Simple Greek-Style Green Beans

January 23, 2008 at 3:45 pm (Alma's faves, B plus, My brain, Quick weeknight recipe, Summer recipes, Vegetable dishes, Winter recipes) ()

This is a very quick but still very tasty recipe for when you’re in a rush. For an even faster recipe leave out the onion and/or garlic, and substitute onion or garlic powder. My 18-month-old always scarfs it up.

In a large 12-inch skillet saute:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/4 tsp. dried chili flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 10-20 kalamata olives, chopped

When the onions are soft, add:

  • 1 bag (1 lb.?) green beans (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 tsp. dry oregano (optional)

Finally, when the green beans are defrosted, add:

  • 1/2 cup (more?) tomato sauce (or Muir Glen pizza sauce)

Stir and heat through, then serve. Optional: sprinkle with a little crumbled feta.

Update July 22, 2016:

I make this dish often when I need a quick weeknight dinner. Both Derek and Alma like it. I don’t really have a recipe, but here’s my best guess at the ingredients and amounts I use.


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 20 kalamata olives
  • 750g frozen green beans
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano (optional)
  • half of a large jar of whole tomatoes, broken up with a spatula
  • 1 large jar giant white beans
  • 6 ounces feta cheese (crumbled in after removing pan from heat, or on individual dishes)
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh or frozen minced dill or parsley and/or 1 Tbsp. minced fresh mint leaves
  • chili flakes (to taste on each individual portion)

I cook the dish in a 12-inch stainless steel skillet, and it makes enough dinner for 2 adults and 1 toddler. As of right now (18 months), Alma still wants me to cut up her green beans into smaller bite-sized pieces. I use scissors.

Alma usually eats this dish happily for dinner, but she has never once eaten it as leftovers. I suspect it’s because the green beans go from a bright happy toddler-friendly green to a sad, toddler-hostile putrid green color.

Update July 2010:

I had some green (actually yellow) beans to use up, and some homemade tomato sauce that I pulled out of the freezer, but no olives.  I thought the dish might be slightly bland without olives, so I did as follows.

I added a little oil to a 12 inch skillet and heated the beans over high heat, tossing frequently.  Then I threw in about 1/4 cup of water, covered, and let steam until almost tender.  I uncovered the pan and tossed in about 2 Tbs. of a cornmeal/spice mixture that I had made for fried okra.  It was typical fried okra seasonings–cornmeal, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, garlic powder, cajun seasoning mix, a little basil and thyme.  I let the green beans cook for a minute then tossed in about 1 cup of tomato sauce (homemade, with lots of basil and garlic).  I sprinkled the top with a bit of grated aged gouda, and served.  The dish was very flavorful and decadent tasting, even though I don’t think it actually had all that much fat in it.  Derek scarfed his down.

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