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Greek Green Beans (aka, Fasolakia Lathera) is a classic Greek dish of fresh summer green beans braised in the extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes, and herbs. It’s packed with flavor and nutrients and can be served as a main dish or an accompaniment to your favorite meat or fish entree. If you choose, you can add potatoes here too for a more filling meal. For those of you who are health-conscious, you’ll be happy to hear this dish is Gluten-free and Vegetarian (or Vegan without Feta Cheese).
Other super popular Greek recipes on this blog that can be paired for a full vegetarian meal, with feta, are Greek Spinach Rice with Feta (Spanakorizo) or Greek Lentil Soup (Fakes). Scroll down for more Greek recipes ideas.
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What is Fasolakia Lathera (Greek Green Beans)
As I now write this post, we find ourselves at the end of summer. So this means an abundance of green beans and tomatoes being harvested from your gardens or sold at your local farmers market. If you’re like me and love green beans, tomatoes, and olive oil, then you’ll surely love this recipe for Greek Fasolakia.
When I harvested the freshest beans and ripest tomatoes from my vegetable garden the other day, I immediately knew that I’d be making Fasolakia Lathera. You may wonder what this literally means. “Lathera” is actually the Greek style of cooking vegetables in olive oil. The literal translation is “the ones with the oil.” Simply put, this means that you cook your vegetables in a lot of olive oil.
People in Greece use this method to cook many different varieties of vegetables all year long. But when the summer arrives, with all the beautiful green beans, this dish reappears frequently on tables.
And when I say that you cook your vegetables in oil, I’m not suggesting a tablespoon. The vegetables are actually braised in oil. You’ll need a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil for every half a pound of beans (don’t be shy here, you can even use more).
You’ll also need fresh tomatoes for this dish. You could use canned, but if you want the real summer deal, then I’d suggesting getting the juiciest tomatoes – shred them and let them braise the beans with the oil. The result is simply outstanding!
On top of the assured deliciousness of this dish, this Fasolakia is also super healthy. I’m currently reading the book “Eat to Beat Disease,” by Dr. Li, and he talks a lot about tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and beans. That’s a win-win for me.
What Ingredients are Needed to Make Greek Green Beans
For the exact list of ingredients and measurements please scroll down to the printable recipe card.
The beauty of Greek dishes is often their simplicity. You need just a few ingredients to create something extraordinary, which is packed full of flavor and nutrients.
Here’s your grocery list:
- Fresh Green Beans;
- Fresh Summer Juicy Tomatoes (beefsteak or heirloom or on the wine);
- Onions (Vidalia, Spanish or Red);
- Potatoes – these are optional if you want to create a more filling version;
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil;
- Greek Dry Oregano;
- Spices: Salt, Pepper, and optionally Sugar;
- Tomato Paste – if your tomatoes aren’t as flavorful as you desire, and you’d like to intensify a tomato flavor;
- Finally, Feta Cheese, Fresh Parsley and lemon juice to serve.
How to Make Fasolakia
For exact instructions and nutritional information please scroll down to a printable recipe card.
Step 1: Prep your veggies: peel and chop the onions; peel and chop or press your garlic; wash and trim your green beans; peel your potatoes and cut them into squares; shred your tomatoes on a grater with large holes.
Step 2: In a large pot, like a Dutch Oven (with a lid), heat up a 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil; add onions and cook for a few minutes, until translucent; add oregano, garlic and cook for one more minute.
Step 3: Add another 1/4 cup of olive oil; your beans, potatoes and tomatoes; 1 cup of water; 1 teaspoon each of salt and sugar; and a 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper (you’ll adjust seasoning once the dish is fully cooked).
Step 4: Cover and cook “low and slow” for about an hour, until all the veggies are soft (stirring occasionally).
Step 5: Check for seasoning; add lemon juice and the last 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil and gently mix.
Step 6: Place Fasolkia in a serving bowl and top it with feta cheese and fresh parsley. Serve with a slice of pita bread or any crusty bread, to soak up all the sauce.
How to Serve Fasolakia Greek Green Beans
As mentioned above, Fasolakia can be served as a main dish with feta cheese and bread (pita bread or your favorite crusty bread). If you go this route, then you can then serve it with the salad of your choice. I’d suggest:
Or it can also be served as a side dish to any of your favorite meat or fish dishes.
If this is more of your speed, then here are a couple of my suggestions:
Finally, if you want to simply serve this dish as a vegan meal, then skip the feta cheese and enjoy!
Other Greek Recipes to Try
- Kolokithopita – Greek Zucchini Pie;
- Kolokithokeftedes – Greek Zucchini Fritters;
- Vegetarian Moussaka;
- Melitzanosalata – Greek Eggplant Dip;
- Greek Lemon Potatoes;
- Greek Frappe Coffee
Greek Green Beans (Fasolakia Lathera)
- 3/4 cup Olive Oil Extra Virgin
- 1.5 lb Green Beans Washed and trimmed
- 4 Tomatoes* Medium, Shredded (see the recipe notes)
- 1/2 Onion Vidalia, Spanish or Red, chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic Chopped
- 3 Potatoes Medium yellow or red, chopped (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Dry Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Sugar Optional
- 1 cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Salt + more to taste
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 tbsp Freshly Chopped Parsley to serve
- 1/2 cup Feta Cheese to serve
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste (optional, see the recipe notes)
- Prep your veggies: peel and chop the onions; peel and chop or press your garlic; wash and trim your green beans; peel your potatoes and cut them into squares; shred your tomatoes on a grater with large holes.
- In a large pot, like a Dutch Oven (with a lid), heat up a 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil; add onions and cook for approximately 3 minutes, until translucent; add oregano, garlic and cook for one more minute.
- Add another 1/4 cup of olive oil; your beans, potatoes and tomatoes; 1 cup of water; 1 teaspoon each of salt and sugar; and a 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper (you'll adjust seasoning once the dish is fully cooked).
- Cover and cook low and slow for about an hour, until all the veggies are soft (stirring occasionally).
- Check for seasoning; add lemon juice and the last 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil and gently mix.
- Place Fasolkia in a serving bowl and top it with feta cheese and fresh parsley. Serve with a slice of pita bread or any crusty bread, to soak up all the sauce.