Authentic Greek Green Beans-Fasolakia Lathera

For this authentic Greek recipe green beans with potatoes are stewed in tomato and olive oil until velvety.

Greek green beans

I love lathera! Lathera as I’ve mentioned before, are a whole category of Greek recipes where vegetables are cooked in olive oil and tomato along with herbs. 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.

We may not all have the time to find and clean fresh vegetables, so frozen can work fine. And if you do not have fresh tomato, you can use crushed tomatoes (look for BPA free containers).

Secrets to making the best Greek Green Beans

This particular recipe is a classic. Green beans stewed in olive oil and tomato. 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. 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.

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. If you wish to serve it as a side dish, I find it pairs well with pasta, chicken and beef dishes.

Mediterranean Diet cookbook for beginners

Greek Style Green Beans-Fasolakia Lathera

Greek green beans
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Tender cooked green beans with potatoes stewed in tomato and olive oil.
Course: Dessert, Entree, lunch
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword: Green Beans
Servings: 2 mains or 4 sides
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
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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)
  • 3 medium tomatoes grated or 12-15 ounces chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 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
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Greek green bean casserole

Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

95 Comments

  • Reply Robn sarafino July 6, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    I would like Greek recipes healthy Greek recipes healthy Greek recipes

  • Reply Karen June 14, 2019 at 1:08 am

    If you use frozen do you change anything time wise or water wise?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN June 23, 2019 at 10:18 am

      Hi Karen, no not really , I add about the same amount of water. I start with less and add more as needed.

  • Reply suzeiki June 3, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Do you drain the tomatoes if using a can? Thanks.

  • Reply Lauren Ashley April 14, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    I have this on the stove right now, smells yummy!

  • Reply lauren bumgarner April 14, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    I have this on the stove right now, smells yummy!

  • Reply Marguerite March 28, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    I made this -it was very good – even if I cut the oil to probably one or 2 tsp – I added some garlic and a bit of oregano too

  • Reply Sue Winn March 25, 2019 at 6:48 am

    Loved the this recipe…just added some garlic for our personal taste. Definitely a favorite now!

  • Reply Mary Wood October 1, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    This is a lovely, tasty dish. Thanks Elena.

  • Reply Susan July 13, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Hi Elena. I made this last week with our green beans fresh from the garden and some passata with one tomato. It was delicious both room temperature and cold on the next day. My question is do you think this would freeze well? I currently have lots of green beans (and my neighbour kindly gave me a big bag also).

    Thanks for the recipes – we have enjoyed each one that I have made

  • Reply Janet Wilkin July 4, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Made this for lunch without the sugar, totally delicious.

  • Reply flamingomotel February 28, 2018 at 2:10 am

    Amazing recipe! It really tastes like more than just the sum of its parts. I added a clove of garlic, but that’s all I changed. This is my favorite side dish ever.

  • Reply Cynthia Anderson January 11, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    I made this tonight. Second time. It is SO good! It is even better the second or third time around!

  • Reply Ricky June 7, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    Omg…..I just love these green beans.

  • Reply Monica. McCutcheon May 18, 2017 at 9:54 pm

    Is there a use for the left over oil in the pot?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN May 19, 2017 at 8:36 am

      When you serve it you generally do not strain it from the olive oil, there should be some olive oil in plate when served. Generally, if you want you can dip some bread in the oil, but you cannot re-use it for cooking purposes-
      you can drizzle it on some bread.

  • Reply Libby April 3, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Love your blog and a lot of your dishes remind me of my Yiayia’s!
    Fasolakia is one of my faves, but was surprised to see no garlic in your recipe. Any particular reason for omitting?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN April 7, 2017 at 5:15 am

      Thank you Libby. No particular reason. We did not traditionally use it, in this particular recipe.

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