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
Cook time
Total time
A hearty, flavorful Italian sausage and white bean stew.
Serves: 4 servings
  • 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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  1. says

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

  2. says

    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!

    • says

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

  3. says

    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.

  4. Jocelyn says

    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!

      • Jocelyn says

        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!

  5. says

    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

    • says

      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 :-)

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