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Slow Cooker Greek Gigantes

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Slow Cooker Greek Gigantes are full of flavor with just a few pantry ingredients. Serve with pan seared pork chops or chicken breasts for a hearty dinner or a small salad and crusty bread for a light dinner.

This recipe is sponsored by Camellia Beans as part of #SlowCookerMonth. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures possible.

Giant lima beans in tomato broth of pan search bone-in pork chop


Y’all know I love me some history of where my food comes from, right? Well, the butter bean or large Lima bean is no exception. I mean, where do these beans really come from? Does anyone really know? There are so many different beans out there, where does any of them come from? Is there some parent bean plant that morphs into all the bean plants?


These are the things I think of when I write a blog post. Heck, they’re the things I think when I receive a product to work with and have to create a recipe with the ingredient. Where did it come from? What’s it traditionally used for in cooking? How did it appear on the culinary scene?



Inquiring minds want to know! Thankfully, Camellia Beans has a sippet about lima beans on their site.


Did you know that they’re named after the capital of Peru?


We’re all pronouncing it all wrong. Did you know that most common beans came from Peru? Because I didn’t. And this Lima bean in particular even appears on pottery of the Moche people? For those that don’t know the Moche were in existence in the 15th century.


Also commonly referred to as butter beans, the Lima bean has three shapes. There’s the large Lima bean which is green or speckled and has a buttery texture. Next, there’s the small Lima bean that is most common. They’re less starchy than their larger counterparts. Finally, there’s the dwarf Lima bean. Some call them butter peas and are the least starchy of all the Lima beans.



Lima beans, to me at least, are most common in succotash. Between that and Burgoo, I don’t think I’ve had Lima beans any other way. That is until I branched out and decided to make something with butter beans. And that something included some smoked turkey legs with butter beans in tomato pesto broth making for the most delicious large Lima beans I’ve ever tasted.


It was from this moment I knew I was hooked on these creamy, delicious, large Lima beans. Which meant I needed to find new and delicious recipes to make with these beans. With the name butter bean, it has to smooth, creamy, and super delicious.



That’s when I stumbled on the Greek recipe using these beans.


Gigantes (or Gigandes) plaki, or Greek butter beans cooked in a tomato sauce, are the perfect recipe to highlight these delicious beans. It’s a meze dish, or appetizer/tapas style dish, that is sometimes it’s cooked with sausages or smoked pork for a dinner. I pan seared some chops with Greek seasoning to round out my hearty dinner.


It’s a simple dish made with large Lima beans, tomatoes, onions, and olive oil. Traditionally, tomatoes and other ingredients get combined with the cooked beans. Then they go into the casserole and the whole thing gets baked again. I didn’t do that. I threw it all in the slow cooker and let the tomatoes infuse with the Lima beans and spices.



After soaking the beans, I tossed them in the slow cooker with a can of petite diced tomatoes and a little broth with a sprinkling of oregano.  Because what’s Greek food without oregano, right?  There’s some onions in there, too, to round out all the flavors.  If you can’t handle that, then you need to order in.  Because that’s stupid simple.




I split the cooking time because I was lazy that day.  I wanted the beans to cook quickly. Then they cooked quicker than I thought because I only used half the bag, so I turned the slow cooker to low and let it simmer away for another hour.  Feel free to let the beans simmer for 4 hours or more for just the 8 ounces or 6 to 8 hours for the full pound.



Soak the beans.


I soak mine for at least 8 hours, but did you know you can soak them and then freeze them to cook later? I’ve done this with several different kinds of beans and it works like a charm.


Some beans need to boil.


There was a quite a discussion about kidney beans, but did you know that fresh Lima beans need cooking, too? Kidney beans have some complicated sounding compound in them. If they’re not boiled it can cause severe stomach discomfort to even more serious illnesses.



Don’t have time to soak? Try a the quick soak!


The quick soak is perfect for kidney beans. You put the beans in a pot with at least 3 inches of water over the beans. Bring the water to a boil and let the beans cook for 2 minutes. Then you let them sit for an hour. For kidney beans, boil for 10 minutes and let them set for between 45 and 50 minutes.


Try not to overcook them.


I know this one is a little difficult in a slow cooker, but I’d err on the side of al dente for lack of a better word than overcooked. If you’re beans a little, don’t cook them for 8 hours. If they’re larger like the butterbeans, than 8 to 10 hours might be enough. Sometimes, it’s just a little trial and error, but if you have to add the beans midway to keep them from turning to mush, do it!


I hope you try this recipe.  It was perfectly delicious and I couldn’t wait to have it for lunch the next day.  Even without the added chop, the Slow Cooker Greek Gigantes is a hearty recipe your family will enjoy.


Slow Cooker Greek Gigantes
Yield: 2 servings

Slow Cooker Greek Gigantes

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes

Slow Cooker Greek Gigantes is full of flavor with just a few ingredients. Serve with pan search pork chops or chicken breasts for a hearty dinner.


  • 8 ounces Camellia large lima beans
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 14 ounces petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


    1. Place the lima beans in a mixing bowl and cover with water. Soak at least 5 hours.
    2. Combine 1 teaspoon of the oregano and the remaining ingredients in the liner of the slow cooker.
    3. Cook on high 1 hour, then cook on low 2 hours or until the beans are tender.
    4. Garnish with the remaining oregano before serving with pan a seared pork chops or chicken for a hearty dinner or salad and bread for a light meal.

Nutrition Information


2 servings

Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 102Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 10mgSodium 1380mgCarbohydrates 18gFiber 6gSugar 10gProtein 7g

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    1. The beans are so delicious. You don’t even need the chop. But the hubs needs meat soo…. I devoured the beans for lunch without meat the next day.

  1. You crack me up with all your background knowledge. I had no clue most beans come from Peru. I haven’t tried Lima beans in probably 20 years and it’s probably time to give them another chance. I need to try this!

    1. I had no idea most beans are from Latin America! Blew my mind. Large Lima beans are so much more tasty than their little counterparts, I think. You should try them.

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