This simple but delicious sausage and bean casserole requires just one pot and comes together easily in under 30 minutes. This wholesome dinner recipe uses vegetarian sausages and cannellini beans in a creamy leek white wine sauce; it’s an ideal quick and easy weeknight dinner that your whole family can enjoy.
I’ve been loving building out my winter warmer comfort food classics series on across my blog and social channels lately, and for me, nothing epitomises hearty and wholesome homecooked food like a sausage and bean casserole served alongside a plate of crusty buttered bread. Other comfort food classics I’ve published recently that you might like to check out include my French onion pasta (inspired by the viral trend from last year), this cheesy baked orzo with veggie meatballs, leeks and brothy beans, and a super hearty lentil bolognese.
This sausage and white bean casserole uses vegetarian sausages (use whatever type of sausage suits your dietary preferences/requirements, though) nestled into cannellini beans and leeks sauteed until tender and fragrant then simmered in a creamy white bean sauce. While a tomato-based sausage casserole is great, this creamy version is the ultimate comfort food.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
If I could summarise this recipe in a few words to sell it to you, those words would be…
- Quick and easy
- Minimal washing up!
- Comfort food at its finest
Ingredients You’ll Need
As mentioned, this sausage and bean casserole is a one-pot recipe! I use my trusty casserole pan for this recipe, but you could use a large saucepan if that’s all you have.
Below are all the ingredients you’ll need plus some notes on each one – make sure you scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this page for the exact quantities and follow-along step-by-step instructions for making this recipe.
- Sausages: As mentioned, I used vegetarian sausages for this recipe (they’re also vegan-friendly, I used the Richmond plant-based ones). Use pork sausages if you’re a meat-eater or whatever your preferred type of sausage is.
- Oil & Butter: I opt for olive oil for this recipe, and an added knob of butter for getting the leeks extra soft and fragrant.
- Leek: Buttery, soft leeks form the base of this hearty sausage and bean casserole. You could also swap them out for onions or shallots, or even a mix of onion, carrot, and celery.
- Garlic: I like using 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced for this recipe. Adjust according to your preferences.
- Thyme & Rosemary: If you can use fresh thyme and rosemary, this just elevates this casserole a bit more. However, the dried versions of these herbs will also work just fine.
- Salt & Pepper
- Plain flour or corn flour: Use plain flour or corn flour (which is gluten-free) to help thicken the sauce in the casserole.
- White wine: I use whatever cheap, dry white wine I have in the cupboard for these types of recipes! You don’t need anything fancy. If you don’t drink alcohol or would prefer to omit it then you can – you could add a splash of apple cider vinegar or just skip it altogether and add more stock.
- Cannellini beans: I think the size and creamy texture of cannellini beans makes them the perfect bean to use for this casserole. However, smaller haricot beans or bigger butter beans would also work great!
- Vegetable stock: As this is a vegetarian recipe, I used vegetable stock for the sauce. If you have no dietary requirements, you could use chicken stock as an alternative. I use the Kallo stock cubes mixed with boiling water – but you could use a carton of vegetable stock if you prefer.
- Double cream: Double cream is a must for creating the luscious, creamy white sauce for this sausage casserole. If you’re plant-based, the plant-based creams work a treat, or you could also add a dash of coconut milk or homemade cashew cream (soaked cashews blended with a little water and lemon juice!).
- Kale: Curly kale is an optional addition to this casserole, but highly recommend it for the colour, texture, and taste it adds! I like to chop up my kale and remove any hard stems.
- Lemon: Adding the zest and juice of a lemon just before serving your casserole really takes this dish from good to amazing. Don’t skip this step!
- Pecorino cheese: Finally, a dusting of pecorino hard cheese finishes this dish off perfectly. Pecorino is (most often) vegetarian – check for the V on the packaging to be sure. If you’re vegan, use a plant-based parmesan cheese alternative. If you are a meat eater, you could also use Parmesan instead.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Your Sausage and Bean Casserole
The recipe at the bottom of this page includes the full quantities and directions/instructions for this sausage and white bean casserole recipe (which is also printable). Here are the instructions for bringing this casserole together and getting it on the table in less than 30 minutes!
- Fry your sausages on both sides
First things first: add your oil to the pan and fry the sausages to crisp them up on each side. I fry my sausages for no more than three minutes on each side. Once they’re all done, set them to one side while cooking the casserole.
- Cook your leeks
Add your (washed and finely sliced) leeks to the same pan. Saute on low heat until they are soft and fragrant and even slightly caramelised (8 – 10 minutes or so). Add the butter halfway through, and then add the thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper and cook for another minute before adding the plain flour and stirring.
- Add the white wine, followed by the cannellini beans
Next up, add in your white wine. Stir and allow the alcohol to cook down before adding your drained cannellini beans and stirring them into the leeks to combine everything.
- Add the vegetable stock and double cream, then return the sausages
Pour in your vegetable stock and double cream, and stir everything together. Return the sausages to the pan, then stir them into the white bean casserole – add more vegetable stock if the sauce doesn’t look like enough.
Allow the sausage and bean casserole to simmer for a further 10 – 15 minutes, adding the chopped kale about 5 minutes before removing the pan from the heat (if using).
- Add the final touches
Just before serving, zest and juice your lemon, then grate over the pecorino cheese. You could also scatter over a handful of freshly chopped parsley. Serve your sausage and white bean casserole with a heap of crusty buttered bread to mop up all of those juices!
Expert Tip: If you prefer, you could cook your sausages under the grill while cooking the casserole. For some sausages, this might be preferable as I have found that the vegetarian ‘skins’ start to disintegrate something when simmering! Grilling them will guarantee the sausages stay crispy until serving.
Substitutions and Variations
One of my favourite things about this sausage and bean casserole is how versatile it is. If you don’t have one or two ingredients, you can easily adapt it into something just as delicious! Here are a few ideas and options:
- Make it plant-based: Use vegan sausages and substitute the double cream for a vegan cream, homemade cashew cream, or coconut milk. Use nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan instead of the pecorino. You should also double-check check the wine is vegan-friendly!
- Substitute the leeks for shallots or onions, or a mix of onion, carrot, and celery to add more vegetables to this casserole.
- Add more vegetables to this sausage and bean casserole, such as some diced potatoes, cabbage, and parsnips.
- Swap out the kale for spinach, cavalo nero, or cabbage instead.
- Use vegetarian meatballs instead of sausages.
- Use butter beans or haricot beans (or a mixture!) instead of the cannellini beans.
- Add in dried pasta or another carbohydrate such as barley, quinoa, or buckwheat just before simmering to turn this casserole into a complete meal!
- Swap out the creamy white sauce for a tomato-based casserole by omitting the white wine and double cream and adding chopped tomatoes or passata instead.
This sausage and bean casserole stores really well – in fact, I might argue that it tastes even better the day after cooking it when all the ingredients have really merged and melded into a delicious combination.
Allow the casserole to cool before transferring it to an airtight container and storing it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
You may be able to freeze this recipe depending on what the package instructions say on your sausages. If they are suitable for freezing, defrost fully before reheating.
What should I serve with this sausage and bean casserole?
I think this sausage and bean casserole is perfect when served alongside a few slices of buttered crusty bread to mop up the sauce. For a more filling meal, you could consider serving the casserole with mashed potato or a baked potato.
What sausages do you use for this recipe?
I used the Richmond vegetarian sausages in the photographs for this recipe. There are so many great vegetarian options on the market so use whatever you prefer, or your favourite pork sausages if you eat meat.
Similar Recipes You’ll Like:
- Vegan Creamy Sausage Pasta
- Vegan Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew
- Roasted Red Pepper and Butternut Squash Soup
- French Onion Pasta
- Vegan White Bean Stew
- Butternut Squash and White Bean Pasta
- 6 sausages
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 large leek (2 medium), finely sliced
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp rosemary (dried or fresh)
- 3 tbsp plain flour or corn flour
- 60ml white wine
- 1 tin of cannellini beans (400g), drained
- 400ml vegetable stock
- 150ml double cream
- 1 large handful (20g) curly kale, chopped and stalks removed
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 15g pecorino cheese, grated
- Optional: 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped, to scatter on top
- Heat the oil in a casserole pan, then add your sausages. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side so the sausages get golden and crispy, then remove from the pan and set to one side.
- Add the butter to the pan, followed by the sliced leeks. Saute on low-medium heat until soft and fragrant (8-10 minutes).
- Tip in the minced garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and rosemary, and cook for another minute.
- Scatter over the plain flour and stir to fully combine with the leek mixture.
- Then, add the white wine. Cook for 4-5 minutes until most of the wine has cooked down.
- Tip in the drained cannellini beans, followed by the vegetable stock. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add in the chopped kale and return the sausages to the pan, then cover the pan and simmer for a further 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the sausages are cooked through.
- Before serving, zest the lemon, squeeze the juice into the casserole, and then top with the grated pecorino and fresh parsley.
- Serve with lots of crusty bread to mop up all the juices from the sauce! Enjoy!
It's really easy to store this sausage and bean casserole - in fact, you may even find that it's even better the next day since all the ingredients have really melded together.
Once the casserole has cooled, store it in the refrigerator for up to five days in an airtight container.
You may be able to freeze this recipe depending on the instructions on your sausage package. If they are suitable for freezing, defrost fully before reheating.