Meatless Monday: Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Bean Casserole)


I’m not really sure that “baked bean casserole” is the best translation of this dish, but it’s the best I could come up with!  Gigantes (pronounced yee-gahn-dess) are a staple in Greek households, especially during lent. They are giant beans (no…really) baked in a tomato sauce until they soak up most of the sauce and then form a nice crispy top. Like nearly all Greek food, the dish is very comforting and homey. It’s  nothing show-stopping or fancy, but it’s a simple, delicious dish. Unless you have a Greek grocery nearby, chances are you won’t actually find gigantes, which look like this. (See?  Giant!)

However, large butter beans or lima beans are a good fit with this dish.

Like all dried bean dishes, this does take a bit of time to cook.  But, the active prep time is minimal, so it’s certainly nothing labor-intensive.  You just need to plan out when you’re going to make it since it will take about 3 hours to make that day, and you also need to soak the beans overnight beforehand.

I’m sure you’re SHOCKED to see that I made these in a cast iron skillet, right? 🙂 It’s really a great vessel because I used it to make the tomato sauce, which meant I could just add the beans right in and not worry about moving everything to a separate baking dish. You can certainly use fresh tomatoes in this, but it’s not quite tomato season yet so I opted not to. Of course, I still threw some on the Greek salad on the side.  Oh tomatoes, I wish I could quit you (in the winter).  I happened to have half a leftover bell pepper so I threw that in here as well.  I liked the addition but it’s certainly not a requirement or a traditional ingredient.  Feel free to adapt this to your tastes!

Meatless Monday: Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Bean Casserole)

20 thoughts on “Meatless Monday: Gigantes Plaki (Greek Baked Bean Casserole)

  1. I am always on the search for more bean recipes and bonus if it includes new beans! I have seen recipes like this and must try it out soon. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. So funniest coincidence EVER but I made these this weekend as well! And am posting them today! Great minds think alike chica! I loved them, but since mine are likely nowhere near as authentic as yours I’d LOVE to give yours a try!

  3. Elly, love the dish and it’s indeed filling – great for a meat-free day. Your recipe is similar to mine which means…it’s delish!

  4. Oh Elly, this looks incredible! I’m thinking I’ll make it this weekend before it gets too darn hot to run the oven for that long. (And yes, I realize how annoying this comment is to you. My apologies.)

  5. This looks so good! I might have to sub some different beans though, I’ve never seen giant ones like that 🙂 I love that you made it in a cast iron skillet as well, I’m always looking for new things to make in mine.

  6. This is surely one of my favourite dishes but lately I have been using the Greek black giant beans from Kozani, which are even better in taste.

  7. This was a really tasty dish. Thanks for posting! In the future I would use less dill because that flavor was too strong for my taste, but again, it was an excellent meal. I had no idea lima beans could be so tasty!

  8. I made your recipe for the first time a few years back and then lost it and refound it on Pinterest. SO GLAD! I love this dish in my cast iron in the winter.

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