Lebanese green bean stew (Loubia b'zeit) is a really great dish to learn when you start out learning to cook. It is not only a classic Lebanese dish but it's also one of the simplest.
Green beans are cooked in olive oil, hence the title 'b'zeit' and stewed in a basic tomato sauce.
As it's a stew you should leave it to simmer on low heat so all the flavours melt together, but be careful not to overdo it as you don't want mushy beans.
Full recipe video
Middle Eastern food doesn't tend to favour leaving vegetables crunchy and I am forever telling my mum not to totally annihilate her veggies, but in this case you don't want to keep 'the crunch' as it doesn't do well when scooped up with flat bread.
Most recipes add black or cayenne pepper but I substitute half a green chilli which isn't traditional but I think it works.
I love the burning sensation that hits the back of your throat a moment after you take the first bite.
My recipe also uses 1 large onion (or two small onions) which I caramelise to enhance that umami flavour. Turn the heat up for the first five minutes then reduce to low for around 20 minutes.
When you have enough patience to properly cook onions, that's when your cooking will take off and people will ask you 'what's the secret to your good cooking?' and then don't believe me when I tell them that I cooked the onions properly.
Seriously, if you know how to manipulate the base of any recipe (i.e the onions etc) then you will establish a good foundation for your cooking.
The other wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can use frozen or store cupboard ingredients and it will taste almost as good.
It is perfectly acceptable to use frozen green beans or canned tomatoes when out of season, and this starter can be eaten both hot and cold. It tastes even better the next day too.
Lebanese Green Bean Stew (Loubia b'zeit)
Green beans slow cooked in a tomato sauce
- 1 large onion chopped
- 300 g green beans fresh or frozen
- 4 good size tomatoes or 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- ½ a birds eye chilli chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3-4 tablespoon mild olive oil
- ½ cup of boiling water
Chop the onion and add to a pot with a good drizzle of mild olive oil
Sauté the onions on low heat until caramalised. This may take twenty minutes
Follow by adding the chopped garlic and chilli to the onions. Saute for 1-2 minutes taking care not to burn the garlic
Wash and trim the ends off the green beans and sauté with the garlic and onion mix for ten minutes until they turn a vibrant green
Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato concentrate, salt and water.
Bring to a boil and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cooking for around 30 mins until the beans are done
Serve with fresh flatbreads.
If you make any of our recipes let us know how it went by giving us a star rating below.
We have a lively Facebook group where we post frequent recipes and discuss Lebanese cooking in general, as well as a handy tiktok page where you can save all of your favourite Zaatar and Zaytoun recipes!
You might also like these other recipe from the Zaatar and Zaytoun collection: