This is probably the easiest recipe for Instant Pot baby lima beans (butterbeans) that you’ll find. Don’t let that fool you. The results are amazing!
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!
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.
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And the Amazing Result…
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Instant Pot Baby Lima Beans
- 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
- 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.
- Once cook time is complete, quick-release the pressure.
- Open lid and add salt. Mix well, then allow to sit for at least 10 minutes on warm setting.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Opinions will vary, but in my experience, 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.
- You can use slightly more or less beans. As long as they are covered in water, the cook time will remain the same.
- Bags of frozen lima beans are marked "fresh frozen", as they are fresh beans that have been frozen. You may use either fresh frozen, or fresh lima beans for this recipe. This recipe was not written for dried beans.
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