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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100 Comments

  • Reply George Mars November 9, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    This recipe is so close tho the one handed down to me from my mom and yia yia. The biggest difference is I add garlic and basil also. I guess that it’s because of what I grew up with that I would miss those flavors. But this is a great recipe and easy to make. And oh so delicious. And if you want meat with it do it with sougiakakia that was how mom always made it. This dish always reminds me of the beautiful sunny days in Greece eating with family on the veranda.5 stars

  • Reply Demetrius Karos September 13, 2021 at 12:37 am

    Great recipe. Also reminded me of my YiaYia. Simple enough but great flavors.

    At our local farmers market, I picked up a bag of Michigan green beans and small white potatoes. Decided to use more potatoes than called for in the recipe.

    You are spot on with the use of the olive oil and you cannot use a minimal amount. The olive oil with the water and juices really make the oil or juice tasty.

    I also made a sourdough bread and used that in the juices.5 stars

    • Reply Suzi September 21, 2021 at 4:31 am

      I also use more potatoes and use broth instead of water, filling to the top of the beans, and serve it as a soup! The finished broth is so delicious!5 stars

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN September 21, 2021 at 5:11 am

      Thank you Demetrius, Happy to hear that!

  • Reply Maria August 2, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    I think i can go vegetarian with this, cause i skipped the feta and ate it with rice one time and it was good too. Haha!
    I sometimes make it with garlic instead of onion . The base can be added to pasta like a pesto, but I haven’t tried as i want to eat more vege than carbs these days.5 stars

  • Reply Dannette July 4, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    I just made this today. I may have put too much water in so I cooked it a little longer. This was so, so good. I will be making this again!5 stars

  • Reply Sue Justus May 29, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Love this recipe. Have made it a bunch of times. The only addition I make is 1 tsp. ox cumin.5 stars

  • Reply Rick May 12, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    Excellent meal, but prep time was closer to 30 minutes, not 5 minutes!

  • Reply Christina DaSilva May 4, 2021 at 8:35 pm

    This recipe was absolutely delicious just as I remember my Yiayia making it.5 stars

  • Reply Kelly May 3, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    Had to leave a review on this one because This is absolutely AMAZING! Who knew? I did not expect to like this so much, will be doubling the recipe next time. Used too much water, but didn’t hurt a thing. Will reduce water next time.
    This will be a regular on the table.5 stars

  • Reply Karen Neale April 29, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    I love this with feta, lemon juice and fresh dill!5 stars

  • Reply Chris April 16, 2021 at 7:08 am

    Hi Elena,

    I made this dish by substituting fatty beef for the vegetables and using partially hydrogenated oil instead of olive oil. Delicious and healthy. Just kidding!

    Real question: The article says use 1/3 cup of olive oil per pound of vegetables. But the recipe ingredients list calls for 1/3 cup of oil and what looks like maybe 3 pounds of vegetables. So which ratio would you recommend if I want to make lathera dishes using whatever vegetables happen to be in season?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN April 16, 2021 at 8:02 am

      Ha ha! You got me for a moment there! So, yes I meant per 1 pound of green beans not including the potato and onion. I’ll clarify that shortly in the article.

  • Reply Stewart March 21, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    I had to leave a comment on this recipe. I have visited Crete at least three times and I have missed it sorely during the pandemic. This simple recipe brought back so many memories, and made me so happy duroing this difficult time, so thank you for that!

  • Reply Katja February 21, 2021 at 7:41 am

    This is a fabulous recipe! It quickly became one of my go to weeknight dishes. I cook it with green beans, or with peas, or with cauliflower. Depending what we fancy. The method is the same. Served with halloumi or feta. Everyone loves it, and i cook enough for the following day too. Win, win! Thank you for this!5 stars

  • Reply Wendi February 3, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    We are trying to eat foods more aligned with Mediterranean way of eating and I saw this pic on Pinterest and thought it looked so comforting and it did not disappoint! Just had a big portion with bread and feta like you recommend and it was a delish and filling meal. Gonna look now to find more of lathera recipes.

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