Green Beans With Tomatoes is an easy, stovetop vegetable side dish recipe that can be your jumping off point for your favorite seasonings, or a basic one-two punch of fresh vegetable flavor.
I still remember the first time I had freshly cooked green beans instead of the ones that come in a can: WOW.
Also, wait, aren’t cooked green beans supposed to be really salty and mushy?
Well, no. Just because we got used to how easy it is to pop open a can of green beans, doesn’t mean we should.
But that’s the joy of fresh green beans—the straight-out-of-the-garden snap!
They are cooked to death in the can, and there’s no coming back from that. Yes, they are easy to open and heat up in the microwave, but most of their nutrition has been heat-blasted on the conveyor belt and there’s not much to love about a vegetable that is so soft, you can’t even toss them with a fork without them falling apart.
I will say this for canned green beans, though: The French-cut style makes a decadent, comfort-food green bean casserole for the fall and winter holidays.
You can find fresh green beans in most supermarkets year around.
Save time by getting them pre-washed and trimmed (recipe-ready, they are sometimes called), or get them in bulk by the handful and weigh out 2 lbs.
This simple but fresh-tasting Green Beans With Tomatoes side dish is just ripe for more seasonings, depending on the flavor profile you may be going for.
Important note: Add any seasonings AFTER you have removed the Green Beans With Tomatoes from the heat. Drain the beans before adding the tomatoes.
Pick one set of flavors to perk up your taste buds below:
- 1 T of Italian seasoning, 2 T butter, and 2 T of grated parmesan cheese
- 2 T of lemon juice, ½ t of lemon zest if you have fresh lemon around, and several grinds of cracked pepper, with 1 T of olive oil, if desired
- 2 T of truffle oil and dash of truffle salt, with cracked black pepper to taste
- Pan-Asian flavor: 1 t ginger, 1 T soy sauce, lemongrass paste, chopped green onion, and garlic or Asian herb mix
- 2 lb fresh green beans, (cleaned and trimmed) [link to How To Trim Green Beans post]
- 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 T sugar
- 1 t sea salt or kosher salt (table salt is fine if it’s what you have on hand)
- Pop the ends and snap the beans in two. (More info about trimming green beans here.)
- Wash under warm water, drain. Rinse the container of tomatoes. Set aside.
- Start a large saucepan on the stove and add ¼ c of water to the bottom. Bring to a boil.
- Add just the green beans and salt.
- Steam the beans for 10 minutes on medium-low heat with the lid on. Toss every few minutes, until crisp-tender.
- Drain in a colander and set beans aside.
- In the same saucepan, add 2T of olive oil or flavored oil of your choice. (Meyer lemon oil is so lovely.)
- Once the pan is hot, add all of the tomatoes. They will start to sizzle and leak their juice. Cook tomatoes on medium for about 5 minutes. The tomatoes should pop and break down just enough so they are all “deflated”.
- Add 1 T of sea salt and 1 T of sugar, toss. Add the cooked green beans. Toss together on low heat with a wooden spoon or tongs.
- Heat through another 3 minutes covered on medium-low.
- Remove to a serving bowl.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 152Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 442mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 6gSugar: 14gProtein: 3g
The bottom line
I love this dish, and I tend to switch out the added seasonings depending on my main. But it’s easy and fast. Some people cut the tomatoes first but I like them mostly whole, and I add them later to make sure they don’t break down too quickly.
Taste-testing is the way to know that your green beans are the right tenderness for you and your family or guests. Nobody likes chewy green beans, but too soft and it’s like you just opened a can.
Be sure to drain all your cooking water before adding your seasoning. I’ve learned just recently that when I add fat and herbs (or whatever) it’s all draining off into the water.
Hope you enjoy this recipe. Are there variations that make this your own? Let us know in the comments below.