This recipe for Greek Green Beans or Fasolakia involves cooking green beans and potatoes until tender in a rich sauce made with tomatoes, olive oil and fresh herbs.
As far as classic Greek dishes go, this recipe for fasolakia or Greek green beans is definitely up there with the most popular and widely made in Greek homes. This vegetarian (actually vegan) meal is one that is enjoyed frequently in every Greek home throughout the year, but especially in the summer when green beans are fresh.
The word “Fasolakia” is Greek for green beans and while green beans can be prepared a number of ways, when you say “I ate fasolakia for lunch” to a Greek, they immediately know you are referring to this dish and this specific preparation.
This fasolakia recipe is also sometimes referred to as fasolakia yahni or fasolakia lathera (used to refer to recipes involving cooking in olive oil and tomato sauce).
Whatever you call them, this delicious recipe for Greek style Green beans produces the most tender, flavourful green beans you will ever eat!
Add a slice of crusty bread and some feta and it’s perfection! So yummy!
Why you should make fasolakia
- This dish is delicious!
- This dish is vegan.
- It is a healthy, hearty meal that is loaded with fresh veggies.
- The green beans are slow-cooked making them incredibly tender and flavourful.
- Although it does take some time to cook in the oven, this dish is easy to make!
Ingredients in Fasolakia
- Olive oil: Good quality extra virgin olive oil is used to cook the dish and infuse delicious flavour.
- Onion: onion or shallot add fresh flavour. Finely chop the onion so it distributes nicely in the homemade tomato sauce.
- Garlic: I don’t use garlic in my fasolakia (as I have a food sensitivity to it) but many traditionally do include it in this dish. Add 1 or more cloves to suit your preferences.
- Tomatoes: Traditionally, fasolakia is made with fresh tomatoes that have been chopped. Opt for flavourful tomatoes but if they are not in season when you make this dish, you can substitute canned chopped tomatoes instead. 3 large tomatoes are equivalent to 21oz or 595g.
- Tomato paste
- Herbs: fresh parsley and mint (fresh or dried)
- Green beans: trimmed
- Potatoes: sliced into wedges or bite sized pieces.
Note: recipe quantities and full instructions are in the recipe at the end of this post.
How to make Fasolakia
1. Saute onions: In a pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and then add the onion. Saute the onion for a few minutes, until translucent.
2. Add tomatoes: Add the garlic (if using) and chopped tomatoes and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
3: Add the remaining sauce ingredients: Stir in the tomato paste, parsley, and mint. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Prepare the green beans and potatoes: Place the green beans and potatoes in a large casserole dish and season with salt and pepper. Pour the prepared tomato sauce over the green beans and potatoes.
5: Bake: Add enough water to cover most of the green beans. Ensure the potatoes are all submerged in the water to ensure they cook. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
Tips and Variations
- Potatoes: Substitute sweet potatoes in for regular potatoes. While I typically make this dish with yellow or russet potatoes, I have also tried this with sweet potatoes and it is absolutely delicious!
- Fresh or frozen green beans. In the summertime, this dish is spectacular owing to the fresh, tender green beans. That doesn’t mean that is the only time you can enjoy this dish! Frozen green beans can definitely be substituted in. No need to thaw them. Just toss them in and they will have plenty of time to cook in the oven.
- Use good quality, fresh ingredients: As with all cooking, when you start with great ingredients you will end up with a delicious dish. Ingredients like using flavourful tomatoes and good quality olive oil is a must.
- Substitute canned tomatoes when it’s off season: I use fresh tomatoes in my recipe but if tomatoes are out of season and so the ones at the supermarket are not particularly tasty, canned chopped tomatoes are the next best thing!
- Trim ends and remove strings: If you are using freshly picked green beans, remember to trim the ends first. Frozen ones typically have the ends trimmed already. I use french green beans or haricot verts which are thin, tender and not stringy. Depending on the type of green bean you are using, they may have strings. If they do, its best to remove them before adding them to this dish.
- Add meat: While fasolakia is traditionally a vegetarian meal, if you have picky eaters that want a little protein added to this dish, you can definitely do that. My mother in law adds (cooked) meatballs in for the last 30 minutes or so of cooking, which makes for a delicious meal!
Storing leftovers and reheating
Once cooled, leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for a few days. I find they taste even more delicious the next day so it is great to make this meal in advance.
To reheat them, you can add them to a pot with a bit of water and heat them through. They can also be microwaved which makes this a dish that you can easily bring to work.
What to serve with Fasolakia
Fasolakia are a great vegetarian meal and can be served as is. It’s hearty and delicious. As a meal, I love to eat it with a slice of crusty bread and some feta cheese. You can also add in some tzatziki sauce too. So yummy!
Fasolakia can also be served as a side dish with other proteins. As mentioned earlier, my mother in law makes these extra yummy by adding meatballs to the dish. I sometimes do the same now by adding in some cooked Keftedakia – Greek Meatballs or my Greek Spanakopita Chicken Meatballs.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
Are you a fan of Greek cooking? You may also like:
- Gemista (Greek Stuffed Peppers and Tomatoes) (can be made vegan and nistisima)
- Dolmades (Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves) (also can be made vegan and nistisima)
Papoutsakia (Greek Stuffed Eggplant)
Fasolakia (Greek Green Beans)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 small onion or shallot, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic optional
- 3 large tomatoes chopped (can substitute canned chopped tomatoes)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/4 cup parsley chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried mint or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 2 lbs green beans trimmed
- 3 medium potatoes sliced into wedges
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and then add the onion. Saute the onion for a few minutes, until translucent.
- Add the garlic (if using) and chopped tomatoes and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste, parsley, and mint. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place the green beans and potatoes in a large casserole dish and season with salt and pepper. Pour the prepared tomato sauce over the green beans and potatoes.
- Add enough water to cover most of the green beans. Ensure the potatoes are all submerged in the water to ensure they cook. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.