Fasulia: Green Bean and Beef Stew

Glass bowl with green beans
Andreas Kaspar / Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
660 Calories
29g Fat
57g Carbs
42g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 660
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 38%
Saturated Fat 10g 52%
Cholesterol 106mg 35%
Sodium 198mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 57g 21%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Protein 42g
Calcium 172mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The word fasulia, sometimes spelled fasolia, is the Lebanese term for red beans. However, in other countries of the Middle East such as Egypt and Turkey, it can refer to green beans as well. Fasulia stew, therefore, is traditionally a hearty, slow cooked dish of beans in a seasoned tomato sauce.

The stew can be made vegetarian by omitting the beef or lamb altogether and simply serving it over a bed of rice or warm flatbread such as pita or naan. Its warm spices and earthy tomato sauce make it a comforting dish even without the protein and, of course, you can always add in some chickpeas. When meat is included, however, it is a hearty entree that is well suited for meals on cold, winter days.

Spices such as ground cumin, coriander and allspice provide not only a depth of flavor but also a wonderful aroma without adding any heat, which is more common of Middle Eastern foods. And they work equally well with both the green beans and tomatoes as well as beef or lamb so no change in recipe is needed to make this vegetarian.

When adding meat, either beef or lamb work equally well so it's only a matter of which you personally prefer. Cubed beef stew meat is quite easy to find all supermarkets and butcher shops. Although cubed lamb might be a little less commonly found, it still should be available at all butcher shops and many large supermarket chains. Ask at the meat counter and chances are they will be able to cut up some lamb into stew cubes for you. The slow stove top simmer in the sauce will reduce most of the natural gaminess of lamb but, if you're a fan, you'll still find plenty of flavor.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound stew meat (lamb or beef, cubed)
  • 1 medium onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 (4-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1 pound green beans (frozen or fresh)
  • Optional: 1/4 flour (with a splash of water)

Steps to Make It

  1. Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the cubed stew meat and brown on all sides.

  2. Add in the chopped onion and minced garlic.

  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, stirring them in well with the meat, garlic, and onion.

  4. Add the ground cumin, ground coriander, ground allspice, salt, and pepper.

  5. Pour in the water and the tomato puree. Stir and combine well. Add the green beans and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours, or until meat is tender and done.

  6. The sauce should thicken slightly as it cooks. If it does not or if you would like a thicker sauce, whisk in a slurry comprised of 1/4 cup flour mixed with a little water until well combined. Then cook the sauce on high for a few minutes to allow the raw flour to cook out and the sauce to thicken.

  7. Serve the stew over white rice and alongside a green salad.