Green Beans in Olive Oil (Zeytin Yağli Fasulye)

This is the absolute most delicious way to eat green beans. When I was in Turkey over the summer we had a favorite lunch place where we went multiple times a week and I would always get this dish. I’m sure all my Turkish aunties are shaking their heads right now because the traditional way to make this zeytin yağli fasulye includes no carrots or vinegar. But I can explain – the restaurant always served dishes from the Black Sea region of Turkey so the “traditional” dishes were always a bit different. I was so addicted that I had to try to recreate it when I came home, it reminds me of comfort and good times over the summer.

I should also explain my lack of activity on the blogosphere. The honest truth is that I’ve been a little too busy running around (also being sick, bleh) and hosting dinner parties to be writing. Actually I got the brilliant idea to have a little dinner party a few weeks ago… Because I had the need to impress (especially to impress a certain someone) and also because I have anxiety about not having enough food when guests come over I went a little lot over the top. The menu included piyaz, shepherd’s salad (coban salatasi), rice with chickpeas, baked eggplant with yogurt, baked zuchinni fritters, lentil meatballs and these green beans. I also was almost able to entirely cater to all the dietary restrictions of my lovely friends (vegan, gluten free), which was a fun challenge. Anyway, I think the dinner passed the test – even if my friends were lying about how good the food was, I’ll probably still be bold enough to invite them over for dinner again.

Green Beans in Olive Oil (Zeytin Yağli Fausulye)

Time: 1 hour   Serves: 4-6*

*If you are having 12 people over for dinner you might want to make double this recipe


  • ½ onion, any color
  • 2 lbs fresh green beans
  • 2 carrots
  • 2-3 tomatoes
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • salt
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp white vinegar


  • If you don’t have fresh green beans use frozen instead, they will just cook for a much shorter time (and honestly probably not be quite as tasty)
  • I used rice wine vinegar instead of white vinegar, but if you have nothing at all you can leave it out

If you like to make layer cakes you will love to cook this because it is the same idea, except with green beans! Place all beans into a bowl or strainer, wash and rinse.

Snap off al the ends of the green beans (of if you’re impatient  and trying to cook six other things at the same time and don’t care so much about precision, chop them off with a knife). Place about 1/3 of the beans into your large pot.

Grate half the onion directly into the pot.

Wash and chop one tomato into large chunks, toss in as well.

Peel one carrot and grate onto the beans.

Drizzle in half the olive oil and sprinkle a generous amount of salt (1/2 tsp or so). Add another 1/3 of the beans and repeat the addition of the carrots, onion, salt and tomato. Add the rest of the beans. Drizzle some more olive oil on the top and add the vinegar as well. Don’t be shy about the oil, it will make the dish really delicious. Add in just a pinch of sugar and about ½ a cup of water to keep the bottom from burning. Place onto the stove with a lid, bring to medium-low heat. If you have a pressure cooker use that instead because it will take half the time. Otherwise just wait it out and cook until the beans are nice and soft, probably about an hour. I usually mix them a few times once they get soft enough to turn.

Once fully cooked, transfer to the fridge and let sit for at least an hour or until nice and cool. Serve cold as an appetizer or in as a side to other dishes!

P.S. the sauce is the best part – we have a tradition in my family where bread is “accidentally” thrown into the leftover juices and then must be eaten 🙂

10 thoughts on “Green Beans in Olive Oil (Zeytin Yağli Fasulye)

    • it’s true! I find that in Turkish cooking and for turks in general they prefer things to be softer – my Turkish father was always surprised by the American obsession with “crunchiness” in foods

  1. I never mentioned how much we loved our times in Turkey – Anatalya was my favorite, but so many other smaller spots were just so much fun. Your blog brings back happy memories!

  2. Pingback: Mucver (Turkish Zucchini Fritters) | Toy Kitchen Chef

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