‘Plan-B’ Green Bean Nicoise Bowls

‘Plan-B’ Green Bean Nicoise Bowls

We have the marvelous Mark – long term and prolific Simple Meal Plans member to thank for this idea.

He mentioned using frozen beans, canned tuna and olives in his ‘pantry’ version of this Seared Tuna with Cherry Tomatoes.

I still have some residual childhood issues around frozen beans. But at Marks suggestion that freezing technology has significantly improved over the last few decades (am I really that old?) I decided to risk it.

The results were nothing short of astonishing.

Rather than boiling like my mother used to, I just popped the frozen beans in a pot with the lid on over high heat so they charred a little and defrosted, all in a couple of minutes.

I should note that I tried a few different brands of beans and the frozen baby beans in the picture were far superior to the others. You’d never guess they were frozen from the picture right?

The other secret to success here is using LOTS of mustard and vinegar to make a really punchy dressing to bring the beans to life.

And while I’m pontificating about frozen green beans, I used this technique with some beans and dressed them in pesto as an insanely easy side the other night. So many options!

Plan-B Green Bean Nicoise Bowls

Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 person


  • 200 g frozen green beans
  • 1 medium can tuna drained
  • 45 g pitted olives
  • 45 g sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


  1. Place a small saucepan on a high heat. Add the beans, clamp on the lid and cook for 1 minute. Stir and return the lid. Cook for another minute or until the beans are hot.
  2. While the beans are cooking, drain the tuna. Chop the sun dried tomato.
  3. When the beans are cooked, remove from the heat. Stir in the tuna, olives and tomato. Leave off the heat while you make the dressing.
  4. Combine vinegar, mustard, oil and a pinch salt in a small bowl. Toss dressing into the beans. Serve warm.

Recipe Video

NET CARBS 20g/serve

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Variations & Substitutions for Green Bean Nicoise Bowls

herby – if you happen to have some fresh herbs, they will be an excellent addition. Especially parsley, chives or basil.

vegetarian – replace tuna with poached or boiled eggs.

carnivore – use sausage, salami, ham or bacon.

nightshade-free – roast almonds instead of sun dried tomato.

more substantial (carb lovers) – cooked pasta or boiled potatoes.

more substantial (low carb) – boiled eggs, roast nuts, more tuna, goats cheese, feta or parmesan.

different vegetables – frozen broccoli or cauliflower (add 1/4 cup water to the pan and allow to cook for longer).

different protein – poached or boiled eggs, sausage, salami, ham or bacon. Or serve the beans as a side to pan fried chicken or fish.

more fancy / for entertaining – fresh herbs or serve with a dollop of pesto.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

frozen green beans – will keep for months in the freezer.

can tuna / sherry or red wine vinegar / Dijon mustard / extra virgin olive oil
– keep them in the pantry.

olives – keeps for months in an unopened jar. Opened jars or from the deli will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

sun dried tomatoes – unopened jars will keep in the pantry for months. If opened or from the deli keep in the fridge for a few weeks (or longer). Can be frozen.

Problem Solving Guide

bland – more salt! More vinegar.

burnt beans – make sure you stir more frequently next time. For now just discard the worst offenders.

watery – if there is water in the pan after the beans are cooked, drain it before progressing to the next step.

Prepare Ahead Green Bean Nicoise Bowls

Yes! Just cook as per the recipe. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or can be frozen. To serve, warm in a pan with a little oil.

‘Plan-B’ Green Bean Nicoise Bowls

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With love,
Jules x

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