Green Beans and Tomatoes

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When you need a simple, quick, easy, and healthy Southern side dish to accompany your favorite main meal, try this recipe for last-minute green beans and tomatoes. It’s lightly seasoned, only needs 5 ingredients, and is ready in just 15 minutes.

A close-up of green beans and tomatoes.

In the continual search for something green to add to our meals, this green beans and tomatoes recipe is a great quick and easy Southern side dish that makes canned green beans delicious. I say this with surprise because, until I made them this way, there was nothing more un-delicious to me than a can of green beans. Usually, I only served green beans when I had time to fry up bacon and make them sweet and sour style.

I was skeptical when my friend, Heather, told me this recipe for last-minute green beans was her son’s absolute favorite side dish, but I tried it. I have to say, it has become one of our favorite side dishes, too. This is handy because you can keep the ingredients on hand easily enough and whip the recipe up at the last minute with very little thought (hence the nickname). Let me just say, it tastes great with my sticky chicken and maple-glazed pork chops. We do thorough taste-testing around here, of course!

So, what ingredients do you need on hand? Well, it’s super simple: cans of French green beans, an onion, a can of diced tomatoes, and salt and pepper. That’s it! Your green beans and tomatoes will be ready to eat in 15 minutes. Sound good?

P.S. I really don’t fret over whether or not I have something green on every supper table. One of my favorite meal combinations includes sides of creamed corn, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and rolls! But we try to toss some green in there (like these green beans and tomatoes) for good measure to keep all of our home economics teachers from rolling over in their graves. I have a home economics degree, so it’s my duty!

Now, time to make some last-minute green beans.

Labeled ingredients for green beans and tomatoes.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Diced tomatoes
  • French-style green beans (regular green beans work just fine)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How to Make Last-Minute Green Beans and Tomatoes

Chop onion.

First, chop your onion.

Dump drained green beans in a pot.

Drain your green beans and dump them into a pot.

Say hello to your green beans because they’re being all sweet and posing for you. They look like they are seeking approval. HELLO, GREEN BEANS! You look mighty pretty today!

Add tomatoes and onion to pot.

Add chopped onion and canned tomatoes (with juice).

Add salt and pepper to pot.

And salt and pepper to taste.

Stir ingredients together.

Stirry stirry.

Cook over medium-high heat until it just comes to a light boil.

Then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

A big bowl of green beans and tomatoes.

The end result? A big bowl of green beans and tomatoes.

Green beans and tomatoes on plate with chicken legs.

There are several serving suggestions below, but may I suggest some delicious chicken legs to accompany your green beans and tomatoes?


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Recipe Notes

  • You can also use fresh tomatoes or cherry tomatoes if you like. Just dice it up and go for it. Another option is to swap the diced tomatoes for canned fire-roasted tomatoes.
  • To make them extra tasty, add a teaspoon of garlic powder or minced garlic cloves. You can also add a tablespoon of sugar or brown sugar if you want a touch of sweetness.
  • For heat, you’ll want to add a pinch of cayenne pepper, paprika, or crushed red pepper flakes to this green bean recipe (whatever spice you have on hand).
  • As mentioned, you can use either canned, fresh, or frozen green beans.
  • If your saucepot isn’t non-stick, add a dash of olive oil or some butter to add flavor and ensure nothing sticks to the bottom.
  • Just before serving, stir through 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley or chopped fresh basil if you like for Italian green beans and tomatoes (a very similar side dish).
  • Some Southern versions of this dish add crumbled bacon bits too.

Recipe FAQs

What do you serve with green beans and tomatoes?

Now, I know I included quite a few serving ideas in the intro, but hey, here are some more:

You may also like these other Southern side dish recipes:

Fresh Green Beans

French’s Green Bean Casserole

Southern Deviled Eggs Recipe (Keto-Friendly)

Hush Puppies Recipe, Southern-Style

Rare Southern Hoe Cake Recipe

Southern Butter Beans Recipe

A bowl of green beans and tomatoes.

Last-Minute Green Beans and Tomatoes

When you need a simple, quick, easy, and healthy Southern side dish to accompany the main meal, try this recipe for last-minute green beans and tomatoes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beans
Servings: 4
Calories: 116kcal


  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans green beans, drained
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • Place drained green beans in a medium saucepot. Add in chopped onion, tomatoes with juice, salt, and pepper. Stir.
    1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained, 2 14.5-ounce cans green beans, drained, 1 chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Place over medium-high heat and bring just to a light boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Serve.


Calories: 116kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

If you pray for God to move a mountain, be prepared to wake up next to a shovel.

~Unknown. Submitted by Rick (thanks, Rick!)

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  1. I am planning on making the green beans tomorrow along with the maple glazed pork chops. I cannot print off the pork chop recipe or find it any place. Why doesn’t it print? Thanks for all the good recipes. I have both books.

  2. This recipe has been in my family ever since I can remember, ( I am 96 yrs old). Sometimes we substituted peas, escarole, or any other vegetable you can think of. It’s so basic. I don’t remember my mother ever referring to a recipe. We also added small pasta where it was appropriate. So yummy! Thanks for bringing back old memories. I love your site and refer to it every time it’s published.

  3. Christy, just discovered this recipe today. Love green beans boiled with diced tomatoes. Your comments regarding Brady tugged at my heart strings. It brought to mind my only child, a son, who turns 38 this month. He now resides with me and I welcome the company but in my heart of hearts, I know he has to eventually be on his own. Hopefully, I have imparted enough “life lessons” to him that he will succeed because there are only 2 of us in my known family. Did you ever imagine in your prior lifetime you would bring a precious being into this world whose life means more than your own?

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