White Beans with Sausage and Kale

I think if I were to ask Ovi what his favorite dish that I make is, this one would be really high on the list. We almost always have the ingredients in the pantry/fridge to throw this one together, and it’s enjoyed immensely every time. Whenever the question of “what should we make for dinner?” is asked, this one is usually thrown out there as a suggestion. White beans with sausage and kale is a rustic and nutritious dish that requires only one pan. Plus, it’s packed with flavor. Definite favorite.

If you’re not a fan of kale, you can really sub any green that you like. That’s the beauty of it. I enjoy this with broccoli rabe, and the more traditional escarole. It’s easy, and requires so few ingredients that you can even throw it together when you would otherwise get some takeout. 20 minutes or less, is all it takes to get this yummy bowl of goodness in your belly.

Add more broth and you have a delicious soup! So versatile.


  • 1.5 pound lean Italian Turkey Sausage (removed from casing)
  • 6 slices center cut bacon (sliced into small bits)
    • The bacon is optional, but super delicious. Isn’t bacon always awesome?
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2, 16 ounce cans organic cannellini beans (do not drain)
  • 1/2 brown onion (diced)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic (fine mince)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth (or dry white wine)
    • The booze is optional too, but I highly recommend it. It adds a great depth of flavor, and brightens the whole dish right up. I have also subbed a teaspoon of lemon zest, same idea. It’s all up to you, and what’s in your cupboard.
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch kale (thoroughly washed, stems removed, and chopped)
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish, if desired

Yummy crispy bacon garnish…..mmmmm bacon!


  • Heat a large skillet (I use my 12″ non-stick) to medium heat
  • Add chopped bacon (if using) and cook til fat is rendered and bacon is crispy, drain on a paper lined plate.
  • Drain most of bacon fat from pan, leaving a bit in because…..it’s awesome…yep
  • Return pan to heat and add olive oil and chopped onions, saute briefly (about 2 minutes) until onions are translucent
  • Add turkey sausage and cook until browned and cooked through
  • Add minced garlic and cook one additional minute
  • Add pepper flakes, beans, vermouth and a bit of salt (not too much!) and bring to a simmer.
  • Allow beans and sausage to simmer for 10 minutes to combine flavors
  • Add chopped kale to the pan, stir, cover and reduce heat to low
  • Allow kale to steam for 5-7 minutes, or until it reaches desired level of softness.
    • I like my kale with a bit of bite to it, so I only steam it for about 5 minutes
  • Toss to combine, and serve with crispy bacon and shaved Parmesan cheese.

I started mindlessly eating this dish halfway through the photos….it’s good…what can I say.

Here’s my wonky little photography set up, plus a little puppy who’s always under my feet. (Get out of there Roscoe!) Poster boards, propped up by wine bottles in front of my favorite window. My neighbors must think I’m cray cray.

Burlap is a magical fabric. I’ve been loving that little scrap for my recent photos!

This is an older photo of the same dish. In this version, I used broccoli rabe/rappini. I’ve also made it with swiss chard, mustard greens, collard greens…you get the picture. It’s a versatile dish! Ovi’s favorite version is with the kale, mine is with the broccoli rabe. 

Related Posts: 

Broccoli Rabe, Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomato Fusilli


13 thoughts on “White Beans with Sausage and Kale

  1. This sounds good. I also have a favourite recipe that I use when I haven’t planned anything – it used beans, chorizo and vegetables so a similar idea and again uses ingredients I always have somewhere in the fridge/cupboards.

  2. It sounds like we have a lot in common. That is one of our favorite week day meals…I keep Italian chicken sausages in my freezer, beans in my pantry, and the fridge always has escarole or broccoli rabe. And you would laugh…I have almost the same setup. I use foam board.

    • Hi Karen!

      It seems great minds really do think alike. Either that, or these ingredients are universally awesome =) Have you found a better way to keep your boards from falling over? Mine are a bit precarious at the moment.

      • I bought a foam board that was scored and folds so that you have two sides and the back. It supports itself…hopefully you can find one.

  3. I’m not sure I’d leave out the bacon either! This looks really good and so versatile. Beautifully styled and photographed too.

    • Thanks so much! The bacon is the not so secret, secret ingredient – I can’t resist it when I have some in the fridge =) I think the actual secret ingredient here is the dry vermouth =)

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  5. I’ve had a dish similar to sausage and kale but i would have never thought to pair it with white beans before. I’m new to beans so I might just go head and try out this dish

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