Fresh, vibrant, nutritious, and flavorful this Green Beans Stew is a Greek classic. A healthy Vegetarian weekday meal of stewed greens beans and tomatoes with potatoes + lots of extra virgin olive oil!
Greek Fasolakia or Fasolakia Ladera are a great example of why the Greek is considered so healthy.
There is a category of Greek dishes called Ladera. Which means oily dishes. These are usually veggie dishes that are cooked with lots of extra virgin olive oil. And Fasolakia is one of those dishes.
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If you can keep up with the amount of olive oil Greeks use to cook them (the Ladera) then you can enjoy some really healthy, fuelling & fulfilling dishes.
Fasolakia Ladera or Fasolakia Lathera pronounced Fa-so-la-ki-a La-the-ra is a traditional Greek recipe of green bean and tomato stew simmered together with potato pieces, lots of extra virgin olive oil, fresh parsley, onion, and garlic.
It's a simple, fresh, dish with clean flavors. There are not many seasonings in this dish or stock used. You taste the sweet and earthy flavor of the beans, tomatoes, and olive oil.
Type Of Beans To Use
The Authentic Greek Fasolakia Recipe is made with flat green beans. That doesn't mean you can't use round green beans as many Greeks do also. Though flat green beans are more meaty and less watery that's why they are preferred when used as the main ingredient in a green bean stew.
Round green beans we mostly use them in combination with some meat. For example when we make Fasolakia with pork.
The variety of flat green beans used for making Greek green beans is known as Romano beans or Italian flat beans. If you can't find them though, just use round green beans the stew will still turn out very tasty.
Other Ingredients To Add To Stewed Green Beans
You can also add more veggies to add extra flavors to this green bean tomato stew.
Zucchini for example is a great addition.
Green beans and zucchini are a flavorful combination. To add zucchinis to the Fasolakia simply do so, by adding them towards the last 15 minutes of cooking. As they don't take long to cook.
Just like zucchini, you can add peppers and eggplant. Eggplant needs more cooking time, so add it at the same time as the beans.
Also, you can use some stock instead of water. Or even crumble some feta into the bean stew and cook for 2 minutes before turning off the heat.
Fresh Or Frozen Green Beans?
Well, as with each and every food, fresh is always best. But there are foods whose flavor and texture don't change so much from fresh to frozen.
And green beans are one of those foods. So you can use whatever is more convenient for you.
I personally use fresh ones, when I can get my hands on some young and tender ones. Mostly in the summer months. Frozen ones are great to use any time during the year.
RECIPE TIP: Grate some super ripe tomatoes during the summer, add the juice to small paper cups, and store it in the freezer. This way you can make Greek green beans in tomato sauce taste sweet and delicious all year round!
How To Pick Fresh Green Beans
Pick the ones that feel crispy, not soft when you touch them. Avoid the older ones, that tend to soften up (dehydrate) and don't have an even coloration.
How To Tenderize Fresh Green Beans
In this recipe, you saute the beans in lots of olive oil until they soften. Another way to tenderize fresh green beans is to boil them separately first and drain them in a strainer before using them.
Other Greek Bean Recipes (Greek Fasolia)
- Greek-style green beans and tomatoes with pork
- Fasolatha - traditional Greek white bean soup with tomato
- White Bean Soup (with garlic and lemon)
- Gigantes Plaki - butter beans recipe
- Black-eyed pea soup with tomato and sausage
In Greece, it's a must to serve green beans with a big piece of feta cheese. It's almost shocking to serve such a food without feta. Unless you don't like cheese and you're a meaty type. Then in that case some pan-fried Greek sausage (almost the same as Italian) is the second best option!
Greek Green Beans Stew (Fasolakia Ladera)
- 1 kg /2.2 pounds flat green beans (such as Romano beans) fresh or frozen
- 14 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium-sized (140 grams) onion finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 700 grams (24.7 ounce) potatoes peeled and cut into 4-5 cm (2-inch) pieces
- 400 grams (14 ounce) tomato juice from fresh grated tomatoes (see notes below)
- 1 ½ teaspoon tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons parsley very finely chopped
- If using fresh green beans cut off the tips with a knife. By slowly cutting the tip any threads will come off together with it. Pull gently to remove it all.
- If using frozen green beans add to a strainer, give them a rinse, and allow to thaw at room temperature.
- Heat 6 tablespoons of olive oil in a cooking pot over high heat.
- Add the onion and garlic and drop the heat to medium-low.
- Saute until softened and golden in color.
- Add the potatoes and saute for 2 minutes more.
- Add the green beans and saute them as well for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the tomato juice and paste and raise the heat to high. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook until tomato drains stirring occasionally.
- Pour in 3 cups of hot boiling water and the remaining olive oil. Drop the heat to low. Try to submerge the potatoes under the water as much as possible.
- Simmer covered for about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Check to see if it needs any more water while it simmers. It's ready when the potatoes are tender when you prick them with a knife and the sauce has thickened.
- Add the parsley and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Check for additional seasonings.
- Turn the heat off and allow the food to rest in the cooking pot for at least 30 minutes before serving leaving the lid slightly open.
- Serve with a big piece of feta cheese and some crusty bread, and enjoy!