This sautéed green beans and tomatoes recipe is a quick and easy side dish to prepare. Crisp, tender green beans are sautéed in olive oil and tossed with juicy cherry tomatoes, sweet onions and fresh thyme. Ready in only 20 minutes, this green beans side dish pairs wonderfully with a whole range of main dishes and cuisines.
Serving these sautéed green beans and cherry tomatoes provides any dish with the required amount of healthy vegetables. Green beans, also known as French beans, haricots verts or string beans are quite versatile and can be prepared in numerous ways. This recipe starts with blanching the beans and sautéing them afterwards in olive oil which gives them a nice Mediterranean touch. As a variation to this green bean recipe, have a look at this recipe for Italian green beans with onion and garlic, or this one for chicken with flat beans.
Which ingredients to use
- Green beans: Use fresh green beans that are firm and vibrant green without any spots or marks. Frozen beans can also be used for this recipe but not canned beans. Trim both ends before cooking. No need to cut them into smaller pieces.
- Cherry tomatoes: Halve the cherry tomatoes and sauté them with the beans for just a few minutes until they get soft but not mushy.
- Shallot: Use either a shallot or half an onion for extra flavour. Leave to fry for a couple of minutes in olive oil to bring out the sweet flavours.
- Olive oil: I use olive oil for a Mediterranean flair.
- Seasoning: This dish does not need much seasoning. A dash of salt and pepper will do and optionally add some fresh herbs. Fresh thyme pairs really well with green beans. Both parsley and basil are an option as well.
How to make sautéed green beans
Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Prepare the green beans: Wash the beans thoroughly in cold water and remove the tip of both ends of the beans with a knife. Bring a pot with salted water to a boil and blanch the beans for 6 to 8 minutes until slightly tender. The time of boiling will depend on how tender you prefer to have your beans before sautéing. It will also depend on the thickness of the beans. So best is to try after a couple of minutes if the tenderness is to your liking or not.
- Drain and cool the beans: Drain the beans, rinse with cold water and leave to cool for a couple of minutes.
- Sauté: Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the chopped shallot for a few minutes until translucent. Add the cooked (and cooled down) beans and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the halved cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper and thyme then give everything a good toss and sauté for a few minutes until the beans are to your liking and the tomatoes are slightly soft.
- Serve: Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve either warm or cold.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can also use frozen green beans for sautéing but the time for boiling will differ, so start blanching the frozen beans in salted water and check after 4 to 5 minutes if they are tender enough as to your liking. If not, leave them to boil for a few extra minutes. From there, follow the recipe instructions as described.
This recipe with green beans and tomatoes can perfectly be made ahead of time. In fact, this dish can be served either cold or warm. Leave to cool after cooking and store in a sealed container in the fridge. Reheat on the stovetop in a pan or in the microwave.
The beans will remain their beautiful green colour if you blanch them for just a few minutes. They will also remain quite hard if you sauté the beans raw. So don’t skip on the boiling part, even if it is just for a minute or 2.
What to serve with green beans
These green beans with tomatoes are a really versatile dish. They can be served either hot or cold and work well as a side dish or even as a simple light lunch all on their own.
As a warm side dish they pair well with dishes like fried trout, chicken saltimbocca, South African mince curry or bobotie, mussels marinière, wild boar stew and this French potato casserole. Serve the tomatoes and beans cold as a refreshing BBQ side dish.
Looking for more vegetable recipes?
- Traditional French ratatouille
- South African chakalaka or spicy vegetable dish
- Roasted Brussels sprouts and butternut squash
- Mediterranean roasted vegetables in foil
- Shaved fennel salad
- Oven roasted fennel and carrots
- Little gems with bell pepper salsa
Sautéed green beans and tomatoes
- 1 pound (or 450 grams) green beans washed and ends trimmed
- 1 teaspoon salt for salted water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 12 cherry tomatoes halved
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh thyme
- In a large saucepan, bring water and a teaspoon of salt to a boil. Add the trimmed green beans and cook for 6-8 minutes until slightly tender and soft. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
- Heat some olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Fry the shallot for 2 minutes until translucent. Add the cooked green beans and sautée for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes until tender. Give the pan a toss or stir frequently. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve warm or cold and garnish with fresh thyme.
- Cooking time of the beans: The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of the beans. Before draining the water, check if they are at least half tender or the softness you prefer.