Summer Succotash

Summer Succotash

Summer Succotash


It is officially summer in the midwest when you can buy sweet corn out of the back of trucks and anyone with a garden is giving away zucchini by the armload. While eating corn right off the cob with butter dripping down your hands is pure bliss and everyone likes the first 500 loaves of zucchini bread, it’s always good to have a few recipes like this Summer Succotash that put a different twist on the bounty of the season!


Iowa Sweet Corn Trucks


Succotash is a hearty and affordable combination of primarily corn and beans (usually lima beans) with origins credited to early Native Americans. Regional and seasonal variations have developed with additions of peppers, tomatoes, and other vegetables. A little bacon or ham never hurt either!

As far as I’m concerned, this particular recipe is summer in a bowl.

  • garden fresh: zucchini, sweet corn, red peppers, jalapeno peppers, onions
  • smoky and tangy flavors: chili powder, cumin, lime and cilantro
  • stove-top preparation
  • delicious warm or chilled

The original version of this recipe had twice the black beans and no jalapeno. I also added the idea of sour cream. And it wasn’t called succotash. I don’t know why that word came to me when trying to name this recipe. It did … so I googled it. Sure enough, the name fit the recipe and made me want to try making it with lima beans sometime too.


Tips for Success


Ingredients for Summer Succotash


My first tip for making this recipe turn out perfectly is to dice the vegetables consistently. In the picture above, see how the zucchini, onions, and red peppers are all about the same size? They are all added to the pan at the same time. If they are chopped inconsistently, they won’t cook evenly.


Summer Succotash Prep 1


Use cast iron if possible and don’t stir too often. The cast iron will allow the vegetables to char just a little bit. Stirring too often will not only keep the vegetables from getting that char, it will also make them mushy.

NOBODY wants to eat mushy vegetables!


Summer Succotash Prep 2


Adding the sweet corn and the black beans last gives them just enough time to heat through and absorb a little of the flavors from the spices.

Finally, don’t skip the lime or sour cream. I wish I had put the sour cream in the pictures but we add it at the table with an extra squeeze of lime juice and it really finishes this dish beautifully.


According to Wikipedia, “any mixture of vegetables prepared with lima beans and topped with lard or butter is called succotash”.

That’s right. There it is again …


So next time I will be experimenting with lima beans and my good old buddy, lard.

Until then … enjoy the feasts of summer!


More Summer Recipes?


Do you want some more summer recipes?

Try my Cheesy Jalapeno Corn or Corn and Black Bean Salsa or Zucchini Bread!


Summer Succotash

A smoky and slightly spicy mix of sweet corn, zucchini, peppers, and black beans create this healthy, summer dish. Make it for your next family meal, potluck or barbecue!


  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings (avocado or olive oil)
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely diced jalapeno peppers optional
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups sweet corn kernels see note
  • 1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 lime cut in half
  • fresh cilantro
  • Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt


  • Cook and stir garlic and onion in bacon drippings over medium heat in a large skillet for 2-3 minutes.
    Add zucchini, red pepper, and jalapeno. Stir gently every 2-3 minutes, allowing the zucchini and peppers to lightly char on each side.
    Add cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to coat vegetables with seasonings and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes longer.
    Add corn and black beans. Continue stirring and cooking for 3-5 minutes or until heated through.
    Remove from heat and stir in salsa.
    Squeeze the juice from half of the lime over the top.
  • Serve with additional lime, cilantro leaves and sour cream.


If using frozen corn, defrost kernels while preparing the rest of the dish.
Bacon drippings add great flavor to this summer dish but olive or avocado oil can be substituted.
This is not a spicy dish. If you want to reduce the heat from the jalapeños, remove the seeds and membranes before chopping, or reduce the total amount of jalapeño to 1/8 cup.

Summer Succotash Pin


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