New England Iron-Skillet Succotash

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

The Narragansett ate succotash of corn and beans cooked in bear fat. They called it “misickquatash.” It has evolved over the years into a delicious dish, which is certainly lower in cholesterol! Served on many Thanksgiving tables, especially in New England, succotash is a colorful addition to the plate.

NotesNowadays, with our global markets, fresh corn is available year-round. In November, i don’t buy fresh corn to eat on the cob (I save that eating pleasure for summer, when the corn is local and freshly picked). However, i do use November corn in sautés and soups—in fact I prefer fresh corn to frozen because the texture is tender and firm. The variety of corn available in the markets at this time of year is, most likely, a hybrid known as Super-Sweet. As a result of the high sugar content, the corn caramelizes when sautéed, which gives a welcome, rich flavor to the succotash.

Do Ahead:

This sauté is best when made right before serving. However, the corn can be blanched and the vegetables can all be chopped up to 1 day in advance.

Serves10 to 12

Cooking Methodsauteeing



Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Courseside dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian


Type of Dishvegetable


  • 5 fresh ears of corn (see Notes)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 2 medium golden zucchini, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 large white onion, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded, deribbed, and cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen lima beans, thawed
  • ½ cup minced fresh parsley
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Remove the husks and silk from the ears of corn and discard. Trim the base of each ear so it is even and flat. Working with 1 ear at a time, stand it upright on its base in a bowl. Using a sharp knife, cut down between the cob and the kernels to remove the kernels. Reserve the kernels and discard the cobs.

  2. Fill a large saucepan two-thirds full of water and bring to a boll over high heat. Add the corn and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold water until cool. Drain thoroughly, blot dry with paper towels, and set aside.

  3. In a 12-inch skillet, preferably cast iron, melt the butter over medium-high heat and swirl to coat the pan. Add the zucchinis and onion and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until just beginning to brown at the edges. Add the red peppers and sauté for 3 minutes longer. Add the lima beans and corn kernels. Sauté, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes until the vegetables are heated through. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Serve immediately, or keep warm for up to 20 minutes.


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