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 obsessed with these large white beans. 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.
Okay, so about the Greek gigantes, otherwise known as gigantes plaki, is a popular Mediterranean dish. The beans are a type of large white bean that is both huge in size, and huge in flavor. You can find them on Amazon, or substitute in 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.
How to make Greek Gigantes
Assemble your ingredients. For exact amounts see the recipe card below.
Next, soak the beans overnight. (If you forget this step see my tips below on how to work around that)
Next, drain the beans and 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.
Finally serve, top with freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy!
I also love to serve these beans by placing a slice of toasted crusty bread in the bottom of a bowl and then ladle the beans and sauce in on top. Or have a bowl of beans and spoon some on top of toasted bread to add in a little crunch!
Tips for cooking this recipe
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.
These beans have a creamy texture and a slightly nutty flavor, which makes them a great addition to almost any savory dish.
I highly recommend soaking these beans overnight. This allows them to soften so they are the perfect texture when they are ready. If you forget I would recommend adding an extra hour (on high) or two (on low) to the cook time.
Storage and reheating
You can store these Greek Gigantes, in an airtight container in your fridge for 3-5 days. You can also freeze these beans in an airtight container for up to 2 months!
To reheat from the fridge you can transfer them to a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until everything has warmed through. You can also place the dish in a microwave safe bowl and heat until everything has warmed through. If you are reheating from the freezer be sure to let the dish thaw in the fridge or at room temperature before reheating.
More delicious Bean recipes you will love:
- White Bean Pasta with Rosemary Pesto
- 30-Minute Tuscan White Bean Skillet
- Caribbean Red Bean Salad
- Crockpot Tuscan Pork and Beans
- No Soak Oven Beans
- Easy Uruguayan Bean Salad
- Braised Flat Beans in Tomato Sauce
- Saucy Puerto Rican Beans and Potatoes
Greek Gigantes Recipe
- 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
- Soak the beans overnight. (If you forget this step, see my tips below on how to work around that).
- Next, drain the beans and place all 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, if needed.
- Finally, serve with toasted crusty bread. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. I also love serving these beans by placing a slice of toasted crusty bread in the bottom of a bowl and then ladling the beans and sauce on top. Alternatively, have a bowl of beans and spoon some on top of toasted bread to add a little crunch!