Steuben Yellow Beans

“Me, sexy? I’m just plain ol’ beans and rice.” ~ Pam Grier


Steuben Yellow Beans

Steuben Yellow Beans

Steuben yellow beans are known by several names: Steuben yellow-eye bean, butterscotch calypso bean, molasses face bean, and Maine yellow eye. They are grown in the New England states and were the original bean in Boston baked beans. In the South they are commonly used to make Hoppin’ John.


Steuben yellow beans are a plump oval white bean a little larger than pinto beans, with a butterscotch color around their eye. I like them because of their look and that they maintain their tannish-yellow eye after cooking. I buy them in bulk from Whole Foods but they are expensive—about one dollar more per pound than more common beans, like pintos.

Steuben yellows are creamy and are melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

They can be harvested early and eaten fresh, like other green beans. They are sold dry in bulk bins.


One cup of cooked beans contains about 15 grams of protein, plenty of complex carbohydrates, B vitamins, and some minerals.


Like all dried beans Steuben yellows should be soaked overnight before cooking. This helps remove phytates and makes them easier to digest.

Complementary grains

Adding a complementary grain makes a good substitute for meat. You can start your journey of cutting back on meat by eating dried beans and whole grains one or two days a week.

Various bean recipes

There are thousands of recipes in cookbooks and on-line for dried beans. Many are developed for specific cuisines. If I am writing about Italian or Indian cooking, for instance, I use the herbs, spices, and veggies from that part of the world. For everyday cooking, I choose whatever bean I feel like preparing that day and make it simple.

Tips for generic beans cooked on the stovetop

Use coconut oil for sautéing because it has a high smoke point that allows cooking at higher temperatures. If you plan to slowly cook the onion and garlic, olive oil is fine.

I always use unrefined sea salt and freshly ground peppercorns and know how much I need to satisfy our tastes. You will have to experiment until you get the flavors you want. It’s OK to taste test the water after the beans have cooked about 30 minutes, keeping in mind that the more water that evaporates the saltier the dish becomes. You can always add more salt and pepper at the table but removing it is tricky, and you need a potato.

Steuben beansMellow Yellow Steuben Beans
Takes about 1 to 1 ½ hours, after soaking
Prep time: ½ hour
Cooking time: 1 hour if presoaked
Yield: a lot; I freeze half

2 cups, (or one pound) Steuben Yellow Beans, brined (see above)
1 – 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil or olive oil
2 – 3 yellow onions, sliced or diced
1 – 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small celeriac in ½ inch dice (optional)
4 – 5 cups water
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons finely ground shitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Unrefined sea salt to taste, about 1 ½ teaspoons


  1. Drain and rinse the brined beans.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a large pot. Add onions and cook until they are transparent, stirring several times. Let some of the onions slightly brown for more flavor. Add and stir in the celeriac. Add the garlic and stir fry about 30 seconds until they release their aroma.
  3. Rinse the brined beans, add and stir into the pot. Pour in enough water to cover the beans by about an inch. Add the bay leaves.
  4. Stir in the mushrooms and the tomato paste. To make the tomato paste easier to stir in first put it into a cup, add some of the cooking water and stir well then pour into the pot.
  5. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer (barely bubbling). Stir well and cover the pot.
  6. Check the seasoning after about half an hour, add more salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
  7. Cook until most of the water is evaporated—the beans should be quite soft and easy to smash with your tongue. Remove lid to evaporate excess water.
  8. Serve with rice or your favorite grain.

Author:Sharon Reese

Lacto-ovo vegetarian for over four decades.

Follow HeathfulCooking

I will be pleased to hear from you. I’ll try to answer questions you might have about cooking or nutrition.

4 Responses to “Steuben Yellow Beans”

  1. Nancy church
    January 12, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    Thanks Sharon
    I love this recipe!

  2. Dixie
    January 17, 2015 at 10:11 am #

    What is celeriac?

  3. Sharon Reese
    January 18, 2015 at 11:53 am #

    Me too. Thanks, Nancy, for your comment.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge