Greek Baked Beans (Gigantes Plaki)

The Recipe: Dagwood-style sandwich fixins with a Greek twist: rotisserie chicken, a cucumber and feta spread akin to tzatziki, roasted peppers, more feta, pickled onions, fresh greens, all piled between soft rolls.
The Conversation: What to make when you've got more cucumbers than you know what to do with.
Greek Chicken Dagwood Sandwiches ♥, sandwich fixins with a Greek twist.

Defense During the Annual Cucumber Glut

Our garden is shooting out cucumber bullets every day, some small and pickle-sized but mostly beastly behemoths.

Ever since the barrage began, I throw one (peeled and seeded) into our daily breakfast smoothies.

Three times we've made Nana's Cucumbers with Sour Cream, my German-Russian and Canadian grandmother's recipe. And twice Old Liz's Old-Fashioned Cucumber Salad. And hey! I can tell you now what I couldn't back in 2008 when readers first fell in love with this cucumber and tomato salad and I fell in love with this guy. "Old Liz" was Jerry's mother!

We also adore Smitten Kitchen's Avocado-Cucumber Salad and even added grapes and honeydew and blueberries and I-forget-what-all-else for an after-wedding brunch in Texas one year. Kalyn's Kitchen's Cucumber Avocado Salad adds tuna to the mix, it makes for a quick but substantial Saturday lunch on the regular around here.

We've made two jars wonderful jars of Sun Pickles. (Recipe coming soon!)

But mostly? We give cucumbers to anyone who'll take one or two or a dozen. The rest just taunt us.

Juicy Cucumbers for Sandwiches

It's easy to cut a few skinny-minny slices of cucumber for a sandwich but for this Greek-style dagwood sandwich, I used a long-time favorite Kitchen Parade recipe for Cucumber Dip with Feta, a quick mix of grated cucumber, cream cheese and feta. It's easy-easy to make and a lot like Greek tzatziki, so if you have a favorite tzatziki recipe, go for it. Or – glory – Trader Joe's carries tzatziki during the summer, another possibility.

Greek Chicken Dagwood Sandwiches in the making ♥, sandwich fixins with a Greek twist.

The Right Bread

This is the trick, sourcing the right bread. Tastes vary of course but to my taste, by all rights, this special sandwich demands a special bread.

  • A roll not a slice, the better to keep all those interior layers intact.
  • A soft white roll not a sturdy wholegrain roll, the better shape itself around the fillings.
  • A broad and flattish roll not a towering bun.

The Bad News. There's no such bread in my usual supermarkets. The Good News. Good thing, because we'd have big dagwood-style sandwiches a lot more often!

So with any luck, you know of your own source for the right bread for a stacked-high dagwood sandwich. To make my own rolls, I'd start with my mom's Homemade Yeast Rolls but make separate rolls, pressed slightly flat and broad before the second rise.

UPDATE! This Savory Simple recipe for buffalo chicken sandwiches introduces a new Sara Lee bread which looks perfect, it's called Artesano Bakery Buns. It could well be easier to find!

Greek Chicken Dagwood Sandwiches ♥, sandwich fixins with a Greek twist.

You'll Love My Greek Chicken Dagwood Sandwiches If You ...

  • love off-the-cuff hearty sandwiches full of summer freshness
  • appreciate a well-balanced sandwich, a medley of tanginess and creaminess, a mix of protein and plant
  • need a quick-quick supper

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Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 10
Makes 1 (or many ...)
  • Soft sandwich rolls
  • Cucumber Dip with Feta or something similar like tzatziki
  • Freshly ground pepper (don't skip)
  • Roasted red pepper, drained well and cut in strips
  • Cooked chicken, sliced thin
  • Ripe tomato, sliced or diced
  • Spiced Pickled Red Onions or thinly sliced red onion
  • Feta crumbles
  • Arugula or another fresh green
  • Toothpicks, for holding together

TOAST THE ROLLS Cut the rolls in half, brush the cut sides with a little olive oil, then toast just until golden in a skillet or on an electric griddle.

CUCUMBER DIP Spread Cucumber Dip generously on both sides, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper. Set aside the sandwich "lid" aka the top half of the roll.

RED PEPPER Spread red pepper strips across the bottom.

CHICKEN Spread the sliced chicken across the bottom, as thick as you like. If using more than a couple of layers, spread a little more Cucumber Dip mid-way through and sprinkle with pepper again.

REMAINING INGREDIENTS Keep building! Sprinkle or layer on tomato, onion, feta and arugula.

CAP IT! Put the "lid" on and secure the sandwich with a toothpick or two.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS Prep all the ingredients ahead of time but assemble the sandwiches just before serving.

ALANNA's TIPS Look for rolls that are wide and quite soft. I've never found anything quite right in either typical grocery stores or even traditional bakeries. In St. Louis, I now have two sources, an Afghan bakery in the City (sorry, not sure which one) which delivers fresh bread to Global Foods Market in Kirkwood every day and a wonderful Middle-Eastern / Mediterranean restaurant called "Troy" in Valley Park. In addition, I some times buy extra wood-baked pita breads at Olio in the City. All work great! Just be sure to use them on the same day. If the rolls are large, a skillet isn't big enough to handle more than one or two so I drag out the electric griddle, works like a charm! And the rolls I use are big! A half a sandwich is plenty, even a third for lunch, say. I love the wetness that comes from the Cucumber Dip, without it, the sandwich could end up on the dry side. Even my favorite Crazy-Smooth Crazy-Good Hummus turns out a too-dry sandwich, the more mayonnaise-textured Roasted Eggplant “Hummus" (Eggplant & Chickpea Dip & Spread) would be a better choice. Our garden tomatoes haven't come in yet so I've been using a Sam's Club product, Fresh Bruschetta, we keep this on hand all summer long and use it breakfast, lunch and supper! (This is NOT a sponsored message. We rely on this product and think you might like it as well.) What else could you add? Chopped artichokes. Chopped bacon. Avocado would be a little slippery but an Avocado Dip would work beautifully.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Sandwich (admittedly a total swag since the breads, especially, will vary so much, also remember that these sandwiches are big, a man might eat a whole one but the women half and even a third; assumes for each sandwich, 125g bread, 2 ounces chicken, 1 ounce roasted peppers and tomato, 1/2 ounce feta, 1/4 cup Cucumber Dip, 1/4 ounce arugula): 626 Calories; 18g Tot Fat; 10g Sat Fat; 74mg Cholesterol; 247mg Sodium; 78g Carb; 6g Fiber; 12g Sugar; 35g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 13 & PointsPlus 16 & SmartPoints 20 (half is plenty, remember, for smaller eaters!)

Go Greek ... at the Table, That Is!

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Greek Pasta Salad Tourlou Tourlou (Greek Baked Vegetables) Greek Baked Beans (Gigantes Plaki)
~ more Greek recipes ~

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ roasted peppers ~
~ tomatoes ~
~ cooked chicken ~
~ onions ~
~ feta cheese ~
~ arugula ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. This looks great - but, in the instructions, you say”Stir in tomato paste, honey and spices“ but there is no honey listed in the ingredients. How much honey should I add?

  2. This sounds terrific! I'm a fan of anything Greek. However, you mention honey in the instructions but not in the ingredient list. Can you clarify that? Thanks!

  3. This looks great! How much honey? Thanks

  4. How much honey in the baked beans???

  5. NtaGlass & Mama Peck & Kate & FHoop ~ You guys are hired! What eagle-eyed editors you are, thank you! The first couple of times I made this, I did use a little honey but in the end, decided it didn’t add enough to carry on. The recipe is now fixed to reflect this, thank you for taking the time to ask and to make sure the recipe is “right”.

  6. I can't wait to make this.

    This may seem like a silly question but could you provide a couple of suggestions as to what to serve this with?

    Thanks, Alanna.

  7. I fell in love with these when TJ's carried them already prepared, the label read Giant White Beans (Fasolia Gigantes) in Tomato Sauce, a Traditional Greek Recipe. I hate it when TJ's gets me hooked and then makes me go cold turkey! I haven’t yet found a good bean substitute. I tried Rancho Gordo for dry beans but wasn't impressed. Viviano's carries the dried large lima beans, but they are not the same.

  8. Kate ~ No silly questions, some times I get stuck on what to serve with something too. The first thing is, this is beans so slightly starchy, so if it’s me, I’d avoid serving something else that’s starchy like rice or pasta or even bread. (That said, I love-love-love schmearing this stuff onto thin slices of baguette! But that’s different, right?!) For protein, grilled chicken, BBQ chicken, or pork tenderloin or something cooked outside or on the stove since the oven is busy with the beans. And a veggie salad. That’s it, the big three! Hope this helps?! So glad you asked!

  9. Help, I want to make this recipe. Can it be converted to a slow cooker. Really want to make this dish this weekend.

  10. I don’t know, frankly I’m not a fan of slow cookers and find their results to be completely uneven and unreliable. I hope your beans are soaking! Good luck, let me know how it goes.

  11. Finally got around to making the Greek Baked beans yesterday. I have to tell you the procedure really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. My husband and I enjoy cooking together with the added pleasure of a glass of wine. I do the prepping and my husband does the olive oil "shimmery" part of the cooking. In as much as that part of the recipe was mid afternoon we decided to go without the wine but we still had a good time.

    Well I have to tell you the end result was wonderful and your recipe is now filed in our gold recipes. Usually I wait a night or two to serve leftovers but this time we are both looking forward to a repeat dinner this evening.

  12. Paula ~ Oooo, a “gold recipe”. I’m so very pleased! Thanks for letting me know. PS I love that you and your husband have such a sweet routine, here we call it the “kitchen dance” -- and my dance partner is extraordinaire -- : - )


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna