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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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)
- In a deep-sided skillet (such as a chicken fryer), heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the sausages and cook, turning occasionally until well browned on all sides. Remove the sausages to a plate and hold until later.
- Add the onion, garlic and sweet pepper to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables are tender and beginning to take on a little color.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients to the pan. Stir well to combine.
- 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.
- 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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