Italian Green Beans

Italian Green Beans are a flavorful, healthy side dish that your family will love. They’re easy enough for a weeknight but fancy enough for the holidays. And you can make them in 15 minutes right on the stovetop!

green beans topped with diced tomatoes and parmesan in a white oval dish.

Italian Green Beans are a game changer for your holiday table. They’re perfectly cooked and chock-full of delicious add-ins like shallots, garlic, tomatoes, olives, and parmesan cheese. No cream of mushroom soup here (but let’s face it, there’s definitely always room for an Easy Green Bean Casserole, too!).

This recipe is a spin on a green bean dish that my mom makes every Christmas. She uses canned green beans and feta, but I freshened it up with fresh green beans and added parmesan instead of feta to keep the flavors Italian-inspired.

The finished dish is a gorgeous combination of red tomatoes and green beans, so while I served this for Thanksgiving, it would also be perfect for a holiday celebration!

italian green beans in a white dish, topped with diced tomatoes and shredded parmesan cheese.

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  • Green beans are the star of this dish. You can use fresh or canned.
  • A can of diced tomatoes contrasts the flavor and color of the green beans beautifully.
  • Shallots, olives, garlic, and dried oregano add lots of flavor.
  • A sprinkling of parmesan cheese on top completes the dish.

Fresh green beans can come in so many sizes. In the summer, they get really thick. In the fall/winter, they’re a little thinner.

I tend to like the thinner green beans a little better—they’re quicker to cook and often more tender.

Around the holidays, they’re usually pretty inexpensive, too! I got mine for 99¢/lb, but let me know if you found a better deal and I’ll be jealous! 🙂

How to make Italian green beans on the stovetop

The recipe is fairly straightforward. I used my largest nonstick sauté pan.

1. Add oil and shallots to the sauté pan, and cook until the shallots are tender.

2. Add green beans and water, then cover the pan and cook for 2–3 minutes, then uncover and cook for 3 more minutes, or until the water evaporates. I don’t have a lid for my pan, so I tore off a sheet of aluminum foil and laid it over the top to steam the green beans.

3. Add in the tomatoes, oregano, and salt. Stir to combine, and cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes are warmed through.

4. Stir in the olives and transfer to a serving dish. Top with parmesan cheese and serve!

green beans in a white oval dish, topped with diced tomatoes and shredded parmesan.

Can I substitute canned green beans for fresh?

Yes! Substitute two 14.5 oz cans of green beans for the fresh green beans. Drain them before adding them to the pan.

There’s no need to cook them, so just add them along with the tomatoes, oregano, and salt, and cook everything until it is warmed through. You can use either regular cut green beans or french style green beans.

Can I make Italian green beans ahead of time?

You can make the green beans up to two days in advance. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve them.

When you’re ready to eat, heat them in a skillet until warm, stirring frequently.

Serving suggestions

I served the Italian Green Beans as part of my Friendsgiving with Kelley of Haviland Events. Kelley was our wedding planner and now good friend, and she is the definition of a gracious hostess. When I bring food to her house, she gives me back my dishes and they’re already clean!

For this Friendsgiving, she set the table with mini pumpkins, eucalyptus, red leaves from a tree outside, and my favorite addition: blood oranges. All of the colors and flavors flowed so wonderfully into a memorable Friendsgiving.

abundant thanksgiving table including a plate filled with thanksgiving food.

Here’s what was on the menu:

Olive Oil & Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Olive Oil, Thyme, and Parmesan
Roasted Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Italian Stovetop Green Beans (recipe below)

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!

📖 Recipe

Italian green beans in a white scalloped dish on a beige tablecloth.

Italian Green Beans (Stovetop Recipe)

Published by Kate
This easy and flavor-packed side dish is made on the stovetop in just 15 minutes.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 135 kcal


  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • lbs green beans, trimmed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes. drained
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup pitted olives (I used kalamata)
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan


  • Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, about 3–4 minutes.
  • Add the green beans and ¼ cup water. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for 2 minutes, or until the water mostly evaporates.
  • Add the tomatoes, oregano, and salt. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes, or until the green beans are tender.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the olives. Top with parmesan and serve.


If you don’t have a lid large enough to fit your sauté pan, use a piece of aluminum foil instead. No need to curl it around the edges, just place a large flat sheet of foil on top and it’ll do the trick. 
You can substitute two (14.5 oz) cans of green beans for the fresh green beans, if you’d like. Drain the green beans and add them along with the tomatoes. Since they are canned, they don’t require cooking like fresh green beans do. They just need to be warmed up! 
You can also substitute ½ of a large yellow onion in place of the shallots. 


Calories: 135kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 6gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 504mgPotassium: 278mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 899IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 143mgIron: 1mg
Keyword italian green beans
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