Sausage & White Bean Cassoulet

Baked sausages in an herbed navy bean sauce stewed with onion, garlic, tomatoes, thyme and oregano. This easy dinner recipe is a great way to break up the monotony of weeknight meals.

overhead of sausage and white bean cassoulet with text overlay


The uniqueness of the dish is that the starchy liquid of the navy beans is used to flavor the broth. As it bakes and thickens, it becomes creamy. The bread crumbs and parmesan cheese further the process.

What is a Cassoulet?

Just a fancy name for casserole. Baked sausages with beans are common in many cultures. In German they are made with tomato puree and served with a dish of whole grain mustard and pumpernickel or rye bread.

angle of sausage with bread crumbs on a plate with asparagus

In French cuisine, wine is used with sweet sausages to deglaze the pan and crusty bread served to mop up the savory sauce. Similarly, this dish is popular in the Tuscan region of Italy and made with garbanzo beans and tomato and spooned over slices of toasted ciabatta.

My version combines elements of all three global influences. I decided to serve it over rice because every bite of this white bean sauce deserves to be enjoyed and rice is a great way to make sure this happens.

close up of white bean and sausage casserole being served

Why Does Wine Deglaze a Pan?

Adding liquid, broth or alcohol, helps to release all the little browned bits from the pan. These are little flavor bombs created by the Maillard reaction and if they stay adhered to the bottom of the pan, they won’t be able to lend their taste to the sauce.

Wine and other types of alcohol are an ideal deglazing liquid due to a high boiling point. As the alcohol evaporates, it concentrates the flavors from the bottom of a sauté or roasting pan and liquifies them so they seamlessly blend into the sauce or gravy.

angle shot of bread crumb topping in a casserole dish

What are Navy Beans?

Navy beans have many alternate names, sometimes called a haricot, pearl haricot bean, Boston bean, white pea bean, or pea bean. They are a variety of the common bean native to the Americas.

It is a dry white bean that is smaller than many other types of white beans, and has an oval, slightly flattened shape. Even though it is common in the Americas, it is commonly used in many Mediterranean dishes that require beans before of its texture and taste.

close up of bread crumb topping on white bean cassoulet

What do Navy Beans Taste Like?

Navy beans have a soft, velvety texture and a slightly nutty taste. They are smooth and mild, making them excellent for a wide variety of dishes and a blank slate that can soak up flavors.

When mashed, they can also serve as a thickening agent.

What Else Can be Used for Navy Beans?

Cannellini beans, garbanzo beans, great northern beans, white kidney beans or flageolet beans.

sliced sausage with rice on a dinner plate

Ingredients for Sausage Cassoulet

This recipe is divided into two- the sausage base and the bread crumb topping. It can be made without the topping, but it really adds a delicious element. All of the ingredients should be readily available at grocery stores.

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil– Or any neutral oil that can be used for sauteing.
  • Sweet Italian Sausage– I like sweet sausage because it is the most verstile and I was feeding my kiddos, but hot sausage also works and so does speciality links. Pork sausages are the most traditional, but chicken sausage or even tufo can be swapped. Also look for flavored versions like garlic sausage or cheesy sausages with wine or broccoli rabe.
  • Yellow Onion– Deep oniony flavor will impart onto the creamy sauce. Sweet onion can be swapped.
  • Garlic– Fresh garlic is the way to go! Although I generally measure garlic with my heart, this is one dish where I wanted some other tastes to shine throw so I resisted the urge to double or even triple the volume.
  • Fresh Herbs– Thyme and oregano add earthy tones. Fresh is prefered for this recipe, but if you have dried, the conversion is 1 tablespoon of fresh for 1 teaspoon of dried. Also feel free to use one or the other.

  • Dry White Wine- The first step should be to open the bottle and pour yourself a glass! This recipe uses wine to deglaze and a dry white is prefered. Pinot grigio or chardonnay (non-oaky).
  • Low Sodium Broth– Either chicken stock or vegetable broth. Use low sodium so you can control the salt levels. It’s much easier to add it in than take it away!
  • Dijon Mustard– For the best texture, use a standard, smooth mustard. It gives the sauce an acidic burst.
  • Navy beans– Canned to save time on softening! Rinse and drain them well.
  • Petite diced tomatoes– Opt for the plain ones since this sauce doesn’t use any of the flavor profiles they are typically offered in. Some folks prefer a tomato paste instead of chopped tomatoes. Swap that out for 2 tablespoons of paste.
  • Coarse Kosher salt & black pepper– To balance and brighten and season.
  • Seasoned bread crumbs– Plain can also be used. You can even make your own!
  • Parmesan cheese – Nutty and a little salty, this is the best for helping the topping stick together.
sausage and beans on a gold fork

Some folks like to add a bay leaf, but I don’t find it necessary with all of the other fresh herbs. Duck confit and even crispy pork skin (chitlins or pork rinds) are sometimes added to the top for more crunch. Nuts like pine nuts (unless someone is allergic to tree nuts!) are also common, as is the addition of cremini mushrooms.

How to Make White Bean Cassoulet

It is easy to make this hearty dish.

  1. Preheat the oven and heat a small amount of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or large skillet (oven safe).
  2. Add the sausages, browning on both sides to develop flavor, approximately 3-4 minutes. They won’t be fully cooked, that is fine. Remove to a plate and set aside while you start preparing the sauce bean sauce.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and add the remaining olive oil to the pot and then the onions, sauteing until they start to soften and become fragrant. Add the garlic, thyme and oregano, cooking for an additional 1 minute. Do not allow them to brown. Burnt garlic tastes bitter.
  4. Over medium heat, deglaze the pan with white wine, scraping up all of the browned bits, which are little flavor bombs that will help to flavor the sauce. If you prefer to cook without alcohol, simply skip this step and try to get as much up with just the cooking liquid as you can.
  1. Add the chicken broth, Dijon mustard, navy beans (with liquid), drained tomatoes and salt. Bring to a low simmer and then add the sausages back to the pot making sure it is mixed well and the sausages are coated. If using bay leaves, add at this stage.
  2. Prepare the topping by stirring together the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and then sprinkle the topping over the top of the cassoulet.
sausage and bean cassoulet topped with seasoned bread crumbs
  1. Bake in the oven until breadcrumbs are golden brown. Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes so the sauce can thicken and cool.

What to Serve with a Cassoulet

This recipe is really a one-dish meal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t serve it with something. In fact, serving it over rice like rice pilaf, stick of butter rice, buttered noodles or ranch rice, are great for not wasting any of the delicious sauce.

Crusty bread is also a great option. Make your own easy, no-yeast bread like my potato bread or roast garlic bread. Or opt for my award winning garlic bread spread or 2-ingredient bread sticks.

And don’t forget the greens! A leafy side salad or veggie side dish like asparagus, pan fried broccolini or brussels sprouts are good options.

Tips & Questions

Can you make this dish in a slow cooker?

You can make it in a crock pot, but I don’t recommend it. The sausage still needs to be browned and the onions softened, so you wouldn’t skip a step there. The crunchy topping would get ushy with steam. This is one recipe that doesn’t benefit from modern appliances.

How Do You Store Traditional Cassoulet?

Place leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes in a baking dish.

Can You Freeze Cassoulet?

You sure can! Place in an airtight container all the way to the top (with just enough room for expansion) and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. If making from scratch as a freezer meal, don’t put the bread crumb topping on until your reheat.

Reheat in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes.

Can I Use Red Wine Instead of White Wine?

Sure! Do what your taste buds desire. Be mindful that the gravy will be much darker.

collage of white bean cassoulet images

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close up of white bean and sausage casserole being served

Sausage & White Bean Cassoulet

4.50 from 12 votes
Baked sausages in an herbed navy bean sauce stewed with onion, garlic, tomatoes, thyme and oregano.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6





  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the sausages, browning on both sides, approximately 3-4 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot. Add the onions, sauteing until they start to soften, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and oregano, cooking for an additional 1 minute.
  • Deglaze the pan with white wine, scraping up all of the browned bits. Add the chicken broth, Dijon mustard, navy beans with liquid, drained tomatoes and salt. Bring to a low simmer and then add the sausages back to the pot. Turn the heat off.
  • Prepare the topping by stirring together the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
  • Evenly sprinkle the topping over the top of the cassoulet. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are lightly browned.
  • Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving over rice or with crusty bread.
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.


Calories: 526 kcal, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Protein: 20 g, Fat: 42 g, Saturated Fat: 14 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 20 g, Cholesterol: 88 mg, Sodium: 1582 mg, Potassium: 594 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 5 g, Vitamin A: 261 IU, Vitamin C: 13 mg, Calcium: 123 mg, Iron: 3 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 526
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: French, German
Keyword: navy bean recipe, navy beans, sausage casserole, white bean cassoulet
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and food lover behind Savory Experiments. She is obsessed with butter, salt and bacon and spends all her time in the kitchen and behind a camera. Jessica is a contributor to PopKitchen by Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal Food + Travel and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve never really been a bean person but my husband is so I tried this. I think I loved it as much as he did! So many flavors and textures. It was perfect.

  2. 5 stars
    I haven’t had cassoulet in a very long time and these pictures have me drooling! Definitely making this for the family on the weekend!