My Fasolakia, or Greek green beans recipe is a unique way to serve up tender green beans in a flavorful tomato sauce! Kalamata olives and feta cheese top this traditional Greek side dish.
Greek cuisine is one of my preferred cooking styles. There’s a certain freshness about Mediterranean food, which comes from a focus on quality and healthy ingredients. Recipes like these roasted vegetables, stuffed peppers, and feta salad are great examples!
Minimal ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions make up this Fasolakia recipe. It’s a common dish in the Mediterranean – in Egypt, they call it Fasolia. The full name in Greek is Fasolakia Lathera, which can be loosely translated as “braised green beans.”
It’s a take on fresh vegetables in tomato sauce that’s usually eaten as a side dish or an appetizer. I like to think of it as just another great vegetarian option to add to my recipe collection!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
There are several different variations of Greek green beans floating around, and I decided to keep things simple with a very traditional recipe. If you want to make this side dish even heartier, feel free to add some boiled potatoes to the mix.
- Green Beans - No Fasolakia recipe would be complete without the main ingredient. Make sure to trim them before getting started. When you’re at the market, you want to make sure to choose varieties that snap – that means they’re fresh!
- Crushed Tomatoes - Opt for canned crushed tomatoes in puree for the sauce. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you could make your tomato puree yourself. All you need are some tomatoes, your stovetop, and a food processor or blender.
- White or Red Onion - Some recipes call for a specific onion variety but this one doesn’t. You can simply go with your personal preference. Make sure to dice them before you begin!
- Garlic - No sauce is complete without garlic! It marries so nicely with the other ingredients. You’ll need two cloves minced for your meal.
- Olive Oil - You’ll use olive oil to sauté your vegetables.
- Parsley, Sugar, Salt, & Pepper - These seasonings help to balance each other out. You need to use spices to help bring out the flavor in the vegetables too.
- Kalamata Olives & Feta Cheese - Use these fresh ingredients as a garnish. No Greek dish is complete without them!
HOW TO MAKE FASOLAKIA
- Prep the Ingredients. Trim your legumes and cut them in half. Then wash and rinse in a colander. Dice the onions and mince the garlic.
- Make the Sauce. Place the olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium temp. Add in the diced onions and satué until they become translucent. Add the garlic, crushed tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil.
- Cook the Veggies. Add the vegetables to the sauce and toss so that they’re well coated in the onion and tomato sauce. Lower the heat to simmer and let cook, covered, for between 30-35 minutes. When your beans are soft and most of the juice from the tomatoes has evaporated, you can remove them from the heat.
- Garnish & Serve. Add the parsley and stir. Serve the dish warm (or at room temperature) with kalamata olives and feta cheese on top. Enjoy!
What Beans Are Used in Greek Cooking?
While this Fasolakia recipe is made with green varieties, there are many other Greek recipes that call for other types. The most popular is called Gigantes, or giant beans. They come dried and resemble lima varieties but are bigger. They are used to bake casseroles with tomatoes or are simply served with olive oil, lemon, and oregano.
You can find them used here in my Greek Beans (Gigantes Plaki) recipe.
How Do You Cook Green Beans So They Are Not Tough?
You need to use enough salt when cooking them. And, when you cook yours in the tomato and onion mixture for this recipe, don’t skip the simmering step. You need that relatively long period (up to 35-minutes) of low heat to make them soft, velvety, and tender.
No one likes a tough and chewy dish!
How Can You Tell Green Beans Are Cooked?
Make sure to taste the legumes before you remove them from the heat. If they still have a distinct grassy flavor, it means that you need to cook them for longer. Many people prefer when their vegetables retain a bit of crunch. But, if you’re not careful, you could end up munching on raw veggies. You always want to taste your food when cooking, and it’s even more essential when using fresh vegetables!
Fasolakia (Greek Green Beans)
- 2 lbs green beans trimmed
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 cup white or red onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 15 ounce crushed tomatoes in puree
- ⅛ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoon parsley chopped
- 12 kalamata olives
- ½ cup feta cheese cubes
- Trim the green bean stems and cut in half. Wash and drain in a colander and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, sugar salt, pepper and bring to the boil.
- Add the green beans, tossing so that the green beans are thoroughly coated with the olive oil and the tomatoes. Turn heat to simmer, cover with the lid and cook for 30-35 minutes, until the beans are soft and most the juices have evaporated.
- Stir in the chopped parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature with crumbled feta cheese and kalamata olives.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.