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    Gigantes Plaki

    This delicious Gigantes Plaki recipe is my super easy appetizer or light meal, which is always a super hit. It features “giant” butter beans baked in a tomato sauce with plenty of olive oil and seasonings.

    I serve it with crusty bread and sprinkle some feta cheese on top, and let me tell you, this meatless dish is a total treat for you and your loved ones.

    Gigantes Plaki are Greek style baked beans in a delightful tomato and olive oil sauce. It's a great meatless dish full of comforting flavors.

    While Greek cuisine may be best known in these parts for its gyros and souvlaki, it’s also one of my top choices for when we’re looking for a light vegetarian meal.

    Greek White Bean Soup is one of my all time favorites, and their Braised Green Beans are almost too good.

    So when I wanted something a little lighter after all that Thanksgiving turkey, I decided it was finally time to bring these amazing butter beans to GypsyPlate.

    Bowl of Greek baked beans with a chunk of bread dipped in.

    What is Gigantes Plaki?

    Gigantes Plaki is a classic dish in Greek cuisine. The name “Gigantes” translates to “giants,” referring to the large size of the white beans used in the recipe.

    “Plaki” refers to the style of cooking, involving baking with a tomato-based sauce. Perhaps you’ve tried our Psari Plaki, which is a fish recipe that uses the same cooking method.

    Gigantes Plaki is usually served as a main dish or as part of a meze platter. It’s often accompanied by crusty bread, perfect for soaking up the delicious sauce.

    Angled shot of the bowl of Greek butter beans.

    Ingredient Needed

    • Giant Beans – The star of Gigantes Plaki, these beans have a creamy texture and are very good at soaking up flavors. While you probably won’t be able to find the exact variety used in Greece, butter beans are a great alternative. Cannellini beans work as well.
    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I always go with a good quality extra virgin olive oil because it really enhances the dish.
    • Aromatics – For the aromatics, I use red onion, red bell pepper, carrots, celery, and garlic, which build a great flavor base.
    • Tomato Paste – Gives depth and tang to the sauce.
    • Canned Diced Tomatoes – Fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced, can be used when in season.
    • Oregano and Thyme – Classic Greek herbs. If you have fresh available, use 1 tablespoon of fresh in place of 1 teaspoon dried.
    • Red Chili Flakes – A little red chili flakes bring just the right amount of heat, and I adjust the amount based on how spicy I want the dish.
    • Cinnamon – Often found in Greek cuisine, it adds great flavor.
    • Fresh Parsley – I sprinkle fresh parsley on top for freshness and a pop of color.
    • Bay Leaf – If unavailable, can be omitted.
    • Feta Cheese – And of course, I love topping the dish with feta cheese. It pairs beautifully with any Greek themed food.

    Gigantes Plaki Recipe

    1. Sauté aromatics: I heat some extra virgin olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet and add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and carrot. I sauté them for about 5 minutes. Then, I add the garlic and cook it for another minute, just until it’s fragrant.

    Aromatic vegetables cooking in a cast iron skillet.

    2. Create the tomato sauce: I add the tomato paste to the skillet and cook it for a minute to deepen the flavors. Then I stir in the crushed tomatoes, seasoning with salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, red chili flakes, and a bit of cinnamon. I also add parsley and a bay leaf. I let everything cook together for about 5 minutes to let the flavors meld.

    Seasoned tomato sauce simmering in the skillet.

    3. Time for the beans: I add the butter beans into the pot with some water, making sure to mix everything together really well. Then, I taste it to see if it needs more seasoning and adjust it if needed. After that, I let it cook for about 5 minutes.

    Beans added into the sauce.

    4. Bake: I carefully transfer the skillet into the oven, which I’ve preheated to 375°F. Then, I let it bake for about 30-35 minutes until the beans start to turn a beautiful light golden brown color.

    Greek beans in tomato sauce after baking.

    5. Final touches: Once I take the skillet out of the oven, I remove the bay leaf. Then, I drizzle extra virgin olive oil all over the beans. It adds a nice flavor. Next, I sprinkle fresh parsley on top for some color. And finally, I crumble feta cheese over everything. It gives the dish a creamy, tangy taste.

    Final product garnished with crumbled feta.

    How to Use Dried Beans

    If I’m using dry beans, I need to soak and cook them first. I’ll use about 1.5 cups of dried beans for this recipe.

    For the overnight soak, I put the beans in a big pot and cover them with at least 2 inches of cold water. Then, I let them soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.

    After soaking, I drain the beans and refill the pot with fresh water. I add plenty of salt and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, I reduce the heat and let the beans simmer for about 45 minutes. They’ll still be a bit firm, not fully cooked yet, but that’s okay because they’ll finish cooking in the oven.

    Once the beans are ready, I follow the rest of the recipe just like with canned beans. I’ll increase the added water to 3/4 cups and bake them in the oven for about 1 hour.

    Serving Suggestions

    I love gigantes plaki along with crusty bread and perhaps a Greek Horiatiki Salad for a light, meatless dinner.

    It can also serve as a unique addition to a Mezze Platter along with pita, cheeses, olives and a variety of dips.

    If you’re looking for a heartier dinner, these Greek beans are a fantastic side for a variety of Mediterranean mains such as Keftedes, Souvlaki, Shish Tawook or Kleftiko.

    For more pairing inspirations, check out our collection of favorite Mediterranean Recipes.

    Close up shot of the bowl of Gigantes plaki.

    Alpana’s Tips

    • Cook Beans Properly: If using dried beans, I boil them until they are tender but still firm. Overcooking can make them mushy after baking.
    • Balance Tomato Acidity: If my tomato sauce tastes too sour, I add a little bit of sugar to make it taste better. Taste and adjust accordingly.
    • Serving Temperature: While typically served warm, Gigantes plaki can also be enjoyed at room temperature, making it a great option for picnics or potlucks.
    A serving of Greek baked beans with bread.

    Try my version of Gigantes Plaki next time you are entertaining or looking for meatless meal option. It’s the perfect example of simple ingredients coming together to create a wonderful dish.

    Pin or bookmark this easy recipe so you always know where to find it. And be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you.

    For more easy weeknight dinners, check out our hand picked collection of Dinner Ideas for Tonight. Until next time…

    Gigantes Plaki, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    Bowl of gigantes plaki atop the Gypsy Plate.

    More Mediterranean Bean Recipes
    Pasta e Fagioli
    Ful Medames
    Balela Salad
    Tuscan Bean Soup
    Espinacas con Garbanzos
    Cannellini Beans
    Moroccan Harira

    Featured image for gigantes plaki recipe.

    Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Beans)

    Yield: 4 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 45 minutes
    Total Time: 55 minutes

    Gigantes Plaki are Greek style baked beans in a delightful tomato and olive oil sauce. It's a great meatless dish full of comforting flavors.


    • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • ½ red onion, diced
    • 1 red bell pepper, diced
    • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
    • 2 celery stalks, diced
    • 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
    • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes, with juices
    • salt to taste
    • pepper to taste
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 tsp dried thyme
    • ½ tsp red chili flakes
    • ¼ tsp cinnamon
    • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 (15-ounce) cans butter beans, drained (see note 1 if using dried beans)
    • ¼ cup water
    • feta cheese, for garnish
    • crusty bread to serve


    1. Pre-heat the oven at 375°F.
    2. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large oven proof skillet and add onion, bell pepper, celery and carrot. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for a minute.
    3. Add tomato paste and cook for a minute. Add crushed tomatoes along with salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, red chili flakes, cinnamon, parsley and bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes.
    4. Add in buttered beans along with water and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning according to your taste. Cook for 5 minutes.
    5. Transfer the skillet to oven and bake it for 30-35 minutes, or until beans start turning a light golden brown.
    6. Discard bay leaf. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil all over. Garnish with fresh parsley, feta cheese and serve with warm crusty bread.


    1. If using dry beans, they must first be soaked and cooked. For this recipe, use about 1.5 cups of dried beans. Place beans in a large soup pot or dutch oven and cover with at least 2 inches of cold water. Soak at least 8 hours to overnight. Drain, then refill the pot with water. Salt generously. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook the soaked beans for 45 minutes. Note that they will still be firm, not fully cooked, at this point. They will continue cooking in the oven. After this, the recipe can be followed as with canned beans except you will increase the amount of added water to 3/4 cups and the baking time will increase to 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.
    2. Leftovers: These giant Greek beans make great leftovers. Refrigerate them in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheat on stovetop over medium heat, or in the microwave, with a splash of additional water. Crumble on some fresh feta and give the dish a drizzle of EVOO before enjoying again.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 4 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 296Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 6mgSodium 435mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 8gSugar 15gProtein 8g

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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