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GoNOLA Recipes at Home: Fresh Butter Beans and Shrimp

Try this New Orleans recipe for butter beans and shrimp, inspired by New Orleans chef Leah Chase’s side dish for some New Orleans style soul food.

A classic Southern side you’ll see on plenty of menus around town are butter beans. If you’ve never had them, they’re a wonder for the taste buds. Just as red beans around here are so much more than just beans, the same is true for New Orleans butter beans. This Louisiana-style comfort food has got all the right flavor and spice and goes perfectly with other New Orleans favorites like shrimp or fried chicken. One of the best places in the city to get soul food like this is from Chef Leah Chase at Dooky Chase’s in the Treme. Times-Picayune and food editor Judy Walker took Chef Chase’s recipe and added a few tweaks of her own to come up with this tasty New Orleans meal that incorporates the shrimp right in. Put some New Orleans flavor into your cooking routine with these Fresh Butter Beans and Shrimp.


Makes 8 to 10 servings

– 2 pounds fresh peeled Louisiana shrimp
– 2 drops concentrated liquid shrimp boil
– 2 pounds fresh (or frozen) butter beans/lima beans
– 2 tablespoons butter
– 1 small onion, chopped
– 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
– 1 rib celery, chopped
– Salt and black pepper to taste
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 3 tablespoons (1/4 cup) flour
– Rice for serving
– Hot sauce


Cover shrimp with water in a large saucepan. Add shrimp boil. Bring to a rolling boil and cook 2 minutes. Turn off heat. Let shrimp sit in liquid until they are pink and mostly opaque, at least 15 minutes.

Set a large sieve over a big bowl and drain shrimp, saving the shrimp stock.

In a large heavy-bottomed pot, melt butter and sauté onion, bell pepper and celery until translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add butter beans and enough of the shrimp stock to just cover them (you may have some left over; freeze for another use). Season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to simmer. Cover but leave the lid ajar. Cook 15 minutes. Add shrimp. Stir well. Cook 5 minutes.

In a small skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter with olive oil. Add flour and stir well to make a white sauce/roux. Cook just until the mixture starts to brown, stirring occasionally.

Stir into the simmering bean and shrimp mixture. Taste for seasoning. Cook over low heat another 5 minutes, then serve warm over rice.

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