Skillet-Stewed Green Beans with Tomato & Basil ♥

Skillet-Stewed Green Beans with Tomato & Basil ♥ All the best tastes of summer in one pan.
Who knew that slowly and gently cooking fresh green beans with a good tomato would turn out a dish so sublimely summery? It may not look like much but this is a "wow" summer side dish, way more than the sum of its parts.

Real Food, Fresh & Seasonal. Budget Friendly. Great for Meal Prep. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. One of My Very Favorite Green Bean Recipes.

The Very Taste of Summer

Please-please-please! Don't let the idea of "stewed green beans" instill tremors of fear and trepidation. I promise, this veggie evangelist will never-ever steer anyone toward mushy green beans!

Instead, the fresh beans are paired with a juicy tomato. They cook together right in a skillet on the stove until turning deep and dark and entirely delicious. It just takes time for the beans to cook and they do lose their bright green color and turn slightly soft. Know that. And by the time the beans cook, the tomato will be broken up, almost saucy. Know that too.

But then know this: together, the beans and tomato will be slow-cooked good. So so good.

Ingredients to Make Skillet-Stewed Green Beans with Tomato & Basil

As in all my recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. Usually I'm a big fan of substitutes but in this case, I recommend sticking with the simple recipe, it just works.

  • Onion & Garlic Onion and garlic contribute to the overall savoriness of the beans plus a touch of sweetness.
  • Fresh Green Beans Use the freshest beans you can find, firm and plump. Would frozen beans work? Maybe. Maybe even probably. But this is a summer dish, fresh beans are just the right choice.
  • A Good Tomato Use a ripe summer garden-grown tomato, heavy in the hand, the ones we gorge on in summer and lust for in winter. Even the best of roma tomatoes are a taste waste. I'd substitute slices of sun-dried tomato before a hard-as-rock supermarket tomato.
  • Fresh Basil A whole cup of basil? That's for summer, too, especially for people who grow basil in pots or in a garden. Dried basil? Nope.
  • A Tiny Touch of Sugar A tiny touch of sugar, well, it's a trick that the very best home cooks (and a few fancy chefs) employ to somehow make all the difference with plenty of dishes, including with green beans.
  • Salt Give the dish a quick sprinkle of salt at each stage, that imbues the entire dish with just enough salt to draw out the flavor of the beans and tomato without turning the overall dish "salty".

How to Make Skillet-Stewed Green Beans

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights in two easy steps. You can do this!

STEP ONE Sauté the onion in a little oil until beginning to soften, turn in the garlic for a minute.

STEP TWO Stir in the beans, tomato, basil, water and sugar. Cook for about 30 minutes on low heat, just enough to maintain a gentle simmer.

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Skillet-Stewed Green Beans with Tomato & Basil ♥ All the best tastes of summer in one pan.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Serves about 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt & pepper
1 pound (450g) green beans, stem ends snapped, broken into two or three pieces
1/2 cup water
1 large summer tomato, skin on, diced
1 cup (50g) fresh basil, cut into ribbons
1 teaspoon sugar

In a large, deep skillet with a cover, heat the oil on MEDIUM HIGH. Chop the onion and garlic. When the oil is shimmery, stir in the onion, garlic and a little salt and pepper. Stirring occasionally, cook until soft and just beginning to brown.

Stir the beans, water, tomato, basil, sugar and a little salt and pepper into the skillet. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to MEDIUM or MEDIUM LOW and let simmer until beans are fully cooked, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, checking for salt when you do.

Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!

MAKE-AHEAD You could definitely make this a few hours or even a day ahead, then just gently reheat.

LEFTOVERS If there's anything leftover, just cover and refrigerate. It might taste even better the second day! We love this dish served cold, too!

VARIATIONS The last couple of times, I've been tempted to throw in some corn, maybe a little okra. But each time, I decided against it and was glad of it, keeping it just about the beans.

TIMING The prep work for this dish isn't hard, mind you, but does seem fiddly. If you can, recruit someone to prep the beans and basil. Barring an assistant, I'm a prep-as-I-go cook, some times the beans aren't ready by the time the onion is done; if so, just turn down the heat while finishing the bean prep. If you have everything prepped before beginning to cook, allow about 45 minutes cooking time overall, including the last 30 minutes that's largely unattended other than an occasional quick stir and seasoning check.

BASIL RIBBONS To quickly chop basil, pile large leaves flat one on top of another. Roll the leaves jelly-roll fashion, holding tight with your fingers. Make one or two slits length-wise without cutting completely through, then cut cross-wise, cutting strips as thin as possible.

SALT These beans take a lot of salt. I season them several times during the cooking process and don't recommend waiting until the end.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See

A Veggie Venture - Printer Friendly Recipe Graphic

Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2005, 2007 & 2022

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.