8 August 2020

Instant Pot Greek Style Butter Beans

Inspired by one of my favourite Greek dishes, Gigantes Plaki, or Greek baked beans. First introduced to the recipe when I worked at a vegan restaurant during uni, and this year I was finally going to get to try the real deal whilst visiting the Greek islands - but for now, I'll be enjoying this version at home! You might have tried a take on this dish from the supermarkets, appearing next to the dolmades in a can. Serve these beans with a chunk of crusty bread, couscous, bulgur wheat, a side salad or as part of a meze platter!
This recipe features butter beans in an incredible white wine, tomato and herb sauce, cooked in the Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker). Typically this recipe of Greek baked beans would be a huge labour of love, taking hours from when the beans are soaked to boiling to baking in the oven. You'll still need to soak the beans here, but the remaining process is reduced to just over an hour, for an incredible tasting dish. There's also a range of herbs you could use here - my favourite combination is a mix of dill, oregano and bay leaves, but traditional recipes can also feature any combination of thyme, parsley, mint and a pinch of cinnamon too. Butter beans are also known as lima beans, Gigantes or Gingandes, which in Greek means Giant. 
This is my first time sharing a recipe using an Instant Pot - typically I try and steer clear of sharing recipes that might require specialist equipment like this, but I'm so sold on this electric multi-cooker that I just had to share and no, this isn't sponsored! It cooks beans in a fraction of the time, perfect rice every time and even makes soy yogurt overnight - once you've sauteed, it's hands-off cooking and I'm all for it! In case you were wondering, I have the Instant Pot 60 Duo Plus model. 
Beans are such an important source of nutrients and any way that we can get more into our diets is always a win. Dried beans are also significantly cheaper for the yield you get, so this recipe makes a generous amount and any leftovers can be frozen. It goes without saying these beans are rich in protein, they also contain all-important fibre. A cup of cooked butter beans contains around 13g of fibre - a mix of soluble and insoluble - just under 50% of our daily 28g recommended intake. Soluble fibre helps to prevent a number of non-communicable diseases such as type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers; it lowers the glucose response, helping to keep your blood sugar levels steady and also reducing cholesterol levels. Butter beans have one of the highest amounts of iron of all beans [1], as well as being rich in manganese, folate and potassium [2]

Instant Pot Greek Style Butter Beans | Serves: 4-6 | Time: 1 hour 20 mins (+12 hours soaking time)

You'll need

  • Instant pot/pressure cooker
  • Large bowl
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Wooden spoon


  • 1.5 cups dried butter beans 
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup vegan white wine
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp dried dill or 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Pinch chili flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • Extra virgin olive oil for serving


  1. At least 12 hours before you make your beans, add them to a large bowl with plenty of water so they remain submerged and leave them to soak at room temp for 12-16 hours. Then drain and place to one side whilst you prep your sauce.
  2. Dice an onion, finely chop the celery, peel and dice the carrot and mince the garlic. 
  3. Set the instant pot on the saute setting, 'normal' heat for 15 minutes. Let it heat up for a few minutes, then add the oil, onion, celery, carrot and garlic, saute for 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Then add the white wine and allow to cook off for 5 minutes. Add the soaked butter beans and the remaining ingredients from the chopped tomatoes to the cup of water, stir together and press the cancel button.
  5. Put the lid onto the base and press the pressure cook button. Set it to 22 minutes on 'high'. Once the time is up press cancel and allow the instant pot to naturally depressurise for at least 20 minutes, if not fully. After 20 minutes, press the release button on the lid to auto-release any remaining pressure. Be careful not to auto-release before this, as the pressure will be too high and the sauce is likely to come out the release valve, which will be quite messy! Remove the lid and allow the beans to sit for a further 5 minutes before serving.
  6. Serve up with your accompaniments of choice and a good drizzle of olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper and enjoy! 
Cassidy xx