Greek Roasted Gigantes Beans - Gigantes plaki is a delicious and wholesome Greek dish. The large white beans are cooked in a rich tomato sauce with fresh herbs and aromatics. They are amazing as a main dish or appetizer, tapas-style.
What are Gigantes beans?
Gigantes (or Gigandes) is a type of large white bean, the word gigantas in Greek means giant. Plaki refers to the method of cooking, which means basically baking in the oven with a sauce made with tomato, onion, garlic, fresh parsley, and olive oil.
Roasted Gigantes Beans is one of the healthy, delicious Greek dishes based on beans and legumes. Greeks traditionally eat beans at least once a week with plenty of feta and crusty bread.
What you need for Gigantes plaki
You will need few ingredients to make this recipe.
- Gigantes Beans. You can find these beans in any Greek food grocery store or order online.
- Tomatoes. Good quality tomatoes are essential for this recipe. My favorite tomatoes are San Marzano. If you get them, please make sure they are authentic; there are so many fake ones on the market. The real ones only come from a specific area in Italy under Mount Vesuvius have to be certified D.O.P. The D.O.P. label is always displayed on the packaging. If there is none, don't buy them, even if they say certified. Real San Marzano tomatoes are available in good grocery stores, Italian markets, and online.
- Carrots. They add sweetness and earthiness to the beans.
- Onions and garlic. This would not be a Greek recipe without them!
- Parsley. The classic fresh herb is front and center in this recipe. Adds freshness and color.
Detailed measurements and instructions can be found on the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
How to make these beans
The first step is to soak the beans overnight in a big bowl of water with some salt. You can also add a little being soda instead of salt.
Τhe next day beans are almost ready for cooking. Drain and rinse them under running water.
Transfer beans to a pot, add water to cover beans, and place over high heat. When the water comes to a boil, simmer for 1 hour until they soften. When ready, drain and set aside.
Heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot and add in the onions and garlic. Season with sea salt and saute until translucent. Add the garlic, carrots, bay leaves, oregano, and saute for 1-2 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes, broth, pepper, salt, and giant beans. Toss everything together.
Transfer to an 11" x 14" large baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil and roast for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Check the beans every 15 minutes. Add some broth if you feel they need more liquid but don't overdo it. When they soften, remove aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.
In the last 15 minutes of cooking, you can also sprinkle the beans with some feta. The feta will soften and will be fantastic with the gigantes.
How to enjoy these roasted beans
Usually, Greeks enjoy gigantes as a main meal with a traditional greek salad, plenty of feta and of course bread.
They are great as a side to a grilled steak, roasted chicken, or fish. Try them at room temperature on a piece of bread with crumbled feta on top as a snack.
I love gigantes plaki at room temperature. Since they are cooked in extra virgin olive oil, they taste amazing. Dip your bread into the sauce before loading it with beans 🙂 It's a treat!
Tips & substitutions
- Make sure when you buy the beans, they are not yellow- if they are, it means they are old and will take forever to soften. Old beans will be difficult to cook.
- Alternatively, you can use dried lima beans or dried Great Northern beans for this recipe.
- Most legumes (chickpeas, gigantes, white beans) must be soaked overnight in plenty of water to soften before cooking.
- Add a little baking soda when you soak the beans. It helps make them softer when they cook.
- Slow cooking suits beans. Cooking in very high heat softens them externally, and inside, they remain hard and uncooked.
- If you need to add broth/water during cooking, add it hot so that it does not lower the cooking temperature.
- Feel free to use your favorite canned tomatoes. Add 1 teaspoon sugar to the tomatoes to break the tanginess and sweeten them. (no need to do that if using San Marzano dop tomatoes.)
You may also try
- This instant pot gigantes beans & roasted tomatoes recipe is really easy to make and very satisfying.
- Fasolada - Greek white bean soup is everything you need to cozy up with when the weather gets chillier.
- This heirloom bean soup is spicy, hearty, and satisfying.
Check all the pantry items a Greek kitchen wouldn’t go without.
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Greek Roasted Gigantes Beans - Gigantes plaki
- 11 x 14 baking pan
- A large pot
- 17.6 oz gigantes beans
- 28 oz San Marzano tomatoes
- ⅓ cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 large onion roughly cut in chunky pieces
- 3 carrots cut in ⅓ inch pieces
- 3 garlic cloves sliced
- ⅓ bunch parsley roughly chopped
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1-2 tbsp dry Greek oregano
- 2 cups broth you can use veggie or chicken broth.
- 1 tsp chili pepper flakes optional
- chopped fresh parsley
- Soak beans in plenty of salted water overnight.Transfer beans to a pot, add water to cover beans, and place over high heat. When the water comes to a boil, simmer for 1 hour until they soften. When ready, drain and set aside.
- Heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic, season with sea salt, and saute until translucent. Add the garlic, bay leaves, oregano, and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the carrots.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, water, broth, pepper, salt, and giant beans. Toss everything together.
- Transfer to a large baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil and roast for 1 hour 15 minutes.Check the beans every 15 minutes. Add some broth if you feel they need more liquid but don't overdo it. When they soften, remove aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.