Gigantes Bean Tomato Casserole

baked gigantes

I never used to like lima beans, which is rather odd I suppose as I have quite a supply of different dried beans on hand at all times as they occupy such a central place in my diet. My first experience was less than pleasant, as I used beans from a can that had a slimy texture that just didn't work with a mixed bean salad, and another time I made a huge pot of "lucky bean" soup that lacked any real flair and seemed as if it could have fed five thousand men.

That was during my early days of exploring vegetarian food and cooking. Since then, my cooking skills have strengthened and my knowledge and palate are more refined, and this recipe certainly proved to me that often when we think we don't like certain foods, it is because of how they have been prepared and served. Lima beans or giant lima beans — gigantes — have joined the ranks with the other dried legumes in my kitchen.

I've shared this dish before on this space but made a few minor changes to the recipe and it's worth sharing again. It's a comforting casserole that you will want to serve on a regular basis. Easy to make, you can prepare the rest of your meal while it bakes in the oven. If this recipe doesn't convert lima bean skeptics, I don't know what will.

baked gigante beans

Gigantes Bean Tomato CasseroleGigantes Bean Tomato Casserole
Recipe by
Cuisine: Greek
Published on April 28, 2013

Simple, rich, tangy and flavorful Greek baked bean casserole with dried herbs

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours

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  • 1 1/2 cups dried gigantes (giant lima) beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 jalapeƱos or green chilies, seeded and minced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 4 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Rinse the gigantes beans and soak overnight covered in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, and transfer to a medium saucepan. Cover with several inches of fresh water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the beans are tender. Drain, reserving 2/3 cup of the cooking liquid, and set aside.

  • Lightly grease a large casserole dish.

  • In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion and fry until it begins to brown. Next add the garlic, celery, carrot and jalapeƱos or chilies and stir for a 2 to 3 minutes. Next add the paprika and dried herbs, stir for another minute, and then add the tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, the reserved cooking liquid from the beans, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Gently stir in the beans and transfer to the casserole dish.

  • In a preheated 350°F oven, bake the beans, uncovered, until the top of the casserole is browned and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 50 to 60 minutes.

Makes 6 servings

gigante beans baked in tomato sauce

More Greek recipes you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Quinoa Dolmadakia (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
Fried Saganaki with Halloumi on a Greek Tomato Salad with Kalamata Olives
Greek Lentil Soup - Fakes
Skewered Greek Salad

1 comment:

Merry Tummy said...

yummy is the word...Love the colour and texture. Do visit me at