Although there are many variations to this popular dish, it usually consists of Greek fasolia gigandes (giant white beans), tomatoes, onions, olive oil, parsley, and sugar. When fasolia gigandes cannot be obtained, large lima beans are suitable substitutes. Other vegetables such as garlic, carrots, and celery are sometimes used, and some recipes even use sausages.
As with many beans, the fasolia gigandes must be soaked 24 hours in plenty of cold water. Then the beans are boiled until tender and the rest of ingredients are added. Overall, gigandes plaki is a healthy and nutritious food. It is a rich source for anti-oxidants from the tomatoes, and fiber from the other vegetables, and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans if the sausages and cheese are excluded.