Italian Sausage and White Beans

by Lana Stuart on April 1, 2011 · 38 comments

Italian Sausage and White Beans

Yesterday afternoon about 5:00 I still had no idea what I was going to cook for dinner. Does that ever happen to you? You know you need to get something started, but you just can’t figure out what. So, I just went to the fridge and pantry and started pulling out things that I thought would go together. I had a package of Italian sausage that I needed to use and there were two cans of Great Northern beans in the pantry just begging to be cooked. I grabbed a can of tomatoes, some onions and garlic and got to work.

What resulted was a very flavorful, comforting dinner for a chilly Spring evening. All you need to make a meal with this is a tossed salad and some garlic bread.

Now, I know that some combination of Italian sausage with white beans and tomatoes has probably been made thousands of times by different cooks and I’m sure that my version may not even be so authentically Italian. Regardless, it’s a delicious recipe that your whole family is bound to enjoy.

You start by heating some olive oil in a deep-sided pan. I use my chicken fryer because I can complete the whole recipe in that one pan. Just be sure to use something that all the sausages can fit into in a single layer.

Italian Sausages and White Beans

Add your Italian sausages and cook them, turning frequently until they’re nice and browned. Remove the sausages to a plate and put them aside until later. To make this recipe lower in fat, you can use the turkey Italian sausages. I buy them often and honestly we like them just as well as the pork ones.

Italian Sausage and White Beans

In the same skillet, without cleaning it, add the onions, garlic and sweet peppers and cook until they are tender and beginning to color just slightly. If you need to add more olive oil you can, but here’s a trick that I often use. Instead of more oil, I add a few tablespoons of water, cover the pan and let the veggies steam. The water also loosens all the nice brown bits from the bottom of the pan while steaming the vegetables. After the vegetables are tender and the water has evaporated, remove the lid of the pan and continue browning for a few minutes.

Italian Sausage and White Beans

Add all the remaining ingredients to the pan – tomatoes, tomato sauce, seasonings, wine and beans. Stir everything to combine. Return the sausages, along with any accumulated juices, to the pan nestling them down into the bean and tomato mixture.

Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer until the sausages and beans are cooked through – about 25-30 minutes. Serve with a tossed green salad and garlic bread.


Italian Sausage and White Beans

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Italian Sausage and White Beans

A hearty, flavorful Italian sausage and white bean stew.


  • 2 tblsp. olive oil
  • 4-5 mild Italian sausages
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sweet red or green pepper
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cans white beans (such as Cannellini or Great Northern), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or water or chicken stock)


  1. In a deep-sided skillet (such as a chicken fryer), heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the sausages and cook, turning occasionally until well browned on all sides. Remove the sausages to a plate and hold until later.
  3. Add the onion, garlic and sweet pepper to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables are tender and beginning to take on a little color.
  4. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the pan. Stir well to combine.
  5. Return the sausages to the pan nestling them down into the bean and tomato mixture. Be sure to add any juices collected on the plate with sausages.
  6. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the sausages and beans are cooked through.


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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Deeba April 1, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Makes me HUNGRY! I love the flavour and comfort this offers. YUM!


2 Lana April 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Thank you, Deeba. It really turned out well, I thought.


3 Kim April 1, 2011 at 1:12 pm

That’s a very pretty dish!! Definitely something I’ll make…I’m always looking for dinners with beans as the starch :-) Thanks


4 Lana April 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Thanks, Kim. Hope you enjoy it.


5 Alison @ ingredients, Inc. April 1, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Will have to try this. I think my kids might even like it too!


6 Lana April 4, 2011 at 9:46 am

I think kids would definitely like this. For very small ones, slice the sausages into rounds before serving.


7 Julie April 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm

WOW, this looks fantastic! Right up my alley! I may just make it for dinner tonight! thanks!


8 Lana April 4, 2011 at 9:46 am

Hi Julie. Hope you enjoy it. I’d love to hear some feedback.


9 Jersey Girl Cooks April 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Wow, this looks heavenly especially on a cold wet day like today.


10 Lana April 1, 2011 at 8:34 pm

It really is a very comforting dish and great for a cold, rainy day :-)


11 Julie M. April 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Unique or not, authentic or not, this look FABULOUS. Such gorgeous colors and flavors. I’ll take a weeknight meal at your house any day of the week!


12 Lana April 1, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Thanks, Julie!


13 Feast on the Cheap April 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm

sausage and white beans are a staple in my kitchen – this looks like it’ll be a fab addition to my growing collection…


14 Lana April 1, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Sometimes it’s really interesting to see what can come from pantry staples! That’s where this recipe came from – a well-stocked pantry :-)


15 Cookin' Canuck April 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I can’t begin to tell you how much I would love a bowl of this right now. What a wonderful dish, Lana!


16 Lana April 1, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Thanks, Dara. If I could send you a bowl, I would.


17 Happier Than A Pig in Mud April 1, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Sounds like a perfect dinner, I LOVE beans! Happy Weekend:@)


18 Lana April 4, 2011 at 9:47 am

We really enjoy beans, too. There’s so much you can do with them!


19 Barbara @moderncomfortfood April 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm

I love it, Lana! This reminds me so much of my Florida “native” (Cuban) caldo gallego soup. with white beans, collards, and chorizos, one of the greatest soup dinner recipes ever, as far as I’m concerned.


20 Lana April 1, 2011 at 8:38 pm

You know, Barbara – some green would be really good in this! Collards or kale, I think.


21 Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen April 2, 2011 at 10:53 am

Yum! This looks so comforting & filling!


22 Kalynskitchen April 2, 2011 at 11:29 am

Your sausage and beans looks just delicious! Thanks for including my recipe too.


23 Lana April 4, 2011 at 9:47 am

You’re welcome, Kalyn!


24 Jocelyn April 2, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Looks lovely & surprise surprise, I have all ingredients on hand to make this for tonights dinner! A question before I gather my ingredients. The size of cans you used, The tomatoes and tomato sauce. I have 398ml, (14oz) 54o ml, (19 oz) and larger, but am assuming by the looks of your finished recipe, you used the 540 ml size. Right?
Thanks Lana!


25 Lana April 3, 2011 at 11:07 am

Hi Jocelyn – I used a 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes and an 8 oz. can of tomato sauce. Hope that helps!


26 Jocelyn April 3, 2011 at 11:48 am

Thank you Lana..
I was a bit unsure about the sizes, the tomato sauce especially, so ended up omitting the cans & made my version of your dish with a basket of fresh tomatoes that had become too ripe to eat out of hand. Sauteed onion, sweet peppers & garlic per your recipe, as well as a half cabbage cut into slivers that needed to be used up. Found I did not have canned white beans after all so used chick peas as a substitute. Also threw in a good palmful of chopped fresh rosemary, fresh mint, thai basil & Italian parsley, some of which grow in my sunroom. I love experimenting with fresh herb combinations, and in this case, they complemented your dish quite nicely!


27 Lana April 4, 2011 at 9:48 am

LOL, Jocelyn! You started out with my recipe, but wound up with something totally different – I love that!


28 Maris (In Good Taste) April 3, 2011 at 7:36 am

This will be a dinner this week. Thanks for the great recipe!


29 Lana April 4, 2011 at 9:48 am

You’re welcome and I really hope you enjoy it!


30 megan April 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm

A dish I think my hubby would beg for.


31 Lana April 4, 2011 at 9:49 am

Guys definitely go for this recipe! My hubby is a meat and potatoes kind of guy and he really enjoyed this.


32 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 4, 2011 at 11:44 am

Ooh, Lana, what a great recipe! Total guy food, and I know my husband would love this just as much as I would. I love the flavors that you used! Thanks for sharing. :)


33 Sues April 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Yum! This is my idea of comfort food and perfect for this rainy evening :) Delicious looking!


34 Drick April 4, 2011 at 8:08 pm

I am so sorry I missed this one the other day… love Italian sausage and with your white bean creation, this would be just perfect, like how you created it as you went along… that takes a fine cook to be able to do that


35 Lana April 5, 2011 at 7:26 am

Thanks for the compliment, Drick! You should give this recipe a try sometime. I know you’d put a special Gulf Coast spin on it in your own way :-)


36 Karen April 5, 2011 at 9:42 am

This looks scrumptious, Lana! Simple yet very satisfying. I love those kinds of dishes. :-)


37 Vicky May 2, 2011 at 11:23 am

Sounds delicious! I’ve got everything on hand – just need to defrost the italian sausage!


38 heather May 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Was so great! My husband loved it and asked me to please make it again : )


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