Gigante Beans

Soak: 8 hours Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 3 1/2 hours


By Chef Michael Young at the Sheraton Kauai Hotel
On our last McDougall Travel Adventure we were served many delicious meals by the kitchen staff. This dish seemed to be the most popular as we received the most requests for the recipe for these wonderful beans.


  • 1 pound dried gigante beans
  • OR
  • 2 1/2 cups large dried lima beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2-14.5 ounce cans crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tsp agave
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, picked and chopped
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1-2 cups kale, roughly chopped and steamed


Rinse the beans. Place beans in a large Dutch oven covering them with water (there should be 2 inches of water above the beans), cover the pan and let stand 8 hours or soak overnight. Drain beans and rinse again.

Cover the beans with water (there should be 4 inches of water above beans), add bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer approximately 90 minutes or until beans are tender. Drain beans.

Preheat oven to 325.

While beans cook, heat a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in oregano and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in agave, salt, and pepper. Combine the cooked beans and tomato mixture in a 3-quart casserole dish and bake at 325 for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until beans are tender. Stir in lemon, thyme and parsley when dish is removed from oven.

For the McDougall Adventure the kitchen grilled the kale, rough chopped it and then steamed it until soft. The kale was then tossed with the beans and served. I would skip the grilling step and just roughly chop and pan steam/saute the kale in a bit of water until tender before tossing with the beans.