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. It's basically the Greek version of classic butter beans.

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:


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.


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

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A bottle of extra virgin olive oil.
4.96 from 65 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 minutes
Cook – 30 minutes
Total – 40 minutes
Serves – 4
Entree, Side Dish


  • 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


  • 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.



  • 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). 


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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  1. Carol says:

    I made this tonight and it was wonderful. I loved the combination of flavors and it was so easy to make. Who would have thought it would be so yummy and only take a few minutes to prepare? I used butter beans and didn’t have fresh parsley or thyme so used dried and adjusted the amount. Can’t wait to eat leftovers tomorrow! Another winner!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks so much, Carol!

  2. JS says:

    So delicious. Made this today and it was fantastic. Learning to eat beans and love tomatoes so this was so tasty.

  3. christina says:

    4 stars
    The flavor is good, but it was very dry when I pulled it out of the oven. I thought it would be more juicy. I'm going to add more tomatoes to this batch and maybe not cook it in the oven next time. I thought it was great before placing in the oven.

  4. Cindy Smith says:

    5 stars
    I have made this twice and it's so good!!! I used dry large butter beans, but next time I go to the Greek Market, I'll buy Gigantis beans and try them!!! But the dry butter beans were amazing!!!

  5. Nic says:

    5 stars
    I'd never had Gigantes Plaki but based on ingredients and cooking technique, it sounded delicious. Soooo good! I used Royal Corona beans, which were perfect, and my husband has already asked when I'll be making this again. Thanks for an amazing and easy to follow recipe!!

  6. JAB says:

    is it possible to use a crock pot for this recipe? It sounds so good.
    thank you.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hello! We've never tried this in a crockpot before because it cooks so quickly in a skillet. It would probably work, although you may want to use dried beans rather than canned.

  7. Rob Yohannan says:

    5 stars
    Fabulous......used last years dried Christmas Beans (white w/ red stripes), 24 hours to soak, 3 hours to simmer). Awesome spice combo, fabulous flavor. Lots of fiber so beware ....LOL
    Super delicious!

  8. Carolyn Glenn says:

    I actually brought back those giant beans from Greece. Do I need to cook them before using them in this recipe?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Carolyn. Yes, if the beans are dried, you'll need to cook them first. Enjoy!

  9. Sara K says:

    5 stars
    Delicious!! Made exactly as directed. Only modification was to add. A few more tablespoons of water so it wasn’t dry. My husband and I ate this with spanakopita on the side. I would say it made more like 3 portions but I could see how with bread and a salad it might be 4. Will be a regular in our vegetarian rotation. Oh! I did use fire roasted tomatoes instead of regular. Yum!

  10. Isaac Edwards says:

    Canned butter beans are NOT what Greeks use for this. Butter beans are NOT Gigantes beans. While convenient for the lazy canned butter beans are wrong.
    Gigantes need to be cooked from dry beans - use something like the ones that can be bought through Amazon, big selection.
    One thing taught by my parents - if you are gonna do something, do it right, or not at all!!!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Isaac. Suzy does mention in the article that she chose to use canned butter beans here, as traditional gigantes bean can be difficult to find and will take the recipe longer to prepare. The purpose of her website is to make the wonderful recipes and flavors of the Mediterranean as accessible as possible. She welcomes readers to tweak the recipes to suit their own tastes and the availability of ingredients in their area. You can absolutely use dried gigantes beans if that's what you prefer.

  11. Soraya says:

    Hi I must make this soon! Could I use passata instead as I have a lot in the house. Thank you

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Soraya. We've never tried this with passata, but I think it would be fine to use in a pinch.

  12. Nancy says:

    5 stars
    I just made this for dinner and it is delicious. Thanks for a great recipe.

  13. Susan olmos says:

    Great recepie not difficult to make
    Love all yr recepies

    Susan Olmos

  14. Kay says:

    5 stars
    I found large dried limas at my grocery store. They cook fairly quickly and address delicious. I've cooked them like this several times.

  15. Annemieke says:

    5 stars
    I'm not a big recipe commenter but I have to say, don't hesitate, MAKE THESE BEANS! I've tried a lot of gigantes plaki recipes and this is by far my favorite, and so easy to make.

    I used Rancho Gordo's corona beans, pre-cooked in my instant pot. My only edit was adding a big spoon of better than bouillon with the tomatoes because I love salt, but i'm not sure it was totally necessary. I can't wait to make them again.

    1. Summer Miller says:

      Hi, Annemieke! I'm Summer an editor here at The Mediterranean Dish! So glad you loved the recipe. Thanks for taking the time to tell us.

  16. Judy says:

    Want to make this tomorrow. Would it work cooking in a slow cooker for maybe 4-6 hours?

    1. Judy says:

      Also forgot to ask if ok to substitute garbanzo beans for the butter beans? That's the only white bean I have. Maybe I should wait until I can get to the store. LOL
      Thank you.