Cassoulet with White Beans, Sausage & Turkey

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I don’t know how I managed to make it through 20-some years of life without trying cassoulet, but I have a feeling I’ll eat enough this fall and winter to make up for it. I made the one pictured here about two weeks ago, and I’ve been dying to have it again ever since. I actually have another one in the oven as I write this post.

Don’t let the fancy French name scare you off. When it comes down to it, cassoulet is nothing more than a white bean and tomato stew. A fragrant sauce flavored with fresh herbs cooks quickly on the stove before being mixed with the rest of the ingredients and baking in the oven. It’s pure stick-to-your-ribs comfort food full of rich and delicious flavors typical of the French countryside.

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This dish takes a little longer to make than most of my recipes, requiring about 20 minutes of active time and an hour or so in the oven, but with a little planning it can definitely be made on a weeknight. Go ahead and make a big batch — it tastes even better the next day.

Traditional cassoulet uses duck or goose confit, but since that can be difficult to find (not to mention expensive!) I’ve taken the liberty of using turkey instead. I like the flavor that using some poultry gives the cassoulet, but you can leave it out and use only sausage just as easily.

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Cassoulet with White Beans, Sausage & Turkey

Carrots add a subtle sweetness to the rich tomato sauce that flavors this dish and lemon zest mixed with the breadcrumbs on top adds a nice burst of bright flavor! Who new a simple bean stew could taste so decadent?

  • 2 links sweet Italian sausage, cut into rounds
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 ounce proscuitto, chopped (about 4 slices)
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 6 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 springs fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 can Great Northern beans (or similar white beans)
  • 4 ounces roasted turkey, chopped (dark meat is best)
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbs lemon zest
  • 1 Tbs olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.

Place a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook through. Remove the sausage, leaving the drippings in the pan. Add the garlic and onion and cook in the sausage drippings until they begin to soften — about 5 minutes. Add the proscuitto and carrot and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally to help break down the tomatoes, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the beans.

Spoon half of the tomato and bean mixture into a 3 quart casserole dish or dutch oven. Scatter the turkey and sausage over it, then top with the remaining beans. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and lemon zest over the top, then drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 60 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and the bread crumbs have browned (if necessary, you can put it under the broiler for 5 minutes at the end to help brown the breadcrumbs). Let sit for 15 minutes prior to serving.


Serves 6.

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Things are still crazy at work, so posting may be slow for the next month. I’ll try to post at least one new recipe a week though! If anyone is interested in contributing a guest post (a great way to share a favorite recipe if you don’t have a blog!) email me!

Comments

  1. That looks absolutely perfect for fall! I made a dish just yesterday with both white beans and italian sausage; it was super delish! I will definitely be trying yours next :)

  2. What a great fall dish! I’ve been looking for some new comfort food dinners, I’ll have to file this one away. :)

  3. Well now I can’t believe I have never had cassoulet either! where has it been my whole life? Actually I was going to make it approximately a year ago for a cooking event but all of the confits intimidated me. Never again. I’ll just use turkey. Looks delicious!

  4. wow love this need to try it for sure

  5. I love cassoulets–they feed my comfort-food craving soul. You have convinced me that I need to make one again–as your’s looks so delicious! ;-)

  6. Mmm! Looks delicious. I love it that it’s a lighter version of a traditional favorite.

  7. Yum. I love cassoulet. I don’t use confit either. Yours looks delicious, all warm and bubbly.
    Sam

  8. This looks delicious. Funny you sounded like you were almost afraid to admit trying a cassarole! Perfect for a fall night.

  9. David, Original Brat Hans says:

    Wow those photos are mouth watering, awesome recipe! One suggestion for the sausage, Original Brat Hans Italian Sausage. They are all-natural with no preservatives or added hormones and sold exclusively at Whole Foods. Hope you like it, I look forward to reading future posts!

  10. Mmmm that looks delish! Perfect on a crisp fall evening.

  11. I LOVE your lead photo. I just want to take that wooden spoon and dig right in :o)

  12. Sounds like a perfect post-Thanksgiving meal to use up that leftover turkey!

  13. What a fabulous recipe for this weather and oh, you know, all the kilos of turkey I have leftover from our Thanksgiving! Adding this to the “leftovers” recipe pile! Looks lovely Lauren.

  14. Luv this take on cassoulet! It is one of my husband’s fav dishes and he asks me every winter to make it! I am thinking I could surprise him with it right after the Thanksgiving turkey! It looks delicious!

  15. I’m always slightly intimidated by French cuisine, but this looks very ‘userfriendly’!

  16. its defintely good weather for some cassoulet! The first time I tried it i was hooked… then i had boeuf bourgignon and that was more wonderful…
    but i came across an express recipe of sorts and kind of tweaked it according to my time and ingredient restraints… luckily i had a pretty decent stew on my hands…
    I love your end result! its beautiful… and i imagine- delicious.

  17. Hi Lauren, this is Diana from TasteSpotting!

    This cassoulet looks like the perfect thing for fall! Have you thought about submitting the recipe for the $1000 grand prize in TasteSpotting’s Johnsonville Sausage recipe contest? You can find out more details here – http://www.tastespotting.com/features/sausagespotting-win-1500-dollars-johnsonville-recipe-contest

    Would love to have you participate – cheers!

  18. Cassoulet sounds great. When I tried to print it out, I kept getting an error. Don’t think it was my computer. I was able to copy it to an app and capture it that way.

    Thanks

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