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 Tess January 22, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    Fabulous! I omitted sugar and added minced garlic when cooking the onion in olive oil. Served with Feta and my homemade whole wheat-flaxseed bread. Yummmm5 stars

  • Reply Jermaine January 8, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    This was so easy and healthy, I cooked 2 eggs over it for breakfast, was amazing. I am blessed with a farmers market store, and they have it all, looking forward to eating more veggies. I live to alone love to cook. It is like the Italians way a bit, which I am, great love Olive Tomatoe.5 stars

  • Reply SV January 3, 2021 at 4:49 am

    I’ve made this 5+ times now this past year. Delicious! Also, yes. Feta & crusty bread make it a meal in and of itself! Thank you!!5 stars

  • Reply Jackie Price November 11, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    I made this and it was delicious. I just used canned tomatoes and I switched out the potatoes for mushrooms instead. I served it over farro with feta cheese garnishing the top. Yum!

  • Reply Rachel Grogan November 6, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    The recipe calls for grated fresh tomato; how in the world does one grate a tomato??? Thanks, can hardly wait to try it!!!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN November 7, 2020 at 7:47 am

      Hi Rachel,
      It is easy : slice off a thin slice from the bottom part of a tomato and grate using the largest wholes of a grater. Continue grating until you only have the skin left. You can also find canned grated tomatoes.

  • Reply Kathleen Lerchenmueller October 15, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    OMG……I made this last night to have as a side to my grilled chicken and it was delicious!!!! Even got rave reviews from my veggie hating husband who wanted seconds. My plate was 2/3 of this and 3oz of grilled chicken that I had marinated in lemon juice and olive oil……..SUPER DELICIOUS and will be one of my regular go to’s for green beans. I added some sliced carrots as well and may have added a bit too much water, but it was very yummy and not watery at all, more like saucy. I cannot WAIT for your cookbook to be available….in the meantime, I’ll just have to rely on getting my yumminess here.5 stars

  • Reply James Rapa October 11, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Love it… But you need to eat with with feta… That is a must.5 stars

  • Reply Karey August 24, 2020 at 8:08 am

    Thankyou for recipe. I was first introduced to these dishes in the late 1970s at the still open iconic Greek restaurant Stalactites in Melbourne. These baked tomato/vegetable dishes are so delicious I am always on the lookout for recipes to recreate them. Your tip about the olive oil is really helpful.
    http://www.stalactites.com.au/

  • Reply Helen August 18, 2020 at 12:22 am

    This was very tasty and I didn’t skip on the oil. However, I added too much water so will have to watch that next time. Yummy!5 stars

  • Reply Cynthia Anderson July 22, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    I have made this several times and it is a family favorite! Love it with feta cheese but can’t do bread as I have a gluten sensitivity.5 stars

  • Reply Michelle Emery May 11, 2020 at 11:59 pm

    Absolutely delicious! This will be a mainstay on the menu this summer!5 stars

  • Reply Anne HamiLton January 7, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    Delicious.

  • Reply Anna January 7, 2020 at 2:15 am

    So delicious! Took me straight back to Athens where I lived in the 70’s…. thank you!5 stars

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 7, 2020 at 11:29 am

      Thank you Anna!!

      • Reply Chelsea February 6, 2020 at 5:19 am

        Could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So good. I tripled the recipe for my family and it was the perfect amount when served as a main. Thanks!5 stars

  • Reply janie November 1, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Love love love this recipe – I am new to being vegan – but this recipe is so easy on my gut AND delicious. I make this all the time now and sometimes leave out the potato and serve over rice – so good – Thanks

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN November 6, 2019 at 6:23 am

      Happy to hear! Thank you!

    • Reply Sharron Callaghan December 17, 2019 at 9:22 pm

      Hi how many people does this bean recipe make.

      • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN December 18, 2019 at 9:20 am

        Hi Sharron, it makes 2 main course serving or 4 sides. We transferred to a new recipe format and the servings were accidentally left out.

  • Reply Mary Wood September 2, 2019 at 6:14 am

    Thanks 🙂

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