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top view of a bowl of curried butter beans topped with fresh chopped cilantro and a fork and striped napkin blurred on the side

Curried Butter Beans

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Gigi & Sersie
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 5 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


These creamy curried butter beans are packed with protein, fiber, and flavor. The comforting spices in this Indian butter beans recipe hit the taste buds in all the right places. It's gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, oil-free, low-fat, and vegan.


Units Scale
  • 2 1/2 cups of butter beans (large lima beans), dry
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain coconut milk (NOT the full fat can, but the tetra pack carton; okay to substitute with soymilk or water)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (or more for extra heat)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro or parsley
  • Salt to taste


How to make these butter beans

This dish comes together quickly after the dried beans are cooked. So, you'll need to start by cooking the dry butter beans (large lima beans).

Prepare the dried beans

These butter beans are cooked in the Instant Pot. Sort, rinse, and strain the large dry lima beans in a colander.

Add beans to the Instant Pot with 6 cups of water. Cook the beans at high pressure for 40 minutes, and allow for natural release. This process takes about an hour. If you don't have an Instant Pot, you can cook these beans on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Check out this article on how to cook dried beans with different cooking methods.

Next, you'll want to make a bean slurry. This is what gives it that wonderful creamy, saucy consistency. Take 1 cup of cooked butter beans plus 1 cup of plain unsweetened coconut milk (NOT the full fat can, but the one you buy in the tetra pack carton), and blend it in a mini blender until smooth and creamy. Set the creamy bean slurry aside.

Prepare the veggies and assemble

Preheat a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and dry saute for 2 to 3 minutes. The water from the veggies should release, keeping them from sticking to the pan.

Add spices, stir to combine, and continue to cook for another minute.

Pour the coconut aminos and bean slurry mixture into the pan with cooked veggies.

Then add cooked and partially drained butter beans—no need to rinse the cooked butter beans when cooking from scratch since it's naturally salt-free. Plus, adding a little bit of the cooking liquid adds to the creaminess of this dish.

Stir in the fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. Top with fresh chopped cilantro, salt to taste, and enjoy!



  1. Instant Pot to cook dried beans (can substitute with large pot or slow cooker)
  2. Mini blender
  3. Large saute pan or skillet
  4. Knife
  5. Cutting board
  6. Measuring cup
  7. Measuring spoons
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner Entrée
  • Method: Instant Pot & Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian