What is Succotash?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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Succotash is an American dish which is associated especially closely with the American South, although cooks in other regions of the United States make it as well. This dish was popularized during the Great Depression, when cooks appreciated the fact that it was cheap to make and could be made with ingredients from the home garden. Like many traditional American dishes, succotash is not considered a gourmet food, and is sometimes given short shrift as a result, but it can in fact be quite varied and extremely complex, depending on who is preparing it.

The heart of succotash is boiled corn, with the dish resembling a stew in texture. Some cooks use fresh or frozen whole corn. Others used dried hominy. The decision between hominy and whole corn depends on the taste of the cook, the recipe, and available supplies. Making succotash with hominy takes more time, but can allow for a more complex and developed flavor.

The corn is stewed along with vegetables. Lima beans are a popular choice, although other beans may be used as well, and cooks can also add tomatoes, peppers, squash, and other vegetable ingredients. Stew ingredients can be varied, depending on taste and availability. When made with fresh vegetables, succotash has a fresh, clear flavor which some people find very enjoyable. Cooks can also add preserved meats, fish, and other animal ingredients to their succotash.


This dish is believed to have originated among the Narrangansett Native American tribe; the word is derived from msickquatash, meaning “boiled corn.” The dish can be eaten plain, served with breads, eaten as a side, or even used as a base for a pot pie, in which case it may be baked with biscuits on top, and the cook may opt to add meat and gravy to intensify the flavors of the succotash. Many creative variations on the classic dish can be seen in Southern kitchens.

Like other Southern Food, succotash can be rich, warm, and comforting, and it is sometimes considered a comfort food. Different cooks and families develop their own recipes, creating a multitude of variations on the basic corn succotash, and numerous recipes can be found on the Internet, for people who are interested in making this dish for themselves. People can also experiment with their own ingredients to make a version of succotash which is all their own; playing with ingredients may also get younger members of a household interested in vegetables.


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Post 2

@kangaBurg – What a great idea! Since you’re vegetarian, soybean succotash is a perfect recipe for you. Did you know that soybeans are also called “edamame”? I looked up “edamame succotash recipe” and found one!

The recipe uses shelled edamame, red bell peppers, carrots, onion, corn, and sliced grape tomatoes. You sauté all the veggies in a pot, then sprinkle on some white wine, olive oil, lemon juice, and spices.

I think it would taste better if you let the succotash sit overnight so the flavors can meld. I haven’t tried this recipe, but it looked delicious on the website!

Post 1

I’m a vegetarian and I love succotash! But, I haven’t been able to find any recipes for succotash with soybeans. Does anyone know where I can find one?

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