Baked Lima Beans- deluxe version ( Yigantes Yiahni )

This is a really tasty way to cook beans. Don’t worry about using exact amounts, the beans will be good no matter what!

Boil 1 pound of large dry lima beans till soft and ready to eat. Small dry lima beans are good too if that’s all you can find. You can shorten the boiling time by soaking them overnight.

In a large pot (I use a 5 quart dutch oven) heat about a cup of olive oil. Yes, one cup!


Onions: Use about 1.5 – 2 pounds, which would be 1-2 very large onions or 2 -4 medium onions. You can slice them or roughly chop them, whatever you like. I usually quarter the onions lengthwise and then slice the quarters crosswise.

Garlic: About 5 cloves, sliced, chopped, minced, it doesn’t matter. Use more if you want!

When the onions are about halfway done, add:

Parsley: 1 whole bunch, washed and chopped.
Peppercorns: Whole ones, about 15 of them.
Salt and Ground Pepper: The amount is your call.

Continue sauteing until the onions are soft and translucent. Then add

Tomatoes: About 1.5 – 2 pounds. You can chop them up finely, either by hand or in a food processor. Or you can prepare them the Greek way, which is to cut them in half and grate them on a box grater, discarding the skins. If you don’t have ripe tomatoes, use canned. The beans will still be good! Canned crushed would be best, but you could use canned whole ones that you’ve chopped up, or you could use canned diced tomatoes. Don’t use Italian or basil flavored ones though, because that would be wrong!

Bring to a boil and cook at a low boil for about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put a few spoonfuls of the tomato sauce in a baking pan. A 9 inch by 14 inch size should be about right. Spread the sauce around the bottom of the pan. This is to keep the beans from sticking. Then put in the cooked, drained beans, and pour the rest of the sauce over them. Bake for about an hour. The timing is not critical, but you want the beans to “drink” the sauce; i.e., absorb some of the liquid.

Serve with bread and feta.


  1. Comment by maria verivaki

    i know this will make it non-lenten, but the best way to eat these beans is to add some chopped sausages to it. (see mine: the photos are really worth it!

  2. Comment by lulu

    Your photos are lovely!

  3. Comment by jim grannon

    Dear Maria Verivaki, I had this in greece and it’s wonderful. I can’t find suitable
    giant beans here in florida.
    But as far as the meat thing goes. There is an outfit that markets “Gimme Lean” a takeoff on Jimmy Dean –it is a roll of soy sausage that is nearly indistinguishable from actual pork sausage. All it lacks is gristle and bone chips. I haven’t tried it with yigantes but it works for all the recipes calling for pork sausage meat.
    I’m a purist and hate to mess with success, but I’ve been trying to go mainly vegetarian and that stuff works.
    My wife and I have been all over but we both agree that if we couldn’t live in the US, Greece would be our choice. I could spend a lifetime traveling there and never get bored. The people there are wonderful for those visitors who don’t take themselves too seriously.
    My second choice would be Venice (for the desserts and chocolate.)

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