I know I’ve done the whole sausage-bean-kale thing numerous times, but that’s because it’s so good.
This might not be a traditional cassoulet, but that’s the closest word I could find to describe what’s going on here. It’s beans slowly cooked with meat so that the rendered fat has time to soak in and give everything the most amazing flavor. I added kale, which isn’t traditional in cassoulet, just so I could get some greens in there and have everything I needed in one bowl. If you’re not into kale, you can add a half bunch of parsley, which is much more traditional for cassoulet.
This dish surprised me with it’s deep, rich flavor. It’s just a few simple ingredients, but tastes like a million bucks. I guess that’s why cassoulet has been one of those classic poor mans’ meals that has survived for centuries. It just works.
Serve this with some fantastic french bread to sop up the wonderful liquid in the bottom of your bowl and you’ll be one happy camper.
Sausage & Kale Cassoulet
Sausage and Kale Cassoulet
A hearty and warming sausage & kale cassoulet made in the slow cooker for minimal effort.
- 1/2 lb dry great northern beans $0.85
- 1 medium yellow onion $0.32
- 4 cloves garlic $0.32
- 1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage $2.20
- 1 whole bay leaf $0.15
- 1/2 tsp thyme $0.03
- 1/2 tsp oregano $0.03
- 1/2 tsp rosemary $0.03
- 15 oz can diced tomatoes $0.79
- 2 cups chicken broth* $0.13
- 1 bunch kale $0.99
Pick through the dry beans to remove any stones, debris, or bad beans. Place them in a bowl and cover with cool water. Let soak in the refrigerator over night.
The next day, chop the onion and peel the garlic cloves. Place both in the bottom of a slow cooker. Drain off the beans, rinse them briefly, and add them to the slow cooker as well. Place two sausage links on top of the beans and add the bay leaf, thyme, oregano, and rosemary. Pour the can of diced tomatoes and chicken broth over top of everything.
Place the lid on the slow cooker, turn the heat on to high, and cook for 4 hours.
After four hours, the beans should be tender. Remove the bay leaf. Tear the kale leaves from their stems and tear them into small pieces. Place the torn leaves in a colander and rinse well. Stir the kale into the slow cooker until it has wilted down. Remove the sausage, slice into pieces, and then return them to the slow cooker. Taste the cassoulet and add salt and pepper if desired (I didn’t need to add either). Serve hot.
*I use chicken base + water to make chicken broth, which is much less expensive than canned or boxed broths.
Step By Step Photos
Pick through the beans to remove any debris and soak them in the refrigerator over night.
The next day, dice the onion and peel the garlic. I didn’t even bother mincing the garlic, although you could if you’d like.
This is the sausage that I used. I only used two links and froze the rest for later.
Drain the beans, rinse them briefly, and then place them in the slow cooker on top of the onions. Nestle the sausage on top and then add the bay leaf, thyme, oregano, and rosemary.
Lastly, add the can of diced tomatoes and the chicken broth. Place the lid on top and cook on high for four hours.
After four hours, it’s fragrant, the meat is soft, and everything is delicious. Test the beans just to make sure they’re tender. Cook longer if needed.
Tear the kale leaves off of their stems and into small pieces. Rinse them well with cool water.
Add the rinsed kale to the slow cooker and stir it in until it wilts. When you first put it in, it will fill the slow cooker up to the top, but it quickly wilts down from the heat. Taste it and add salt and pepper if you’d like.
Slice the sausage and then add it back to the pot.
And then you’ve got an amazing one pot meal!
It’s seriously warm, delicious, and comforting.