Southern Succotash Stew

Corn succotash is enjoyed in late summer when corn and tomatoes are at their peak here in the South, but it also gets a second chance to steal the show in fall and winter. We like to think of it as a cozy bowl of comfort, no matter the season.  And, well, we may be biased, but we’re calling it: this Southern Succotash Stew is among the best succotash recipes! 

Succotash has a long and storied history dating back hundreds of years and attributed to several Native American tribes in the Northeast United States. Succotash recipes traditionally feature corn, beans and squash – referred to as the “three sisters.”

Our version of this succotash recipe features lima beans and corn, tomatoes, a bit of smoked sausage, a handful of fresh spinach and herbs. The ingredients come together for a rich and hearty succotash stew with a flavorful broth that smells and tastes like home.

What is Succotash?

In simple terms, the definition of succotash is described as “an American dish of corn and lima beans cooked together,” according to Merriam-Webster, which also cites the first known use of succotash in 1751. Merriam-Webster also attributes the word succotash to the Narragansett word “msickquatash,” which means “boiled corn kernels.”

As touched on in the previous section, succotash is a dish often attributed to Native American tribes. Succotash recipes traditionally feature lima beans and corn as the foundational ingredients. From there, the recipes begin to vary by region, personal preference and cultural and culinary heritage.

Some of the more common ingredients for succotash include tomatoes, onions, zucchini or squash, bell peppers and herbs. Bacon and sausage are sometimes used in succotash recipes as well. 

Succotash Ingredients

This corn succotash leans on two of the traditional ingredients, lima beans and corn, with some extra vegetables and smoked sausage for a hearty, comforting stew.

Here’s your list of ingredients for succotash stew:

  • Smoked sausage
  • Unsalted butter
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Herbs: thyme, rosemary and bay leaves
  • Lima beans
  • Corn
  • Low-sodium broth
  • Fresh spinach or kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Green onions or chives
  • Cracked black pepper

How to Make Succotash

The best succotash recipes rely on simple ingredients and an easy cooking process. There’s no suffering with this succotash recipe! (See what we did there? Sylvester the Cat, Looney Tunes, suffering succotash … you get the point …)

Following is your guide for how to make succotash stew.

Brown the sausage. Heat a Dutch oven to medium-high heat and brown the sausage for 5-8 minutes, until just browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate and reduce heat to medium. 

Sauté the aromatics. Melt 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter and sauté the onions until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Your kitchen should smell amazing right about now!

Get to cooking. Add the next 6 ingredients (thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, lima beans, corn and broth) and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the sausage, kale or spinach and tomatoes, cover and simmer until the greens have wilted, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. 

Garnish and serve. This is the best part! Divide the stew into six equal servings, garnish with green onion or chives and freshly cracked black pepper, if desired. 

Wondering what to serve with succotash? Cornbread muffins, a crusty French baguette or a side salad are all great options to serve with succotash.

Succotash FAQs, Tips and Substitutions

Is Southern succotash a side dish?

Succotash is often served as a side dish, but this soup is heart enough for it to serve as a main course. You can also use smaller portions for an appetizer that serves 8-10 people, which is perfect for a Thanksgiving succotash.

Should I use fresh or frozen vegetables?

Either or a combination of the two. Use what’s in season if you’re cooking with fresh vegetables. It’s tough to find quality tomatoes and fresh corn as the days grow shorter and colder, so feel free to lean on frozen veggies as needed. 

Why doesn’t this recipe call for salt?

Sausage is laden with sodium. I find that added salt is not necessary in this corn succotash recipe, but use your best judgement. You can always add it, but you can’t take it away!

Can I use different vegetables?

Yes, of course! Okra, summer squash, zucchini, butter beans, cranberry beans and bell peppers are all tasty swaps. 

Is this a low-sodium recipe?

Unlike most Sweet New Roots recipes, this recipe is not a low-sodium recipe. However, you are encouraged to use a lower-sodium turkey or chicken sausage if you are on a low-sodium diet.

Can I make this a meat-free recipe?

Yes, absolutely! Sweet New Roots recipes are always created to be versatile to support a range of lifestyles, including gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, low-sodium, oil-free and refined sugar-free. 

If you remove the meat from this recipe, feel free to bulk up this succotash stew with extra vegetables, such as okra and squash.

What can I use in place of butter?

You can use 1 tablespoon of olive oil in place of the butter in this recipe. For a dairy-free, oil-free vegan succotash, use vegetable broth to sauté the vegetables and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.

What to serve with succotash?

Cornbread muffins, a crusty French baguette or a side salad are all great options to serve with succotash.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Southern Succotash Stew

This Southern Succotash Stew brings all the flavors of a traditional corn succotash. Corn and lima beans are the stars of this succotash recipe that we like to think of as a great big bowl of comfort.

  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x



1 pound smoked sausage, such as andouille, sliced or diced

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 cup onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

2 bay leaves

2 cups lima beans

2 cups corn

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 large handful fresh kale or spinach, chopped

1 cup tomatoes, diced

Green onion or chives, chopped (optional)

Cracked black pepper (optional)


  1. Heat dutch oven to medium-high heat and brown the sausage for 5-8 minutes, until just browned. Use a slotted spoon to to transfer the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate and reduce heat to medium.


  • Sausage is laden with sodium. I find that added salt is not necessary in this recipe. Use your best judgment.
  • I recommend using frozen corn (instead of canned) if you can’t find fresh corn cobs. Several stores have started carrying frozen roasted corn, which also works well in this succotash recipe.
  • This recipe calls for fresh tomatoes, but you could use no-salt diced tomatoes, drained, in a pinch.
  • Bulk it up with 1 cup of okra or winter squash.
  • Author: Cortney Sparkman
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Soup and Stews
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: corn succotash, southern succotash, succotash stew, suffering succotash, best succotash recipes, lima beans and corn

If you enjoyed this succotash, try these recipes:

Article originally posted October 25, 2022; Last updated June 16, 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Latest Recipes

Recipe Categories

Hey! I’m Cortney.
Welcome to Sweet New Roots!

I hope these recipes and resources inspire you to get creative in your kitchen. Let’s get cooking!

Don’t miss a thing!

Stories and recipes, straight to your inbox. Subscribe to the Sweet New Roots newsletter today.