In case it wasn't clear, I am very into tomato-based things. Not at the moment. All the time, in all the ways. It's been one of my favorite flavors for my whole life, but I realized that in the post on the basic marinara that I love so much I basically only talked about pasta because duh. So I wanted to show you another way I use marinara, in quick side dishes like this. I love this because it of course tastes familiar but is a nice change from either roasted veggies, stir-fry stuff flavored with soy sauce, or sauteed veggies with olive oil + salt + pepper. Those 3 options are kind of tried and true in our house and by tried I mean tired sometimes, right? Enter tomato sauce.
I stew veggies in the marinara with some extra onions, garlic, and chicken stock (or veggie for anyone who doesn't eat meat), make a protein and some kind of carb to go with it, and end up with a lovely, healthy side dish that is great to use up any veggies or extra sauce I have in the fridge. I used green beans in these pictures, but I love this with squash, zucchini, peppers, and eggplant just as much. Any veggies you like are the veggies for this - it can be different every time but still so simple.
You need! Marinara sauce. Mine works here so well because I don't add herbs to it when I make it, it's just tomatoes, onion, garlic. Some recipes call for oregano or basil or other dried herbs, which is GREAT, but I don't think it allows the sauce to be as versatile without everything tasting the same. You'll also need trimmed green beans and sliced onion, about 3 cups total. Olive oil, chicken or vegetable stock, and salt. Done! Start by preheating olive oil over medium-high heat, then add the veggies when the oil simmers.
Stir the veggies for about 3 minutes to brown and soften them slightly, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the marinara, stock, and a sprinkle of salt.
Simmer the veggies for 10-15 minutes (maybe longer if you're using carrots or another veg that takes a long time to cook), then taste the veggies and add more salt if you'd like. If the pan seems dry before the veggies are cooked through, splash in a little bit more stock as you go. When the veggies are tender and the liquid has almost all evaporated, serve!
Done. I love recipes like this that are more method than recipe and can be changed up every time you make it based on what you feel like eating and what you have on hand. The end result is flavorful, healthy, and super quick.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups green beans, trimmed
- ½ cup marinara
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- salt, as needed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ medium onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the olive oil is hot, add the vegetables to the skillet.
- Stir the veggies for about 3 minutes until they are slightly soft and browned at the edges. Add the marinara, stock, and a sprinkle of salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Simmer the beans for 10-15 minutes until the stock is nearly all reduced and the beans are tender. Add more salt or stock as needed to finish the dish. Serve with your favorite dinner, and enjoy!
- Add the olive oil and onion to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook while stirring for about 5 minutes until the onion softens but doesn’t brown.
- Add the garlic and salt and stir for 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the sugar, tomatoes, and water. Stir every few minutes while the sauce comes to a simmer.
- Simmer the sauce for 15-20 minutes until reduced and thickened. Taste as you go and add more sugar and salt to your preference.
- Use as you’d like. Enjoy!