Lima Beans & Lamb

By: Eleni Saltas

There are not many days when I am gung ho for beans. Growing up a picky eater, beans have been the last to enter the rotation of foods I no longer push away. However, there’s still a slight distrust for beans and I don’t know why. To this day I still won’t eat beans plain—they’ve got to be mixed in well with another main ingredient of some sort—which is why I am sold on this lima beans and lamb recipe. Lamb and lima—lima and lamb—it’s a powerful duo that’s meant to be. 

For this dish, soak the beans overnight to rid of indigestible sugars and to cut down on cooking time. To get the dish going, ground lamb is slowly simmered in a rich tomato sauce to build a nice flavor until the lima beans are added and both are cooked together until tender. It’s a filling and satisfying dish with two main stars to appreciate. If you’re like me and not totally sold on beans, this dish is for you. And if you are a bean lover, you don’t need me to tell you twice to try this one!

Prep Time:

5min, plus soaking beans overnight

Total Time:



4-6 bowls

Good For:



  • 16 ounces lima beans (soaked overnight)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 small green pepper, finely diced (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (optional)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 16 ounces of ground lamb
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, or more to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken or beef broth, or more as needed

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Soak the beans overnight in plenty of water. Drain and rinse with cold water before using.

Step 2

Heat a saucepan to medium over medium and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and peppers and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. 

Step 3

Add the ground lamb, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and season generously with salt, pepper and oregano. Continue stirring until the lamb has browned. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and cook on low to medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with more salt, pepper and oregano to taste.

Step 4

Add the lima beans and enough chicken broth or water to the pot to initially cover the beans. Cover with a lid slightly off, and simmer until beans are tender, about 20 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally and add more seasoning to taste. Remove the lid at the end of the cooking process to hasten thickening. Serve with bread and enjoy!