Succotash is Back

I think the first time I heard the word “succotash” was from a cartoon character back when I was a kid. I never knew succotash was an actual dish until well into adulthood. When I finally discovered it, I was hooked. Virtually every region of the U.S. has some form of succotash and the ingredients vary based upon where the dish is being prepared.

For awhile, it seemed that it was on the menu of every trendy restaurant, but always as a side dish. However, over time succotash seemed to fade away in favor of other newer side dishes. But I think succotash is worth staying front and center– not only as a side dish but also as a main course. What I like about succotash is that its super versatile as either a vegetarian dish or one with meat, and it can be loaded with healthy nutrition that a pregnant woman (or any woman or family) can benefit from. The vegetables are typically full of vitamins and minerals, amino acids, potassium and needed fiber.

Succotash is loaded with vegetables. Traditionally, it contains some form of corn and lima beans, but there are plenty of other ingredients that can be added to give it lots of flavor and color. Plus, you can make it in one dish on the stove. What’s better than that?

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Photo by Anne Preble

While fresh ingredients are best, this dish can be made with frozen vegetables too. Don’t like one of the ingredients? Swap it out for something you like. Different regions of the U.S. use okra, beans, potatoes, or carrots. (Some areas use red or green peppers too, but I find many pregnant women have difficulty digesting peppers or frequent heartburn any time peppers are an ingredient in a meal, so I typically do not use them in any of my recipes).

The possibilities are endless — and with my basic recipe to prepare succotash, you can’t go wrong using any combination of vegetables. Try the Vegetarian Succotash or Succotash with Meat for your next main course or side dish!

Vegetarian Succotash

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced small
  • 5 ears of corn, husks removed, and kernels cut off (but do not cook!) or 1 large bag of frozen yellow corn, thawed
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 box (or small bag) of frozen lima beans, thawed
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large, heavy skillet heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and cook until onions are translucent, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add in the corn, sprinkle with salt, and cover. Continue cooking over medium heat until corn is cooked, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add in tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add in lima beans and cook an additional 4 minutes or until lima beans are softened.
  6. Add in peas and cover, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes until peas turn bright green and are heated through.
  7. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.

 

Succotash with Meat

  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, diced small
  • 5 ears of corn, husks removed, and kernels cut off (do not cook!) or 1 large bag of frozen yellow corn, thawed
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 box (or small bag) of frozen lima beans, thawed
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large, heavy skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil and butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the bacon and cook until the fat is rendered, and the bacon pieces are crisp, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Remove the bacon pieces and drain on a plate with paper towels.
  4. Add onion to the oil/butter/bacon fat and cook until onions are translucent, about 5-6 minutes.
  5. Add in the corn, sprinkle with salt, and cover. Continue cooking over medium heat until corn is cooked, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add in tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Add in lima beans and cook an additional 4 minutes or until lima beans are softened.
  8. Add in peas and cover, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes until peas turn bright green and are heated through.
  9. Add the bacon pieces back into the succotash and toss to combine.
  10. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm.

 

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