Most of us were probably introduced to lima beans either by themselves or mixed with corn as a side dish when we were kids, and we were not impressed. They don’t need to be relegated to an unimaginative side dish, though. These beans, which are high in fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, and vitamin B1 are in season right now, and there are plenty of ways to make them appealing. Here are five of them.

Roasted Cod with Lima Beans – This recipe calls for frozen lima beans, but you can certainly use fresh beans in this dish that cooks everything together in an aluminum foil packet. You could also try this dish on the grill.

Summer Succotash with Bacon and Croutons – I grew up thinking succotash was a mixture of frozen corn and lima beans, but now I know it can be so much more. This recipe pairs lima beans with fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, basil, Vidalia onions and other fresh ingredients.

Fresh Lima Bean and Herb Soup – This low-fat vegan recipe uses five different herbs as well as lima beans, onions and celery to make a creamy soup that can be served hot or cold.

Leek and Lima Bean Soup with Bacon – A different take on lima bean soup that’s also pureed and low-fat, but not vegan. It’s topped with crumbled bacon and sour cream.

Garlicky Butter Bean Dip – This hummus-like dip uses lima beans (also known as butter beans) instead of chickpeas as its base. The recipe calls for a can of beans, probably a 15 oz. can, but you can substitute an equal amount of fresh beans that have been cooked and it will probably make a better dip.

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Seasonal recipes: 5 for lima beans
Go beyond bland succotash and try one of these creative lima bean recipes.