Nutty, buttery beans baked in flavorful tomato sauce — that’s what you’ll get in every serving of Greek Baked Giant Beans. Excellent as an appetizer or as a light meal on its own. Yum!
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Beans in tomato sauce, hard to say no to that. Twice as difficult when they’re baked — utterly irresistible.
This dish is typically served as an appetizer in Athens, like fried zucchini balls or dolmades. But trust me, it can also be a meal on its own.
Give me some chunky bread and a glass of wine with a plate of Gigantes Plaki, and I’ll be a happy camper. 🙂
- Olive oil – go for the mild ones, not the bold, robust types.
- Garlic – you can use garlic powder as well, but if you have fresh ones, go for that.
- Onion – white or yellow are fine, as long as they’re finely chopped.
- Tomato sauce – chunky ones are better.
- Salt & ground black pepper
- Fennel seeds – this is optional, but trust me, it is noticeable in the dish.
- Sugar – just a bit to balance the tomato sauce’s acidity, since you would not be simmering it for long.
- Oregano – feel free to use fresh ones, if that’s what you prefer
- Giant beans – Gigante beans are traditionally used for this dish. But since it’s hard to find here in Stockholm, I used the best substitute — butter beans.
- Tomato – you have to use fresh ones to top the beans when you place them in the oven.
- Parsley – fresh or dried ones can be used for this recipe.
Start by preheating your oven to 200°C (375°F).
Heat a tablespoon and a half of olive oil in a medium or large, ovenproof skillet — over medium heat.
Once the oil is ready, add garlic and onion, and cook until they become fragrant (photo 1).
Add tomato sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, fennel seeds, and parsley (photo 2).
Mix, then cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for about ten minutes.
Add beans and mix to combine (photo 3).
Arrange the slices of tomatoes on top. Season with salt, pepper, dried oregano, and drizzle with the remaining olive oil (photo 4).
Place beans in tomato sauce in the oven for forty to forty-five minutes.
- If you have fresh, good, juicy tomatoes, feel free to use them instead of canned tomato sauce.
- Fennel seeds are optional, but it makes a noticeable difference in the flavor of the baked giant beans.
- You can replace fresh parsley with dried parsley if that’s what you have on hand.
- Any ovenproof baking dish can be used if you don’t have a cast-iron skillet. So, you cook it in a pan on the stovetop and then transfer it to the baking dish before placing the tomatoes on top.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MORE BEANS OR CHICKPEA RECIPES, THEN YOU MIGHT LIKE THESE POSTS –
- Greek Chickpea Soup
- Spanish Chorizo and Chickpea Stew
- Roasted Chickpeas Soup
- Spanish Spinach with Chickpeas
OR IF YOU WANT MORE IDEAS FOR MAINS THEN HEAD STRAIGHT TO MY MAIN DISH COLLECTION!
Greek Baked Giant Beans (Gigantes Plaki)
- Cast Iron Skillet (10.25 inch)
- Cast Iron Skillet Lid (10.25 inch)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or chopped finely
- 1 small onion, chopped finely
- 1 & 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped roughly
- 2 & 1/2 cups Gigante beans or Butter beans, cooked, drained
- 1 medium tomato, sliced into thin rounds
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- salt & pepper, to season
Preparing the equipment:
- Preheat oven to 200°C (375°F).
Cooking the beans on stovetop:
- Using a medium or large cast-iron skillet, heat 1 & 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, over medium-high heat.
- Add garlic and onion. Cook until onion has slightly softened.
- Add tomato sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, fennel seeds, and parsley.
- Mix to combine and cover with a lid. Bring to boil, lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Place the slices of tomatoes on top. Season with salt, pepper, and dried oregano. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil.
Baking & serving gigantes plaki:
- Place in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the tomatoes on top have slightly dried up.
- Remove the skillet from the oven and serve directly.
- Use butter beans if you cannot find Gigante beans in your area.
- If you have a lot of fresh, juicy tomatoes, you can use those instead of tomato sauce.
- Fennel seeds are optional, but it adds a distinct flavor to the dish. If you like licorice, then you should not skip it.
- It’s ok to use dried parsley if that’s what you have available
- Any baking dish can be used if you don’t have any cast-iron or ovenproof skillet.