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This aromatic Lebanese green bean stew is a savory, filling, one-pot dish that combines succulent chicken and fresh green beans in a rich, full-bodied tomato broth packed with flavor from fresh herbs and spices. It’s traditionally served over rice but can be eaten as is or over cauliflower rice if you’re low-carb.
This Lebanese green bean stew is a delicious and healthy dish that is perfect for Ramadan or any other time of the year! It’s packed with flavor from aromatic spices like crushed red pepper, bay leaves, and my homemade 7 spice blend. The best part is that it’s so easy to make – just throw everything in the pot and let it simmer.
why you’ll love this Arabic Green Bean stew
- Complete meal. This stew is a complete meal in itself, with plenty of protein and fiber from the chicken and green beans, especially when served over the vermicelli rice.
- Rich and flavorful. The tomato broth is rich and flavorful, thanks to the aromatic spices used. You’ve got acidity from the tomatoes, earthy goodness from the green beans, and heat from the crushed red pepper flakes.
- One-Pot meal. This stew is cooked in one pot, making it easy and convenient to make. Perfect for nights when you don’t want to deal with a lot of cleanup or fuss.
- Perfect for leftovers. It’s hard to make a small pot of these Arabic stews, so this recipe actually has 8 servings which is great for a large family or for leftovers the next day. The stew gets even better the next day!
- Unique taste but staple ingredients. This stew has a unique flavor that is different than most stews, but it’s still made with staple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
Ingredients to make green bean stew with meat
- Chicken: I use chicken breast in this recipe, but you can also use thighs or a mix of dark and white meat.
- Green beans: I use frozen green beans in this recipe, but you can also use fresh. I do not recommend using canned green beans.
- Canned diced tomatoes & tomato paste: The diced tomatoes give the stew a nice acidity and thickness, while the tomato paste adds depth of flavor.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic is best in this recipe, but you can also use dried if that’s all you have on hand. Because I make stews a couple times a month, I often just use frozen garlic.
- Cilantro: Cilantro really adds freshness and brightness to the stew and it’s a common starter with garlic for many Arabic stews. If you don’t like cilantro, you can omit it or substitute it with parsley.
- Spices: Crushed red pepper flakes, bay leaves, and my homemade seven-spice blend make this stew taste amazing!
- Olive oil: Olive oil acts as a flavor enhancer and helps to bring out the flavors of the cilantro, garlic, and red pepper.
How to make Lebanese green bean stew
- Heat the olive oil, then add the cilantro, garlic, and crushed red pepper; cook until the mixture is fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste and cook together with the cilantro mixture until well combined and fragrant.
- Once the tomato paste is well integrated, add the diced tomatoes and water and stir.
- Add the green beans, raw chicken breast, and bay leaves. Season with salt, pepper, and 7 Spice, and cook until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Shred the chicken breast and return it to the pot.
- Let the shredded chicken simmer in the tomato broth, enhancing the flavor and giving it time to thicken while the flavors settle.
Tips for making Lebanese green beans with tomatoes
- Don’t skip the simmer time after adding the chicken back. In many households, these Arabic stews will simmer over the stove for hours because they get better as they sit. Make sure to allow time for that to enhance the flavor of the green bean stew.
- Poach the chicken in the tomato broth. Many traditional recipes ask for boiling the chicken separately with water and cinnamon sticks and then shredding that chicken and adding it to the tomato broth. I find it so much easier to just poach the chicken in the broth to use one less pot and help enhance the broth flavor.
- Adjust the broth thickness to your likeness. This really comes down to personal preference. Generally, you won’t have a soupy consistency that you can slurp, but one that is thicker and more chunky. Add more tomato paste for a thicker consistency or more broth for a thinner one.
- Don’t thaw the green beans. The frozen green beans work great in this recipe because they will cook down and release their natural water, which will help to thin out the broth a bit. If you use fresh green beans, you might need to add an extra ½ cup – ¾ cup of water to the pot.
POPULAR SUBSTITUTIONS & ADDITIONS
- Use beef instead of chicken. You can replace the chicken with beef stew meat. You’ll need to cook your green bean stew for an additional hour or so if using beef to get the stew meat to that tender point. Skip adding the green beans in until the last half hour of cooking.
- Add a can of chickpeas. If you’re looking to add some protein and bulk to the stew, stir in a can of chickpeas when adding the chicken back into the pot. The chickpeas will absorb some of the flavors of the stew and make it even more delicious.
- Make it vegetarian. Most of these stews can stand on their own without any meat added to them because they are so hearty and filling with the vegetables they’re loaded with. If you make it vegetarian, you can add more vegetables like potatoes or carrots.
- Serve with a side of pita bread. A warm, fluffy piece of pita bread is the perfect accompaniment to this flavorful stew and will soak up all the delicious juices. You can make a batch of pita bread at home in no-time or opt for a store bought pita. You’ll want to warm the pitas to make them soft and malleable.
HOW TO STORE & reheat green bean stew
If you’ve made enough for leftovers, you’ll want to let the stew cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container.
To reheat, place the desired amount of stew in a pot on the stove over medium heat and cook until heated through, about 15 minutes. You can also microwave individual portions of stew for about two minutes or until heated through.
HOW LONG does green bean stew LAST IN THE FRIDGE?
This stew will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days. Make sure to date and label the container, so you know how long it’s been in the fridge for. When reheating, always cook until heated through to ensure that no harmful bacteria are present.
can you freeze green bean stew?
Yes! This recipe makes for an excellent freezer meal. Just make sure to cool the stew completely to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container and freezing. The stew will last in the freezer for up to four months.
Frequently asked questions
This recipe can be adapted to work in the slow cooker or Instant Pot. Just follow the same instructions, but cook on low for eight hours in the slow cooker or on high for four hours. For the Instant pot, set the pressure to high and cook for 5 minutes and let it slow release for 15 or so minutes.
You can serve any type of rice with this stew. Jasmine or basmati rice is always a good option because it has a delicate flavor and a slightly sticky texture that goes well with stews. My favorite is Lebanese style rice pilaf. You can also try serving this stew over quinoa for an extra protein boost or cauliflower rice for a low-carb option.
If your green beans taste rubbery, it might be because they’re not cooked through. Make sure to cook the green beans until they are soft but not mushy. Overcooked green beans will have a mushy texture, and you don’t want that for this stew either.
Lebanese Green Bean Stew with Chicken and is a hearty yet simple dish that’s packed with flavor. It’s perfect for cold winter nights, iftar during Ramadan, and busy days. The best part is that it can be made in a slow cooker or Instant pot, so you can come home to a delicious, home cooked meal. Whether you’re making this for a weeknight meal or for guests, this stew is sure to please.
More authentic Arabic stews:
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Lebanese Green Bean Stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped plus more for serving
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 2 15- ounce canned diced tomato
- 4 cups water
- 20 ounces frozen short cut green beans
- 1 pound chicken breasts
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon 7 Spice
- In a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil, then add the cilantro, garlic and crushed red pepper; cook until the mixture is fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the tomato paste and cook together with the cilantro mixture until well combined and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes and water and stir until well blended to create a tomato broth.
- Reduce the heat to low, add the green beans, raw the chicken breast and bay leaves. Season with salt, pepper and 7 Spice and cook covered until the chicken is fully cooked, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves from the pot and discard. Remove the chicken breast from the tomato broth, shred it and return it to the pot. Simmer for an additional 20 minute to allow the broth to thicken and flavors to settle.
- Serve over traditional Lebanese rice pilaf and sprinkle fresh cilantro for garnish.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.