Italian Green Beans with Tomatoes is PROOF that a delicious and healthy side dish doesn’t need to be complicated! It’s an easy recipe to spice up green beans!
Do you spend so much time on the main course that the sides are often thrown together at the last minute or (gasp) forgotten?
Well, I have a plan for green bean lovers that doesn’t require much forethought but still allows a more complex taste by combining fresh green beans and tomatoes!
It’s an alternative to more elaborate green bean dishes that require sauteing, roasting or baking, like Baked Green Bean Fries…which are fantastically delicious and definitely have a place at the table. But, not when you need dinner on the table 5 minutes ago.
If you’re having fresh green beans tonight, get some water boiling right away! Hop down to the end of the post for the recipe and more ideas to spice up green beans! Or, check out some of the frequently asked questions below.
Italian Green Beans with Tomatoes Recipe Notes
Here’s more background on our tried and true method for tasty green beans every single time and how to jazz them up.
Types of Green Beans
This ingredient combination works with any variety of green beans, although the cooking time may vary. We used string beans (also known as snap beans) in the recipe pictured. Haricots Verts or thin French Green Beans, are more delicate and would also be perfect for this recipe!
Of course, it will work with frozen or canned green beans too.
How to Prepare Fresh Green Beans
Fresh green beans will be vibrant, firm and “snap” when you break them in half. Remove the tough ends by cutting them off with a knife. If there are young kids in the house, snapping them off is a great way to involve everyone in the cooking process!
Most green beans no longer have a “string” that has to be removed. Yay!!!
How to Boil Green Beans
This is our family’s favorite way to enjoy fresh green beans (although any method can be used in this recipe.) Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt, if desired. There should be plenty of water in the pot so that the beans have room to move around. About 3 quarts of water is a good amount for a pound of green beans.
Add beans to the water and boil for about 10 minutes for sturdy beans and about 5 minutes for a slender bean, like Haricots Verts.
If you boil them for too long then they will be mushy and lose their color. If you don’t boil them long enough then they may be too crisp for your taste. We’ve settled on 10 minutes at our house and everyone is happy. Lift one out and taste test to get to your “perfect” time.
Tip: Start the water and add green beans to the pot as you are prepping them. We race to get them all in before the water comes to a rolling boil.
How to Chop Roma Tomatoes
Roma or plum tomatoes add a punch of color to this dish. Use your favorite tomato and use as many as you like!
We LOVE the ease and versatility of Roma tomatoes because they are so easy to seed and dice.
- Cut the tomato in half,
- Remove the fleshy center with a spoon.
- Cut each half into strips.
- Cut each strip into small segments.
Italian Seasoning is one of those spice blends that saves time! You don’t need to pull out basil, oregano, garlic…and the list goes on. Just pull out a homemade Italian seasoning blend or one you bought at the store.
Bonus: You can cut back on the salt because Italian Seasoning has so much flavor.
Other Ways to Spice Up Green Beans
Inspired? Here are some other easy ideas for taking green beans to the next level, whether they are fresh, frozen or canned:
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, feta cheese or ANY cheese!
- Toss with bacon like Wholesome Yum did in Pan Fried Green Beans Almondine with Bacon and Garlic.
- Serve with a squeeze of lemon or lemon pepper seasoning.
- Spice them up with red pepper flakes or your favorite spices.
- Stir in Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions (made ahead of time and stored in the freezer)
- Mix in Roasted Garlic Cloves (we have these in our freezer too!)
- Top with almonds, pine nuts or cashews.
- Drizzle with your favorite dressing such as balsamic, ginger or soy-based dressings.
- Incorporate mushrooms like Neighbor Food did in Balsamic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms
- Take advantage of any type of sauce you are already using, as we did for Pan-Fried Lemon Chicken Cutlets.
Please rate this recipe and tag @DinnerMom or #DinnerMom on social media. We love to see what you are cooking up!
Italian Green Beans and Tomatoes
- 3 quarts water
- 1 pound green beans
- 3 Roma tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon olive oil, optional
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring water to a rolling boil in a large pot.
- While the water comes to a boil, cut or snap the ends off of the green beans and add to the pot.
- Boil green beans for 10 minutes or until crisp-tender.
- While green beans are boiling, chop Roma tomatoes
- Remove green beans from pot to serving dish.
- Stir in chopped tomatoes
- Toss green beans and chopped tomatoes with olive oil, if desired, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired.