Cherokee Style Succotash

  • Servings: 3 or 4

This easy and nutritious bean and corn stew is initially a Native American dish. Succotash comes from an Indian word meaning corn. Now it is a staple in many parts of North America and is also popular in South America.

The original dish is made with lima beans but it can be also made with dried beans.

In my recipe, I have used black beans. Corn is always used. Anyway, there are many variations of this stew, some of which even include beef, pork or chicken.

it can be a side dish, a starter, a vegetarian main dish or even a salad.


  • 2 cups of Lima, kidney or black beans, cooked in advance
  • 2 cups of corn, cooked
  • 1 cup of julienned bell peppers, 3 colours if available
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh tomato, finely diced
  • 2 or 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme & 2 stalks of spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper and 1 pinch of chili powder (optional)
  • Salt, to taste


Step 1

Heat the olive oil in a skillet then add the garlic and the onion. When the onion is slightly coloured, add the peppers and the tomato, followed by the corn and the beans.

Step 2

Incorporate the herbs and spices, mix and stir fry on a lower heat until all is nicely cooked and combined. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Comments (10)

  1. posted by Joanna Lee Hadley on April 24, 2020

    We had the poor version growing up. Can of corn and can of beans mixed and served as a side dish. We can’t claim native heritage because it is too far back. I didn’t know why the other kids didn’t know what succotash was when I was a kid.

    • posted by Krys on April 30, 2020

      Original Recipes can change with time and circumstances!

    • posted by Lullabelle Weaver on November 24, 2020

      We did, too. I thnk it was even served that way in our school cafeteria. 🙂

  2. posted by Russ on March 25, 2021

    This is a very nice looking recipe that I can’t wait to try. I do feel a crunchy element is needed, so I’m thinking of some nice crisp bacon, coursely chopped. I might even add some asparagus tips to the recipe and either replace some of the onion with leeks, or just add some leeks to the onions already there. Another option would be to replace the onion altogether with shallot. I also find myself wondering if some filé wouldn’t make a nice addition. And as file is Winokur ground, dried, sassafras leaves, it would be an authentic ingredient along the whole of the east coast and most of the south.

    Very nice recipe though. It gave me a lot of different ideas to try out.

    I’m like 1/6 Choctaw, but I cannot say that I’ve ever had any traditional Choctaw succotash. But almost every version that I have tried uses succotash either cold, or at room temperature. The idea of a hot (or at least warm) succotash is very, very intriguing!

    Thank you for posting this!

    • posted by Russ on March 25, 2021

      I don’t know what “Winokur” is. Lol

      It was a typo caused by my rather dumb “smartphone”.

      It was supposed to say “simply” where it says “Winokur”.

      My bad. I should know by now to thoroughly proof-read my comments!

    • posted by Krys on July 9, 2021

      Thanks got your comments! Very glad you liked the recipe! 👋

  3. posted by patty on December 9, 2022

    Like adding the black beans. However, growing up, never even heard of black beans! although the rest of ingredients are almost the same. My mom used bacon grease, not olive oil or thyme. And the difference of fried corn vs Succotash was no lima beans & added butter… nowadays it’s pretty much called Mexican street corn adding the cheese. Interesting this is named Cherokee version, as my G-mother was part Cherokee. I’m from Ky.

    • posted by Krys on January 14, 2023

      Thank you for your message! I think recipes evolve with time, Although I always try to post authentic recipes (as much as I can)! Thank you again for your precisions! Krystyna

  4. posted by Amanda on October 17, 2023

    I hate to say it, but succotash itself IS the bean of the three sisters to the Eastern Algonkian; according to oral traditions of the eastern tribes, it resembles corn, hence its namesake. According to rareseeds.com “A rare, ancient bean from the Narragansett Indian tribe of Rhode Island. This uniquely shaped, dime-sized bean closely resembles a kernel of corn. This variety was used for succotash — the iconic indigenous northeastern dish of corn and beans that historians believe was served at the first Thanksgiving. This bean is ideal for the north, particularly on the coast. ” So, when you buy that can of “succotash” in the store, it’s not the traditional way- it does not even have the bean that gives the meal its name! Thanks for sharing this 🙂

    • posted by Krys on October 28, 2023

      Dear Amanda
      Thank you for your interesting comment regarding the Succotash recipe! My recipe comes from a friend with indigenous American roots. I do thing that over the years some recipes tend to alter, due mainly to non availability reasons. Thanks again!


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