30 oz. fresh frozen baby lima beans
  • 3 cups water really just enough to cover beans
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. butter can sub vegan butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. salt


  1. Place beans, water, black pepper, butter, and bay leaf in IP. Lock lid, close vent, and set manual time for 7 minutes on high pressure.

  2. Once cook time is complete, quick-release the pressure.

  3. Open lid and add salt. Mix well, then allow to sit for at least 10 minutes on warm setting.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you add the salt before cooking, the skin of the beans will be tougher. It is kind of a rule-of-thumb to always add salt to beans AFTER they are cooked.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Baby Lima Beans
Amount Per Serving
Calories 126 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 257mg 11%
Potassium 358mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 4.5%
Vitamin C 8%
Calcium 3.1%
Iron 9.9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  • Reply
    Liga Auzins
    March 10, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    I have fresh butterbeans from the farmers market, much larger than the baby frozen limas. How long should I cook them? Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Liga Auzins

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      March 13, 2018 at 10:47 am

      Hi Liga! That’s a great question. I’ve never actually cooked them fresh before. But I would try starting with 15 minutes at high pressure with a QPR. Then, if needed, cook them more in maybe 10 minute intervals. Probably not the best help, but it’s what I’d try to figure it out. Good luck! And please let me know how it comes out.

  • Reply
    March 12, 2018 at 8:11 am

    How bout a recipe for dry Lima’s ?

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      March 13, 2018 at 10:39 am

      Ok, I’ll do my best to post one soon!

    • Reply
      Summer Raborn
      September 5, 2018 at 4:13 pm

      We bought fresh lima beans and we cooked exactly as the recipe indicated and they turned out perfect! Seriously so good!!!! They were not mushy!

  • Reply
    Anna Eastman
    April 9, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    I love these! I used my pressure cooker but I never time it. I just cook till I think they’re done. I really like your recipe. I also add ham. Uncured, low sodium. It is actually cured but without nitrates and nitrites. I cut up the ham in big cubes, brown it in the skillet add water then dump that in with the limas and cook them in the pressure cooker. Funny growing up, my grandpa & grandma always called it a pressure cooker. Now it’s a hot pot. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 4, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Love these! They are perfectly done, just as they should be.

  • Reply
    May 4, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    I’d give this a 5-star rating if I could figure out how!

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      May 5, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      You just did. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed them!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2018 at 11:04 am

    I thought I was the only person that had lima beans as a favorite food!! I can eat them hot, cold, or lukewarm!

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      May 8, 2018 at 11:43 am

      Thanks for the reminder… I have some leftover in the fridge! Glad you enjoyed them.

  • Reply
    May 17, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Why is the cook time listed as 23 minutes but the directions say cook for 7 minutes

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      May 17, 2018 at 4:57 pm

      That includes time for the pressure cooker to come up to pressure.

  • Reply
    May 26, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    I love this recipe, and have already made and eaten multiple batches by myself. Would love a recipe for dry lima beans, as I h=am more likely to have them on hand.

  • Reply
    July 15, 2018 at 9:45 am

    So that’s 2lbs of beans?

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      July 16, 2018 at 8:19 am

      I’ve found that different brands of frozen beans are different sizes. And honestly, it doesn’t really matter as long as the beans are covered in water. But yes, it’s around 2 pounds of beans.

  • Reply
    Janet Johnston
    August 14, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    I have to admit – the Inst pot seems very complex. Your recipe for Lima beans was my second attempt. 5 stars from me. So delicious, so easy!

  • Reply
    Robert Bruncati
    August 18, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    I had fresh butter beans from the farmer’s market. Followed this process, no bay leaf though, and added some beef stock. Cooked for the 7 minutes and they were perfect! I too eat these for breakfast!

  • Reply
    Kate West
    September 2, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    Amazing! Tastes like I have been slaving away for hours on these beans, but so quick and simple to make. I really love the flavor of the bay leaf too!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Mark DeGross
    September 7, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Well sorry, vegans/vegetarians- I want to add some smoked pork to them.. how much do you have to alter the recipe? I looked up another recipe, but it was for stove top directions, though- it called for chopped onion and minced garlic, I think…

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      September 8, 2018 at 8:43 am

      Hey Mark. What I would recommend is this. Cook your pork first (probably for 20 minutes at high pressure) to create a broth, then release the pressure. Add the beans and then cook for 7 minutes at high pressure. Unfortunately, since the beans have such a short cook time, cooking them together probably won’t yield the best result because the meat won’t have time to release their goodness.

      I’m telling you though… I grew up eating them with pork (and still love it that way), but this method with butter and bay leaf is really great too! I think I may actually prefer it this way now. Maybe give it a shot?!

  • Reply
    September 8, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Adding salt to beans softens the skins and makes them less likely to break. This is contrary to what our grandmothers taught us, but new experiments have proven it to be a myth. You can also add salt when cooking dried beans.

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      September 8, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      I’ve actually tested it for myself before writing this article. So I respectfully disagree. But hey, whatever works for each of us in our own kitchens is just fine!

      Thanks for the rating and feedback!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    I made these last weekend and they were so good. I added bacon grease to mine because I am a southern girl and not a vegan (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I also added salt at the beginning and they turned out great!

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