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Greek Gigantes Beans – Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian

Greek Gigantes Beans – Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian

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This hearty, savory recipe for Greek Gigantes Beans, which is completely plant-based (vegan) and gluten-free, is inspired by one memorable meal I enjoyed in the Island of Crete in Greece. One of my favorite things to order while in Greece was one of the myriad bean dishes on most menus. One in particular that I loved at an adorable taverna in the village of Vamos in Crete featured gigantes beans—literally gigantic beans! These large white, fleshy beans are so rich and satisfying! You can find dried gigantes beans in specialty shops or online, or you can substitute dried large lima beans. I brought a bag of gigantes beans back home with me from my trip, which was the inspiration for this recipe. Gigantes beans are traditionally served in a tomato vegetable broth, which is featured in this easy Greek bean recipe.

I have been so inspired by the plant-based Mediterranean flavors in Greece, ever since my first visit there. Gigantes beans or large lima beans are a perfect match for this recipe. The large fleshiness of the beans work well in this plant-based entrée.

This recipe is oh so simple—dried beans, onions, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, herbs, and some good olive oil (of course!). That’s it! Just 9 ingredients (not including pantry staples), yet the results are so satisfying and nourishing—for the mind, body, and soul. Serve this recipe with a crusty whole grain bread (as I had in that tiny taverna, while the chef’s cat rubbed against my ankle!) so you can sop up every last bit of the good vegetable broth at the bottom of your plate!

This combination is also a nutrition match made in heaven. Oh, and add a crisp Greek salad for a completely balanced meal that is delicious and so easy on the pocketbook. You will feel like you’re on a trip to Greece with this menu. The only thing you’ll be missing is a bottle of local wine, which is easily remedied.

Watch me make this recipe in my Instagram Live Plant-Based Cooking Show here.


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This classic, rustic, hearty Greek Gigantes Beans recipe (which is vegan and gluten-free) is based on large white beans, tomatoes, vegetables, and herbs. If you can’t find gigantes beans, just use large lima beans.

  1. Place beans in a pot, cover with water and a lid, and soak overnight (8 hours). Drain the soaking water and set aside.
  2. In a large heavy pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes while stirring.
  3. Add oregano, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, black pepper, and salt (optional), stir and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add soaked drained beans, 5 cups fresh water, and tomato paste.
  5. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 – 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender yet firm on the outside. *Add water to replace that lost to condensation, as needed. Should make a thick, stew-like consistency.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with rosemary, if desired.
  7. Serve immediately.


Instant Pot Directions: Place all ingredients in the container of the Instant Pot. Press “Bean/Chili” setting. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately.

Slow Cooker Directions: Place all ingredients in the container of the Slow Cooker. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-12 hours. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American, Mediterranean


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 204
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Sodium: 40 mg
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35 g
  • Fiber: 10 g
  • Protein: 11 g

Keywords: beans, bean side dish, gigantes beans

For other Mediterranean recipes, check out:

Mediterranean Bowl with Edamame and Quinoa
Mediterranean Persimmon White Bean Kale Salad
Vegan Baked Mediterranean Lasagna

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