Beans, Entree, Lathera (Greek Vegetable Casseroles), Mediterranean Diet Recipes, Sides, Vegan, Vegetarian

Gigantes Plaki – Tender Greek Roasted Beans in Tomato Sauce

Gigantes Greek Roasted BeansThis is a dish that really exemplifies the wisdom of Greek-Mediterranean cuisine. Beans were one of the main ingredients in the traditional Mediterranean diet, particularly for Greeks who due to the long periods of religious fasting (over 200 days a year) that prohibited most animal products, beans were the main source of protein. As a result, Greek cuisine has several bean dishes as main courses. One of them is known as Gigantes Plaki. Gigantes are a type of large white bean, the word gigantas in Greek means giant. Gigantes from several areas of Greece have a Protected Geographical Indication status due to the unique environment that these beans are grown in. If you can find these beans it is worth a try otherwise butter beans wil work.

This recipe combines beans which are of course a great source of protein, antioxidants and fiber, while the addition of tomato not only makes them tastier but the vitamin C in the tomato helps increase the absorption of iron from the beans. Plaki refers to the method of cooking which means basically baking in the oven with a sauce made with tomato, onion, garlic and parsley.

The recipe is easy and even though the cooking time is somewhat long, active prep time is very short. You basically soak the beans in water overnight, boil them, prepare an easy sauce, mix everything together and bake.

This is a delicious dish that is more recently served as an appetizer to accompany an ouzo or other drinks, but it is a complete meal and it is vegan. If you eat dairy it goes wonderfully with feta and the always present, slice of bread.

Gigantes Plaki - Tender Greek Roasted Beans in Tomato Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Luscious, tender baked beans in a tomato-herb sauce. A traditional Greek dish bursting with flavor and nutrients.
Course: Entree, main
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean, Vegan
Keyword: Greek Roasted Beans
Servings: 4
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound Gigantes or butter beans (soak them in water overnight)
  • 2 to matoes grated or diced or canned crushed tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled
  • 2 onions thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste mixed with a bit of water
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Soak the beans overnight, the longer, the better.
  • Preheat oven at 350 Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
  • Drain and rinse the beans and boil in water for about 40 minutes to an hour, until they are soft but not mushy. Make sure you boil them enough; otherwise the beans will be too hard to eat even after baking.
  • In the meantime prepare the sauce. Sauté the onion in a bit of olive on low heat until soft and add the garlic cloves whole. If you want a stronger garlic flavor you can mince the garlic.
  • Add the tomato (this time I used cherry tomatoes that I cut in thin slices, but the traditional way is grating the tomato), the tomato paste, parsley, salt and pepper to taste and about ¼ cup olive oil. Let it simmer until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.
  • Once the beans have boiled, drain them and put them back into the pot, add the sauce and mix gently. Pour the mixture in a pan and spread evenly and then pour about another ¼ cup olive oil over the beans and bake for about 40 minutes until beans are tender.
  • Accompany with feta cheese and bread.
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Greek Roasted Beas Gigantes Plaki

Photos by Elena Paravantes

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81 Comments

  • Reply Jeanne March 21, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    Incredibly delicious. Left the garlic out for my husband but followed exactly otherwise and had to refrain from eating most of it…
    used dry baby Lima beans.

  • Reply Toice J Stephens March 23, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    This is the second time I’ve made this recipe. We eat beans regularly, and wanted to try something different. Bought Gigantes from Amazon. So glad I did! This dish will be in our regular rotation as a welcome change from the standard Great Northerns, Pintos and Red Beans.

  • Reply Konstantina March 24, 2021 at 1:39 am

    Yassis! I got hooked on this dish on my first trip to Greece in 1983 and have been looking for a recipe that tasted as good, I’m so glad I stumbled across your site years ago, this is definitely 100% authentic, right down to the feta and ouzo. Bless you for keeping our traditions alive❣❣your recipes bring tears to my eyes everytime I make one. Makes me want to go back to Greece and stay…

  • Reply Jeanne April 8, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    Just bought your fabulous cookbook. I have been browsing your site for a long time. We are switching from KETO to Mediterranean Diet and your book makes it easy. Made this today. It was easy and delicious. Love the layout of the book.5 stars

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