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Large lima beans in tomato sauce is a super flavorful, traditional Greek cuisine dish.

Our recipe is super simple and we only have to give 20 minutes from our time! What takes time is its cooking, but that doesn't bother us, because it doesn't require our time 🙂

Large lima beans in tomato sauce, cooked in the oven or pot. Greek gigantes plaki or yachni and of course vegan. No matter how you call them they are delicious! So large lima beans, in a rich red tomato sauce with onion, garlic, and peppers. Parsley and celery give freshness, and oregano and thyme give the traditional aroma we are looking for.

What makes our recipe special, though, and we think you'll love it, is that we add paprika, curry, and sun-dried tomatoes!

A super easy, frugal, hearty, and aromatic meal you will love! It is served warm but also cold, as an appetizer but also as a main course. No matter how you serve them, these large lima beans in tomato sauce are absolutely delicious!

Try them and we are waiting to hear what you think, your suggestions, and photos!

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Photo of a plate with lima beans in tomato sauce. A vegan recipe from All About Vegans.

Large lima beans (Greek gigantes) in tomato sauce

A super easy, frugal, hearty, and aromatic meal you will love! It is served warm but also cold, as an appetizer but also as a main course. No matter how you serve it, it is absolutely delicious!
5 from 13 votes
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Course: Main Courses, Appetizers
Cuisine: Vegan, Greek, Greek / Vegan, Greek Traditional
Keywords: vegan, lima, beans, gigantes, main course, lenten, fasting, tomato, sauce, legumes, recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Soaking time: 8 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 6 portions (or 8 appetizers)
Calories: 1926kcal
Author: Thodoris Tibilis


Giant braised (vegan)

  • 350  g large lima beans (gigantes)
  • 4 tomatoes blended or 450 g (15.8 oz) canned tomato juice
  • 1 large onion cut in half and then into thin slices
  • 6 cloves garlic cut in half and then into thin slices
  • 2 small carrots sliced
  • 1 pepper (preferably Florina pepper) cut in half and then into thin slices
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes finely chopped
  • cup fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery finely chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil

Spices & Herbs

  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp curry
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp paprika flakes sweet or spicy (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Optionally add:

  • 1 tsp unprocessed sugar or other vegan sweetener (eg coconut sugar or agave syrup)
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder



  • Soak the lima beans from the night before.
  • Alternatively, you can speed up the soaking process as follows:
    • Boil water in a pot
    • As soon as it boils, add the giants
    • Turn off the heat and leave the pot on for 4 hours (many say they are ready in an hour but we haven't tried it, if you try it, let us know too 🙂

Lima beans

  • Put one and a half liters (50.7 oz) of boiling water in a pot.
  • Once it boils, add all the ingredients, spices and herbs (except olive oil) and simmer. You have two options. Finish them in the oven or a pot :
    • In the oven: Simmer over medium heat for an hour and a half or until the beans are almost ready (softened). Put all the content of the pot in a baking pan. Add the olive oil, stir and bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees/392 °F for about 45 minutes or until a nice crust forms on top. The large lima beans are ready!
    • In a pot: Simmer over medium heat for about two hours or until the giants are soften. Ten minutes before removing them, add the olive oil and stir. Be careful not to overcook them and purée them. The large lima beans are ready!


  • They are pleasantly eaten both warm and cold.
  • We can garnish them with a little fresh parsley.
  • Serve as an appetizer, but also as a main course.
  • Serve with freshly baked wholewheat bread and olives.
  • Bon appétit!


  1. The secret to extra flavor and nutrients is to boil the lima beans in the water in which they soaked .
  2. Depending on the lima beans, and how fresh they are, the cooking time may be less than or more than two hours. So, after an hour and a half of cooking, start trying to see if they have softened.
  3. When choosing lima beans prefer the fresher ones. If they are tough and when you press them with something hard, they break in half like candies, then they are outdated. But if they are easily pressed down, then they are fresh. The easier it is to press them, the fresher they are. If they've turned yellow, avoid them, as they're probably outdated.
  4. If you're boiling the lima beans for 3 hours and they don't soften, they're not going to soften, as they were probably outdated.
  5. To save time, start by putting the water to heat and then add the ingredients you're preparing one by one. In this case, it's best to add the spices and herbs in the water from the beginning, and then add the ingredients one by one, starting with the large lima beans, which need more time to soften, and continue with the onion, peppers, and finally the tomatoes, garlic, carrot, celery, and parsley.
  6. If we cook them in the oven:
    • Preheat the oven 15 minutes before removing the lima beans from the pot.
    • Before putting them in the oven, you can sprinkle them with some paprika flakes (boukovo) (sweet or spicy), dried oregano or thyme.
  7. For extra aroma, color and flavor you can add 1 Tbsp tomato paste and 1 Tbsp savory.
  8. With peppers you have. When I have, I choose to use half green bell pepper and half Florina pepper.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 1926kcal | Carbohydrates: 345g | Protein: 115g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 191mg | Potassium: 8200mg | Fiber: 85g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 8677IU | Vitamin C: 431mg | Calcium: 615mg | Iron: 53mg

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