Italian Green Beans with Tomatoes and Garlic is a flavorful 15-minute side dish. Perfectly cooked fresh green beans are topped with garlicky tomatoes, pine nuts, and a squeeze of lemon. And this recipe is naturally vegan and gluten free and a healthy part of a Mediterranean diet.
How to cook green beans
I love green beans, especially with garlic.
Perhaps the worst thing you can do to fresh green beans is to overcook them.
Not only do they not taste as good, they turn an off-putting color.
However, the easiest way to avoid this problem is to steam them for just a couple of minutes until they are bright green, then immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water to “shock” them.
If you don’t have a steaming device, don’t worry.
You can cook them in a shallow pan of boiling water, or even in the microwave.
I usually opt to cook mine in a saute pan in about an inch of simmering water.
Then I carefully pour out the water when I’m done, dry the pan, and use it again for cooking the garlic and tomatoes.
That way I only have one pan to wash.
If you’re interested, you can learn more about blanching vegetables in the Kitchn article Basic Technique: How to Blanch Vegetables.
This method works really well when making this Italian Green Beans with Tomatoes and Garlic recipe.
Bold Italian flavors
I love adding an extra layer of flavor to green beans with garlic, tomatoes, pine nuts, and a squeeze of lemon.
And one of the best parts is that it’s so quick to make.
After the green beans are blanched and cooled in ice water, it’s time to saute the garlic and tomatoes.
This only takes a couple of minutes.
Then the green beans are added to the tomato mixture along with pine nuts, lemon juice, and a little salt.
Everything is mixed through, and you’re ready to eat your Italian Green Beans!
I prefer to use cherry or grape tomatoes in this recipe, but if you only have a large tomato, that will work, too.
And if you’re allergic to pine nuts or are unable to find them, you can either leave them out or substitute chopped pistachios or walnuts instead.
Green beans are very nutritious and easy to incorporate into your diet year round as part of a healthy plant-based Mediterranean diet.
They are very high in fiber and contain protein.
And they contain vitamins A, C, K, B6, and folic acid.
Learn more by reading 7 Impressive Benefits of Green Beans.
You may want to make Italian Green Beans every week!
Italian Green Beans with Tomatoes and Garlic Recipe
This recipe makes 4 servings as a side dish. The green beans can be blanched in advance and refrigerated in a sealed container until you’re ready to make the recipe.
To turn Italian Green Beans into an easy main course, slice the green beans into bite size pieces. Then add them to a pot of hot cooked pasta such as penne along with the garlicky tomato topping. Or serve them over quinoa or millet for a complete meal.
Leftovers can be refrigerated for a few days. Enjoy them reheated or at room temperature.
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Italian Green Beans with Tomatoes and Garlic
- Steam or blanch the green beans in boiling water for about 2 minutes, until they are bright green. Immediately transfer the beans to a bowl of ice water, then drain when cool.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Next add the tomatoes to the pan and saute until soft, about 2 minutes.
- Add the green beans to the pan and toss to heat through, being careful not to overcook.
- Finally, add the pine nuts, a squeeze of lemon juice, and salt, to taste.
- Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy!