Parmesan-Braised Gigante Beans with Turkey

Giant lima beans cooked to al dente complement tender braised leftover turkey thighs and drumsticks in this cozy stew. A rind of Parmesan cheese enriches the broth.

Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
14 hrs 35 mins
4 to 6 servings
Parmesan-Braised Gigante Beans with Turkey
Photo: Jennifer Causey / Food stylist Chelsea Zimmer / Prop stylist Kathleen Varner

Warm herbs, like sage and rosemary, complement the bites of al dente beans and rich, tender turkey in this Parmesan-Braised Gigante Beans with Turkey recipe from Justin Chapple. Thanks to the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind in the braising liquid, the broth for the bean and turkey stew is rich with a nutty flavor and silky texture. Braising leftover roasted turkey thighs and drumsticks not only makes them fall-apart tender, but the bones add rich flavor and texture to the final dish. If you are using a separated turkey drumstick and thigh, begin checking for doneness after 45 minutes.


  • 2 cups dried gigante beans

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium-size (8-ounce) yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)

  • 1 medium (2-ounce) celery stalk, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)

  • 1 small (2-ounce) carrot, peeled and finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)

  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds

  • 8 cups Leftover Turkey Broth (see Note) or lower-sodium turkey or chicken broth

  • 1 (20-ounce) cooked bone-in, skin-on turkey leg quarter

  • 1 (4-ounce) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind

  • 2 (5-inch) thyme sprigs, plus fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

  • 2 (5-inch) sage sprigs

  • 2 (5-inch) rosemary sprigs

  • 2 fresh or dried bay leaves

  • Crushed red pepper, for garnish


  1. Place beans in a large bowl or container; add cold water to cover beans. Cover and refrigerate 12 hours. Drain beans, and set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium. Add onion, celery, carrot, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and fennel seeds; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add reserved beans, broth, turkey, cheese rind, thyme, sage, rosemary, and bay leaves.

  3. Bring turkey mixture to a boil over high. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until turkey easily pulls away from bones, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Transfer turkey to a plate. Simmer bean mixture over low, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender but slightly al dente, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat. Season with additional salt and black pepper to taste. Let beans stand 10 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, remove turkey meat from bones; discard skin and bones. Tear meat into bite-size pieces; stir into bean mixture in Dutch oven.

  5. Remove and discard cheese rind and herb sprigs from bean mixture. Divide bean mixture evenly among bowls; garnish with crushed red pepper and thyme leaves.


Associated Recipe: Leftover Turkey Broth

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