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Dinner doesn’t get any easier than this savory, satisfying Instant Pot Lima Beans and Ham soup recipe. Dried beans or frozen lima beans are tasty and budget-friendly, and flavorful precooked ham makes this a real crowd pleasing dish. Plus, it is the perfect way to use up that leftover holiday ham!
Butter Beans vs Lima Beans: What’s the Difference?
Did you know that butter beans and lima beans are the same type of bean? Lima beans are immature and green in color. Butter beans are more matured and beige in color. But they are the same plant!
This recipe calls for lima beans, but you’ll see that they lose their greenish color when cooking. In fact, once cooked, butter beans and lima beans look and taste identical. So feel free to use whichever bean is available to make this recipe.
Ingredients You Need for Instant Pot Lima Bean Soup
In addition to dried lima beans – or butter beans, this hearty soup includes just a handful of simple and wholesome ingredients.
Here is the complete list of the 7 ingredients needed:
- Precooked ham
- Chicken broth
- Bay leaves
For the beans, use dried lima beans soaked overnight, a quick soak 1 hour method, or use frozen lima beans for this recipe.
I highly recommend you use the leftovers from a bone-in ham (like from my Crock Pot Ham with Coke and Pineapple recipe) from Christmas or Easter to make this delicious lima bean soup recipe. While any precooked ham will add great flavor, including an actual ham bone or ham hock takes the savoriness to a whole other level.
How to Soak Dried Baby Lima Beans in the Instant Pot
Follow the directions label on your beans to soak your dried baby lima beans or dried butter beans overnight. Or, I have instructions for how to quick soak dried beans right in the Instant Pot. You can also use frozen lima beans in this recipe.
Learn more about dried beans in this handy reference article.
Using dried lima beans in the Instant Pot makes this a real budget-friendly recipe. And, they are so incredibly flavorful when made with ham.
If you do not have time to soak your beans, add 20 minutes to the pressure cooking time for a no soak beans recipe. See frequently asked questions below for more more information.
How to Make Instant Pot Lima Beans and Ham
This 3 step recipe couldn’t be any easier. It’s the perfect family-friendly dinner to make on a busy weeknight or lazy weekend when you want something super comforting but completely effortless.
Here’s the easiest way to make lima bean soup with ham using the Instant Pot:
- Combine all of the ingredients in the Instant Pot, and seal the lid.
- Pressure cook for 25 minutes. Allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes before doing a quick pressure release.
- Remove the lid and saute the beans until they thicken, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
That is it! Lima beans and ham is a scrumptious, gluten-free, wonderfully quick and easy one pot dish.
Serve this with my easy Bisquick Cornbread recipe!
Other Ideas for Making this Recipe
- Lima beans with ham hocks: Add a ham hock for extra flavor! I recommend cutting the ham back to 3 cups if the ham hock is meaty.
- Lima beans with bacon: Swap out the ham for a pound of bacon, sautéed and diced.
- Lima beans with vegetables: Add 1/2 cup of chopped carrots, 1/2 cup of chopped celery, or 1/2 cup of chopped bell pepper. Or add all three!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can! Substitute the dried beans for three 15-ounce cans of canned lima beans or butter beans.
You can use my quick soak method right in the Instant pot or add 20 minutes to the pressure cooking to skip soaking the beans overnight. Or, use frozen lima beans in place of the dried beans.
Keep cooled leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. This soup will also freeze well for up to 3 months.
Get the Easiest Lima Beans and Ham Soup Recipe and see the Video:
Instant Pot Lima Beans and Ham
- Instant Pot (or any electric pressure cooker)
- 1 lb dried baby lima beans, soaked overnight or quick soak (for non-soaked beans see notes below)
- 6 cups precooked ham, diced
- 3 cups chicken broth or stock, low sodium
- 3 cups water
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ham hock or ham bone
- Add all ingredients to the Instant Pot or pressure cooker, ensuring you do not exceed the fill line of the pot. Lock pressure cooker lid into place seal pressure lever to seal (if needed). Cook at high pressure for 25 minutes.
- After pressure cooking, allow pressure cooker to naturally release for 10 minutes, then initiate a quick release.
- The beans will be soupy in texture. To thicken the beans, cook on sauté with lid off until desired thickness, stirring occasionally.