This Loubieh bi zeit recipe is traditional Lebanese green beans braised in oil and tomatoes with garlic.
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What is Loubieh Bi Zeit?
Loubieh bi zeit is a traditional vegan Lebanese meal of braised green beans in a tomato base with extra virgin olive oil.
It is made with simple ingredients using fresh string beans (loubieh), tomato, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Loubieh in English?
“Loubieh” in English translates to “beans” and “bi zeit” translate to “in oil”.
Loubieh bi zeit (or lubia bzeit or loubia bil zeit) is pronounced as "loo·bee·yeh bee zay·te"
Loubieh is also known as lubia or loubia in other Middle Eastern countries.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Very flavorsome, sweet from the semi caramelized onions & braised green beans and a tad acidic from the tomato.
- Easy to cook using simple ingredients and can be made ahead, in fact, it is delicious the next day.
- It’s both naturally vegan (usually listed as a vegetarian dish in Lebanon) and gluten-free, this traditional Lebanese green beans recipe is one I learned off my mother.
- Only one pot is needed to prepare.
- Enjoyed cold as part of a mezze or rolled up in pita bread, I grew up eating it in pita bread, it was a convenient way for my mother to feed a few mouths.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Notes on some of the ingredients, the full list of ingredients and their measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Green beans (string beans) must be fresh and of good quality, after all, it is the main ingredient. For other fresh beans, you can use flat green beans (romano beans), snake beans (asparagus beans), and runner beans. This recipe is not for dry beans.
You will need to trim off the stalk tip and then snap (or cut) into bite size pieces.
I usually snap the beans into 3-4 small pieces, about just over an inch (3-4cm) long.
Fresh tomatoes are an essential ingredient that will be diced small and added to the base sauce adding flavor and a little acidity enhancing the flavor of the overall meal.
Use ripe tomatoes for best results.
Fresh onion either white or brown onion will work well. Dice up small.
Fresh garlic is a crucial flavor along with the onion. You can add lots of garlic if you like which can be crushed or thinly sliced.
Olive oil - Originally this recipe calls for a lot more oil (hence the name bi zeit or bzeit - "in oil") I sometimes use avocado oil instead, as it has a high smoke point.
I have reduced the amount of oil in this recipe to make it a little "healthier".
Salt my go-to is Himalayan salt, this ingredient will enhance the overall natural sweetness of the tomatoes and beans.
Black pepper is best when freshly cracked. This combined with paprika, which is optional, gives a slight pepperiness to this delicious meal.
Water is used to help soften the beans, eventually, it will reduce, leaving a light thick tomato base.
A touch of either Lebanese 7 spice, ground allspice, or ground cinnamon. I much prefer to leave these out as the flavors of the beans are truly delicious once braised, they're mildly sweet and their flavors are enhanced by the salt.
Fresh lemon juice can be squeezed onto the loubieh bi zeit when serving. I prefer to leave this out.
How To Make Loubieh Bi Zeit
Caramelize the Onions
Over medium-high heat, heat the oil (zeit) in a large pot (I like using my Dutch oven (affiliate link) for this recipe). Add the diced onions and fry until slightly golden, approximately 5-7 minutes.
Braise The Green Beans
Add the bite-sized bean pieces, diced tomato, and crushed garlic. Stir through, ensuring everything is coated in the oil and onion mixture.
Add salt, black pepper and paprika (optional), and add water. Stir everything through. If you are adding the optional spices, add these in too.
Braise Until Tender
Turn the heat to low. Cover and braise for 25 - 30 minutes. Stirring every five minutes. Loubieh be zeit should be completely tender. Serve cold or warm with pita bread. See more serving suggestions below.
The last 10 minutes of cooking Lebanese green beans is crucial. Check the bottom of the pot to see if it has enough juice.
If required top up with a ¼ cup of water or use as needed to ensure the beans do not dry out. Adjust salt if needed.
Stoves differ, I use a gas stove, which generally cooks quicker than an electric stove. I usually turn off the burner at the 25-minute mark.
Once the braised green beans have cooled down to room temperature, place them into an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Lebanese loubieh can be eaten as part of a wider spread of little meals, called mezze or as a side dish.
Sometimes we like to enjoy it with Lebanese vermicelli rice, even though braised green beans are normally enjoyed cold, we warm it up and enjoy it as a main meal.
Use bread to mop up the juices.
More Lebanese Bean Dishes
There are many delicious Lebanese beans recipes such as Lebanese kidney bean stew, ful akhdar bi zeit (green broad beans in oil) or black eyed beans with greens which are all lovely for either lunch or dinner.
Or for a salad, try my Lebanese butter bean salad otherwise, check out my vegan Lebanese food category for more amazing and authentic recipes. You won't be disappointed and I am sure you'll find a new recipe to try.
Did you make this? I'd love to know! Leave me a comment below with a ★★★★★ rating or tag @plantbasedfolk on social media.
Loubieh Bi Zeit (Lebanese Green Beans Braised in Oil)
- Over medium - high heat, heat the oil (zeit) in a large pot. Add onions, fry until slightly golden, approximately 5-7 minutes.3 tablespoon Olive oil, 1 medium Onion
- Add beans (loubia), tomato and garlic. Stir through ensuring everything is coated in oil.1 kilo Green beans, 1 medium - large Tomato, 2 large cloves Garlic
- Add salt, pepper and paprika (optional), add water. Stir everything through.1 teaspoon Salt, ¼ teaspoon Paprika, ½ teaspoon Black pepper, 1 ¼ cup Water
- Turn heat to low. Cover and braise for 25 - 30 minutes. Stirring every five minutes. Serve cold or warm.
N.B., nutrition info is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. This will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.
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