Gigantes Plaki recipe (Gigandes Greek Baked ‘Giant’ Beans)

Filling and super-healthy! Gigantes plaki (Greek baked gigantes) is a classic Greek recipe, consisting of ‘giant’ beans baked in a tomato sauce along with plenty of fresh herbs, which give a really unique taste. This Gigantes recipe takes some time to prepare, but it’s all worth it!

The beans will come out creamy and tender with a flavorful thick tomato sauce. To prepare the traditional Gigantes plaki recipe, try to find original gigantes beans at Greek or ethnic markets; if you can’t find them, substitute with large lima beans or elephant beans or butter beans.

Enjoy this traditional Greek Gigantes plaki dish as a hearty vegetarian meal or as a delicious appetizer on top of some crusted bread. Don’t forget to garnish with some salty crumbled feta on top. (See also step 6 for an easier alternative of the traditional Gigantes recipe)

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Gigantes Plaki recipe (Gigandes Greek Baked ‘Giant’ Beans)

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  • Author: Eli K. Giannopoulos
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 135 min
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 portions 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Greek


Filling and super-healthy! A traditional Greek Gigantes beans recipe (gigantes plaki), made of ‘giant’ beans baked in a tomato sauce with plenty of fresh herbs, for a unique taste!


  • 500g gigantes beans (17 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 45 tbsps parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of hot water
  • 400g (14 ounces) tinned chopped tomatoes or 600g (21 ounces) ripped fresh tomatoes, grated
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. To prepare the gigantes (Gigsntes) plaki, start by soaking the gigantes beans overnight into plenty of water. Drain them into a colander and rinse with plenty of water.
  2. Place the gigantes in a large pan with cold water, enough to cover them, add a pinch of sea salt and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes, until tender but not cooked. Drain them in a colander and set aside.
  3. In the meantime, pour into a large baking pan the olive oil, add the chopped onions, the whole garlic clove (peeled) and bake at 180C, until softened and slightly colored (approx. 15 minutes).
  4. Turn the baking pan out of the oven. Add the gigantes beans (drained), the celery, the parsley, ½ cup of hot water and season with salt and pepper. Put back in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Turn the baking tray out of the oven, blend the gigantes beans lightly with a wooden spoon and pour in the grated tomatoes or plum tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, add a pinch of oregano and bake the gigantes plaki further for 50-60 minutes at 180C, until the beans are soft and tender and the sauce thickens.
  6. For an easier alternative, after soaking the gigantes beans overnight, drain and rinse them. Place in a large pan with enough water to cover them and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes, drain them and place into a large baking pan, along with all of the ingredients, cover with some aluminum foil and bake at 180C for approx. 2 hours. The last 30 minutes, bake without the aluminium foil. Enjoy!


  • Serving Size: 1 portion
  • Calories: 351kcal
  • Sugar: 4.1g
  • Sodium: 307mg
  • Fat: 14.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.2g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11.9g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 42.7g
  • Fiber: 10.9g
  • Protein: 15.6g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Recipe image gallery:

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  1. These are delicious! I’ve made this recipe a few times now and each time it has worked out so well, I use the shortcut version and have reduced the oil to 1/3 cup and use a larger can of crushed tomatoes.

  2. What is 180C equal to F

  3. Whilst on holiday we ate a lot of these beans. I’m sure some had dill in them, can anyone advise how much and whether to switch the oregano and/or the parsley?

    • You asked a long time ago but anyway , here in Crete we use dill instead of parsley – a good size bunch as long as you like the taste 😉

  4. This is my favorite version of this recipe—there are many on the web, but I think this one’s tops. Very easy to make and it always comes out delicious. Thanks

  5. Using my mother in law’s recipe We also add carrots

  6. Ann Mermigos Mione

    These are absolutely delicious!! Thank you!

  7. What a joy to make and eat, very impressive website, so eay to navigate, well done.

  8. Bernard Duckworth

    What a joy to make and eat, very impressive website, so eay to navigate, well done.

  9. Denise Davies

    I am going to grow my own gigantes beans, will I need to soak the fresh beans?

    • Having a look online – you treat fresh beans like any other vegetable. No soaking needed 🙂

    • Fresh beans are completely different in texture and taste and will therefore not suit this recipe. Much like fresh peas vs dried peas. You need to use the dried ones to make gigantes.

  10. I have made these at least half a dozen times from your recipe. Always a sure fire winner. Thanks for this site! Easy to follow, interesting to read. Results speak for themselves. The recipe is in the oven as we speak! Cheers!

    • Eli K. Giannopoulos

      Thank you so much Stuart and so happy you love it 🙂 Hope it turned out amazing!

  11. Dear Eli
    I am thinking of preparing this dish today (sunday) to be served on Tuesday night. should I freeze it or can it wait propelry covered in the fridge until Tuesday?

    thanks very much


    • Eli K. Giannopoulos

      Hi Rachel

      I wouldn’t freeze the cooked beans as they will more likely than not turn a bit mushy when defrosting. I’d bake it and leave it covered in the fridge. It should keep well for 3-4 days.

  12. These are SO delicious. I have only made them with the Rancho Gordo Royal Corona Beans, which cook up HUGE and taste amazing.

    After a rocky first batch (had to leave them in the oven for A LONG time) here are my tips for the Rancho Gordo’s and this recipe.

    Soak them for 24 hours. You need a long soak time otherwise you’ll have to bake them forever even after boiling for 40 minutes.

    The beans come out so big I found I needed double the tomatoes, using a 24oz can, doubled the celery and doubled the water.

    Like others, I added carrots because I love them.

    So delicious, and I make them every week. Thank you!

  13. Sophie Cook

    Does the recipe provide a portion suitable for a meal or just a side dish? I want to make this for my lunches at work.

  14. Emma Kontaxis

    Ended up adding another can of tomato’s and tomato purée as there is very little sauce. I’m wondering if the 500g of beans was dry or wet weight?

  15. Christine

    It’s hot out. Can I use a slow cooker? And what temp and hoe long?

  16. Can this be frozen?

  17. Gary Jonsohn

    Followed the recipe. Didn’t work out. Had to add more liquid cover with aluminum foil and bake for an additional hour.

  18. So confused! Are you soaking & boiling 500 g of canned beans?!? Or dry beans? If you’re referring to dried beans – then adding salt to the cooking water will harden them, so you would not get them to soften, even if you boiled them for 5 hours!
    Such a confusing recipe!

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