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Creamy Miso Butter Beans Recipe

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You’ve got to try this butter beans recipe! Made with fresh baby spinach and a bit of miso to add a hint of umami flavor, it makes a great side dish or a full meal. 

These miso butter beans are full of flavor in a creamy sauce. The shallot, garlic, and squeeze of lemon juice pair with the miso flavor to give a fresh yet still creamy taste.

This easy recipe comes together fast and with little effort. 

Creamy miso butter beans with spinach in a large pan with a spatula.
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 Butter beans often have some kind of pork added to them, but this butter bean recipe uses a cream, which makes it an excellent vegetarian main. Coconut cream works great if you want it to be vegan. No bacon or ham hocks required! 

The best part is we use canned butter beans in this recipe to avoid soaking and long cook times of dried beans. These beans come together in less than 30 minutes with less than 15 minutes of cooking time. 

Butter beans have been going viral on TikTok this past year - they're easy to make, filling, and are quite inexpensive. What's not to love?

What are Butter Beans?

Butter beans are just a more pleasant way of saying “lima beans.” They are the same thing. If you remember lima beans being small and green, it’s because the green lima/butter beans are not fully mature and are called baby lima beans. The light color and larger size come from the beans being more “ripe.” So you can say butter beans are large lima beans with a tastier sounding name. 

Butter beans are a great source of fiber and protein, which makes this recipe an excellent option for a vegan main dish. 

Ingredients for a butter beans recipe on a marble background.

Ingredients

Garlic and shallots - You'll sauté these in a little olive oil to add a wonderful flavor to the beans. If you don't have a shallot, the white parts of a leek or a yellow onion. A yellow onion will just be a little more robust. 

Canned butter beans - You can also make from dry butter beans. You can substitute cannellini beans if you don't have any butter beans on hand. 

Vegetable stock or vegetable broth - I love the flavor of the vegetable stock with the miso, but you can use chicken broth if you prefer.

White miso paste - The miso adds a lovely flavor to these butter beans. White miso is lighter in flavor compared to other miso, but if you need a white miso substitute, you can use any miso you have on hand. 

Cream - You'll want to use whole cream to get creamy butter beans. You can use a dairy or coconut cream for vegan butter beans. Coconut cream is the cream that is on top of a can of coconut milk. You can also buy cans of coconut cream, generally found next to the canned coconut milk, at the grocery store. 

Fresh baby spinach - Baby spinach has a slightly lighter taste than regular spinach and will add a nice dose of nutrients to this dish. 

Fresh lemon juice - The lemon juice provides the perfect balance of acid in this creamy recipe. 

Fresh dill - The dill in this butter bean recipe is optional but adds a nice flavor and is highly recommended. 

You'll season with salt and pepper, and if you like some spice, you can add red pepper flakes. 

The full ingredient list and amounts can be found on the recipe card below. 

Instructions

In a large pot or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, and once hot, add the shallots. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until they become translucent.

Shallots cooking in a pan.

Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. 

Shallots cooking in a pan.

Pour in the rinsed butter beans, vegetable stock, and miso paste. Stir till the miso paste has dissolved. Simmer for 10 minutes to reduce. 

Butter beans with stock, miso, shallots, and garlic in a large pan.

Stir in the heavy cream and simmer for an additional 5 minutes till the sauce has thickened up.

Butter beans, stock, shallots, and cream simmering in a pan.

Stir in the baby spinach, salt, and pepper, and remove from the heat once the spinach has wilted. Stir in the lemon juice.

Fresh baby spinach added to a pot of butter beans.

Top with optional fresh dill and serve with slices of crusty bread.

Creamy miso and spinach butter beans in a large pan.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to four days. 

More Bean Recipes You'll Love

  • White Bean Soup - This soup has so much flavor and comes together in less than 30 minutes. It's a vegan meal full of herbs and veggies that is sure to be a favorite. 
  • Chicken Chili with Black Beans - With chicken, bell peppers, black beans and the most delicious seasonings, this chili is a must try! It's made with black beans, but pinto beans work great too!
  • Ful Medames (Egyptian Fava Beans)- Another creamy bean recipe full of delicious spices that's a Middle Eastern and Northern African comfort food. You can even cook this one in the slow cooker for a hands off recipe. 
  • Cucumber Chickpea Salad - This recipe mixes chick peas with feta and cucumber for a delicious and creamy salad. It's a great recipe for a summer meal or a side dish any time. 
Creamy miso and spinach butter beans in a large pan with a spatula next to a striped towel.

This simple recipe comes together without much work and makes a great main course. Traditional butter beans are a classic Southern comfort dish. We think you’ll enjoy this different twist on these classic cooked beans.

If you try these butter beans, let us know! Connect with us on Instagram and share your photos or leave us a rating. 

Yield: 2 to 3 servings

Creamy Miso Butter Beans

Creamy miso and spinach butter beans in a large pan with a spatula.

This delicious butter beans recipe is a fantastic and filling main course! It's full of umami flavor and is easy to make.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • ½ cup whole cream or coconut cream
  • 3 cups packed baby spinach
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • optional - 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet or pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, and once hot, add the shallots. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until they become translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. 
  3. Pour in the rinsed butter beans, vegetable stock, and miso paste. Stir till the miso paste has dissolved. Simmer for 10 minutes to reduce. Stir in the cream and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the baby spinach, salt, and pepper, and remove from the heat once the spinach has wilted. Stir in the lemon juice.
  5. Top with optional fresh dill and serve with slices of crusty bread.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 588Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 1416mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 16gSugar: 17gProtein: 21g
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