Greek Gigantes

Greek Gigantes are, not surprisingly, GIANT beans! In this recipe, the gigantes are slow cooked in a rich tomato sauce until perfectly creamy and tender. Serve over toasted crusty bread for an easy vegetarian meal!

Greek Gigantes are, not surprisingly, GIANT beans! In this recipe, the gigantes are slow cooked in a rich tomato sauce until perfectly creamy and tender. Serve over toasted crusty bread for an easy vegetarian meal!

How fun are these gigante beans!? I’m a little bit obsessed with them.

I remember eating these big beans on my trip to Athens, but I didn’t know the name and it took be a few years to remember them and look them up (<— this is why I’m so bad at texting back). #DistractasaurasRex

Okay, so about the Greek gigantes. Huge in size, and huge in flavor. You can find them on Amazon, or substitute Lima beans. 

I’m super lazy about beans, so I decided to make this a slow cooker recipe. Just throw everything in, turn it on, and walk away. SO EASY.

This is an intensely comforting and satisfying dish. It’s also incredibly versatile. You can serve it as a stew-like main course, as a side dish, or even as part of a spread of small plates or appetizers. Check out my collection of Greek recipes if you need some pairing ideas.

Greek Gigantes are, not surprisingly, GIANT beans! In this recipe, the gigantes are slow cooked in a rich tomato sauce until perfectly creamy and tender. Serve over toasted crusty bread for an easy vegetarian meal!

In the winter, a dash of cinnamon added to the mix would be heavenly.

If you think I’m crazy, just give it a try and join my cinnamon-crazy-train. It’s one of my favorite “secret” ingredients for a dish like this gigantes recipe. It adds a very special-something to the flavor profile!

Greek Gigantes are, not surprisingly, GIANT beans! In this recipe, the gigantes are slow cooked in a rich tomato sauce until perfectly creamy and tender. Serve over toasted crusty bread for an easy vegetarian meal!

I soaked my beans overnight, but I frequently forget to do this while slow cooking beans. If this is the case, you can usually get away with adding an extra hour (on high) or two (on low) to the cook time.

Cooking these Greek beans on low produces a better result, in my opinion, as it doesn’t aggressively boil the beans which can cause a lot of bean-skin separation. Not a huge deal by any means, but that’s totally up to you! If you’re a work-outside-the-home type of person, throw these in before work and let them simmer all day.

I love to place a slice of toasted crusty bread in the bottom of a bowl and then ladle the beans and sauce in on top. That didn’t look very nice for the pictures, however.

Oh, the life of a food blogger.

Greek Gigantes are, not surprisingly, GIANT beans! In this recipe, the gigantes are slow cooked in a rich tomato sauce until perfectly creamy and tender. Serve over toasted crusty bread for an easy vegetarian meal!

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Here’s the Recipe!

Greek Gigantes

Greek Gigantes

Greek Gigantes are, not surprisingly, GIANT beans! In this recipe, the gigantes are slow cooked in a rich tomato sauce until perfectly creamy and tender. Serve over toasted crusty bread for an easy vegetarian meal!

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry gigantes beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetarian chicken broth (or water)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Crusty bread, black pepper, and more olive oil for serving

Instructions

  1. Boil the beans for 10 minutes.
  2. Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a large slow cooker. Cook for 4-6 hours on high, or 8-10 hours on low. Taste and add more salt as needed.
  3. Serve with toasted crusty bread. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Nutrition

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279|Total Fat: 13g|Saturated Fat: 3g|Trans Fat: 0g|Unsaturated Fat: 10g|Cholesterol: 42mg|Sodium: 679mg|Carbohydrates: 27g|Fiber: 5g|Sugar: 11g|Protein: 16g|

Nutrition information has been auto-calculated for your convenience.

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Greek Gigantes are, not surprisingly, GIANT beans! In this recipe, the gigantes are slow cooked in a rich tomato sauce until perfectly creamy and tender. Serve over toasted crusty bread for an easy vegetarian meal!

August 1, 2016 | Last Updated on April 12, 2021 by Linda

21 thoughts on “Greek Gigantes”

  1. I had a similar dish in Athens and have wanted to recreate it ever since! The recipe I had finished the beans off with shrimp and feta. Not sure what else was added but it was divine! I’m going to try this and see how it goes. 🙂

    Reply
  2. I’d like to use a Dutch oven to make this recipe since I don’t have a slow cooker. What temperature and how long would you recommend cooking the beans? Please let me know if there are any other adjustments you’d make with using a Dutch oven.

    Reply
    • Hi Jasmine,

      I found this great article that should help you with a conversion chart and the directions below: http://www.cookingincastiron.com/files/20080123_slowcooker_to_dutchoven.html

      A recipe that is cooked on the low setting in your slow cooker will take about a quarter as long in a Dutch oven in a 325-degree oven (if it cooks for 8 hours on low, it will take two to three hours in the Dutch oven). A recipe that is cooked on high setting will take about half as long. But remember, that’s only an estimate, so leave yourself a little extra time.

      Check it out and let us know how it goes!

      – Linda

      Reply
  3. I am trying to figure out how I can read the reviews. When I click on the stars next to reviews it just gives me the option to write a review.

    Reply
  4. Hello! I would like to make this recipe in my instant pot with pre-soaked fava beans? Do you know what setting I should cook them on and for how long?

    Reply
  5. Hi! I’m attempting these beans tonight and curious to know any tips or tricks to doubling the recipe other than 2x everything? Also, what size am I cutting the onions to? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Heather,

      The onions are about 1/3 to 1/2 size of the beans, if you look for them in the photos (you have to hunt a little) you can see them next to a bean for the size.

      – Linda

      Reply
  6. I used Instant Pot, slow cooker mode. I found that the amount of liquid provided for in the recipe was too much. I was looking for beans, and got a bean soup instead. Next time, I’ll cut the amount of tomatoes in half, and cut the broth some too.

    I know this varies by the individual lot of beans, but mine was not done after 6 hours. I let it ride for another 4 hours after that. If I was home, I probably would have taken them off after a total of 8 hours.

    Reply
  7. This was great. My local grocery store doesn’t have gigantes beans, so I just simmered the broth for ~30 minutes then added canned great northern beans at the end, just to heat them up. It had such an amazing flavor I ended up using the leftovers for the base of a minestrone soup. I love minestrone soup but have found most recipes to have no flavor, so this was perfect. Made extra broth (tomatoes, veggie broth, spices – skipped onions/garlic out of laziness and there were plenty in the leftovers), then added zucchini, blanched green beans, and tortellini near then end and mixed it all together with the beans and original broth. It’s amazing. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Yes, canned beans are already cooked so I would just add them to the tomato sauce in the last 30 minutes of simmer time. Drain and rinse them first to remove the excess salt!

      Reply
    • Hi! I’m making these beans now and tried soaking the beans overnight, for the first time. I am using the beams you suggested from Amazon and doubling the recipe using two bags of Greek beans. It looks like the skin is coming off the beans; do I need to peel the beans before cookong them in the slow cooker?

      Reply
      • Hi Amanda,

        No need to peel the beans. I would just skim off any floating skins and drain the beans. Any skinless beans are going to break down and add to thickening of the dish, which is just fine.

        – Linda

  8. Love it. I am a big bean fan, in both senses of the phrase. I’ll have to cook my own tomatoes; I’ve not seen salt free in Thailand and I am assuming salt free to avoid the problem of salt when cooking beans.

    Reply
    • I’ve never had any trouble with beans becoming tough with cooking them with salt. I do avoid adding vinegar until the end of the cooking, however.

      Reply

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