Thick, creamy and seasoned to south Louisiana perfection, my Cajun butter beans with shrimp and sausage are the ultimate all-in-one comfort food. Large white lima beans, soaked all night for optimal tenderness, then cooked down with the browned Cajun trinity, sausage and a broth/water mixture til tender. Finished off with plump, seasoned shrimp that release their sassy flavor and juices deep into each yum-delicious bite. Yep and yay...
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Cajun Butter Beans with Shrimp and Sausage are What My Left Side of the Bed Bean Memory Dreams Were Made of...Yep.
When we got married, I gave up the left side of the bed so that Mark could have it. Yep. All of our separate lives, we both slept on the left side of the bed. From wee little kids to full grown adults, Mark and I were out there in our respective worlds waking up each day on our very favorite not-right-side of the bed.
Well, when we married, we were in quite a predicament. We both wanted the left side soooo bad that we fought long and hard over it. He screamed that he couldn't sleep outside of his spot. And I cried that life would just never be the same for me again if I didn't have MY left side of the bed.
In the end, the fact that the air conditioner vent was closest to the right side of the bed made me wave my 'you can have the left side of the bed' white flag. So, after a few months of bickering over it, I ultimately surrendered to the right side of the bed. And all of its south Louisiana stupid heat-killer AC vent right over my head perks that came along with it.
However, I have to admit that I still miss the left side of the bed. As soon as Mark gets up in the morning, I mosey on over to his side while it's still warm and cozy. Then, about a half hour before he gets home from work, I get in on the left side of the bed for some much needed 'me' time.
Here on Mark's left side of the bed, I decompress from my writing day. I close my eyes and just lie there until my thinking headache goes away. Then, I ooh and aah over my blogger friends Instagram feeds. And, I of course think about what I am going to cook for dinner, and if that dinner will end up being a mouth-watering blog post - or not. Well, the other day during my 'Mark's-almost-home' left side of the bed siesta, I had a random memory of my Mom's Cajun butter beans.
She used to have them in our regular monthly rotation when I was growing up. But, back then I was all about red beans and rice. And well, just not much into giant lima beans stewed down with a bit of seasonings and meat.
So, it came as quite a shock to have my late afternoon left side of the bed waking dream the other day be all about how creamy, delicious and comforting my mom's beans were when I was a kid. But, little bitty Lyn's palate was just not sophisticated enough to appreciate it back then. Nope. But, big Lyn's memory made me almost literally taste what I'd been missing all of these years. Yep.
Day after day and night after night went by, y'all. And I just couldn't get the childhood butter bean memories out of my head. It was like I wanted big Lyn go back in time and tell little Lyn that she'd one day regret not eating the beans!! So, I did what any self-respecting south Louisianan would do. I went straight to the grocery store and I bought a pack of local favorite Camellia large limas butter beans. Then, I came home and created my own version of the childhood dish that I just couldn't stop salivating over, these Cajun butter beans with shrimp and sausage.
How to Make Cajun Butter Beans with Shrimp and Sausage Easy and Breezy, Y'all
To start the Cajun butter beans with shrimp and sausage, soak the beans in water with a splash of vinegar overnight in the fridge. To me, the vinegar helps soften the beans and diminishes any waterlogged taste they may get from soaking overnight. You'll also want to season the shrimp and refrigerate them until ready to use.
The next day, drain the beans. Then, brown sliced chicken sausage in your enameled cast iron Dutch oven. When browned, remove and set atop paper towels positioned on a plate.
Now, brown the Cajun trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery in the Dutch oven. Add tablespoons of butter one at a time to make sure you have enough throughout the trinity caramelization process.
Next, add the sausage, drained beans, broth, water and seasonings to the pot. Bring to a rolling boil, then simmer for about 1 ½ hours, or until the butter beans are very tender. Add a pinch more seasonings, and adjust as necessary throughout the cooking process. If you want rice, cook rice to package directions and let sit until the beans are ready.
Finally, add the seasoned shrimp to the pot. Stir, and let cook for about 10 minutes, until the shrimp are opaque and well-incorporated into the dish. By this time, the white large lima beans are swollen with seasoning. And, the gravy has cooked down to a thick consistency that makes the beans equally enjoyable with or without a dab of customary rice on top. The creamy, ultra-flavorful gravy, melt-in-your-mouth tender beans and smoky chicken sausage keep you coming back for just one more bite, y'all. And the seasoned shrimp puts the whole traditional south Louisiana dish so far over the top that you'll want to save this in your 'company's coming over' recipe repertoire as fast as you can. Yep.
Share these Cajun butter beans with shrimp and sausage with those who'll fully appreciate unexpected pops of feisty flavor inside each delicious, velvety bean bite. And see y'all on the yum side...
Cajun Butter Beans with Shrimp and Sausage
For the Cajun Butter Beans Overnight Soak
For the Seasoned Shrimp
For the Cajun Butter Beans
- 12 ounces gluten free chicken sausage
- 1 tablespoon butter or oil
- 3 to 5 tablespoons butter or oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups gluten free chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 3 cups water
- salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
- hot sauce to taste
- Rinse and soak butter beans. Pour beans, water and apple cider vinegar into a medium-sized bowl with a fitted lid. Refrigerate overnight.
- Season the shrimp with the garlic powder, paprika, hot sauce and parsley flakes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Slice sausage, and brown in an enameled cast iron Dutch oven.
- Remove each piece of sausage when browned, transferring to a plate covered with paper towels.
- Add more butter or oil to the Dutch oven, and brown the Cajun trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery, adding more butter if necessary throughout the browning process.
- Stir the minced garlic cloves into the pot, and cook for 1 additional minute, or until slightly browned and fragrant.
- Drain the butter beans in a colander.
- Pour the browned sausage, drained butter beans, chicken broth, water, parsley flakes, paprika, and salt, pepper, cayenne and hot sauce to taste into the pot.
- Simmer the pot over a medium-low fire for 1 ½ hours, or until the beans are very tender.
- Add the seasoned shrimp. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until shrimp are opaque.
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