Butterbean Saganaki with Feta

PREP TIME: 15mins


Saganaki, normally made with prawns, is a classic Greek dish and word ‘saganaki’ refers to dishes that are cooked and served in a frying pan, straight from the oven.

I love any oven to table dish whereby everyone can help themselves to a variety of small dishes on the table – the making of a lekker long lunch, the best.

In my version I used butter beans which I cooked in a rich tomato sauce flavoured with herbs, fennel and olives. A classic Greek flavour combination that will transport us straight to warm Mediterranean days by the coast.

The dish is finished with a generous helpings of feta, grilled until bubbly and golden.

I served ours with some orzo rice, toasted pita bread, harissa yogurt and a green salad on the side.

The full of flavour sauce will go well with so many things, see below for serving suggestions.

Vegan: Replace with a good vegan cheese variety

Getting Ahead: The dish can be made up to two days ahead and makes delicious leftovers.

Serves 4


Serving Suggestion:

Serve with orzo rice also known as risoni, its a form of short-cut pasta, shaped like a large grain of rice. It is not gluten-free so replace with rice or quinoa if you prefer.

Like most things in life a delicious sauce is made for dipping and I would serve this dish alongside some toasted pita breads and a simple green salad.

What you'll need:

A large oven-proof saucepan


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5cm ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste/tomato paste
  • 1 x 400g tin cherry tomatoes
  • 350ml passata (tomato puree)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 50g pitted black kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 240ml just boiled water
  • 2 x tins butter beans, drained
  • 100g feta
  • handful parsley for garnish
  • salt & black pepper


  1. Heat the oil over a medium heat, add the onions and fennel seeds and cook, covered until soft, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli and oregano and stir until fragrant, 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add the cherry tomatoes, passata, boiling water, salt, sugar and olives and bring to a gentle simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and season to perfection with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the butter beans to the sauce and gently simmer away for a further 10 minutes. Switch on the grill of the oven.
  6. Add the feta on top of the sauce and place under the grill until golden and melted, keeping an eye on the pan to ensure nothing burns.
  7. To serve, place the bubbling pan straight from the oven on the table for everyone to help themselves. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve alongside pita breads and orzo pasta. Enjoy
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