Italian Sausage and Bean Casserole
Italian Sausage and Bean Casserole is a wonderful, hearty and comforting one pan stew that your family will enjoy over and over. This truly is a 30 minute stove-top casserole meal, just add the crusty bread for mopping.
Busy weeknights are back, as it’s back to school season. This is a stovetop casserole (or cassoulet if you’re in France) that you can cook ahead and reheats so easily and it comes with my guarantee that your family will love it. It also makes even better leftovers.
I love to cook Italian meals of this type with beans like Tuscan Bean Soup and Warm Tuscan Bean Crostini with Crispy Kale (< click text for links) and this is a typical meal that you would find in Tuscany and beans play a huge part in the cuisine of this region.
Sweet Italian sausages are so good on their own, as a topping on pizza, served simply in a bun with peppers and onions and even better when cooked with cannellini beans in a tomato and rosemary sauce.
The sauce has a little or as much spice that you want to add from red pepper flakes. This is offset by using sweet sausage. You can also use spicy Italian sausage to kick up the spice a little more, just be mindful of the sauce spice.
Chefs tip: Because there are delicious spices in the sausages, I like to cook them first in the same pan which gives extra flavor to the sauce.
Canned beans hold up very well in this dish because they are added to the sauce at the end so there is no need for any long cooking times.
There is wine in this recipe, but it can be omitted if you’re serving to children, just replace with chicken stock.
Italian Sausage and Bean Casserole in the Slow Cooker
This dish would be perfect to make in the slow cooker. You will need to use dried beans as canned will fall apart and they will need to be soaked overnight before cooking. Brown the sausage as in step 1, then put everything into the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours.