One-Pot Italian Sausage, Kale, and White Beans
A rustic one-pot dinner with Italian sausages nestled in a delicious stew of kale, tomatoes, and cannellini beans. This hearty, healthy dish is perfect for those months when we crave comforting foods. Serve with a loaf of crusty bread
Fall days are upon us in North America and it's time for those hearty, healthy recipes that we all crave. This is one of my all time favorite recipes and my family raves about it every single time I make it! Make sure when you make this to have some crusty bread for the side to sop up all the succulent juices, very important! It's such an easy recipe using simple pantry items that you probably have on hand. If you like a little heat and spice in your dishes, then I've added an optional addition of red pepper flakes that can be added during cooking or sprinkled on afterwards for individuals who like spicy food. This will be a comforting, healthy recipe that you'll crave throughout the colder months of the year. Don't forget the crusty bread! Bon Appétit!
WHAT ABOUT KALE? CAN I USE OTHER GREENS? This recipe uses one-pound of kale! That might look like a lot but once it's softened the kale will shrink. Make sure to use a pot large enough. I used a 6-quart Dutch oven to make this recipe. Any variety of kale will work in this recipe. Curly Kale, Red Kale, or Lacinato Kale (dinosaur kale). I find the best way to remove the kale leaves is to hold the bottom of the stem and using my other hand, run my fingers up the side of the stem, pinching the leaves off. The leaves can then be pulled apart or chopped with a knife. Another way is to fold the leaf in half on a cutting board and cut the leaf off the stem, then chop the leaves. Swiss Chard is another hearty, healthy green that is delicious in this recipe! But note that you can eat the stem of Chard. Don't throw out the stem!
WHAT ARE CANNELLINI BEANS? Cannellini Beans are also referred to as White Kidney Beans in North America due to their large kidney shape. They are often used in Italian soup dishes like the classic winter soup, Minestrone. This is because they hold their shape well and maintain their buttery texture in liquids. Cannellini Beans have a nutty, earthy taste and are perfect in not only soups and stews but salads as well.
DO I HAVE TO USE SWEET ITALIAN SAUSAGE? This recipe is made with just a few simple ingredients so it is easy to swap out ingredients. I've made this recipe with other kinds of sausage because the kale, tomatoes, and white beans are the base. The sausages are like the "star" topping or pièce de résistance. For this recipe I choose Sweet Italian Sausages because they are my children's favorite. But why not use Hot Italian Sausages or choose one of the MANY varieties of Chicken Sausages in the supermarket. Any of these sausage varieties would be delicious!
One-Pot Italian Sausage, Kale, and White Beans
- 2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained, rinsed, divided
- 1 (28 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, juice drained and reserved, divided
- 1 cup chicken stock or broth
- 2 Tbsps olive oil
- 1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausages
- 1 onion, small diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb kale, stemmed and chopped
- 1 tsp salt and more for seasoning to taste
- ground black pepper
- Optional: red pepper flakes
- Using a food processor or blender, add ½ cup cannellini beans, ½ cup tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, and chicken stock or broth. Process until smooth; set aside.
- In a 6-quart Dutch oven or large pot with a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sausages and brown on all sides for about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate and set aside
- Cook the onion in the remaining oil and fat until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and optional red pepper flakes if using. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in kale, salt, remaining tomatoes, and pureed bean-tomato mixture. Scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted and tender, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the remaining beans. Then nestle the sausages, along with any juices on the plate, in the bean-kale mixture. Cover and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened and the sausages read 160°F with an instant-read thermometer, about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Serve warm with crusty bread.
This recipe is delicious! Because we used chicken sausage, I added 1 hot Italian and some Penzey's Hot & Red to spice it up without adding salt. My son and I fought over the leftovers. Serve with some crusty bread. This recipe is definitely a keeper!