Creamy Gigantes Plaki, Greek baked beans, is a lusciously healthy, oil-free dish based on the Greek tradition with dreamy butter beans in a spicy tomato sauce.
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 carrots, diced small
- 2 large celery ribs, diced small
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. chili flakes (less if you don’t want the heat)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1- 15 oz. (400 gm.) can diced tomatoes or 1 1/2 cups whole peeled tomatoes, pureed, with juice
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 3 - 15 oz. (400 gm.) cans of butter beans or other large white beans. Drain the beans and reserve the liquid.
- 2-3 cups of liquid reserved from the beans
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Let the mirepoix cook for 10 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent (a bit of color is ok). If the veggies start to stick, add water a tablespoon at a time.
- Add the garlic and 1 tsp. of chili flakes and cook for about 30 seconds. Then add 2 Tbsp. of tomato paste, cooking for about a minute before adding the can of tomatoes, 1 tsp. of oregano, 1 tsp. of paprika, and 3 bay leaves.
- Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.
- While the sauce cooks, drain the beans and reserve the liquid.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Once the sauce is ready, add 1/3 cup fresh parsley and 2 Tbsp. of dill and taste for seasoning.
- Add the beans to an ovenproof casserole or baking dish. Cover the beans with the sauce and mix well.
- Add 1-2 cups of the cooking liquid — enough to just cover the beans. Keep any reserved liquid handy.
- Bake for the beans for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Check the beans occasionally, adding more liquid if the mixture seems too dry. Once done, the liquid should be mostly evaporated, and the beans should be tender, but not too dry.
- The oven temperature can be turned up to 400°F (200°C) for the last 10 minutes or so to allow any excess sauce to reduce. It will also crisp up the top nicely.
- Garnish the final dish with finely chopped parsley or dill if desired.
- If you want to cook dried Gigantes beans, use 1 lb. (454 gm.). Follow my guide for cooking black beans. Be sure to keep the liquid for cooking.
- Save leftover aquafaba in an airtight container in the fridge and add it to the beans to reheat them.
- After you make the sauce, you can put all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Put it on low and cook it all day if you like. Just be sure to check if you need to add more liquid.
- In the end, the final consistency comes down to personal preference. Once you have made this dish a few times, you can decide how saucy you like it.
- Greek baked beans are delicious their own or serve with pita bread and hummus and a big salad, or as part of a multi-dish Greek feast.
- Category: Main Courses
- Cuisine: Greek
Keywords: oil-free Gigantes Plaki: Greek baked beans