Authentic Greek Green Beans-Fasolakia Lathera

The original recipe for Greek green beans – smooth and velvety green beans with potatoes stewed in tomato, herbs and olive oil. They will melt in your mouth! Perfect as a main course or a side. And they are vegan and gluten free.

Authentic Greek Green Beans - Casserole Fasolakia Lathera

This particular recipe is a classic. Green beans stewed in olive oil, tomato, onions and herbs. We call them fasolakia lathera (pronounced fah-soh-LAH-kiah). Served with feta and bread it is delicious! Some people make them plain, others add potato and carrots as well. It is very easy, but the secret to making it delicious, is the olive oil. Do not -I repeat- Do not, try and make this with a few teaspoons of olive oil, you will need 1/3 cup of olive oil per one pound of vegetables.

Lathera – Greek Technique of Cooking

This dish belongs to the Greek category of “Lathera” dishes, it is a whole category of Greek recipes where vegetables are cooked in olive oil and tomato along with herbs. The word lathera refers to dishes cooked in olive oil. I love lathera! We eat this as a main course along with bread and feta cheese. I would say that this is the secret weapon of the Greek diet, it is why Greeks consistently have the highest intake of vegetables (per person) in the world. These dishes are very filling, because you basically consume about 4 servings of vegetables in one sitting, plus the olive oil provides satiety.

You probably will have guessed this, but lathera are very healthy. Not only are they a vegetable based meal, they are rich in fiber, antioxidants, good fats, vitamins and they are cheap. One serving does not cost more than 2 dollars.

And yes, they are easy to make. Lathera are made with seasonal vegetables. For example in the winter a typical dish is cauliflower, in the summer green beans and okra are very common. But lathera are perfect for the summer, especially as the warm weather has us craving vegetables rather than meat.

Greek green beans

Greek Green Beans Ingredients

  • Green Beans: Ideally you would want fresh green beans, nothing beats the flavour of fresh., Having said that I use frozen green beans all the time and the dish will come out wonderfully. However, DO NOT use canned green beans, it will ruin the flavour, beauty and nutritional value of this recipe.
  • Olive Oil: Remember, these type of dishes belong to the category of lathera, they need the olive oil. Use extra virgin olive oil and use the amount that is required in the recipe. Do not try and use less, you will just end up with a watery and tasteless green bean dish.
  • Tomatoes: If making this in the summer, fresh tomatoes are the best. You can grate them or chop them. In the winter I use crushed tomatoes (I look for BPA free containers) for a smoother texture or chopped tomatoes if you want a slightly chunkier version.
  • Sugar: This can be optionally but my yiayia would add a pinch.
  • Potatoes: Potatoes are typically added to this dish to provide some sustenance as this was consumed as a main course, but I sometimes leave them out.

How to Make the best Greek Green Beans- Fasolakia Lathera

  • Start with the sauteing. Add the olive oil in the pan and saute the chopped onion. Just to understand the importance of olive oil in these dishes, the word “lathera” means “the ones with the oil”. Not adding the olive oil will result in watery green beans that will taste bland. Olive oil helps bring out all the flavors and make this dish feel rich. You may be worried about calories, but remember that this is a main course and the rest of the ingredients pretty much have minimal calories so the result is a moderate calorie dish.
  • Add the potatoes (if using). You may soak the potatoes in water for 20 minutes ahead. Continue stirring for 2-3 minutes until the potatoes are coated in olive oil.
  • Add the green beans and stir some more.
  • Now you add the rest of the ingredients: parsley, salt, sugar and pepper. stor until everything is mixed.
  • Now add just enough hot water to cover the beans halfway. Do not cover completely, better to start off with less water and add as needed. You do not want watery green beans. Authentic Greek beans are soft and velvety in their sauce (olive oil and tomato) there should be no water left.
  • Simmer with the lid on for about 40 minutes (do not boil). Check the water levels. The beans are ready once there is no water left and the beans are soft.
  • Turn off the heat and let them sit with the cover on for 10 minutes. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
  • Accompany with bread and feta.
  • Store i the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

What to serve with Greek Green Beans

Greeks usually enjoy this as a main course as I mentioned earlier. It is served with a slice of bread and feta cheese. You eat a large portion and it is filling. It also work well as a side dish, it pairs well with Juicy Roasted Greek Meatballs – Keftedakia, 5 Ingredient Glazed Honey Lemon Chicken Legs or Greek Burgers – Biftekia. And it’s great as a Thanksgiving side dish.

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Greek Green Beans-Fasolakia Lathera

Greek green beans Fasolakia lathera
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Tender cooked Greek green beans – fasolakia, with potatoes stewed in tomato, herbs and olive oil. These beans are so smooth and velvety, they will melt in your mouth.
Course: Dessert, Entree, lunch
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword: Green Beans
Servings: 2 mains or 4 sides
Calories: 273kcal
Author: OliveTomato.com
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Ingredients

  • cup olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1 medium potato sliced (1/4 inch thickness-cut in half) (optional)
  • 3 medium tomatoes grated or 12-15 ounces chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • fresh pepper

Instructions

  • In a medium pot, heat olive oil at medium to low heat. Sauté onion until soft.
  • Add potatoes and heat for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add beans and mix until covered with the olive oil.
  • Add the tomatoes, parsley, sugar and salt and pepper and mix.
  • Add hot water just enough to half cover the beans.
  • Simmer with the lid on for about 40 minutes (do not boil).
  • The beans are ready once there is no water left and the beans are soft.
  • Enjoy with bread and feta cheese

Notes

  • Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
  • Accompany with bread and feta.
  • Store i the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Nutrition Facts
Greek Green Beans-Fasolakia Lathera
Serving Size
 
1 cup
Amount per Serving
Calories
273
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
9
g
14
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Carbohydrates
 
11
g
4
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Greek green bean casserole

Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

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114 Comments

  • Reply Ivan Desender September 19, 2022 at 8:26 am

    Zeer lekker resultaat, maar heb toch bedenkingen bij de kooktijden.
    Onze bonen waren pas gaar genoeg om te eten na 90 minuten “pruttelen” …

  • Reply Lisa September 18, 2022 at 4:55 pm

    Can I use Russet potatoes (it’s what I have on hand) or do they need to be waxy potatoes?

  • Reply Susan July 20, 2022 at 12:31 am

    These are more like my grandmother’s than any I’ve had in years.
    It might be helpful to know to start with no more than about a cup of water. Any more than that will just take too long to boil off, no matter if it’s halfway up the beans or not. You can always add more.5 stars

    • Reply Silvia July 25, 2022 at 9:54 am

      This brings back childhood memories. When my Greek aunt cooked the entire house was filled with wonderful aromas. This recipe is exactly how I remember this dish. We ate it with a torn off chunk of freshly baked bread, that we dunked in the sauce. Thank you for sharing the recipe.5 stars

  • Reply Dagmar June 10, 2022 at 12:28 am

    Excellent recipe! This was the second time I made it and it certainly won’t be the last. Thanks for sharing your recipe!5 stars

  • Reply Jim June 6, 2022 at 10:19 pm

    This recipe was our family’s first foray into traditional Greek cooking. Just fabulous! Thank you!5 stars

  • Reply Charmaine April 12, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    I can’t wait to make these for Easter! I love all the ingredients.

  • Reply Karen April 2, 2022 at 11:42 pm

    Haha. I said to my friend as she was leaving “I’m making Lathera tonight” and she turned around with big eyes and said “oh! Will you save me some? I’ll be back later.” That’s how good a recipe this is.

  • Reply Chee Kuan Chew March 23, 2022 at 11:39 am

    Thoroughly enjoyed the dish though I did some changes. Didn’t use tomatoes as I m on nightshades free diet. Replaced potatoes with cauliflower. Surprised to find that it s so tasty. I sprinkled with Zatar seasoning. I ate this with quinoa and white beans. Will be cooking this often.5 stars

  • Reply Amber March 8, 2022 at 1:50 pm

    So delicious! I was afraid the green beans would turn to mush with such a long cooking time but nope! Has anyone tried any of these veggie dishes in the instant pot for faster cooking time?5 stars

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