Thyme-Seasoned Green Beans with Tomatoes

Admittedly, there is a little labor involved when preparing fresh green beans for a recipe, including this one – but it is an easygoing responsibility many of us have known for years!

Vertical top-down image of a plateful of mixed vegetables with an herb seasoning, with text on the top and bottom of the image.

And, might I be so bold to say, many of us actually look forward to it whenever summertime arrives with a bright new lineup of seasonal produce.

During every summer of my childhood after bringing home a big haul from the farmers market, I would trim fresh green beans with my family outside on our porch before dinner, setting up a circle of chairs with big bowls in the center on the ground, one for the ends and one for the perfectly prepped stems.

Vertical close-up image of a brown plate topped with a mix of fresh veggies in an herbal dressing on a tan towel.

I would sneak a few nibbles of some of the tinier ones, before Mom took them away – and while they were irresistible when raw, super crunchy, and slightly astringent, I also couldn’t wait for them to be cooked into a savory and tender dish!

Pickled with fresh dill, roasted with parmesan, or breaded and baked, green beans are a fun and adaptable veggie we have all enjoyed in many vibrant iterations.

Vertical top-down image of two white plates topped with a vegetarian side dish on a tan towel.

When green beans and juicy tomatoes are growing in the garden or widely available in farmers markets, this particular recipe has always been my personal top choice among the others.

Simple and straightforward, my humble recipe offers a direct approach to enjoying clean summer flavors, uninterrupted by excess ingredients or complicated cooking techniques.

Quickly parboil trimmed green beans, and toss them with fat, ripe tomato wedges, extra virgin olive oil, fresh thyme leaves, and freshly cracked salt and pepper.

Vertical close-up image of green beans and tomato wedges on a white plate with a thyme dressing on top of a tan towel.

And… you’re done!

Plus, this a side dish that is just as versatile as the vegetable itself.

Serve it at room temperature alongside pretty much any meaty main dish – I’m partial to the summer theme of grilled meats like our marinated and grilled tri-tip steak, or grilled salmon fillets.

Vertical top-down image of a plateful of mixed vegetables with an herb seasoning.

But you can just as easily roast a chicken in the oven or use your electric pressure cooker to prepare a pork roast when the weather outside is less than ideal.

You’ll bring all the sun and fresh flavors you’ll need with this recipe!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Horizontal top-down image of vibrant assorted vegetables mixed with herbs on a brown plate on top of tan towels.

Thyme-Seasoned Green Beans with Tomatoes

  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 small servings 1x


For a simple and summery side dish, you will love these green beans, parboiled and tossed with olive oil, juicy, ripe tomatoes, and thyme.


  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more to taste


  1. Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and water. Set aside, with a clean kitchen towel.
  2. Bring a medium pot of generously salted water to a boil. Carefully place the beans in the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Drain the beans in a colander and immediately transfer them to the ice bath to shock them. Allow them to sit in the ice bath for about 5 minutes to cool slightly.
  4. Drain and place the beans on the clean kitchen towel. Dry them to remove most of the excess water. Transfer to a large, clean mixing bowl.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and toss gently. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Green Beans
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegetable

Keywords: green beans, thyme, tomatoes

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep

Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil on the stovetop. You can prep the ingredients as you are waiting for the water to boil.

Horizontal image of prepped produce in large bowls next to ingredients in small ramekins.

Wash and trim both the fresh green beans on both ends. You can also use an equal amount of pre-washed and pre-trimmed green beans, if you want to save some prep time.

Wash and dry your tomatoes. Core them and cut into wedges, using a sharp chef’s knife and sturdy cutting board.

Use whatever tomatoes look juicy and ripe – any medium-sized variety will work perfectly here. Favorites include Ace 55-VF, Black Krim, Chocolate Stripes, Brandywine, or other heirloom varieties. Read more about top heirloom tomato picks on our sister site Gardener’s Path.

Remove the thyme leaves from the stems, and roughly chop them.

Measure out the olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper – freshly milled is best for both! Be sure to have more on hand. You’ll need a generous handful of salt for parboiling the beans in the water, and extra of both if you need to make any adjustments after you taste test.

Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and water – you will use this as your ice bath for shocking the veggies to stop the cooking process.

Step 2 – Parboil the Green Beans

When the water is at a rolling boil, generously salt it – a heaping tablespoon of salt will be enough for a medium-sized pot.

Horizontal image of boiling raw green beans in a pot with water.

Carefully drop the beans into the water.

Boil the beans for 3 to 5 minutes, or until crisp tender. Test one at three minutes – if the texture is to your liking, you can drain them. If they are still too crunchy, cook for another minute or two and test again.

Do you thrive on using your pressure cooker for prep work? Instead of parboiling on the stovetop, use your favorite appliance instead! With our help, learn how to cook green beans in your electric pressure cooker.

Step 3 – Drain, Shock, and Dry

Drain the green beans, carefully pouring the contents of the pot into a colander in the sink. You could also opt to transfer them from the water to the ice bath with tongs, if that’s easier.

Horizontal image of draining blanched green beans in a colander.

Immediately transfer the green beans to the ice bath – work quickly here! The ice water will halt the cooking process right away, preserving both the texture and color of the vegetables.

Allow them to sit in the ice bath for about 5 minutes to cool slightly.

Horizontal image of shocking blanched vegetables in a large bowl with ice water.

Drain the water and place the green beans on the kitchen towel that you set out. Pat them dry, removing most of the excess water.

Transfer them to a large, clean mixing bowl. For effortless serving, you could even transfer them to a beautiful wooden salad bowl.

Step 4 – Combine Ingredients

Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl: the tomatoes, thyme, oil, salt, and pepper.

Horizontal image of prepped produce in a large white bowl topped with small mounds of seasoning.

With clean hands, a large spoon, or tongs, gently toss everything together until all of the ingredients are evenly mixed and the vegetables are coated in the oil and seasonings.

Taste test, and determine if you should add any additional salt or pepper. You may also want more thyme, if you love a bolder herbaceous flavor.

Step 5 – Serve at Room Temperature

This simple mix is best served at room temperature. After mixing everything together, you can cover the bowl and set it aside while you put the final touches on the rest of your dinner.

Horizontal image of a white plate with green beans, tomato wedges, and chopped thyme.

Directly before serving, give it one final toss. Divide among plates, and enjoy!

What If I Have Other Herbs I Want to Use?

Whoa. Your dill went from cute little fronds to massive branches, seemingly overnight! And how did your basil and parsley get so… bulky?!

Horizontal top-down image of vibrant assorted vegetables mixed with herbs on a brown plate on top of tan towels.

If you have some summer herbs you are frantically desperate to use up, now is your chance. Do some of your harvesting now and toss ‘em in this recipe!

You can substitute an equal amount of your favorite chopped herbs, or create a mix of a few of them for a side dish that you can proudly say is uniquely yours.

And if you have any edible flowers on hand, we think they would make a beautiful final garnish for serving.

What are some easy ways you like to prepare summer vegetables? We have an entire summer’s worth of dinners to make, so we would appreciate any ideas that you want to share with us in the comment section below.

We’re keeping our green-colored glasses on all season long, and so should you! Make more of our green bean recipes featuring fun combinations of ingredients, such as these Foodal favorites:

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on June 11, 2014. Last updated on July 5, 2023.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Nikki Cervone

Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.

32 thoughts on “Thyme-Seasoned Green Beans with Tomatoes”

  1. I am intrigued by the fresh approach the recipe and I have tried recipe above and I loved serving it for my family recently. I prepared my beans until they were tender for the family. I am the only one who like them to remain crisp.

    • I love green beans, so this appeals to me. I’m always looking for new side dishes.

      One of my kids is a green bean lover like myself. Next time she comes home, I’ll have to make these for her. I will have to add some garlic though, but then I put garlic in pretty much everything.

  2. Wow! I like the simplicity of the green beans recipe. I have been looking a healthy low-cost meal that is easy to cook. I must try it out this weekend, since my mom and aunts are the vegetarian in the family. I wish not to overly cook the beans.Thanks for posting this one!

  3. Mmm. I’ve never added tomatoes to my beans. That’s an excellent idea. I make mine a similar way, but will definitely try the addition of tomato. My worst problem when making a green bean side dish is to not eat all the raw beans as soon as I snap the ends off. It’s a problem. I also have that problem when I grow them. I go to pick them and it’s one for the basket, one for my mouth. It makes for terrible harvests 😉

  4. Wow! that looks great and easy to cook. 🙂

    I usually cook my beans with a can of tuna and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Good to here that you have another way to prepare it. 🙂 Although i’m not sure if I’ll like thyme, i’ll still try cooking this next week.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Is it O.K. that I’m an adult and sometimes *I* rip them open and eat the beans too? I’ve always played with my food 🙂

    This recipe looks good–I’ve never tried fresh thyme with green beans before. I’m always looking for new was to prepare veggies. I try to eat vegetarian for a few meals a week to cut back on meat and save a few dollars.

    Looking forward to trying it as always. Thanks!

  6. This recipe is simple and fresh. I will try this later tonight. I am trying to eat healthy and incorporate as much vegetables as I can. I am diabetic at the age of 12 and I have been struggling with my diet for quite sometime. My doctor mentioned that I can all kinds of food in portion; however, I can all the vegetables that I can. I am trying to be more into vegetables so I do not feel hungry and always in need of sugary food all the time. I hope I can see more of delicious recipes here that I can try and enjoy. I am sure though that since you are a mother of 2 kids the recipe will be fun to eat 🙂

  7. Thyme makes everything better :). I use it in almost everything. I like the use of olive oil instead of soy sauce in this recipe. I should try it. Maybe I will eat green beans more often lol.

  8. I’ve always been a big fan of green beans. They make an easy add-on to any meal and they also taste great just by themselves. I’m always looks for ways to spice them up. This looks like it would taste really good and will go with a lot of different things. I’ve never put green beans and tomatoes together before. That will be something different.

  9. Oh my! I am a BIG green bean fan and these look absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to give these a try! I love the taste of green beans!

  10. I must admit I love to cook and mess around in the kitchen, but to tell the truth I have never used thyme when cooking. Judging by the amount of comment and what sound like recommendations, I had better start experimenting. What a great and simple way to create a yummy side! Adding this to my “will try” list”!

  11. I love green beans too. I’ve never tried cooking them with thyme. So, I’ll be doing that this week. But I have tried cooking them with sweet peppers cut vertically (in length) with only salt and pepper added in for extra taste. And it’s so yummy!!!

  12. These sound really good. We have fresh green beans all of the time, but I usually just season them with butter, salt, and pepper. I wonder if they would also be good seasoned with dill.

  13. I love all kinds of beans, not just green beans. As for a tomato nothing bets a home grown one. A store bought tomato is nothing compared to home grown. You put that together with green beans two thumbs up. I think this dish looks so good. I would love to try this with a side of pork or maybe beef.

  14. I’m an adult, but I don’t like my vegetables, too! Anyhow, when I got sick I was forced to eat my greens! Slowly, I discovered that I love green beans. That, or green beans have been an acquired taste recently, hehe!! Anyhow, this is something that I can truly enjoy. I’ve tried this recipe before, minus the tomatoes, though. Also, instead of steaming – I just blanched the green beans.

  15. Simple and cheap! It’s always good to learn new ways to jazz up vegetables – although green beans are one of my favorites, they can get boring at times. I’d serve this side dish with a juicy steak or chicken breast.

  16. I like green beans, they’re cheap and tasty when you season them right. They are a healthy food as well. I always cook mine sauteed with a bit of salt and soy sauce but this looks nice as well. I’m going to try it.

  17. Green Beans are one of my favorites too, after greens. They have a flavor all their own and also go well with many combinations of seasonings. This tomatoes thyme recipe gives me a new option. I usually cook mine with garlic, basil, salt and brewer’s yeast, with either carrots or potatoes added in. It depends if I want a light or a robust dish. The lemon in your recipe is an unusual twist. I like to venture out with cooking, so I will probably add the zest as well.

  18. I would like to add that I’d really love to see more side dish recipes here. I’m always looking for some new ideas for what to serve on the side, and this blog has such great stuff. More, please!

    I really like green beans, and I serve them most any way they can be prepared. I do prefer whole, fresh ones, but around here, we’ll eat any variety.

  19. I love the simplicity of this recipe, and since I’ve never steamed green beans, I want to try this out. Roma tomatoes are my favorite, and the addition of the lemon and thyme will liven the dish up a bit from the ordinary side of green beans.

  20. OOO, I’m liking this one and so easy. I like to undercook stuff like this so it is still crispy. This is funny about the kids ripping the beans open. I would have hid the under the plate at that age. Now I love food like this. We had entirely too much junk food and didn’t want to even look at good food. Now I would probably eat the two pounds all by myself as a meal. This dish I might spice up a bit more. I’ll have to think about what I would put. I guess if you put enough pepper that would do it.

  21. I love green beans but I am not a huge experimenter and I often cook them the same way all the time and get bored of it. I’m always looking for new recipes to cook them hot and cold (to make a salad). This is a great meal and since I grow so many tomatoes during the summer time I’m really looking forward to trying it out.

  22. Freshly steamed green beans are the best. I would add bacon to this recipe since it gives great flavor. I know pork is not good but in moderation is what I do. I love the thyme and tomatoes combination. This rocks by itself…but adding it to the beans is refreshing and another great take on fresh green beans. I love adding fresh herbs and spices to bring out the flavor in other wise boring veggies. I wonder if my kids would like them…worth a try.

  23. As a child I hated green beans because I was forced to eat them. Only as an adult have I discovered their true wonderfulness and versatility. I would never have thought of putting them with tomato, but then it can be used with most foods!

  24. Green beans are one of my favorites and I always cook them every week. The only complaint is finding recipes where the beans are seasoned good. I have a problem with cooking bland green beans, I tried seasoning meat, but the flavor did not appeal to me. I will try this out and maybe at last I can eat a good green bean without drowning them in sodium.

  25. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I love green beans, but have come to dread eating them lately due to flavor fatigue (is that a thing?). I can only eat plain green beans so much before I’m going insane. I have tried cooking them with garlic and onions, but even those have been tasting dull lately. It never crossed my mind to toss in tomatoes. It seems so obvious now, but years of seeing carrots and lima beans in frozen mixed veggie bags has killed my creativity.

  26. I am reading a lot of vegan related meals over here and I’m already loving it. One of these days would be a good decision to get out of the routine and try one of those. And I really liked this one, I am a big fan of green beans and tomatoes, and I am already picturing how it would taste with pepper and some lemon on them, the perfect acidic taste!
    Thank you so much for sharing :).

  27. What a beautifully simple and elegant dish – It had never occurred to me to serve green beans with tomato, but it does seem to make sense, perhaps even with a few pieces of fresh orange as well? I will definitely give this a shot, and I will try the peeling open trick for getting my young nephew to possibly ingest one or two green things!


Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.