Greek Giant Beans-Gigantes Plaki is a delicious and wholesome dish. In this recipe, gigantes cook in a rich tomato sauce with rustic sausage, fresh herbs, and graviera cheese at the end.

This recipe is an updated version previously published in February 2021. New photos and updated ingredients now accompany the post.

If you love this Greek Giant Beans-Gigantes Plaki with Sausage, you will also love my Instant Pot Gigantes Beans & Roasted Tomatoes, Fasolada – Greek White Bean Soup, or Heirloom Bean Soup!

A round baking pan with roasted Gigantes plaki, carrots, sausages, pieces of graviera cheese, and chopped parsley.

What are Greek giant beans-Gigantes?

Gigantes (gigante beans) are a type of large white beans. They are also called large lima beans or giant butter beans. The word gigantas in Greek means giant. Plaki refers to the method of cooking, which means baking in the oven with a sauce made with tomato, onion, garlic, fresh parsley, and olive oil.

Why this recipe sings

  • Gigantes plaki is a healthy, delicious Greek dish based on beans and legumes. In this recipe, we add rustic sausage and Cretan gruyere cheese (graviera) for a complete meal.
  • This recipe is easy, economical, and uses everyday pantry ingredients.
  • Gigantes can also be a great side dish to proteins and roasts.
  • The traditional gigantes recipe does not include sausage and graviera cheese. Feel free to skip those ingredients for a delicious vegetarian dish. Using vegetable broth will turn this dish vegan.

What you need for Gigantes plaki

Ingredients to make Greek gigantes beans place on a wooden surface.
  • Gigantes Beans. You can find Greek giant beans in any Greek food grocery store or order online.
  • Sausages. My favorites are rustic Greek sausages with leek. You may use sweet or hot Italian sausages, bratwurst, andouille, chorizo, etc. What matters is the good quality of the sausages. Other options to use in this recipe are smoked ham and thick bacon.
  • Gruyère cheese. In this recipe, we use Greek Gruyère. It is called Graviera and my favorite comes from Crete. Cubed, it goes in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  • Tomatoes. Good quality tomatoes are essential for this recipe. My favorite tomatoes are San Marzano. Please ensure they are authentic; many fakes are on the market. The real thing only comes from a specific area in Italy under Mount Vesuvius and must have a certified D.O.P. label (Denominazione d’Origine Protetta | Protected Designation of Origin). This label is always displayed on the packaging. If there is none, don’t buy them, even if they say certified. Authentic San Marzano tomatoes are available in good grocery stores, Italian markets, and online. However, feel free to use your favorite canned tomatoes. Add one teaspoon of sugar to the tomatoes to break the acidity and bring out their sweetness (no need to do that if using San Marzano).
  • Tomato paste. It adds more depth to the sauce.
  • Broth. It can be chicken or vegetable.
  • 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.
  • Olive oil, dried oregano, sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Detailed measurements and instructions can be found on the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

How to make these beans

Soak the beans overnight in water.

Gigantes beans boiling in a pot.
  1. Drain the gigantes, put them in a pot with plenty of water and boil for about one hour, until they are almost soft, skimming the foam forming at the top as needed.
  2. Drain the beans and add them to a roasting pan.
  3. Heat the oven to 380°F/190°C.
Sausage pieces cooking in a skillet.
  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the sausage. In high heat, brown the sausage for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Transfer the sausage to the pan with the beans.
Chopped onion and garlic cooking in a skillet.
  1. In the same skillet add olive oil and the onions and garlic. Season with sea salt and saute until translucent.
Carrots, onions and garlic with tomato paste in a skillet.cooking in a skillet.
  1. Add the carrots, celery, dried oregano, and tomato paste, and saute for 1-2 minutes.
Close up of a round baking pan with roasted Gigantes plaki, carrots, sausages, and chopped parsley.
  1. Transfer the veggies to the roasting pan with the beans and sausages.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, broth, pepper, salt and toss.
  3. Roast covered for one hour or until beans are soft.
  4. Halfway, check the beans. Add some hot broth if you feel they need more liquid but don’t overdo it.
Close up of a round baking pan with roasted Gigantes plaki, carrots, sausages, pieces of graviera cheese, and chopped parsley.
  1. Uncover and sprinkle the cubed graviera cheese on top. Roast uncovered for 20 more minutes.
Aa round baking pan with roasted Gigantes plaki, carrots, sausages, pieces of graviera cheese, and chopped parsley. At the back, bread slices, herbs and a bottle with olive oil.

How to enjoy these gigantes plaki

Close up of a round baking pan with roasted Gigantes plaki, carrots, sausages, pieces of graviera cheese, and chopped parsley.

Useful tips

  • Ensure the giant beans are not yellow- if they are, 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. However, baking soda strips the beans of some of their nutrients.
  • Slow cooking suits beans. Cooking fast in very high heat softens them externally; inside, they remain hard and uncooked.
  • If you need to add broth/water during cooking, add it hot. This way, it does not lower the cooking temperature.

Check out my Greek pantry staples 

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A round baking pan with roasted Gigantes plaki, carrots, sausages, pieces of graviera cheese, and chopped parsley.

Greek Giant Beans –  Gigantes plaki

by Jenny | The Greek Foodie
Gigantes beans cooked in a rich tomato sauce with sausages, graviera cheese, fresh herbs and aromatics.
4.96 from 23 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Soaking time 10 hours
Course Pulses
Cuisine Greek
Servings 8
Calories 412 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 18 oz gigantes beans soaked in water overnight
  • 10 oz sausage cut it into bite-size pieces
  • cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 large carrot cut in 1/3 inch pieces
  • 14 oz San Marzano tomatoes crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • bunch parsley roughly chopped
  • 8 oz graviera cheese or gruyere
  • 2 cups broth total. Veggie, chicken or beef broth
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

for serving

  • chopped fresh parsley
  • olive oil for drizzling

Instructions
 

  • Place the presoaked beans in a pot with plenty of water and boil for about one hour, until they are almost soft, skimming the foam forming at the top as needed. 
  • Drain the beans and add them to a roasting pan.
  • Heat the oven to 380°F/190°C
  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the sausage. In high heat, brown the sausage for 1-2 minutes. Transfer the sausage to the pan with the beans. 
  • In the same skillet add olive oil and the onions and garlic. Season with sea salt and saute until translucent.
  • Add the carrots, celery, dried oregano, and tomato paste, and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  • Transfer the veggies to the roasting pan with the beans and sausages. 
    Add the chopped tomatoes, one cup broth, pepper, salt and toss. 
  • Roast covered for one hour or until beans are soft.
  • Halfway, check the beans. Add some hot broth if you feel they need more liquid but don't overdo it. 
  • Uncover and sprinkle the cubed graviera cheese on top. Roast uncovered for 20 more minutes.
    Enjoy!

Notes

    • Ensure the giant beans are not yellow- if they are, 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.
    • You may add a little baking soda when you soak the beans. It helps make them softer when they cook. However, baking soda strips the beans of some of their nutrients.
    • Slow cooking suits beans. Cooking fast in very high heat softens them externally; inside, they remain hard and uncooked.
    • If you need to add broth/water during cooking, add it hot. This way, it does not lower the cooking temperature.
    • Feel free to use your favorite canned tomatoes. Add one teaspoon of sugar to the tomatoes to break the acidity and bring out their sweetness (no need to do that if using San Marzano DOP tomatoes).
 
Nutritional Info – Please remember that the nutritional information provided is only an estimate and can vary based on the products used.

Nutrition

Calories: 412kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 21gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 690mgPotassium: 566mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1936IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 370mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @thegreekfoodie__ or tag #thegreekfoodie__
Greek Giant Beans-Gigantes Plaki with Sausage

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4.96 from 23 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




35 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These roasted beans with all the herbs and tomatoes look awesome. We eat a lot of beans as well and I would love a big bowl of this with some crusty bread.

  2. 5 stars
    These beans in tomato sauce bring so many flavors! Can’t stop thinking how delicious it is over roasted chicken.

  3. 5 stars
    This was such a wonderful, flavorful dish! The beans came out perfectly, and the tomato sauce was so rich and delicious. I’m so glad we had plenty of crusty bread for dipping.

  4. 5 stars
    This is a delicious comfort food meal that’s great for meatless Mondays. It’s definitely filling comfort food.

  5. 5 stars
    I am a bean fan, and these roasted beans are my favorite side. Sometimes I even eat them as a main dish with a side of rice.

  6. 5 stars
    I’m so intrigued by this roasted bean recipe! I love the flavors used in this dish! No doubt this is a delicious, hearty meal!

  7. 5 stars
    Love beans cooked in tomato sauce! We make them also in Italy, but on the stovetop, so this is a recipe I want to try! They look delicious!

    1. The whole cooking process will be 2 hours or so.

      Let the beans soak in water overnight. Place them in a large pot, cover with water and boil beans until they are soft, about 40-50 minutes. Add salt for the last 10 minutes of boiling. Save a cup or two of the bean water (just like we do with pasta water).
      Saute the onions, garlic in olive oil in a large pot, and add the rest of the ingredients, tomatoes, etc.
      Add the beans, one cup of the reserved water, and simmer until beans are cooked well. The sauce must not be too runny and watery. The beans and sauce flavors should be mellowed out. Adjust sea salt and pepper to taste.

      Let me know how they came out!
      Thanks so much,
      x jenny

  8. The instructions say to add “bay leaves,” but they don’t appear in the list of ingredients. The instructions also say to add “water, broth, pepper, salt…” but the amount of water isn’t specified. The list of ingredients only says 2 cups of broth. Help! 🙂

    1. Hi Jarrod,

      So sorry for my delayed reply! We moved back to Greece recently, and due to having so much to do at the new house, I have neglected to check for comments. Also, my apologies, the water in the recipe is an error. I should have deleted it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. You can add the two cups of broth or a bouillon cube with two cups of water to dilute. I hope that helps! Thank you so much for trying the gigantes beans. x Jenny

    1. You are right, Julianna! Thank you for helping me fix this error. Somehow the paragraph about the temperature was removed. It was added back in the post and recipe card. The oven should be at 380°F/190°C.

      Thanks again! x Jenny

  9. 4 stars
    My mouth is watering…I’ve never had this before but what a beautiful meal. It’s hearty and satisfying and I know it is one that my family will love! My brother is half Greek so I know he will appreciate this too!

  10. 5 stars
    These beans were great, we had them with my cornbread as a side. My husband was happy we had leftovers for his lunch at work.

  11. 5 stars
    Well this just might be one of my newest favorite things. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I am sure that I am going to be making this over and over in the next couple of months.

  12. 5 stars
    These roasted beans are so delicious, packed with flavours. Made with vegetarian sausages and family loved it with crusty bread.

  13. 5 stars
    Now this is a good looking dish! I’ve never heard of gigante beans. As a bean lover, I will be scouring my stores looking for them.