You can make Italian Green Beans and Tomatoes in 25 minutes! You'll love my family's recipe from Naples featuring sautéed green beans with tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. It's a delicious vegan side dish!
If you've never tried Italian-style green beans with tomatoes, you don't know what you've been missing!
Think of tender green beans sautéed in olive oil and garlic, with cooked tomatoes and fresh parsley. It's a feast for the senses, with bright colors, an enticing aroma and the most delicious flavor!
It's a winning combination that's similar to these Italian Mushrooms with Tomatoes, another family favorite from Naples.
Add this vegan green bean recipe to your must-make list and thank me later!
Green Beans: For the best texture, use fresh green beans instead of frozen or canned. Start with whole green beans and snap the ends off or buy the trimmed ones in a bag.
You can use string beans (also called snap beans) as pictured here, or buy flat Italian green beans, known as Romano beans or Italian pole beans.
Tomatoes: I prefer using whole, peeled, canned tomatoes (affiliate link) here, but Mom often uses fresh ones. The canned ones will dull the veggies' green color a bit (thanks to the citric acid), but will produce more of a tomato-sauce effect.
You can use tomatoes from the same can to make Cod with Tomatoes to enjoy with the green beans. It's the best combination!
How to make it
See the card at the end of this post for the full recipe, but here's an overview.
- Sauté the garlic briefly in olive oil in a non-stick skillet (affiliate link).
- Add steamed or boiled green beans, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
- Push aside the green beans and add peeled, seeded and drained tomato pieces to the center of the pan. Cook the tomatoes down for a few minutes.
- Stir the green beans and tomatoes to combine them and sauté just until tender. Add the parsley.
- It's important to pre-cook the green beans before adding them to the skillet. Otherwise, it will take a long time to get the green beans tender in the pan.
- Drain the juice from the tomatoes before adding them to the pan, so the green beans won't become soggy.
- Discard most of the tomato seeds, since they tend to be bitter.
What to serve with it
If you can have the carbs, you've got to try this with some Homemade Italian Bread to dip in that heavenly, saucy oil! It makes a wonderful lunch.
And I sometimes sprinkle on Parmesan cheese for a salty kick of flavor. If dairy isn't an issue, you should try it! These Italian green beans with tomatoes are almost as satisfying as a dish of pasta.
Frequently asked questions
Fagiolini is the Italian word for green beans. Fagioli means beans in Italian. You may have heard of Pasta e Fagioli!
Yes! Italian Green Beans with Tomatoes are a low-calorie, low-carb side dish. Green beans are a good source of fiber and protein and help reduce inflammation, according to the American Heart Association.
More Italian side dishes
If you try this Italian Green Beans and Tomatoes recipe, please leave a comment and a rating!
Italian Green Beans and Tomatoes
- 2 12-ounce bags fresh, trimmed green beans (Buy the ones in a bag or trim them yourself.)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 5 tablespoons olive oil (¼ cup + 1 tablespoon)
- ⅜ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 5 whole peeled tomatoes from a 28-ounce can (drained; canned are preferred, but you can use 5 peeled, fresh Roma tomatoes instead)
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley (flat or curly)
- Grated Parmesan for serving (optional)
- If starting with fresh green beans that need to be trimmed, rinse them, snap off the ends, and peel off the strings. If starting with trimmed green beans in a bag, just proceed to the next step.
- Boil the green beans for 10 minutes or follow the microwave instructions on the bag to steam them. You also could steam fresh green beans by placing them in a microwave-safe bowl with three tablespoons of water, covering with plastic wrap and cooking on high for 5-6 minutes. Drain any cooking water and pat the green beans dry with a paper towel.
- While the green beans are cooking, peel the garlic and finely chop it.
- Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet on medium heat. Add the garlic and let it cook for a minute, stirring and being careful not to let it burn. Then add the green beans, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and raise the heat to medium-high.
- Let the green beans cook uncovered in the pan while you prepare the tomatoes. Use a slotted spoon to remove five peeled tomatoes from a can and add them to a small bowl. (Save the rest for another use.) Break up the tomatoes with a spoon. Drain the extra liquid in a fine mesh strainer and discard most of the seeds.
- Push aside the green beans in the pan, making room in the center. Add the tomato pieces to the middle of the pan. Let them cook down for five minutes, stirring as needed so they don't stick.
- While the tomatoes are cooking, rinse the parsley, discard the stems, and cut it up with scissors (or chop it).
- Stir the cooked tomatoes into the green beans. Taste a green bean to see if it's done. The green beans need to be tender but not mushy. They should be able to bend easily. Cook for a few more minutes if needed.
- When the green beans are done, turn off the heat. Stir in the parsley.
- Serve the green beans at room temperature. If desired, you can serve it with grated Parmesan. It's great with bread to dip in the oil from the pan.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to four days.
(Recipe Source: This is a family recipe adapted from my Mom, who doesn't measure anything. She probably uses a little more olive oil. Originally published on June 27, 2017 and updated now with additional photos and information.)