Green Beans Marinara

Green Beans Marinara is a typical Italian contorno or side dish.  Oddly enough, while popular in Italian and Italian-American homes, it’s not often seen on restaurant menus in the United States.  Contrary to its name, Green Beans Marinara is not just green beans thrown into a large pot of marinara sauce.  The marinara sauce is minimal in volume as compared to the green beans; the sauce’s flavor permeates but must not overwhelm the wonderful juiciness of fresh green beans.

Easy to prepare and really delicious, Green Beans Marinara’s flavors are best when prepared with freshly picked green beans and tomatoes, as Vito’s grandmother would do with produce from her own garden.  That said, using fresh green beans and ripe tomatoes from the farmers’ market or supermarket will also yield very good results provided you select the very freshest produce possible and prepare the recipe within a day or so of making your purchase.

Green Beans Marinara is a colorful side dish for steaks, chops and chicken, try some with London broil made with Dad’s Special Marinade for Beef; it is also quite good on its own accompanied by some fresh bread to soak up the sauce.  Any leftover Green Beans Marinara can be refrigerated for future use within two days.

Green Beans Marinara 

Prep Time: 30 minutes, Total Time: 1 hour Serves: 2


  • 1 lb Green Beans
  • 1 medium Onion, peeled and trimmed
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, peeled and trimmed
  • 4 Tb Cooking Oil (recommend Olive/Canola Oil blend)
  • ¼ tsp coarse Sea Salt
  • ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper flakes
  • 4 ripe Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 Bay leaf, preferably fresh
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1 Tb fresh Basil leaves, slivered


  1. Trim, wash and cut the green beans into 2-inch pieces.
  2. Chop the onion and mince the garlic.
  3. Pour the oil into a 3-quart saucepan, add the onion, garlic, sea salt and crushed red pepper flakes and sauté uncovered over a medium heat.
  4. While the onion and garlic are cooking, rinse and chop the Roma tomatoes.
  5. When the onion and garlic are golden brown, add the tomatoes, bay leaf and paprika to the saucepan. Cover, adjust the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have cooked down to a sauce, approximately 10 minutes.
  6. Add the green beans, oregano and basil to the saucepan; stir, cover and cook until the green beans have softened so that you can pierce them easily with a fork.
  7. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaf and serve the Green Beans Marinara or cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

Green Beans Marinara