Comforting and buttery gigantes plaki, or Greek giant baked beans, with tomatoes and olive oil make a satisfying vegetarian dinner any night of the week. Or, you can serve them at room temperature over crusty bread as an appetizer!

close up of cooked Greek baked white beans (gigantes plaki) in a cast iron skillet with a spoon.
Photo Credits: Karishma Pradhan

Gigantes plaki is a classic Greek dish of tender baked beans, swimming in a chunky tomato sauce with lots of good extra virgin olive oil.

The term plaki, pronounced Plah-KEE, refers to a Greek cooking method where the food is baked or roasted with plenty of tomatoes, veggies, and extra virgin olive oil. (Remember this Greek baked fish with tomatoes and onions called psari plaki? Well, these Greek beans also belong to the plaki genre).

I'm grateful to Dorothy, a reader who e-mailed me about a baked bean casserole that her favorite Greek restaurant in Vancouver served. She turned me on to Gigantes plaki, or giant Greek baked beans, which is truly a textbook Mediterranean diet meal where a couple humble cans of beans are transformed into dinner that is satisfying and healthy.

You can never have enough bean recipes to save dinner! I loved it so much that I included the recipe in my cookbook.

Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients to Make Gigantes Plaki
    1. Beans
    2. Tomato sauce
    3. Garnish
  2. How to Make this Recipe
  3. Gigantes Plaki: Light Dinner or Snack
  4. More White Bean Recipes
  5. Early Harvest- Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  6. Gigantes Plaki (Greek-Style Baked Giant Beans) Recipe
Ingredients for gigantes plaki (Greek baked beans) including olive oil, carrot, celery, garlic, kosher salt, tomatoes, parsley, thyme, spices, bay leaf, butter beans, feta cheese and crusty bread.

Ingredients to Make Gigantes Plaki

Gigantes plaki take just a handful of simple ingredients. There are three simple components to this recipe: the beans, the chunky tomato sauce, and the garnish or finishing touches. Here is what you need to make giant Greek beans:

Beans

Because traditional gigantes beans are not as easy to find, unless you have access to a Greek or Mediterranean grocery store near you, you can use large butter beans, lima beans, or the largest white beans you can find. And yes, canned beans are fine in this quick recipe.

Tomato sauce

You'll need some good extra virgin olive oil (like our peppery Early Harvest EVOO), a can of diced tomatoes, and chopped onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, which make the tomato sauce hearty and delicious. To season the sauce, you'll need bay leaf, oregano, thyme, parsley, and a dash of cinnamon.

Garnish

I like to finish this dish with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some crumbled creamy feta. Or, omit the feta if you want to keep it vegan.

How to Make this Recipe

  • This simple baked beans recipe begins with the chunky tomato sauce in a big cast iron skillet or oven-safe pan. You'll toss the onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a bit of extra virgin olive oil until softened, then you'll add the diced tomatoes from a can (with their juices) and season. Greek baked white beans (gigantes plaki) topped with a bay leaf being cooked in a cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon.
  • From there, just add the drained and well-rinsed can of beans (I used butter beans)to the sauce. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake at 350°F for about 20 to 30 minutes or until the mixture thickens and the beans are super tender. Greek baked white beans (gigantes plaki) topped with a bay leaf being cooked in a cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon.
  • When the gigates are ready, top them with a good drizzle of olive oil and finish with some crumbled feta cheese.
slices of bread topped with Greek baked white beans (gigantes plaki) on a plate with a fork.

Gigantes Plaki: Light Dinner or Snack

I'm a big fan of gigantes beans as a simple vegetarian dinner with nothing more than a side of crusty bread and maybe a big Greek salad. This white bean recipe also makes a great side next to other things like keftedes or baked chicken drumsticks.

But gigantes plaki are also often served as mezze or an appetizer at room temperature over some bread. Simple and delicious!

More White Bean Recipes

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Early Harvest- Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This high-quality cold extracted and unfiltered EVOO has a perfectly balanced complexity- rich green and fruity, with a peppery finish!

A bottle of extra virgin olive oil.
5 from 8 votes

Gigantes Plaki (Greek-Style Baked Giant Beans)

Suzy Karadsheh
close up of cooked gigantes plaki in a cast iron skillet with a spoon.
Comforting and buttery gigantes plaki, or Greek giant baked beans, with tomatoes and olive oil make a satisfying vegetarian dinner any night of the week. Or, you can serve them as a side or as an appetizer (at room temperature) over crusty bread.
Prep – 10 mins
Cook – 30 mins
Total – 40 mins
Cuisine:
Greek
Serves – 4
Course:
Entree, Side Dish

Ingredients
  

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 6 Tablespoons (3 fluid ounces) water
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
  • ½ Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 (15-ounce) can butter beans, drained and rinsed (or the largest beans you can find)
  • Creamy feta cheese, crumbled
  • Rustic bread, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Saute the vegetables: In a large oven-safe skillet set over medium-high heat, add ⅛ cup olive oil. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Season with a pinch of salt (about ¼ teaspoon). Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften, 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and spices: Add the tomatoes with their juices and the water. Season with another pinch of salt (about ¼ teaspoon). Add the parsley, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, black pepper, cinnamon, and bay leaf.
  • Add the beans: Stir in the beans and cook for 5 minutes over high heat. At this point, taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking, then transfer the mixture to the oven and bake until thickened and the top layer turns a light golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Finish and serve: Remove and discard the bay leaf. Finish the dish with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of parsley, and a good sprinkle of feta. Serve with rustic bread.

Notes

  • Leftovers & Storage: Gigantes plaki will keep well in the fridge for 4 days or so. You can serve leftovers at room temperature. 
  • Beans: The giant Greek beans traditionally used in this recipe can be difficult to comeby. Feel free to swap butter beans, cannellini beans, or even navy beans. Really any creamy, white bean will work. 
  • Visit our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils and spices. (I really like our Early Harvest Greek EVOO in this recipe). 

Nutrition

Calories: 182.4kcalCarbohydrates: 24.3gProtein: 6.7gFat: 7.5gSaturated Fat: 1.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.9gMonounsaturated Fat: 5.2gSodium: 527mgPotassium: 546.6mgFiber: 7.4gSugar: 3.9gVitamin A: 3080.3IUVitamin C: 18.7mgCalcium: 83.8mgIron: 3.7mg
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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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