Quick Skillet Beans with Tomatoes

A fast, saucy dish that’s just as good warm or at room temperature as it is hot.
TIME About 30 minutes
MAKES 4 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1½ cups chopped tomatoes (canned are fine; don’t bother to drain)
2 cups frozen shelled lima beans or edamame (no need to thaw)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves for garnish, optional

1 Put the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

2 Add the tomatoes and adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break apart and look saucy, 10 to 15 minutes. Add water, 2 tablespoons at a time, if the tomatoes ever look too dry.

3 Stir in the beans and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until they’re tender and hot all the way through, 5 to 7 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt or pepper, sprinkle with the oregano if you’re using it, and serve.

  • Quick Skillet Edamame with Japanese Flavors: Use edamame, which are traditionally eaten in Japanese cuisine, not lima beans. Substitute vegetable oil for the olive oil, ½ cup chopped scallions for the onion, and soy sauce for the oregano.

  • There are a handful of beans that we can sometimes find fresh or frozen. Lima beans and edamame (young soybeans) are most common. But whenever you see black-eyed peas, pigeon peas, fava beans, or cranberry beans—either frozen or fresh, in or out of their pods, at farmers’ markets—grab them; they’re a treat and totally different from their dried counterparts. They cook faster than dried beans, too; generally in less than half the time (but check them frequently, because the timing can vary quite a bit). If you find fresh beans in the pod, split the shell open and pop out the beans—a bit of work but worth it. (For favas, you need to peel off the skin of each bean, too; sometimes you can find them frozen, already peeled, which is nice.)
  • To substitute canned beans for frozen in this recipe, try a somewhat firm bean like cannellini or chickpeas. Drain and rinse them and cook them for only 5 minutes in Step 3—just enough time to heat them through.
  • To make this dish more substantial, serve it over thick-sliced toast, rice, or noodles.

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