Don’t let the fancy French name scare you off. When it comes down to it, this turkey cassoulet recipe is nothing more than a white bean and tomato stew. It’s pure stick-to-your-ribs comfort food full of rich and delicious flavors typical of the French countryside.
I don’t know how I managed to make it through 20-some years of life without trying cassoulet, but once I did there was no looking back.
This turkey and white bean cassoulet recipe is one of my absolute favorite comfort foods recipes, and I’ve been making it a few times each fall and winter for the past several years.
It’s so warm and cozy! I adore the flavor that fresh rosemary and thyme give the fragrant tomato soup that binds this dish together.
Ingredients for cassoulet
Cassoulet, named for the traditional casserole dish it was cooked in, traditionally includes white beans and a variety of meats that can differ from region to region.
Most cassoulet recipes call for a combination of duck confit, pork and pork sausages, and dried tarbais beans (also known as cassoulet beans).
This recipe uses canned beans to speed the cooking process up and swaps out the duck for roast turkey or chicken. Poultry adds a great flavor and protein boost to the cassoulet and is much easier to find (not to mention less expensive) than duck.
Using roast poultry also means that this recipe is a great way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey or scraps from a roast chicken. If you do want to use duck confit in yours, here’s a great recipe for Instant Pot duck confit.
Many recipes for cassoulet call for a sprinkling of seasoned breadcrumbs or be scattered over the top. While breadcrumbs add a crispy element that can be a nice addition to the dish, they aren’t traditional. Leaving them off keeps the recipe gluten free, and I promise you won’t miss them!
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 double batch — it tastes even better the next day.
Cassoulet shouldn’t be soupy — it’s a thick stew. In fact, you might be tempted to add some liquid before you transfer the pan to the oven because it will look pretty dry. Don’t worry, the vegetables continue to release liquid as they cook, resulting in a perfectly thick tomato sauce.
What to serve with turkey cassoulet
Cassoulet is an all in one meal, so you don’t need to serve it with anything. I usually just plate it up and pour myself a glass of red wine.
Some people serve cassoulet with crusty bread, like a baguette, to help sop up every bit of sauce. The dish is pretty starchy on it’s own though, so I usually skip that.
If you really want to serve something with your cassoulet, a simple green salad with a tangy vinaigrette is a nice way to cut through the rich flavors and help cleanse your palate.
More gluten-free recipes you’ll love:
- Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili
- 30-Minute Chicken and Chorizo Paella
- Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
Cassoulet with White Beans, Sausage & Turkey
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 links sweet Italian sausage cut in half
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 ounce pancetta diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 6 plum tomatoes roughly chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary minced
- 2 springs fresh thyme chopped
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 can 15 ounces Great Northern beans (or similar white beans), drained
- 1 cup chopped roast turkey or chicken preferably dark meat
- Heat your oven to 350ºF.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-proof skillet (I like cast iron) over medium heat.
- Add the sausage and cook until deeply browned on each side, about 8 minutes. . 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 pancetta and carrot and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the pancetta begins to crisp up and the carrot begins to soften.
- 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.
- Stir the turkey or chicken into the stew. Top with sausages.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the sauce is thick and the top layer of beans is lightly browned and slightly crisp.
- Let sit for 15 minutes prior to serving.