Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Beans)

Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Beans)

While I was on vacation in Greece I saw a dish consisting of huge beans baked in a tomato sauce that looked good but I did not end up getting a chance to try it while I was there. A quick search of the internet revealed that the dish was gigantes (or yigantes) plaki or Greek baked beans, that uses gigantes beans (also known as elephant beans, large lima beans or butter beans). The beans are baked in a simple tomato sauce that reminds me a lot of a marinara sauce that uses plenty of fresh herbs. This recipe takes a bit of time with the soaking the beans over night followed by simmering them and then making the tomato sauce and finally baking everything but it is worth it. The gigantes plaki turned out really well! The beans were nice and tender and creamy and they had a great meaty texture. The tomato sauce had reduced down until it was nice and thick and full of flavour! I made sure to leave the beans in the oven until the top just started to charred and those caramelized bits were the tastiest part of all. I served the gigantes plaki with some crusty bread to wipe up all of the tasty tomato sauce and a garnish of feta. The gigantes plaki also works well as an appetizer in crostini form.

Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Beans) Crostini

Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Beans)

Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Beans)

Servings: 4
  • 1 pound dried gigantes beans (or butter beans or elephant beans or large lima beans, etc.)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 carrot (diced)
  • 2 ribs celery (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • chili pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced plum tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup parsley (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup dill (chopped)
  1. Soak the dried gigantes beans in water with the bay leaves over night.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and simmer until the beans are tender, about 30-40 minutes.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan.
  4. Add the onions, carrot and celery and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and chili pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  6. Add the tomatoes, paprika and oregano and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
  7. Season the tomato sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Mix the parsley, dill, beans and 1/2 cup of the liquid that the beans were cooked in into the tomato sauce.
  9. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish.
  10. Bake in a preheated 350F/180C oven until the top is browned and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 50-60 minutes.


Sook said...

Greek baked beans sound very interesting. Looks great on bread, too! Yum!

Celeste said...

My goodness.
Keep this up and I will not have to search anywhere else on the net for my recipes. You are doing the work for me.
Great picture. I will include that recipe in my next weeks menu.

Anonymous said...

Can you use cannellini beans?

Cynthia said...

Hi Kevin. Happy New Year!

Rachael said...

This looks SO good! I am making this as soon as I can get my hands on all of the ingredients!

Kathleen said...

Man these sound good! Did you have to mail order the beans? My local market can be dismal.

Rambling Tart said...

Mmmm, love that feta crumbled on top! :-)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That looks soooo good!



Nina Timm said...

I love beans in any form and this dish is as close to perfect as I have ever seen.....Wow, Kevin even as an appetizer it looks scrumptious!!!

screwdestiny said...

So elephant beans are pretty much the coolest food I've seen in a while.

Jan said...

Ooohh those beans look good.
Kevin I have to make this!!

The Duo Dishes said...

Oh, they looked like white beans at first, but butter beans are nice. Haven't seen those in a long time.

Sophie said...

Waw,...a fabulous & very inviting bean dish!

MMMMMM,... it feels so summery too,...

Joanne said...

I really like that this doesn't seem as heavy as baked beans. It's light, almost like a pasta marinara, but with beans as the carb base. Love it!

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

This is a nice low fat recipe and delicious. Great pictures.

lunardancer said...

I've always loved beans cooked in tomato sauce. But this one is different in the sense that you used large elephant beans and baked them to perfection. I ought to try this in place of the traditional fabada my mom makes.

monica said...

you are amazing! great blog...

you insprire fellow crafty/cook bloggers like myself:)

keep up the good work!

Mila said...

Peter! I had this dish at one of my favorite Greek restaurants in Chicago...and I looooved them! I was actually able to find these beans jarred in my grocery store and it turned out great!

Peabody said...

Yum, I love how hearty this looks. Would be a great weeknight meal.

Kevin said...

Anonymous: Thought the bigger beans may be meatier in texture the cannellini beans version would taste just as good!

mare said...

Hi Kevin,

I like you site and trust your taste and recipies and I wonder, is there a reason you've not made tiropeta yet?

Kevin said...

Mare: The cheese pie is definitely on my list. I keep seeming to get side tracked by adding veggies to it every time I plan on making it.

Queenie said...


Anonymous said...

Excellent recipe. Please allow one remark :
In Greece some vegeterian dishes are called ''ladera'' which means oil based meals. Gigantes plaki , is one of those, so the dish needs at least a cup of good olive oil.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is technically correct, but for those of us Greeks who cannot afford the calories or stomach one whole cup of oil (and that would be most modern Greeks in Greece), a few tablespoons of really good EVOO either with or after cooking will do the trick! The days of 'one cup of oil' to oil based Greek dishes are long gone. :-)

Sara said...

Can this be made in the slow cooker?

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