Gathering around the table with family and friends is a cherished holiday tradition. Sharing stories around the dinner table, along with warm dishes of comforting food, is part of what makes this season so remarkable and heartwarming. While the Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas ham may steal the spotlight, everyone knows it’s the side dishes— the candied yams, the green bean casseroles, and the cornbread dressings—that folks crave.
This year, we set out to make a new side dish that not only captured the spirit of the season and celebrated its best flavors, but honored time-held Louisiana traditions. Starting with a few bags of Camellia Brand Green Baby Limas, we got to work. The Green Baby Limas are more tender and creamier than their larger counterparts, and their delicate flavor makes them a natural pairing for sweet Louisiana shrimp. Larger lima beans are often used in soups and stews, but the smaller green baby lima beans are ideal for a wider range of dishes, from casseroles to delicate salads.
A casserole with Camellia Brand Green Baby Limas and shrimp could be a fine dish on its own, but we didn’t stop there. We added a creamy base and amped it up with some Cajun flair: spicy Cajun seasoning and the blend of aromatic vegetables. Crispy, crunchy Panko bread crumb and Parmesan topping help push the dish from great to sensational.
The key to making this Creamy Lima Bean and Shrimp Casserole as delicious as it can be lies in the very first step: cooking those green baby limas. The Camellia Brand Green Baby Limas bag includes basic instructions for cooking, but mentions optional ingredients. We used all of them—parsley, garlic, and bacon—and that helped create a wonderful base flavor to build from.
So while you’re building your holiday menus, consider this creamy, spicy shrimp-studded casserole. It’s easy to make, full of Louisiana flavor, and your family and friends will be clamoring for seconds.
- 1 pound peeled and deveined large fresh shrimp
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- ½ (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 (10.75-ounce) can cream of onion soup
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- ¼ cup Sauvignon Blanc
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup diced bell pepper
- ¼ cup diced celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- Camellia Brand Green Baby Lima Beans (recipe follows)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- Garnish: chopped fresh thyme
- In a large bowl, combine shrimp and Cajun seasoning; gently toss to coat. In a medium bowl, whisk cream cheese until smooth. Add soup, ½ cup Parmesan, and wine, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Transfer 2 tablespoons melted butter to a small bowl, and set aside. To Dutch oven, add bell pepper and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme, and cook 1 minute more. Stir in Camellia’s Classic Green Baby Limas, lemon juice, and salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp, and cook until pink and firm, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in cream cheese mixture, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Spray a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon mixture into prepared pan.
- To reserved 2 tablespoons butter, add bread crumbs and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan, stirring to combine. Sprinkle over casserole.
- Bake until browned and bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes. Garnish with thyme, if desired.
- 1 pound Camellia Green Baby Limas, rinsed and sorted
- 10 cups water
- ½ pound ham or seasoning meat
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)
- ½ pound chopped bacon (optional)
- Ground black pepper
- Cajun seasoning
- In a large pot, add beans, 10 cups water, and ham. Bring to a boil, and cook 10 minutes; reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour.
- In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat, and add onion, garlic, parsley, and bacon; cook until onions are softened and bacon is cooked. Add onion mixture to beans, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Simmer until beans are tender, about 30 minutes.