I should confess that I’ve never had actual cassoulet.
I did live in France, but all that really means here is that I can spell “cassoulet” without having to look up “how to spell cassoulet”.
Traditional cassoulet has been on my bucket list of things to make for many, many years now.
My knowledge of the dish comes from what Julia Child tells me about it, and recipes from the usual suspects of internet recipe writers.
All of these sources tell me that real cassoulet requires hours of labor and a chummy relationship with a local butcher, who hopefully has ample access to duck.
Which means I’ve accepted that this bucket list box won’t be checked off for many more years, if ever.
I am simply not a local butcher person. I’m an Aldi shopper. More accurately, I’m a send-your-husband-to-Aldi-and-see-what-he-comes-back-with shopper.
What I do find appealing about cassoulet is that it’s flavor-packed baked bean-esque comfort food with pork and tomato and herbs. All things I can get on board with.
And what if I told you that you could have all the comfort food feels of a traditional cassoulet but on a weeknight? Quick and easy with minimal effort involved.
This is my (loose) interpretation of the dish. And it is everything I’ve ever dreamt a cassoulet would be, in a fraction of the time.
It uses pork sausage and canned beans and can be ready in an hour – most of which is just bake time!
Maybe best of all is that it cooks in one dish!
Start off by chopping up an onion and some garlic. Toss em’ in your Dutch oven for a quick sauté.
Push those fragrant bad boys to the perimeter to make room for sausages! Brown sausages with some dried rosemary and salt + pep.
Then take sausages out and deglaze all the browned rosemary-sausage-garlic bits off the bottom of your pan with chicken broth! Add in balsamic vinegar, a bay leaf, grape tomatoes, and drained beans. Stir it all together and put the sausages back on top.
Cover and bake for 35 minutes. Make some garlic bread. Pour yourself some wine. Play some dominoes. Feel like a weeknight dinner champion!
I like to slice the sausages once the cassoulet is out of the oven for ease-of-eating, but this is an entirely optional step.
Serve with a crusty hunk-o-bread to soak up all that tomatoey, garlicky, sausagey liquid!
Yes! In an hour, you can have a delicious, cold-weather-friendly meal on your table and people flocking to your kitchen because it smells so good. Clean-up will be a cinch, and it only requires regular ingredients available at your regular grocery store.
A dream of a meal!
A weeknight-friendly version of the French baked bean classic! So jam-packed full of flavor that the word 'shortcut' will be far from anyone's mind.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 – 1 1/4 pounds sausage links (4-5 links)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 2 (15.5 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add onions and garlic. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Push to perimeter of Dutch oven and add sausages to the center, making sure they are in direct contact with the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper and brown for 3 minutes. Flip and brown 3 more. Remove sausages to a plate. Add chicken broth to pan and stir to scrape any browned bits from the bottom. Add balsamic, bay leaf, tomatoes, and beans. Stir to combine. Place sausages on the top. Cover and bake 35 minutes.
Serve hot with crusty bread.
I slice the sausages prior to serving, but this is a totally optional step!
Inspired by Epicurious.