This chicken recipe with flat beans and bell pepper features seared chicken and sautéed vegetables with garlic and ginger. This colourful dish is a delicious everyday meal and is ready in only 30 minutes. A great and healthy dinner option made with fresh and easy to find ingredients filled with subtle Mediterranean flavours. Perfect to make all year round.
What are flat beans?
Flat beans are known under various names, like Italian green beans, romano beans and runner beans. They are typically wide and flat and can grow in length up to 25 cm or 10 inches. Italian flat beans are high in fibre and low in calories which makes them great to eat for a healthy and balanced diet. Typically, flat beans are always cut to bring out the full aroma of the bean.
These green beans cannot be eaten raw and should therefore always be cooked, braised, steamed or sautéed. Flat beans hold their shape and firmness quite well after cooking which makes them great for stir-fries, stews or braising. After cooking, they can be eaten either warm or cold in a salad or as a side dish like these romano beans with garlic and onion.
Which ingredients to use?
- Flat beans: For this recipe, I have used fresh flat beans. You can find them canned or frozen, but the fresh ones will still have a bite to them after cooking. Make sure to use flat beans that are nice and firm and snap when breaking them.
- Chicken: Use chicken breasts or boneless chicken thighs cut into small cubes or thin strips.
- Red bell pepper: I have used a red bell pepper for its lovely sweet taste and the beautiful contrast in colour. Alternatively, use a yellow or orange pepper since they are almost equally sweet. I would not use the green bell pepper due to its more bitter taste which would not pair that well with the flat beans. But that is personal taste.
- Onion: Use a normal onion to add extra flavour to the dish.
- Garlic and ginger: Both ginger and garlic enhances the flavour of this dish and brings out the sweet taste of the bell pepper
- Herbs: I have added some dried oregano and fresh basil to add a subtle Mediterranean flair to this dish.
- Use green beans: In some areas, flat beans might be difficult to find, so you can use other green beans instead, like string beans, haricots verts or pea pods. Just keep in mind that the cooking time will be different for other types of beans.
- Use different herbs: Add any other Mediterranean herbs to this dish, either fresh or dried, such as, chives, marjoram, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
- Use different spices: I’ve only used herbs in this recipe, but you can spice it up with paprika powder, smoked paprika powder or pimentón, turmeric and ground cumin.
How to make chicken with flat beans
Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
This chicken with Italian green beans and bell pepper is quick and easy to make and comes together in just 30 minutes and a few easy steps.
- Prepare the flat beans
Before adding the flat beans to the pan they need to be precooked. Make sure not to cook the beans too long as they still need to be ‘al dente’ or have a bite since they will still be sautéed in the pan afterwards. Wash the beans well under cold running water, trim the ends and slice into sections of 1-1.5 inches or 3-4 cm. Add the sliced beans to salted boiling water and cook for 8 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside for later.
- Sear the chicken
Cut the chicken breast into bite-size pieces and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet or pan on medium to high heat. Sear the chicken for a few minutes until cooked and golden brown on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside for later
- Fry the vegetables
Start by preparing the vegetables while the chicken is searing in the pan. Remove the seeds from the bell pepper and cut them into fine slices. Dice the onion, mince the garlic cloves and grate the (peeled) ginger.
In the same skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat and fry the onion for about 2 minutes until translucent. Add the bell pepper slices to the pan and sauté for a few minutes. Drop in the garlic, ginger and herbs and mix well. Add the cooked flat beans in the same pan and sauté for a couple of minutes until all vegetables are cooked but still have a firm bite.
- Combine the dish
Combine the chicken with the cooked vegetables, give it a good stir and season with salt and pepper to taste.
what to serve with chicken and flat beans?
You can enjoy this chicken dish as is or serve it with a choice of rice, quinoa, pasta or another type of grain. Potatoes go really well with this dish in different variations like rosemary grilled potatoes, mashed potatoes or fried potatoes.
Serve with freshly chopped parsley, chives or basil leaves.
Chicken with bell pepper and flat beans
- 14 ounces (or 400 grams) flat beans
- 10 ounces chicken breast cut in bite size pieces
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper deseeded and finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse the beans in cold running water, trim the ends and slice them into 3 cm (or 1 inch) sections. Bring some water to a boil in a medium sized pan and add a pinch of salt. Add the sliced beans to the boiling water and cook for 8 minutes. Drain the water, rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside for later.
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet or pan over medium-high heat and sear the chicken for 5 minutes until cooked and golden brown on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside for later.
- In the same pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and glaze the onion for 2 minutes on medium heat until translucent. Add the bell pepper to the pan and sauté for 4 minutes. Drop in the garlic, ginger and oregano and mix well. Leave to cook for a minute.
- Add the cooked flat beans, mix well and sauté for 4 minutes until the vegetables are cooked but still have a firm bite.
- Combine the chicken with the vegetables in the pan and give it a good stir.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve with fresh basil leaves.
Inspired to prepare this recipe? Don’t forget to pin it to your Pinterest boards for later: