Turkish Green Beans (Zeytinyağlı Fasulye)
My Recipe for Turkish-style green beans features soft beans in a tangy, lightly spicy sauce. A perfect marriage of flavour and colour – it’s one of the tastiest and healthiest mezze options I cook regularly – learn how…
In Turkey, there are a dizzying amount of vegetable dishes on offer. In cities like Istanbul, there are countless cafeteria style restaurants with endless options of vegetables, meats and sweets, ready for you to pick and mix your favourite flavours. One such dish is a simple vegetable casserole of beans and tomatoes, zeytinyağlı fasulye. Often baked, this dish is quite a thin tomato sauce that covers very soft green beans - this is a delicious way to eat beans incidentally! My recipe is a fresher, tangy take with a little Turkish spice thrown in for good measure. It's the perfect dish to serve alongside other Turkish dishes or as a small plate mezze. Learn how easy this tasty, healthy vegan treat is to put together
Stuff you'll need
It's a very simple dish to put together, you only need a few ingredients. Here's where the key flavours come from.
- Green beans (French beans)
- Tomato - I use a canned polpa (crushed) or jar of passata for this recipe.
- Paprika - for a light smoky flavour and vibrant red hue.
- Aleppo pepper flakes - used throughout Turkish cuisine, it imbues a rich, red colour and light spice. As an alternative use mild chilli flakes.
A step by step guide
There's not much to this dish - but here's a simple breakdown of how it's put together.
- Cook the beans - I like to pre-cook the beans in my version to keep them from overcooking in the sauce.
- Fry some onion and garlic to make the base for the tomato sauce
- Add some spices including cumin, paprika and Aleppo pepper
- Add the tomato to create the sauce, then thin it down a little with water (or stock)
- Simmer the sauce for a while then remove from the heat and return the beans to the pan.
- Leave to cool. Typically this dish is served at room temperature, which means you can prepare it in advance too.
More delicious Turkish recipes!
If you're making a Turkish or Mediterranean spread, then this green bean dish is the perfect partner to many other dishes. Here are just a few of my favourite recipes. Cook them ALL!
How to make Turkish Green Beans (Zeytinyağlı Fasulye)
Turkish Green Beans
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- 1.1 lb green beans (500g) (trimmed)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ onion (finely diced)
- 3 garlic cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp paprika (hot or mild)
- ½ tsp Aleppo pepper (or mild chilli flakes)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 cup tomato polpa (crushed tomatoes or passata)
- freshly ground black pepper
- In a large deep sauté pan, heat about 1 litre of water until boiling. Add the beans and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender. Drain and plunge into cold water for 30 seconds. Drain again and set aside.
- Return the sauté pan to a moderate heat and add the oil. When just hot, add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes until soft and golden. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute before adding the cumin, paprika, Aleppo pepper, salt and pepper. Let this fry for 10-20 seconds before pouring in the tomato and about 1 cup of water.
- Simmer the sauce gently for 10 minutes, adding a little water if it dries up too much (it should be thick in consistency, so don't add too much water). After cooking, remove from the heat and return the beans to the pan. Add the vinegar and stir well to coat all the beans. Cover the pan and leave to cool completely (to room temperature).
- Serve at room temperature alongside other Turkish or Mediterranean delights as a side or mezze dish.
How did your Turkish Green Beans turn out?
Yes? No? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to tag @cookeatinsta at Instagram.
Super happy to find this recipe. We used to devour it regularly in the restaurants up and down Sydney Road Brunswick in VIC for yrs before moving to rural (only pub or asian restaurants) and have missed it a lot.
Am making Adana for a special holiday meal this year and beans will be such good side dish – can’t wait to see how they turn out. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful green bean dish – will let you know how it turned out for sure.
Best wishes for good health and happiness over the holiday and Christmas season to you and yours from country VIC in AUS.
Frances and Michael
Thanks for the comment. I feel your pain trying to find anything other than pub grub in rural Aus having stayed in rural NSW a lot. Still, this dish is easily made with ingredients you can find in any Aussie supermarket. My version is a little tangier than the type you find in Turkey, but it’s how I like it. Hope you enjoy!