What do Butter Beans Taste Like?

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Butter beans have a taste that does justice to their name. It has a buttery flavor with some nuttiness underlining the taste. The subtle sweetness you feel from these beans results from rich starch content.

Many people confuse whether butter beans and lima beans are the same or not so. You can find many heated arguments about this online. These beans come from the same plant and get harvested at different stages of maturity. We will discuss what does butter beans taste like and their difference from limas.

The creamy texture and earthy flavor make butter beans a versatile ingredient. This protein source may taste disgusting if prepared in the wrong manner. It can become your ally in the kitchen if you master how to use it.

Are Butter Beans and Lima Beans the Same

Butter beans and lima beans are from the same legume named Phaseolus lunatus. In simple terms, they represent the same bean in different life stages.

The name lima bean and butter bean get used differently in different regions. In the South, the baby beans have the name lima beans. The matured ones are butter beans. In the UK, the name butter beans alone denote this flavorous legume.

Baby lima beans have a greenish color and, of course, have a smaller size. They go well in soups and stews. The mature beans, the butter beans, have creamy-white color. They are larger than baby beans. They make excellent salads and go well in stews.

What does Butter Beans Taste Like

Butter beans have a creamy taste that gets amplified by the velvety texture. It doesn’t have a beanie flavor like other beans. The green taste of butter beans gives off more of a vegetable flavor. This delicate bean holds so much flavor that you can use them as a stand-alone ingredient in dishes.

The off-white butterbeans have a distinct savory flavor to them. You can taste this from the beans when they get cooked right. Over-boiling puts off the taste and will make them feel mealy. Many people hate butter beans because of this bland, unpleasant flavor. It may also taste bitter if overcooked.

Some people despise the starchy taste of butter beans. It is easy to sense an uncooked flavor from it. Again, you can avoid this by utilizing the optimum cooking conditions. The starchy taste can become rich and comforting when the beans get cooked perfectly.

Baby lima beans taste starchier than butter beans. Butter beans also have a hearty fatty side to them. Lima and butter beans taste the same as they are the same thing. But as the bigger and stockier ones, butter beans hold a better, less green taste than lima beans. You can bring out the best butter bean flavor from the freshly harvested ones.

Are Butter Beans Good to Eat

Butter beans are not only tasty but can also give you a lot of health benefits. This rich source of protein contains a considerable amount of carbohydrates. You have to check the intake if you aim for a carbohydrate-restricted diet.

Butter beans also offer a source of microelements. They contain iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. These beans are full of vitamin B as well.

You should pay attention to the cooking method to make them taste good. Soaking the beans overnight and slow cooking them for enough time make them taste flavorful. Butter beans contain a compound called linamarin that could turn into cyanide. You can avoid this by cooking the beans for more than 10 minutes.

Food with Similar Taste as Butter Beans

The giant white beans called Gigante beans look very much like butter beans. They have a mild taste with a sweet hint. The meaty texture helps them to hold their shape. They can replace butter beans in your recipes without destroying the character.

Another bean with a comparable flavor to butter beans could be fava beans. Though green in color, these beans have soft flavors. They also have nutty, sweet undertones.

The navy beans have a soft texture with a delicate flavor. These white beans also make an excellent substitute for butter beans. Great northern beans and cannellini beans offer more options for butter bean substitutes.


Butter beans have a smooth texture with a butter-like taste. This less-beanie-flavored bean has sweet, nutty, and earthy hints of flavor. They help to deepen the taste. Unique and mild-tasting, these beans make delectable salads, stews, and soups. The mature lima beans are what we call butter beans. But as they are bigger, the starch content gets richer and feels fattier.

The high starch content in butter beans can taste delicious if cooked right. Or else, it gives a mealy taste with some bitterness. Proper cooking is a must, as otherwise, the linamarin in this bean turns into cyanide. This bean packs a lot of nutrition like protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

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