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Greek Green Beans

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Greek green beans

Greek green beans

I visited a friends house after school once and her mom asked if I liked green beans, she was serving them with dinner. I said, yes I loved them! Well, that was before I sat down to eat a side of soggy, grey-green canned beans. Yuk! Green beans to me were soft and tender and swimming in tomato, garlic and olive oil.

You’ll be surprised how simple these are to prepare and how melt in your mouth delicious they are. This recipe is based on 2 lbs of green beans and can easily be doubled or tripled with perfect results. Make sure to have a good piece of bread on hand to sop up the sauce.  Get ready to wipe the dish clean!

This is a good recipe to use roasted tomatoes. If you’re using canned Muir Glen is my favorite brand as they’re organic and fire roasted, so full of great tomato flavor.

roasted tomatoes,

Remember to mince the onions and garlic as finely as you can. By the time the beans are done, they will have almost melted into the sauce.

It’s important not to rush the cooking time here. The longer and slower you simmer your beans, the more amazingly tender and delicious they’ll be. Patience really should be listed with the ingredients!

Serve these beans over skordalia (Greek garlic mashed potatoes) for an amazing, hearty, healthy dinner or in a crusty fresh bread bowl for a fun, delicious twist.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs green beans
  • 5 cups water (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of garlic chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup of onion chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste in 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt/pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sugar (optional)

Cooking Instructions

Wash and trim off ends of green beans.

Heat olive oil and gently cook onion and garlic to heavy bottomed saucepan.  Add water or vegetable broth, tomatoes, 2 tbsp tomato paste in 1/4 cup warm water and spices, stir well and bring up to a simmer.  Add green beans, stir and bring to low simmer.

Cover and cook for 50-60 minutes. Allow the beans to sit for 10-15 minutes after removing pan from the heat. Serve hot with a piece of crusty bread and enjoy!

This recipe serves 4 as a main dish and 6-8 as a side. Truth be told I almost always at least double this recipe as leftovers are amazing!

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40 Responses to Greek Green Beans

  1. Elpida July 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    Now that’s how I like my green beans to look, nice thick tomato…………………yummmmmm

    • Kiki July 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

      Couldn’t agree more 🙂

  2. Lisa August 24, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    made these last night. they were every bit as good as you describe. thanks so much for the recipe.

  3. Tania April 1, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    Thanks for this recipe – delish! I also use frozen beans (whole baby beans work best) if I can’t get fresh beans.

    • Kiki May 7, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

      So glad you enjoyed!

  4. Terry September 23, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    Can you substitute something for the dill? Not a favorite flavor of mine. Rest looks great. Thanks!

    • Kiki September 24, 2013 at 12:55 am #

      Perhaps use just oregano and leave out the dill? I think that might work just fine, though I do love dill myself 🙂 Let me know how it turns out!

      • Christine February 1, 2016 at 7:29 am #

        I use fresh flat parsley instead of dill.

    • Boomer July 8, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

      I was taught to cook with a handful of finely chopped fresh parsley, S&P (and a little sugar depending on your tomatoes) – doesn’t need anything else! no dill, oregano or cinnamon. Add 2-3 chopped potatoes to the mix to round out a meal. And serve with feta and crusty bread to mop up the sauce!

    • Dee January 31, 2016 at 10:24 pm #

      I love dill in this dish but hubby can’t eat it. I sub parsley and mint, no cinnamon. Yum!!

    • Effie February 1, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

      My Mom never used dill and they are still amazing! Just leave it out 🙂

  5. Gia March 11, 2014 at 12:19 am #

    Efxaristo! This makes me happy to be a Greek Vegan! I just made it and I’m in love!

    • Kiki March 11, 2014 at 12:21 am #

      Gia, I’m so glad! And so glad you found us! Kiki 🙂

  6. Georganne March 22, 2015 at 9:23 pm #

    I see vegetable broth in the cooking instructions, but not listed as one of the ingredients. How much is needed for this recipe?

    • Kiki March 22, 2015 at 10:10 pm #

      Georganne, thanks for letting me know! I added the option of vegetable broth to the ingredients above. Sometimes, if the green beans I’m using are less than stellar quality I’ll use vegetable broth instead of water to give them a bit of a boost. Most often though, water does the job deliciously! Thanks again, Kiki 🙂

  7. Anthe March 22, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

    My Mom always made these green beans growing up. She is Spartan
    and Dad was Cretean! No dill in the beans just oregano!

    • Kiki March 22, 2015 at 10:15 pm #

      Anthe, isn’t it amazing how different regions of Greece make the same dishes with different ingredients? I love especially how the islands closer to Turkey use cinnamon in this dish but people from my mom’s side of the family in Evia never do! I love it myself 🙂 Where in Sparta by the way? My grandmother Maria was from that area. Hoping to get to Crete for the first time this summer, can’t wait! Kiki 🙂

  8. Lambros March 22, 2015 at 11:06 pm #

    How about fresh mint instead of oregano and dill….

    • Kiki March 23, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

      Lambros, what a great idea! I love mint in just about everything so I might add it TO the oregano and dill 🙂 If you try it with just mint, let me know what you think! Kiki 🙂

  9. Georganne March 23, 2015 at 8:24 am #

    Got it – thanks! I’m making these tonight. 🙂

  10. Ana Katsenios March 23, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

    this is wonderful thank you for sharing

  11. Boomer April 8, 2015 at 5:19 am #

    I am married to a Greek, and have learned many Greek dishes from my mother-in-law from Crete. I had forgotten my proportions for Fasolakia (this recipe) and used this recipe as a base. A couple of tips… 1) I have only seen this served with chopped potatos cooked into it – add 2-3 med chopped potatoes maybe 15 mins into cooking time so they don’t get too mushy. So no side dish necessary – just serve with a fresh baguette! (and some feta if you aren’t vegan)…. 2) I would add boiling water at the end of prep, and add enough to cover and a bit the beans (maybe 2 1/2 cups). You want this saucy not soupy….. 3) I have never tried it with dill, cinnamon & oregano – must be a regional thing! I have been taught to only add S&P, a spoon of sugar if not using fresh summer tomatoes, and a handful of chopped parsley – maybe 3 Tbs?. Also I would leave it at 3 garlic cloves. 4) Don’t be scared of the oil, it makes the dish!!

    • Kiki April 8, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

      Thanks so much for sharing your variations – I love to try new ways (new to me!) of making a favorite dish like this! And absolutely agree, the oil makes this dish! Kiki xx

    • Effie February 1, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

      My Mom also added cut up potatoes. Another add in she used was zucchini cut into about 2 inch long pieces. She would add them towards the end of cooking, since the zucchini cooks quickly and you don’t want it to disintegrate. SO good!

  12. mila furman August 14, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    OH I love this!!! I have had these at Greek restaurants and always loved them!!! So glad I now know how to make them 🙂 Pinning and making next week!!! Thank you!

  13. Johanna Bowen August 16, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

    My Cretan mother made this dish pretty much as described but with these differences:
    — oregano and salt and pepper were the ONLY spices
    — fresh tomatoes were cut up and added (3-4 small or 2 medium
    — one carrot was cut up and added with the beans
    — two red skin potatoes were quartered and added
    We always served it with cold feta crumbled on top at the table and crusty bread.

    • Kiki August 16, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

      Johana, thanks so much for sharing your mom’s version – I always love to try different ones! Kiki 🙂

  14. Carolus December 7, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

    Heya,

    I was ecstatic when I found a website dedicated to the innocent search of “Greek vegan cuisine”! I made this today, along with the black-eye peas (to which I added coconut oil and berbere, both of which I highly recommend); however, in thinking back to the green bean stew I had in Greece, as well as your photo, two things stand out to me:
    1. Mine came out WAAAY too soupy! It feels as though there was an excessive amount of water added. Consequently, the flavour of my dish has suffered significantly. In the process of boiling away the water, and then I’ll add some raw garlic, onion powder, and garlic powder. Luckily, I haven’t added most of the olive oil yet! 😉
    2. I feel as though even if it had turned out, do you ever get the feeling that the produce in Greece is just…BETTER than in the US? I dunno…I think there’s more to it than just good cooking, because good cooking can’t make, for example, a courgette taste MORE like a courgette!

    Thanks for everything you do! Oh, and if I may make a request: there were some sort of intensely sour stuffed artichokes I had. If you have any clue what they may have been (they were vegan!), or those divine eggplants in a tomato sauce, it sure would make MY day, anyway!

  15. Melissa February 1, 2016 at 7:09 am #

    I had the same experience growing up!! I was completely shocked! I love how these can be served so many different ways. Happy to find your blog, too!

  16. Charlotte February 1, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

    Love this!!!! Left it for another 10mins reducing though. Next time will add some fresh chill too. Amazing dish!

  17. Kiki February 1, 2016 at 7:32 pm #

    Love your recipes! These are things I grew up eating too.

  18. Xpistina February 26, 2016 at 7:21 pm #

    Mine ended up very soupy. Any ideas what I did wrong?

    • Kiki February 26, 2016 at 7:58 pm #

      Hi Christina, The two factors we need to troubleshoot for very soupy results are the amount of cooking time and the kind of beans. If the beans are older, as they can be when not in season and shipped in from across the globe, they sometimes won’t soak up the water as would fresher beans. I often substitute organic frozen green beans for fresh when the fresh beans look a little older. Or, depending on individual stove top temperatures, when you see the beans have a bit more liquid than they should, simply extend the cooking time. It absolutely will not hurt the finished dish and you’ll give the beans more time to cook down the sauce until you get to where you want it. I hesitate to recommend you cut back on the water as it is usually one of the two things I just mentioned and using less water could easily give you less tender beans and a less flavorful finished sauce. I hope this helps! Kiki 🙂

      • Xpistina August 1, 2016 at 5:28 pm #

        Thank you!!

  19. deedeebee March 12, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

    I used vegetable broth, but I didn’t add dill or cinnamon, because I wanted my 12-year-old to try it, and I know he doesn’t like cinnamon and I don’t think he will like dill. (I love both flavors, but he is very picky.) Well, he loved it! I’ve been trying to get him to eat more vegetables. He likes only potatoes and occasionally broccoli, so now we have added green beans to the mix. Thank you for a great recipe!

    • Kiki March 12, 2016 at 1:40 pm #

      love to hear how you all change up the recipes to suit your needs! consider adding potatoes right into the beans to cook – Greeks do this all the time and sometimes will even add carrots. thanks for sharing your success 🙂

  20. Sally March 27, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

    Part of being Greek is adding your own twist to nearly every recipe 🙂 I made according to your recipe as I wanted the experience it….Delicious!

  21. Tania August 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

    I just woke up and read this recipe, funny how at 9 o’clock in the morning I’m craving green beans. I think a trip to the store today it’s in line for me. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  22. Fasolakia ladera August 26, 2016 at 6:27 am #

    With tomatoes, green beans are tasty, nice recipe. Greeks know how to cook well, and your recipe is awesome.

  23. Sarah V Morgen February 19, 2017 at 5:03 pm #

    Oh. My. God.

    I can’t stop making these because we can’t stop eating them! I added pearl mushrooms this time, SO ADDICTIVE!

    I can’t thank you enough for yet another KILLER recipe!!! I think we’ll be living off of these, and only these from now on! 😀

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