Lima Bean and Prosciutto Risotto Recipe

Lima Bean and Prosciutto Risotto

A delicate recipe marrying the creamy Arborio rice with the sweet flavor of lima beans, also known as butter beans. Fresh shelled lima beans are found easily in European markets by late summer and fall. They are more difficult to obtain in the US. Frozen lima beans are a good alternative and are available all year round. 

Avoid using canned lima beans, they will spoil this dish.

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 cup (200 g) Arborio rice
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) frozen lima beans
  • 8 slices of prosciutto, cut into 1/2 inch (1,2 cm) stripes
  • 3 cups (750 ml) chicken stock
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 Tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Lima Beans


Heat the chicken stock. If you use frozen lima beans, cook them for about 5 minutes in simmering salted water. Drain and set aside. Heat a large heavy casserole or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the shallots in butter and olive oil until they are translucent. Add the rice and sauté until the grains are thoroughly coated.

Add a cupful of hot stock and cook, stirring continually until the Arborio rice has absorbed the liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste and another half cup of broth. Continue stirring, so that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan and continue to add more broth, half a cup at a time until the rice is cooked. Cooking time should take approximately 40 minutes depending how creamy you like your risotto.

Shortly before the rice is ‘al dente’ add the lima beans and prosciutto. Stir it gently and continue cooking the risotto-beans-prosciutto mixture until the rice is cooked through and creamy.

Stir in the cheese, correct seasoning, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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