These gigante beans cook in the slow cooker for 6-12 hours with tomatoes, thyme, onions, garlic, and olive oil until they become stewy, creamy, and delicious! If you can’t find gigante beans, the method works well with Great Northern, Cannellini, Lima, or other dried white beans.

Slow cooker gigante beans.

On Wednesday morning, inspired by a Dinner, A Love Story post, I dumped half a pound of dried gigante beans into my crockpot followed by half a can of crushed tomatoes, a bay leaf, pepper flakes, water, smashed garlic, chopped onions, thyme, and a drizzle of olive oil.

I whisked the kids off to soccer tots then to the bagel shop, and when we returned three hours later, the house smelled as if I had been working away all morning.

Dried beans in the crockpot for the win! This is where the crockpot really excels: No browning required. No measuring required. The crockpot keeps the one-pot wonder simmering at the steadiest simmer, ensuring creamy, not mushy beans.

How nice to be able to leave the house while a machine works away? And to have the oven and stovetop free should I feel like making bread or the children their favorite dinner.

The beans cooked all day — they needed 8 hours in the pot — and when the dinner bell rang, I toasted bread, placed a slice in each of our bowls and ladled the stewy white beans overtop. With a few cracks of pepper and shavings of parmesan, dinner was served.

More Slow Cooker Bean Recipes to Try

How to Make Gigante (or other white) Beans in the Slow Cooker

Here’s the play-by-play:

Select your bean. I love gigante beans but they do take a long time to cook, anywhere from 8 to 12 hours, so plan ahead. Great Northern, Cannellini beans, Lima, or other white beans would all work here, and those varieties will cook in 6 to 8 hours. Also, if you get on the Rancho Gordo mailing list, they’ll let you know when they get beans (such as these Corona Beans) back in stock:

A box of corona beans.
A bag of dried gigante beans.

Dump all of the ingredients into a slow cooker. (I never add pancetta anymore.)

A crockpot filled with onions, beans, pancetta, bay leave, thyme, and a parmesan rind.

You can use whole peeled tomatoes — simply crush with your hands. Or use crushed tomatoes.

A crockpot filled with san marzano tomatoes.
A crockpot filled with onions, beans, pancetta, bay leave, thyme, a parmesan rind, and crushed tomatoes.

Give everything a stir. Then cover the pot and cook on high heat for 8-12 hours.

A crockpot filled with slow cooker white beans ready to start cooking.
All Clad slow cooker on the countertop.

When done, the beans will be creamy and cooked through, and the broth will be plentiful.

A crockpot filled with slow cooker white beans after 6 hours of cooking.

Ladle the stewy beans over a hunk of bread.

A bowl with a hunk of bread in it.

Shave parmesan over top if you wish.

A bowl of slow cooker large white beans (gigante beans).

Crack lots of pepper over top, too.

A bowl of slow cooker large white beans (gigante beans) aside a hunk of bread.
A bowl of slow-cooker beans with oven-roasted polenta.
A bowl of slow cooker large white beans (gigante beans).
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Slow cooker gigante beans.

Slow Cooker Gigante (White) Beans

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Adapted from this Dinner, A Love Story post. As Jenny notes, the beauty of this sort of meal is that you really don’t have to measure.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, here’s my mother’s oven method

Beans: I love gigante beans but they are hard to find, and they’ve gotten so expensive. Use any white bean you like here. Cooking time will vary depending on the age and type of bean you are using. 

Note: You can soak the beans prior to cooking if you wish, and I recomm end doing so if you are using Gigante beans, but you do not have to. If you do soak, the cooking time may be shorter. Gigante beans take anywhere from 8 to 12 hours, so plan ahead. 

I love these spooned over this oven-roasted polenta.


  • 8 oz dried white beans, such as Gigante, Great Northern, or Cannellini (see notes above)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch red pepper flakes (I use 1/2 teaspoon)
  • a few cloves garlic, smashed
  • two onions, chopped to yield about 2 cups
  • 1.5 cups crushed tomatoes (I love Pomi finely diced tomatoes)
  • a few sprigs thyme
  • parmesan rind if you have one
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano for serving
  • toasted bread for serving or oven-roasted polenta 


  1. Place everything with the exception of the Parmigiano Reggiano and toasted bread or polenta, into your crockpot. Cook on high for at least 6 to 8 hours. Depending on the type of bean you are using, the times will vary. If using unsoaked gigante beans, it may take as long as 12 hours to cook. 
  2. When the beans are done, taste the broth. Add more salt to taste. 
  3. Ladle broth into bowls over toasted bread or serve toasted bread on the size. Shave Parmigiano Reggiano over top. Crack pepper over top. Drizzle more olive oil over top if you wish.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 hours
  • Category: Beans
  • Method: Slow Cooker, Crockpot
  • Cuisine: American