Learn how to make the most delicious Greek giant beans baked in a flavorful tomato sauce. Gigantes Plaki is a classic vegetarian Greek recipe that’s flavorful and satisfying. 

An overhead photo of a bowl filled with Greek giant beans in red sauce (Gigantes Plaki) topped with fresh dill and feta and served with pita bread.

Gigantes Plaki, a traditional Greek dish, is a wonderful combination of simplicity and flavor. This hearty and satisfying meal features giant white beans, known as Gigantes (or Gigandes depending on translation), bathed in a luscious tomato sauce and baked to perfection. This dish is a staple in Greek cuisine, offering a delightful combination of earthy beans, aromatic herbs, and the richness of tomato sauce.

Legumes such as beans and lentils are a staple in Mediterranean cooking. They are not only inexpensive, they are nutritious and satisfying. Packed with fiber and protein, they are a great staple in vegetarian homes. 

Because it reheats so well, Gigantes Plaki is a great vegetarian meal prep recipe to prepare on a Sunday. While we love cooking giant beans, this recipe is one of our favorites! 

A white oval casserole dish filled with Greek baked beans (Gigantes Plaki) in tomato sauce with herbs and feta.  WHAT IS GIGANTES PLAKI? 

Gigantes Plaki, also known as Greek giant baked beans, is a traditional Greek dish featuring large white beans baked in a flavorful tomato sauce. This delectable dish can be enjoyed as a satisfying main course or as a delightful meze. The beans used in Gigantes Plaki are traditionally fasolia gigantes, renowned for their substantial size, contributing to the dish’s unique and hearty character.

The name “Gigantes Plaki” refers to the giant beans and the method of preparation, involving baking or broiling. Plaki, pronounced plah-KEE, denotes the culinary technique of oven-baking with generous amounts of oil, combined with vegetables and herbs.

A slotted spoon lifts cooked giant white beans (Gigantes) from a white staub pot on the stove.


Gigantes beans, also known as giant white beans, are a popular ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, particularly in Greek dishes like Gigantes Plaki. These beans are characterized by their large size, creamy texture, and ability to absorb flavors well during cooking. Gigantes beans are often used in casseroles, salads, and stews, making them a versatile and nutritious addition to various recipes.

A 1-lb. package of Rancho Gordo giant beans, Royal Corona Bean, on a marble countertop. WHAT CAN I SUBSTITUTE FOR GIGANTES?

Dried Gigantes beans can be easily found on Amazon. If you find it challenging to locate gigantes or want to explore alternative options, several substitutes can still offer a similar texture and flavor profile. We typically use 1 pound of Rancho Gordo Royal Corona beans. Here are some good substitutions for Gigantes beans:

  • Butter Beans (Lima Beans): Butter beans, particularly the large variety known as lima beans, are a suitable replacement for Gigantes beans. They share a similar creamy texture and can absorb flavors effectively during cooking. Choose the large butter beans to replicate the size of gigantes beans.
  • Corona Beans: Corona beans are large, flat, and creamy in texture, making them a close substitute for Gigantes beans. They are often used in Italian cuisine and can be a good choice for Mediterranean-inspired dishes. This is the type we recommend. 

A white oval casserole dish filled with cooked giant Greek white beans and tomato sauce before cooking. This is how to make Gigantes Plaki, a vegetarian Greek recipe.


Creating the flavorful and hearty Gigantes Plaki involves a simple three-step process, ensuring each component contributes to the dish’s deliciousness. Cooking dried beans is simple, but very time-consuming, so plan to make this dish when you have an afternoon free. 

  1. Cook the Beans: Start by preparing the giant white beans. After soaking them overnight, simmer the beans until tender and creamy. This can take several hours. 
  2. Make the Sauce: While the beans are simmering, make the tomato sauce. Puree San Marzano tomatoes, and simmer them with veggies, garlic, and extra-virgin olive oil for tons of flavor.  
  3. Bake Them Together with Feta on Top: Once the beans are tender and the sauce is ready, combine the two in a baking dish. Stir in extra-virgin olive oil and fresh dill to elevate the taste. Finally, top the dish with a layer of crumbled Greek feta. Bake or broil until the beans are heated through. 

A small grey bowl filled with delicious Gigantes Plaki - giant Greek white beans cooked in tomato sauce and garnished with dill, feta, and a pita bread triangle.


Gigantes Plaki is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or side dish. Here are some serving suggestions:

Main Course

Serve Gigantes Plaki as the star of the show for a satisfying and wholesome main course. Pair it with a simple green salad or Greek salad and crusty bread to soak up the delectable tomato sauce. Greek rice such as Spanakorizo would be another option. 


Transform Gigantes Plaki into a meze (appetizer) by serving it alongside an assortment of veggies, Greek dips, olives, and pita bread. It’s perfect for those who enjoy sharing small bites with friends and family. 

Mediterranean Feast

Include Gigantes Plaki in a Mediterranean-inspired feast. Serve it alongside other Greek classics such as moussaka, spanakopita, and tzatziki for a complete culinary journey.

Tips and FAQs

Can Gigantes Plaki be Made in Advance?

Absolutely! Gigantes Plaki can be prepared a day in advance up to the point before baking. Simply cover and refrigerate the assembled dish. When ready to enjoy, allow for additional baking time to ensure it’s heated through. This dish also reheats beautifully and many find it tastes even better the second day. 

If you’ve assembled Gigantes Plaki a day in advance and refrigerated it, remember that it will need a longer baking time to ensure it’s piping hot. Keep a close eye on the dish as it bakes, adjusting the time as needed.

How to Store Leftovers:

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. 

Can I Freeze Gigantes Plaki?

While Gigantes Plaki is best enjoyed fresh, you can freeze it for later. Store in a freezer-safe container, ensuring it’s tightly sealed to prevent freezer burn. When ready to enjoy, thaw the dish in the refrigerator overnight and reheat. 

Reheating Instructions:

When reheating Gigandes Plaki, preheat your oven to ensure even warming. If reheating a single serving, use the microwave for a quick and efficient option. For larger portions, place the dish in the oven at 350 degrees until thoroughly heated. You may want to cover it with foil initially to prevent excessive browning. Add more feta and a drizzle of olive oil before serving if desired. 

Can I Use Canned Beans? 

You can use drained and rinsed canned butter beans in a pinch. You’ll need 3 to 4 cans of beans for this recipe. 

Experiment with Flavors:

Feel free to experiment with additional toppings like chopped fresh herbs, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a hint of spice.

Gigantes Plaki is versatile, so don’t hesitate to adjust the recipe to suit your taste preferences. Add more herbs, increase the garlic, or experiment with different varieties of beans for a unique twist.

@marinadelio Gigantes Plaki (Greek Giant Baked Beans) – This might be the most popular way to cook giant beans. So good for meal prep as it is delicious for a few days. I used Rancho Gordo beans. Gigantes Plaki is a hearty and rich vegetarian meal made with tomato sauce, beans and feta. The recipe is on my website. Follow for more simple vegetarian recipes. #healthyrecipes #giantbeans #gigantesplaki #greekrecipes #vegetarianrecipes #feta #mealprepideas #foodtiktok #viral #driedbeans ♬ original sound – Marina

Yield: Serves 8

Gigantes Plaki (Greek Giant Beans)

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 10 hours 20 minutes

Gigantes Plaki is a classic Greek dish featuring Gigantes beans (large white beans), baked to perfection in a flavorful tomato sauce. This hearty vegetarian Greek recipe captures the essence of Mediterranean cuisine, making it a delightful main course or meze option.

An overhead photo of a bowl of Greek giant beans in tomato sauce with feta. Pita bread is served on the side.


For Beans

  • 1 pound dried gigantes (or other giant white beans)
  • sea salt


  • 1 can (28-ounce) San Marzano tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1/2 leek, including pale green parts, chopped and rinsed (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Greek oregano

For assembling

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup Greek feta cheese, crumbled


  1. Cover the beans with water in a large bowl and soak overnight. Drain and rinse.
  2. Add the beans to a large pot or Dutch oven and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off any foam off the top with a ladle.
  3. After 45 minutes, add 1 teaspoon salt, and continue to simmer, partially covered, until beans are tender, anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on the beans.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Puree the tomatoes with juice in a blender. Set aside.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, leek, and saute until the veggies have softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano, and cook until the garlic has softened about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes. Simmer, partially covered, over low heat for 15 minutes. Tomato sauce cooking in a large skillet on a gas stove with a wooden spoon.
  6. When the beans are tender and creamy, drain them and save the water. Place the cooked beans into a large casserole dish (around 11-7") and stir in the tomato sauce, a good glug of olive oil, and 3 tablespoons of the dill. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. If it is too dry, add a bit of the bean cooking water. Gigantes Plaki before baking. Gigantes beans and tomato sauce in a white casserole dish.
  7. Top the saucy gigantes beans with feta and the remaining tablespoon of dill.
  8. Place the dish under a broiler until the feta has browned and the beans are warm. If you have prepared the Gigantes Plaki in advance up to this point, cover it with foil and bake at 375°F until bubbling and hot, about 30-45. minutes depending on if it has been refrigerated. Then remove the foil if you'd like to brown the feta a bit.
  9. Drizzle with a little olive oil and more fresh dill if desired. Serve warm.


Gigantes Plaki is even better the next day as the beans continue to absorb the sauce flavors. It reheats beautifully in the microwave or oven.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 211Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 192mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.