My Recipe Box

Spicy Sausage, Escarole & White Bean Stew


Serves three to four.

  • To learn more, read:
    Warming Soups and Stews
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 81

Who said Italian night has to include pasta? This quick-cooking stew has onions, garlic, and spicy Italian sausage—classic flavors you expect in an Italian meal—and it's warming and comforting, too. 

  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3/4 lb. hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small head escarole, chopped into 1- to 2-inch pieces, washed, and lightly dried
  • 1 cup low-salt canned chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 tsp. red-wine vinegar; more to taste
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Heat the oil in a heavy 5- to 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the sausage, raise the heat to medium high, and cook, stirring and breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon or spatula until lightly browned and broken into small (1-inch) pieces, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the beans. Add the escarole to the pot in batches; using tongs, toss with the sausage mixture to wilt the escarole and make room for more.

When all the escarole is in, add the chicken broth, cover the pot, and cook until the beans are heated through and the escarole is tender, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with the vinegar and salt. Transfer to bowls and sprinkle each portion with some of the Parmigiano.

Serving Suggestions

Toasted bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil makes a nice accompaniment. Or, make your own Garlic Butter to spread on Italian or rustic bread. 

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on four servings, Calories (kcal): 390, Fat (kcal): 17, Fat Calories (g): 150, Saturated Fat (g): 5, Protein (g): 20, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8, Carbohydrates (mg): 40, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 3, Sodium (g): 1070, Cholesterol (g): 25, Fiber (g): 13,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Make this constantly! I sub spinach for escarole, red beans or chick beans for the white, and sweet sausage for spicy. Sooo versatile! Served it oversome dittellini tonight! Households fav!!!

***** more stars for this recipe. Another great go to in the fall/winter months. I love cooking this in my red cast Iron pot. This recipe hits all the right buttons. Thick, spicy, rich, and delish. Plus that is super easy to prepare. I have been using this recipe from the "make it tonight, 85 delicious reasons to eat in" magazine. So happy that I have found it online so I can share. If you can't find escarole, use spinach. Be generous with the Parmigiano-Reggiano , add some toasted bread and you will be in heaven. I sometimes substitute 1/2 regular sausage and 1/2 hot. As for the leftovers, while reheating I add even more spinach, so it looks fresh. You won't regret trying this on the next cold or snowy night.

Fantastic. (I used collard greens from farmers market, because that's what I had). Any flavorful sausage taken out of its casing would probably be delicious

This is a great simple and hearty meal. I made a couple of changes....started with crisping some bacon, removing to add at the end, and then sautéing the onions in the bacon drippings and a splash of olive oil. Also had to substitute kale, and added it after the sausage and before the beans. I served it with crostini seasoned with za'atar and sauvignon blanc. A new favourite winter supper.

Excellent recipe, substituted one small rutabaga, cubed, for one of the cans of beans as it is family favorite. Other than that, made as written. Make sure that you get a good sausage as a lot of the flavour in this recipe comes from it. Family of food critics loved it! :)

LOVE THIS! I've made it 20+ times and it's amazing each time!

This is one of my all time favorite recipes. Easy, spicy, hearty. All my favorite ingredients -- sausage, beans, greens. I've made it several times.

This is a great alternative to a pot of Chili on our Buffalo, New York Winter day. Made exactly as directed and my hubby swooned over it. Served with Artisan Garlic Tuscan bread - PERFECT meal!

Wonderful, healthy recipe. My small changes: . I added diced carrots and diced fresh tomatoes. A little over a pound of lower fat chicken/pork italian sausage and broth up to a cup and a half. Leave the greens out of the pot and stir them in each serving bowl, instead. i Served stew over a cup of torn green mix, kale, spinach and escarole per bowl. It softens perfectly when stirred into the hot stew. Finished with parm and hot pepper flakes. O.m.g.

This was an excellent spicy stew that was easy to make. I am glad I doubled the recipe!

This was delicious!

I used vegan sausage, and it was great. Very easy, definitely a keeper.

This is a quick, easy, and yummy recipe. It's great for a cold night, as well as a nice alternative to chili. I served it with the suggested garlic bread, and a salad. To the previous reviewer - yes, it's only one cup of broth. This is a stew, not a soup, so it's meant to be thicker and heartier - therefore, only one cup of chicken broth.

Easy, garlicky, creamy, delicious. Its my new favorite winter stew, and my family loves it too. I didn't change a thing.

excellent easy winter dish. I added some diced carrot and leek to boost the vegetable content. Used a box of Earthbound power greens in place of the escarole. When I took the sausage out of the casing, I removed the large chunks of fat to keep the fat content down. Delicious.

Yum! Just made this with bratwurst (all they had at my local German market!), beans, carrots, onions, fennel and a bit of tomato. When the soup was hot, I put a handful of baby spinach in the bowl, then ladled over the soup. Served with parm and crusty bread. My husband wants this every week, he's proclaimed.

I want to try this recipe but am leary of only 1 cup of stock. Is it really only one cup?

With all the great reviews (and those saying their men loved it) I had to try this. I made it into a longer cooking soup (to simmer while trick or treating) by using dried beans that I'd soaked. I used kale & collard greens instead of escarole and mistakenly bought beef broth instead of chicken----none of it mattered. Excellent soup that was loved by the hubby!

This was so simple and had so few ingredients, I really wasn't expecting much. Boy was I wrong! It was outstanding and everyone loved it. Will definitely double or triple next time.

I used roasted garlic chicken sausage and added some crushed red pepper and some black pepper to give it the kick since my grocer didn't have spicy chicken sausage. It was great with some toasted hearty bread! Yum!

Fabulous - even the Meat & Potatoe man ate this and enjoyed it. I changed nothing since I am a very basic cook. Fast and delicious.

I agree with JanMarie, this is one to double or triple. My husband loves to take leftovers for lunch. The flavor depends on the quality of the sausage. The 2nd time I made it, there was only bulk sausage available which was not as good as the sausage I had used previously that came in casings. One of the best stews I've made! It will become a staple.

Double it, no triple it! This is delicious and so easy. You will want more to freeze for busy days or give away to those you love. My husband raved about this and he is very fussy!

Great simple little recipe for a cold day.

Great recipe! Truly quick and delicious.

Fantastic recipe! Fast, healthy and tasty. I also took everyone else's suggestion about the carrots. Had to substitute a few other things like white kidney bean's, and chinese broccoli instead because of availability. Served with fresh warm wholewheat buns. No leftovers....

This recipe was so unbelievably easy, and really, really GOOD! I was craving more the next day!

Absolutely delicious. This stew is also a great vehicle for using up those ends of vegetables left in the fridge. I used black kale, carrots, and celery in addition to the onions and garlic. So simple to make too.

Awesome recipe!! I am a sausage lover - good sausage. And this is so scrumptious and easy. Like grandma's! Try the other one too - sausage stew with green peppers, onions and pasta.

Delicious. We loved the flavors and it was so easy to make. This one is going in our monthly rotation.

Simple and Delicious! I have played around with it using homemade chicken broth/stock, different beans and kale. No matter what you do to it, it's delicious! I made a big batch as a back up at a party. It was the first thing to go! Men LOVE it.

This is easy and delicious. I always substitute kale for the escarole and add more Parm than is called for... One of our favorites!

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