Slow Cooker Hearty Lima Bean Soup

crockpot lima bean soup

Stop! Don't run away! Lima beans are good for you, and I promise this soup tastes nothing like the watery pile of pale lima beans you were served as a kid.

This is super good soup ---- I had high expectations of packing up tupperwares to share with my parents and grandma and instead ate all the leftovers myself for lunch three days in a row.

A batch fed my family of 5 and then there was enough for 3 lunches -- it makes a lot, and is filling without being overly heavy. 

I used Aidell's chicken and apple sausage for the meat, and this meat provided the only oil or fat, making this a very lean and packed-with-fiber meal.

The Ingredients.
serves 8
crockpot lima bean soup ingredients

1 pound of soaked lima beans, drained (for quick soak: boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then turn off heat and leave covered for 1 hour.)
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 head (about 10 cloves) garlic, peeled (ok to leave cloves whole)
1 (28-ounce) can diced or plum tomatoes with basil
1 (28-ounce) can water (fill empty tomato can with water, then dump into crockpot)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 (12-ounce) package chicken and apple sausage, diced (or about 2 cups diced ham)
salt to taste (I used about 1 teaspoon kosher salt)

The Directions.

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. I used the Ninja. Place the drained lima beans into your cooker, and add the onion and garlic. Dump in the tomatoes, then rinse the can into the pot. Add paprika, and stir in the sausage. 

Cover, and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until the beans are fully soft.

Use a handheld immersion blender to naturally thicken the broth by blending some of the beans and tomatoes. This also helps distribute the flavor and squish up the garlic cloves. If you don't have a handheld blender, you can scoop out a cup or so of the beans and smash them with a large fork or blend in a traditional blender, then stir them back into the pot.

Salt to taste.

Serve as-is, or with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.

The Verdict.

Man, I loved this soup. I had the lima bean package in the back of the cabinet for a while, and figured I'd cook them with a ham hock, but never got around to doing so.

 I happily ate the leftovers for lunch out of a large mug, and look forward to making it again so I can share with my extended family. 

It's a cheap dinner, tastes great, is filling, low in fat, and as any preschooler would know, lima beans keep you from getting A Bad Case of The Stripes.  :-)  


What a fantastic, family-friendly recipe! Use dry lima beans and smoked sausage to create a delicious and hearty soup that the entire family will love!

Do you love this article?

Please share it with your friends!

Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at March 20, 2017

Sign up for the A Year of Slow Cooking newsletter and get the Top Ten Reader Favorite Recipes sent directly to your inbox!

What they say about this article

  1. This soup sounds awesome! I am all about chicken and apple sausage! Is that brand gluten-free?

  2. Looks yummy! I will grate the garlic cloves on my microplane, which is much faster than chopping and eliminates any chunks.

  3. it is, Laurie! We eat a lot of Aidell's products. they even have GF meatballs! (read packages; the GF ones are clearly marked).

  4. @soonerfangirl, you can grate if you wish, but I left them in whole -- they create a neat smoky flavor when left whole and smoosh easily with a spoon.

  5. Thank you!! I have a 4 week old baby, and am looking for things I can pop into the crockpot. I know your blog, obviously, is full of fabulous ideas...I'm excited to start pinning likely candidates. This one sounds awesome, though!!

  6. Tivo didn't get your appearance on Rachael Ray, do you have a link somewhere?

  7. LOL on that intro, Steph! We love lima beans so I'm sure we'd love this one! Adding to my future plans. Would be great for low-cost main dish for my support group meeting, too! :-)


  8. found it!

  9. thanks for posting the link, Wii Fit. I got sidetracked earlier, sorry about that.
    :-) xoxo

  10. DELISH!!! Made it tonight for dinner with fresh rolls and we all had thirds!!! Thanks!

  11. Mine looks watery so far. It was one pound of beans then soaked ( they just about filled the slow cooker). It just started cooking so I will know tomorrow. Doesn't look like the picture yet

  12. yay, Fran!
    Jayne, that sounds right. The beans cook, swell, and soften, but it takes a good 8 hours or so on low. When they are are fully cooked, use a handheld immersible blender to squish some up to naturally thicken the broth.

  13. What perfect timing! I had beans soaking all night just to cook and freeze for later--I am making this soup instead. There is a blizzard outside my window so it is the perfect day for a hearty soup.

  14. We are about to eat this for dinner! My husband and I are trying to lose weight and this is pretty low-calorie (about 230 per serving). I went with ham because it's our favorite :-) And realized I was out of paprika. Oops! It's still yummy (I couldn't help but sample it).

  15. made this last weekend. didn't have tomatoes, so I used salsa instead (had some In fridge). soooooo delicious!!!

  16. I recently came across this recipe and made it today - boy was it good. I did tweak it slightly, added a little more onion, used both the sausage and a few smoked pork necks and used smoked paprika. And then I served it with cast iron skillet cornbread. Thanks for your recipes, I have used a few of them now and enjoyed them all.

  17. Anonymous11/14/2016

    Used smoked paprika and a vegetarian sausage. Sooo yummy. I forgot to smash them with the immersion blender 'cause we were eating them already!
    Also, I just learned Lima beans are also called "butter beans." Maybe that's a way to sneak them past the psychological block of "limas...uck!"

  18. Anonymous12/17/2016

    Got these going on this morning. It's 80 degrees out there right now but by tomorrow morning it will be 28. Gotta love Texas weather and southern cooking Lima beans and ham with cornbread. THANKS

  19. Sandra in WA3/23/2017

    this is pretty similar to your Calico Bean Soup recipe, which is a favorite of mine. I have a big can of cooking tomatoes in my pantry and have been wondering how to use it up.

    My mom used to make a lima bean/bbq sauce-y soup that I loved, even as a kid. This recipe definitely sounds like it needs to be made in my house.