My parents introduced me to succotash in my early 30s. My dad was trying to come up with the “perfect” recipe to take to pot luck dinners they attended. I decided to give it a try one week when I was in want of something different. I turned to the recipe in the Joy of Cooking and liked the results.

Over the years I have developed my own recipe roughly based on that recipe from Joy of Cooking. It has become the default side dish we serve with pierogies.

Servings: 8-10
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 15.5 oz. cans of red kidney beans (we like Goya), drained and rinsed
  • 1 16 oz. pkg Trader Joe’s frozen Roasted Corn Kernels, thawed
  • 1 8 oz. pkg frozen baby Lima beans, thawed
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper


  1. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer in a large pan. Simmer until the cream reduces by 50%. This takes anywhere from 15-20 minutes. Take care that the cream doesn’t boil over your pan; burnt dairy smells pretty bad.
  2. When the cream has reduced add the beans, corn and Lima beans. Stir to combine and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. The beans should have softened a bit and everything should be heated through.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir to melt the butter and combine everything together. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Sure, you can use dried beans if you want, just like the original Joy of Cooking recipe calls for. I get a more consistent result with the canned beans. Goya offers a low-sodium product that is quite good.

The roasted corn adds a bit of smokiness to the end product. If you don’t have roasted corn you can add 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. of ground chipotle chile.

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