Gigante beans, also known as Greek giant beans or butter beans, are the star of the show in this easy vegetarian recipe! Simmered in a pool of diced tomatoes and plenty of garlic and finished with chopped kale and crumbled feta, these beans are so flavorful and nourishing. They make the perfect one-pan skillet meal for a busy night!
This recipe is totally my idea of comfort food. Big creamy gigante beans nestled between diced tomatoes, hearty kale, and loads of garlic…can you say YUM?! Oh, and I didn’t even mention that the whole thing is ready in 30 minutes. Talk about dreamy.
Plus, this delish dish is all made in a skillet, so you don’t even have to turn on your oven. It reminds me of my Tuscan White Bean Skillet and White Beans and Escarole, two other great recipes you should check out while you’re here!
I had a hard time stopping myself from eating the beans straight out of the skillet with a fork. They’re that good. I’m sure this recipe will become a go-to option for my family, especially on cold nights when we need something on the table fast. I hope it becomes the same for you!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Shallot: I love the flavor they add, but you can substitute red, yellow, or white onion or even leeks.
- Garlic: I literally used 8 cloves and it was heavenly! If you don’t want that much, just use fewer cloves. You can also sub dried minced garlic, frozen garlic paste, or garlic powder if you don’t have fresh garlic. 8 cloves is equal to about 8 teaspoons of garlic, so you can sub about 2 teaspoons of dried garlic products.
- Dried oregano: Use fresh if you have it instead, or sub Italian seasoning if you don’t have oregano.
- Red pepper flakes: These are optional. Omit if you don’t want the heat.
- Vegetable broth: Sub chicken broth or even water if needed.
- Canned diced tomatoes: Sub tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes if that’s what you have. If you only have fresh tomatoes, use those but add a teaspoon of tomato paste too if you have it (no biggie if you don’t).
- Canned gigante beans: They may also be labeled as butter beans, giant white beans, or large lima beans. If you’re wondering where to buy gigante beans, you can find them in the canned beans section of most grocery stores, specialty food stores with Greek or Italian items, or online. You can use gigante beans that you cook from scratch too, but the canned ones are very convenient.
- Kale: I like to use chopped curly kale, but any kind of kale works. You can also sub spinach or chard.
- Parsley: Fresh parsley adds great flavor. Substitute a teaspoon of dried parsley if you don’t have fresh, or feel free to swap in other herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, or sage.
- Feta: I love to keep a block of feta in my fridge and crumble it myself for recipes. Of course, pre-crumbled feta works great too. You can also substitute goat cheese or parmesan cheese. Omit the cheese to make the dish vegan.
The full recipe card for these gigante beans, including ingredient quantities, is at the bottom of the post. Here’s a preview of the steps with photos to guide you in the kitchen.
Warm olive oil in a large skillet. Add the shallots and cook until translucent.
Stir in the garlic, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes.
Pour in the broth to deglaze the pan, followed by the diced tomatoes.
Add the drained and rinsed gigante beans to the skillet. Increase heat to bring to a boil, then reduce to maintain a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in the chopped kale and parsley. Simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes until wilted.
Remove the skillet from heat. Sprinkle crumbled feta on top before serving.
Storage and Reheating
Gigante beans are best enjoyed right away, but leftovers will keep for 3 to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can reheat them in a skillet or the microwave. Add a few splashes of broth while reheating to prevent the beans from drying out.
Serve your gigante beans on their own like a stew or piled high on a piece of crunchy bread. They’re also delicious over pasta or farro. If you wanted, you could serve them as an appetizer with toasted pieces of bread instead of as a main course. They’d be great for the holidays! I can’t wait to hear how you enjoy them! Be sure to leave a comment and let me know.
More Skillet Meals
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Gigante Beans with Tomato and Feta
- large skillet
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large shallot - diced; about 1 cup
- 8 cloves garlic - minced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup vegetable broth
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 15-ounce cans gigante beans - also labeled as butter beans or large lima beans; drained and rinsed
- 2 cups chopped kale - about 4 large leaves, stems removed
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 more minute until fragrant.
- Pour the vegetable broth into the skillet to deglaze the pan, followed by the diced tomatoes with their juices.
- Add the drained and rinsed beans to the skillet. Increase the heat to bring to a boil, then reduce it to maintain a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir the chopped kale and parsley into the skillet. Simmer for 3 to 5 more minutes.
- Remove from heat. Sprinkle with crumbled feta before serving. Enjoy!
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- Serve your beans on their own like a stew, on top of toast, or over pasta or farro.
- Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Reheat in a skillet or in the microwave, adding a few splashes of broth as needed to prevent the beans from drying out.
- You can find gigante beans in the canned beans section of most grocery stores. They may be labeled as butter beans, large lima beans, or giant white beans.