Delicious, comforting, easy and budget-friendly, these Greek baked beans are made in the slow cooker for convenience! Set it and forget it.

slow cooker greek baked beans in two white bowls blue napkin bread and spoons backgroundIf you’ve never had Greek baked beans before, you’re in for a treat.

I first discovered this dish on our honeymoon in Greece – it was actually the meal I had when we touched down in Athens. They were the best beans I’d ever tasted and I knew I had to recreate this recipe when we got back.

This recipe is different in that the beans are not really baked, they’re slow cooked in the Crockpot. I love the ease of set-it-and-forget-it meals and this is one of those.

In the morning, add your ingredients, turn on the slow cooker, and voila, dinner is ready by evening.

This dish is satisfying yet not heavy, the beans are like butter by the time they’re fully cooked. The tomatoes and herbs provide a brightness and acidity. And the feta cheese gives it some richness and creamy texture. Serve with freshly baked bread and you’ve got a meal!

This dish is everything:

  • Easy and quick to make
  • Minimal clean-up
  • Easy on the wallet
  • Vegetarian/Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Filling
  • Packed with plant-based protein
  • Flavorful
  • Takes you back to Greece

Ingredients You’ll Need

list of slow cooker greek baked beans ingredients white counter tomatoes gigantes beans bay leaves garlic

Notes on Ingredients

Gigantes beans: Unfortunately you can’t easily find these in the grocery store so I ordered them on Amazon. Alternatively, you can use lima beans as a substitute, which you can easily find in the store. No matter, which beans you choose be sure to soak them overnight before cooking.

Celery, onion, and garlic: Provide aromatics to the dish

Tomatoes: Look for canned crushed tomatoes – gives the dish acidity 

Greek olive oil: Since this dish is Greek, I like to use Greek olive oil but if you just have regular olive oil at home, that’s fine to use too. Greek olive oil tends to compliment the flavor of dishes versus driving the flavor like an Italian olive oil.

Oregano and Thyme: I used dried herbs. These are going to add a bright Mediterranean flavor to the dish.

Bay leaves: Add another layer of flavor to compliment the oregano and thyme

Salt: Not pictured above but important to enhance the flavors

Feta Cheese: Optional but you’re gonna want it on top – trust me

Also, can we just talk about how budget-friendly this meal is?! This breakdown assumes that you already have olive oil and spices (oregano, thyme and bay leaves) at home.

1 pound dry beans $1.44

Crushed tomatoes $1.77

Onions $2.58

Celery $1.99

Garlic $0.50

Total: $8.28 for 8 servings. That’s $1.04 per serving!

And even if we added olive oil and spices to that equation, it still would be under $3/serving.

close up slow cooker greek baked beans in two white bowls feta cheese garnish blue napkin

How to Make Greek Baked Beans in the Slow Cooker

Step 1: Soak the beans overnight.

Step 2: Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker.

Step 3: Stir ingredients together and set slow cooker to low. Cook until beans are tender, about 7-8 hours. 

Told you this was easy ;).

step by step slow cooker greek baked beans white background slow cooker ingredients gigantes beans

Expert Tip

Soak your beans overnight! I’ve tried not soaking them overnight or doing a quick soak and they never come out as consistently tender as when I soak them overnight.

slow cooker greek baked beans in two white bowls blue napkin bread and spoons background

Recipe FAQs

What are gigante beans?

Gigante beans, translated to “giant beans”, are a staple in Greek and Mediterranean cuisines. They are flatter and wider than most beans which make them more aesthetically pleasing and they are creamier and hold their shape better than other types of beans.

Are gigante beans the same as butter beans?

Butter beans are also known as lima beans and so these are not the same as gigantes beans but make a fine substitute if you can’t get your hands on gigantes!

Is it normal for the skin on your beans to shrivel, and for lots of beans split/break when you soak them? 

Yes! I found this especially to be true for lima beans but I didn’t notice splitting/breaking as much with the gigantes.

Where do you find gigantes beans?

I found mine on Amazon but I would imagine a Greek specialty food market would carry them as well.

What beans can I substitute in this dish?

Lima beans!

Why are my beans still crunchy after cooking?

Did you soak the beans overnight first? When my beans have been crunchy with this recipe it’s because I didn’t soak them overnight first.

How do you store greek baked beans?

Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or up to three months in the freezer! It freezes pretty well!

For more Greek inspired recipes, check out mine below!

slow cooker greek baked beans in white bowl with spoon blue napkin bread feta cheese garnish

If you like this recipe, please be sure to give it a 5 star rating below. If you make it, share it on instagram and tag me @karalydonrd and I’ll re-share it with my followers! If you want to save this recipe for later, be sure to pin it on Pinterest!

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Greek Baked Beans


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 3.86 out of 5)
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  • Author: Kara Lydon
  • Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Delicious, comforting, easy and budget-friendly, these Greek baked beans are made in the slow cooker for convenience! Set it and forget it.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound dry Gigantes beans (or dry lima beans), soaked overnight or for at least for 8 hours
  • 1 yellow onion, diced (approx 2 cups)
  • 3 stalks celery, diced (approx 1 cup)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon ground oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ground thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup Greek olive oil
  • Optional, for serving: fresh baked bread, feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients: beans, onion, celery, garlic, tomatoes, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, salt, water, and olive oil in the slow cooker. Cook on low until beans are tender, about 8 hours.
  2. Optional: serve with fresh baked bread and feta cheese.

Notes

  1. You can find gigantes beans on Amazon but I would imagine a Greek specialty food market would carry them as well.
  2. If you can’t easily find gigantes beans, you can substitute lima beans.
  3. Be sure to soak the beans overnight so beans are tender after cooking. If you don’t soak the beans first, you may find the beans are still not tender after 8 hours.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Greek

Keywords: greek baked beans, greek beans slow cooker, greek beans in crockpot

This recipe was originally published January 2017. It’s been retested and reshot to give you the most delicious (and beautiful!) content! 

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38 Comments

  1. Aaron

    Just put all ingredients together crock pot on can’t wait!

  2. Gina Rivers Contla

    I’ve no idea how this recipe does not have 5 stars. The only thing I can imagine is that, like the ability to read and write cursive script, Americans have collectively lost the knowledge of how to cook dried beans. I used great northern beans, because they were what I had on hand. I soaked them for 2 days, changing out the water and rinsing each day. Then made it pretty much to the recipe, (I used Turkey bone broth for the water). Deeeeeelicious!!!! These are going into our regular rotation!

    • Hi Gina, thanks so much for your glowing review and comment 🙂 It makes me so happy to hear how much you enjoyed this recipe!

  3. Jim

    Question, where do you get your beans? I’ve been paying a fortune for them…

  4. jennifer v

    After 8 hours on low the beans were still not cooked. Has this happened before? Totally crunchy.

    • I made this over the weekend and had the same problem, and a chef friend helped me out with where it went wrong – adding the salt at the beginning of cooking stops the beans from softening, you need to add it after to taste!

    • Hm. That’s interesting because I’ve read otherwise. Here’s one article on salting cooking water for beans: https://www.seriouseats.com/2016/09/salt-beans-cooking-soaking-water-good-or-bad.html. Did you soak the beans overnight first?

    • Did you soak the beans beforehand? I would recommend doing that to ensure they cook properly.

    • Jessica

      It’s not the salt that causes the tough beans, it’s the acid. Very acidic ingredients (like canned tomatoes or vinegar or lemon) will stop beans from softening, and actually even toughen up fully cooked beans a bit. I learned this the hard way once while making chili: I added undercooked beans and even after hours, they never softened. You’ll probably notice when reading chili recipes, they always call for canned or cooked beans, never dry. It’s the tomatoes in there that are the problem.

      I haven’t made this recipe yet but I will be doing so today! I plan to let the beans cook until they are soft enough, THEN add tomatoes.

  5. Dorothy

    Very excited to make this tomorrow! I started soaking my large Lima beans this afternoon. Just curious – is it normal for the skin on your beans to shrivel, and for lots of beans split/break when you soak them? Not sure if I should remove all the skins tomorrow after soaking. Right now they are a mess!

  6. Donna Behr

    I have made gigantes many times since visiting Greece, but always in the oven. I have tried many different recipes to get the balance of beans and tomatoes just right. You got it just right!!! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  7. Marco

    I’m making this dish as I write this, in my clay Cazuela. You guys just WOULD NOT believe what cooking in clay does for dry beans! I sure didn’t believe the hype till I tried it the first time. Just wow! I’m using Rancho Gordo”s Giant Corona beans, they are so creamy and delicious. I brined mine first, adding fresh herbs from my garden for 8 hours, rinsed well, and started. Try it, you’ll like it!

  8. Patricia

    I made these with lima beans and they were AMAZING. My roommates and people who lived in the apartment next to us commented on how good it smelled cooking! So, so happy with this recipe. Thanks Kara!

  9. This looks amazing! I never think to use my slow cooker for things other than protein focused entrees so I’m definitely going to start, especially with this recipe.

  10. Great recipe! I’m definitely going to try it 🙂

  11. Catherine Brown

    I LOVE gigantes beans! although I’ve never tasted them made in this fashion. They are eaten quite a bit in Northern Italy too, but are often combined with Greek oregano, lemons, olive oil and served brothy over farro… dlicious! I look forward to trying this version too. I love it when my favorite RDs travel the globe and bring back killer recipes for we land-locked friends to try! 😉

  12. Great recipe, perfect for winter and so simple!

  13. Cathy Johnston

    I have a quick question about your recipe. What temperature did you set your slow cooker, low, normal or high? I just purchased an Instant Pot and am using the slow cooker option to prepare your recipe and it has the 3 slow cook temperature options. Thanks for posting this recipe!

  14. We are huge fans of gigantes in our house! I can never get enough of them! Also spent our honeymoon in Greece -such a great trip! Can’t wait to try your recipe!

  15. Karla

    Hi-
    What other types of beans could be used? Trying to add more beans into my diet as not a big fan but have terrible memories of Lima beans from my childhood 🙂

    thanks

    • You can try gigantes beans (order on Amazon or find at a Greek specialty store). And I promise you if you use lima beans in THIS recipe, you won’t even know they are lima beans 😉

    • Corinne

      Cheaper on ebay. Quick shipping. Add bone broth instead of water for better nutrition.

  16. If it were up to me, you COULD post all Greek recipes….as each is a trip down memory lane for me…since we spent our honeymoon in Greece too! I’m adding all the ingredients to my slow cooker right now. I’m not kidding.

  17. Sara Haas

    I love every single think about these! And I am looking forward to more of your Greek-inspired dishes! 🙂