Mayo Clinic Health Library

Recipe: Lima bean ragout with tomatoes and thyme

Updated: 10-20-2012

Dietitian's tip: Also known as butter beans, fresh lima beans are creamy with a mild flavor. Keep an eye out for them at your farmers market. Fresh fava (broad) beans are a good substitute in this flavorful side dish.


Serves: 6

  • 4 pounds fresh lima beans, shelled, or 2 packages frozen lima beans, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tomato, peeled and seeded, then diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or broth
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley


Bring a large saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil. Add the lima beans and cook until just tender-crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomato, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and salt. Saute until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the cooked lima beans and simmer, uncovered, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

Nutritional Analysis per serving
  • Calories: 177
  • Total carbohydrate: 26 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Dietary fiber: 6 g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Saturated fat: < 1 g
  • Sodium: 157 mg
  • Sugars: 0 g
  • Total fat: 5 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
Click to expand tables
Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid Servings
Diabetes Meal Plan Exchanges
DASH Eating Plan Servings