Greek Beans (Gigantes Plaki)

5 from 3 votes

This Greek beans side or main dish features creamy giant butter beans baked in a rich, flavorful tomato-based sauce. Make Gigantes Plaki soon; it’s easy, delicious and healthy!

overhead image of Mediterranean baked beans

Dried beans and other legumes like chickpeas and lentils are a staple in recipes throughout the Mediterranean, Middle East, and North Africa.

This is because almost all legumes are high in plant-based protein and fiber, and they’re easy to incorporate into dishes for meals throughout the day. From lentils and rice for breakfast to harira soup for lunch, and sweet roasted chickpeas for a healthy afternoon snack.

Gigante Greek Beans

One native species of Greek beans is the Gigante (alternate spelling: gigande). They’re large and flat, and they’re white in color. They plump up a bit as they cook, taking on a creamy texture and buttery flavor.

The buttery flavor may be one reason why Gigantes are known in the U.S. as giant butter beans.

Food Fact
Did you know that butter beans and lima beans are the same thing?

close up image: spoonful of baked Gigantes beans topped with crumbled feta cheese

Recipe Notes for Making Gigantes Plaki

This is a simple and straightforward vegetarian bean recipe, and most of the ingredients are basic pantry staples. I have just a couple of notes for you regarding the recipe.

  1. Choice of dried or cooked beans.

You have a choice of making the recipe using either dried or precooked. If you would like to use the dried variety and you’re unable to find them locally, you can purchase them online here (affiliate link).

  1. Plan prep work time accordingly.

If you plan to use dried legumes, plan accordingly, as the recipe will take a bit longer to prep. This is because they need to soak overnight before you can start making the recipe.

overhead image: side dish of baked legumes in tomato sauce
  1. The Greek beans can be assembled ahead of time and baked later.

This dish will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days in advance of baking it. So, it’s perfect for serving as a side dish for a holiday meal, and it makes a fantastic take and bake meal for a sick friend or new parents.

For longer storage (up to 3 months), it can be frozen, either baked or unbaked! Just be sure to transfer it to a refrigerator and allow it to thaw completely before you bake or reheat it.

overhead image: casserole dish of baked Greek beans in tomato sauce with parsley and feta cheese


How many calories are in Gigantes Plaki?

There are 331 calories in a 1/2 cup serving of the dish. If you plan to serve it as a vegetarian main dish, you’ll probably want larger portion sizes, so the calories will be higher.

What can I substitute for gigante beans?

In the United States, this variety of Greek beans are called giant butter beans or giant lima beans. If you’re unable to find the giant variety you can use the standard size.

More recipes for Mediterranean and Greek beans

There are many varieties of dried beans, and endless ways to make healthy dinners using them, too.
Dishes like Turkish piyaz and this navy beans recipe are favorites because they are great as a healthy side or a meatless main dish.

Regardless of the variety or the recipe you use, incorporating legumes into your meal plan is a delicious and healthy choice!

spoonful of healthy side dish of large butter beans

How many canned beans equal 1 pound dried?

If you don’t have dried beans, you can substitute canned. For every pound of dried beans called for… you’ll need 58 ounces of canned beans (3 or 4 cans, depending on size).

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overhead image of Mediterranean baked beans

Greek Beans (Gigantes Plaki)

5 from 3 votes
This Greek beans dish features creamy butter beans (also known as lima beans) baked in a rich, tomato-based sauce. Make a batch of Gigantes Plaki for a delicious and healthy Mediterranean side or meatless main dish!
Servings: 12
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 5 mins
Total: 2 hrs 20 mins


  • 1 lb dried gigantes beans (See Note 1)
  • 14 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large onions)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese


  • Place the dried beans in a deep bowl and cover with cool water by 2 inches. Cover the bowl with a light kitchen towel and all the Greek beans to soak overnight.
  • After soaking, drain and rinse the beans. Place in a stockpot with enough water to cover them by an inch and bring to a rolling boil. Cook for 5 minutes, then drain.
  • Transfer the beans into a large mixing bowl along with tomatoes, garlic, onions, celery, herbs, spices, olive oil and water. Stir to combine.
  • Pour into a 9×13″ baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350°F for 90 minutes. Remove the foil and cook, uncovered, another 30 minutes.
  • Stir, then serve with crumbled feta cheese on top (or stirred in) and chopped parsley for garnish.


  1. Gigante beans are giant butter beans (also known as giant lima beans). You can substitute with traditional sized dry lima or butter beans if you wish. If you use precooked, canned beans rather than dried, start with step 3 of the recipe instructions. For every pound of dried beans called for you’ll need 58 ounces of canned beans (3 or 4 cans, depending on size).


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 734mg | Potassium: 850mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 376IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 165mg | Iron: 5mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: side dishes
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown close up): Greek Gigantes Plaki


I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made this recipe last week and it was so delicious and easy to make. I used dried Cannellini beans as they are easy to find here. I used a couple of extra spoons of beans as Cannellini seem to absorb less. Lovely herb fresh flavours in this dish which I highly recommend with some fresh crusty bread. Thanks Kevin!

  2. I’m currently soaking my lima beans and they’re splitting and peeling-is this normal? I’m finding conflicting reasons.

    Admittedly this is the first time I’ve tried making dried limas. I really wanted to make this for dinner!!

    1. You’re OK Samantha. As the Vegan Coach says “It’s totally normal for some beans – especially red/kidney – to wrinkle and split while soaking and in no way indicates that the beans are ‘old’. And some beans will split; it’s just the way it goes. Doesn’t make them any less safe, edible or tasty.” Thisis a house favorite, hope it becomes one for you too. Also, you could purchase canned butte ror lima beans if the final result after soaking is not what you wanted, but the beans are fine.

  3. 5 stars
    My Husband made this tonight and it was amazing and he doesn’t really like Lima beans! He reduced the amount of olive oil and it was fine. Must try!