Real Simple Cassoulet

by Cindi SutterFounder of The Spirited Table®

recipe by Shauna Niequist, author of Bread & Wine (adapted from Real Simple magazine).


Serves 6

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb turkey Italian sausage, casings removed
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 carrots, diced
3 parsnips, diced
1 tomato, chopped, or one 8-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
3 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained
5 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup bread crumbs (we use gluten-free bread)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp butter, melted (or olive oil, for dairy-free eaters)


  1. In a skillet or frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook the sausage until well browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Remove and drain on paper towels; set aside. 
  2. In a stock pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat, combine the chicken broth vegetables, beans, thyme, salt, pepper, one-third of the garlic, and the sausage. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 1 hour, until thickened and the vegetables are tender. 
  4. Heat oven to 400°. Pour cassoulet into an ovenproof dish. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, butter, and remain garlic. Sprinkle evenly over the cassoulet, and place in the oven. Bake, uncovered, until the crust is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. To make ahead and freeze, prepare without the bread crumb topping. Cover and freeze up to 4 months. When ready to cook, uncover the cassoulet, sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture and bake, unthawed, 45 minutes to 1 hour at 400°.