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Project S.T.I.R.: Authentic Armenian Fassoulia (Tomato String Beans)

On this warm, Georgian Thanksgiving morning (the state, not the country ^_^), I begin my yearly personal tradition. I leave my dozing husband to stretch out in bed, while I take care of the cats and turn on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I’ll leave it on in the background (and cry at the sweet/sappy holiday commercials) while I cook two things to bring to our Georgia family Thanksgiving meal. The first is cornbread, with the recipe off the back of the White Lily cornmeal mix bag, and Armenian fassoulia, or as my family has always called it, tomato string beans.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous Project S.T.I.R. blog about rice pilaf, tomato string beans have been a part of my family’s Thanksgiving tradition since I can remember! And when I got married and started joining Wervyn’s family nearby for Thanksgiving, I didn’t even want to think about having the big day meal without tomato string beans!

It’s got simple ingredients and simple instructions! So if you’re interested in a new take on Thanksgiving string beans, you love tomatoes, and cringe at the thought of complicated recipes, what are you waiting for? Keep scrolling!

This is the official family recipe my mom sent to me the year before Wervyn & I got hitched. I’ve modified it a little over the years, but very little; it’s almost too good to be improved upon!

Armenian Tomato String Beans (Fassoulia)

Ingredients ~ serves 10 (based on how many bags of green beans you use, ha!)

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 or 2 large onions, sliced long (not chopped)
  • 2 large bags frozen, french style string beans
  • 1½ cups of spaghetti sauce (You can choose the consistency and flavors you like best! This year I’m trying large cans of no-salt-added tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, or a few generous dashes of garlic powder to taste (especially if you aren’t using bottled, flavored sauce)
  • salt to taste

1. Put the olive oil in a large saucepan, and add the sliced onion. Cook at medium heat for a few minutes until onions are transparent. Stir around with a wooden spoon.

2. If your sauce doesn’t have much added flavor, you can add a few dashes of garlic powder or a few crushed/diced cloves of garlic.

3. Add the frozen string beans and the amount of water indicated on their packages, and bring to a boil. Then cover the saucepan and simmer over a low flame for 15-20 minutes, or until all the beans are cooked and soft.

4. Only then do you add the sauce (my grandma always says that if you add the “red sauce” before the beans are done cooking, they’ll never get soft). Mix together and simmer for 30 minutes.



5. If you think the beans need more salt after cooking and tasting, you can stir in more garlic powder or salt until it’s the way you like it.

6. Spoon into a festive serving dish (or transfer them to an aluminum pan with a lid to take to your feasting destination), and enjoy!

These guys are definitely in that list! Panger loves to be underfoot when I cook, and Moss demands pets.
Panger loves to be underfoot when I cook, and Moss often demands pets.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, guys! I’m so grateful that you’re reading this! Heck, with the amount of posts I’ve been making recently, I’m grateful that I have readers at all ^_^ I’m thankful for you! I hope you have a restful day, and remember many things to be thankful for today <3

Want More Armenian Food Traditions?

Check out my family recipe for Rice Pilaf I mentioned above, or watch this demonstration of the Easter tradition of an Egg Fight! (Sorry, no eggs actually get thrown.)

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