Mediterranean Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes

4.80 from 5 votes
1 hour 30 minutes
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In this version of a dish served across Turkey and the Mediterranean, fresh green beans are slowly braised with tomatoes, onions, garlic and a generous amount of olive oil resulting in the most beautiful, buttery tender side dish!

Serve these Mediterranean Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes with my Mediterranean Fish en Papillote, Greek Cucumber Salad and plenty of fresh pita bread to soak up the delicious juices!

Mediterranean Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes in oval serving dish with serving spoon garnished with fresh parsley.

Why This Recipe is Keeper:

While thin late spring and early summer green beans often only require a quick saute or steaming, slow-braising is ideal for mature, late summer green beans like what you may be picking now. And, if you also have a bounty of backyard tomatoes, Mediterranean Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes is a delicious way to enjoy them together!

This dish most closely resembles one that is served across Turkey called taze fasulye, but variations exist across the Mediterranean region like these Greek Green Beans. It’s served as a side dish or as part of a meze, which is an appetizer platter, so it’s also very versatile.

Another reason this dish is so lovely is that it can be enjoyed at room temperature besides being flavorful and will taste as good four days later as the day you made it!

Let’s make it!

Mediterranean Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes in serving dish with serving spoon on beige fringed napkin.

How to Make Mediterranean Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this recipe along with how to prep. See the green bean recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredients for Mediterranean Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Tomatoes: This recipe is the perfect way to use red, ripe, juicy summer tomatoes. In the off-season, my go-to tomatoes at the grocery store are Romas or Campari. If you want to use canned tomatoes, use a good quality canned tomato such as San Marzano for the freshest tomato flavor.
  • Green Beans: I used regular “string” beans, but Romano beans or Italian pole beans, which are wider and a have a less delicate texture than regular green “string” beans would be ideal in this recipe because braising will tenderize them.
  • Olive Oil: I like to use extra-virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
  • Sugar: Sugar is traditionally added to the Turkish version of Mediterranean Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes. I was a little concerned after tasting them with sugar, but squeezing some lemon juice over the beans provided a beautiful balance.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Start by peeling the tomatoes. Prepare an ice bath then bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Cut an “X” in the bottom of each tomato then carefully drop it into the boiling water. Give it about 20-30 seconds or until you can see the skin begin to peel away from the tomato. Immerse into the ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • Then, peel and chop!
Diced tomatoes in glass bowl.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan and cook the onions and garlic until the onions soften up.
Onions being cooked in olive oil in skillet.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they begin melting into a sauce.
Tomatoes and onions being cooked in skillet.
  • Add the green beans, water and red pepper flakes.
  • Cover with the lid slightly ajar and cook until the beans are lovely and tender.
Green beans and tomatoes cooking in skillet right after fresh green beans are added.
  • The beans will turn an olive color but that’s okay and there is no way to avoid it. Don’t worry! They will taste amazing!
  • Add the sugar and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Cooked green beans and tomatoes in skillet.
  • Toss on some coarsely chopped parsley and don’t forget those lemon wedges! A squeeze of lemon will make this dish pop!
  • That’s it! Mediterranean Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes! Who knew braised green beans could be SO delicious!
Mediterranean Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes in oval serving dish garnished with fresh parsley.

Chef Tips and Tricks:

  • Over my years as a personal chef, I’ve tried numerous ways to speed up the process of trimming the stem ends from beans. Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy way.  However, it’s only the stem end that needs to be removed; the bottom tip is tender and perfectly fine to eat. Here’s all the ways you can do it:
    • Do them one by one and just enjoy the zen of it.
    • Line several up on a cutting board and cut the ends with a knife. I find it time-consuming to line up the beans, then grab the knife and cut but it works.
    • Grab two or three at a time in one hand and break the stem end off with the other hand.
    • Grab two or three where you see stems together and snip them with kitchen shears.
Mediterranean Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes in oval serving dish with serving spoon.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why do I need to peel tomatoes?

You’ll have a better end product here. You can leave the skins on because they’re completely edible but they won’t break down and you’ll have tiny bits of skin in the dish.

Can I use frozen green beans?

Yes, you absolutely can. I would recommend rinsing them under cool running water to get any frost off as that can sometimes cause an off-taste.

Can I use canned tomatoes?

Yes! See my note above in the Ingredient Notes. Use a good-quality Italian tomato for the best flavor.

Serve on the side with:

More green bean recipes you’ll love!

Get all my great vegetable side dishes at Vegetable Side Dish Recipes – From A Chef’s Kitchen

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Mediterranean Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes in oval serving dish with serving spoon garnished with fresh parsley.

Mediterranean Braised Green Beans with Tomatoes

4.80 from 5 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
In this version of a dish served across Turkey and much of the Mediterranean, fresh green beans are slowly braised with tomatoes, onions, garlic and a generous amount of olive oil resulting in the most beautiful buttery side dish!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Side Dishes – Vegetables
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Turkish
Servings 4
Calories 229 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil - plus more for drizzling if desired
  • 1 large onion - quartered and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic - chopped
  • 1 pound green beans - trimmed and halved crosswise
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar - or to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Lemon wedges

Instructions
 

  • Prepare an ice bath. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Cut a small "X" in the bottom of the skin of each tomato with a sharp paring knife.
  • Blanch the tomatoes by immersing them in the boiling water for 20-30 seconds or until you can see the skin begin to curl and peel away.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to the ice bath to stop the tomatoes from cooking. Drain, peel, seed as best you can and chop. Set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet or saute pan over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin softening up, approximately 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally until they begin to break down, approximately 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the green beans, water and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover with the lid slightly ajar. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the beans are very tender, approximately 45 minutes.
  • Season with salt and black pepper. Add sugar.
  • Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD:  Can be made 4 days ahead and refrigerated, covered.  Gently reheat in a saucepan over medium-low heat to serve hot or let come to room temperature and serve.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Cool thoroughly.  Place in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months.  With any frozen vegetable, water seems to come out of nowhere so you’ll have a better result if you heat directly from frozen.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 229kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Sodium: 19mg | Potassium: 457mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1370IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Always looking for ways to make veggies interesting. Made these with a side of rice and chicken meatballs stuffed with sundried tomatoes and feta.