Kale with Sausage and White Beans

“You’ve converted me into a kale lover,” a friend declared after eating a hearty bowl of this kale with sausage and white beans. Yay! I love it when I hear things like this. At our house a green vegetable is always served with dinner, and half the time it’s some sort of green like chard, kale, spinach, mustard greens, or collards. It’s my not-so-secret mission in my heart of hearts to convert everyone to loving their greens. Of course, it’s hard to go wrong when you mix kale with Italian sausage and white beans. But, baby steps people. Baby steps.

Kale with Sausage and White Beans Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

We used curly kale for this recipe, but you could use any kale, as well as chard, turnip greens, beet greens, or collards. A splash of vinegar (sherry, red wine, cider) is a nice touch right at the end of cooking.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage, or other sausage (use gluten-free sausage if cooking gluten-free)
  • 1 onion, sliced thin (about 1 1/2 cup's worth of sliced onions)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1 pound kale (1 large bunch), center thick rib removed, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 15-ounce can of white beans, rinsed and drained
  • Salt and pepper

Method

1 Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the bulk sausage; if you can't find bulk sausage, remove the casings on the links. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the onion slices and turn the heat to high. Cook until the edges of the onions brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

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2 Add the kale, sprinkle salt over everything, then add the chicken stock. Cover the pan, lower the heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes.

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3 Uncover, mix everything well (the kale will have cooked down by now) and add the beans. Cover the pot again and lower the heat to low. Cook another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat. Let stand 5 minutes, then serve.

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Links:

Sausage and Red Kale Soup - from Kalyn's Kitchen
Butter Bean, Sausage and Kale Soup - from Danica's Daily
White Bean Pesto Pizza with Linguica and Kale - from Local Kitchen

73 Comments

  1. Lori @ RecipeGirl

    I’m am totally in love with Kale too. This looks like a wonderful way to eat it. I seriously could eat it every which way (favorite way being raw in salad- tried that yet?)

    Not yet, but planning to! ~Elise

  2. Anna @ the shady pine

    It’s such a versatile vegetable and I know that vivid green must be doing me some good. This dish looks so tasty and a great way to cook kale!

  3. Becki's Whole Life

    Yum, I agree, anything with Italian Sausage is going to be good, but still I think it’s important that you are getting your greens and beans. Many people won’t try a healthy food like this unless it’s cooked with a little extra flavor or fat. This sounds wonderful – I would sprinkle a little parm on top..oh yum!

  4. Brittany

    Yes, +1 for the kale lovers!!

    I love the idea of sweet Italian sausage with kale, I’m drooling already!

  5. Virginia

    This is a dynamite combination of flavors and textures. A great one dish meal.
    You have a fellow Kale lover with me. It is delicious and good for you. I make kale chips with parmesan cheese. My husband could eat an enormous bowl of it. Also, kale makes a lovely bouquet in a big jug.

  6. Ann

    Well, you should know that you have helped to convert me to a greens lover. I just didn’t grow up with that at the dinner table. Our vegetable portion was either from a can or frozen bag. I made your Colcannon and decided I loved the greens part the best. So, you can count me as one of your converted! Love, Ann

  7. xenothaulus

    Add chicken broth and some cream and it’s one of my favorite soups.

  8. Bill

    How would gluten get into sausage?

    Some commercially packaged sausages have fillers, including substances like wheat flour that has gluten in it. ~Elise

  9. maryfe

    I make an almost same recipe which my family love. Mine has tomatoes in it. Also I sear the sausage, then just cut it in medallions. It’s comfort food!

  10. kelly

    oh another great healthy recipe here. looks like i’ll have my dinner with my family again. thanks for sharing it :)

  11. Chris Ennis

    I’m with you about about greens and am looking forward to trying this out. Greens help reduce the acidity in our bodies and most people could use many more than we currently eat.

    Sorry to clutter the comments with something other than a review of the recipe itself, which are so awesome on this, my favorite online recipe resource. I hope you can forgive me my enthusiasm at seeing someone else allude to the importance of eating your greens. :)

  12. Erica

    I will definitely be making this this week. I think I will sub tuna for the sausage. Hope that doesn’t sound weird, seems like a good combination to me!

  13. Bev Weidner

    This is my faaaavorite dish EVAR!

  14. Lisa

    Just picked up a bag of Kale at Trader Joes wondering what I was going to do with it. It’s so handy already cut and bagged and you always seem to have a great recipe for it.

  15. Lee

    I make this all the time during the winter. I usually throw in a bunch of mustard greens to get that lovely mustardy bite. Eat it like this one night and then turn it into soup the next. Try it with black-eyed peas for a Southern twist. With cast iron skillet of buttery cornbread, it’s a great winter dinner!

  16. Mary

    Excellent cold weather recipe – full of goodness with the kale and white beans – lovely !
    Mary x

  17. Katie

    I also love kale and swiss chard. I’m working on mustard greens and collards — they intimidate me for some reason.

    I make a stew/soup using a very similar recipe, just more chicken stock. I’m going to try making it a non-soup dish now!

  18. Sylvie (A Pot of Tea)

    Not that I needed converting in the first place, but this looks delicious.

  19. Liz Whittaker

    This sounds excellent. Drain the beans? I thought I would try it with dried beans but this might change the whole recipe.

    You want to cook the beans first if working with dried beans. ~Elise

  20. Susan

    This looks like a delicious combination. I don’t know why, but I never thought to add beans to kale; it does make it a complete meal.

    Greens are healthy but those taking certain blood thinners need to check with the doctor before consuming. Greens are loaded with vitamin-K which is instumental in blood clotting. It needs to be balanced with those medications to keep the drug effective to treat certain conditions. I never thought to ask what the effect is with pills containing progesterone.

  21. Regina

    That’s a delicious way to prepare kale. I just love it! Thanks for the recipe!

  22. jim lowell

    My only suggestion is…plop it all on a big bowl of penne! (Or the pasta shape of your choice.)

  23. daveg

    Just one word Elise… winning!

    At work today, feeling mighty sick, I read your recipe and immediately began to crave it. Meaty and nutritious too!

    Having never cooked any leafy green in my life, you convinced me I ought to try it.

    So I started the recipe just as you wrote it, then decided to add about a cup of thinly sliced crimini mushrooms, a generous grinding of pepper, and another cup of broth to make it… brothier.

    Wow this came out great! Just what the doctor ordered.

    I ate at least a third of it with a hearty multi-grain bread as my dinner, feeling just a little bit better inside.

    Great! I hope you feel better soon! ~Elise

  24. Anne

    Oh, yum. My grandmother used to make a soup like this, and I’ve been craving it badly. I think I’ll make it with hot sausage, though, so it’ll taste more like hers.

  25. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    Lovely recipe — a sure winner, with kale. Perfectly comforting vegetable in my opinion :)

  26. J.W. Hamner

    I’ve been in a bit of a cooking funk… not really being inspired to cook anything… and saw this yesterday and decided to grab the ingredients on the way home from work. Nice and easy recipe… dinner was on the table 45 minutes after starting, which is pretty fast for me. The one thing I would change is to use hot Italian sausage instead of sweet. Greens pair so well with red pepper that that switch might make it a go to dish for me.

  27. Kalyn

    I think I have become an official member of the kale fan club; I am loving it in every recipe I try it in. This sounds like a perfect combination of flavors!

  28. Oma

    Delicious. Hubby added salt and I added Maggi seasoning at the table.

  29. Beth

    Hubby bought kale last night, we just made this for breakfast! (without the beans though, i’m not a big fan of beans and we didn’t have any.) Gotta love sneaking greens into breakfast, loved it!

  30. pete

    used spinach as that is what i had on hand, added crushed red pepper and sprinkled on parmesan cheese at the table. very flavorful and filling. will definitely add it to the week day meal rotation and i’ve have to remember to pick up some kale at the market for next time

  31. mico

    Simply Recipes is the best!
    Kale has been a staple at our house for years. I grew up eating south Georgia-style mixed turnip & mustard greens with boiled pork. I’ve learned that browning the pork first tastes better, and that any and all greens work. Kale is my favorite. Now I have to try adding the beans.
    With sausage I use cabbage with onions and potatoes. I nuke the potatoes first so they don’t brown, but stay soft and creamy.

  32. John Copeland

    A very tasty dish. Last night we adapted our pantry to the recipe and used hot italian sausage,a can of garbanzo beans and added half a handful of pine nuts. What a taste sensation. Who knew that kale could be the locus of so many good recipes?

  33. DkRaven

    Made it last night: Very good, although I had to cook at lower temps on our electric hob. Has anyone tried this with vegetarian sausage? I wonder if it would be as tantalizing when our veggie kids visit.

  34. Kathryn

    Made this tonight as a soup and my family loved it. I used chicken sausage with sun-dried tomatoes and basil (from Whole Foods) and increased the chicken stock to a quart. Served it with a hearty bread for a great chilly-weather dinner. Thanks.

  35. Julie

    I made this tonight and used chicken sausage and boy was it yummy. Thanks for this and for all your awesome recipes, Elise!

  36. Bill

    I LOVE Kale. That’s the only vegetable I’d eat as a kid. It’s a bummer I’m on Coumadin/Warfrin therapy and really have to watch my intake of vitamin K (Kale is loaded with it), and can’t eat more than a very small portion of it. My bride
    made this recipe, and she didn’t “tweek” it. She prepared it completely verbatim
    with this recipe. It was OFF THE HOOK
    fantastic. The sausage and the white beans, oh man. I thought I died and went
    to heaven. This recipe is absolutely
    a winner, and VERY easy to prepare. It’s
    particularly delicious on a cold winter evenings dinner with a baguette
    or a loaf of french bread. Wait a minute.
    Okay. My wife DID add something on her
    own to this dish. A couple of good shakes with the Cayenne pepper shaker.
    Gave it a real nice, pleasant and not overpowering hint of heat.

  37. Rocky Mountain Woman

    This looks amazing!

    I make an Italian bean soup that takes all day to cook and has kale in it. Might be time to pull that recipe out….

  38. Krissy's Creations

    I’ve been incorporating a lot more leafy greens and beans into my diet. This recipe is a MUST for me. I will definitely be making it asap.

  39. Hanna

    This is really good and easy to make! I found it a bit on the salty side, however. Could have been the chicken stock… Next time, I’ll try my own home-made stock!

  40. Catherine

    Hi, I just found your site while searching for truffle recipes. The Kale & white bean recipe is very similar to one I have enjoyed from Whole Foods, but they us chicken apple sausage, I think. Also it is similar to a recipe I used on New Year’s Day – Kale, ham and black-eyed peas.

  41. Paul

    I left out the onion and substituted chickpeas for the white beans…It came out great : )

  42. Sara

    Made this last night exactly as directed and it was AMAZING. Every bite was followed by “mmmm.” Thanks for what is sure to be a staple in my house!

  43. Meggy

    First I want to thank you for your blog :) I am a brand new resident of Hungary and a brand new housewife, so this year has been quite an adventure. The point is that I am very thankful for the recipes that you post. It can be difficult to find down to earth recipes that can be made completely from scratch…. and speaking of which I really enjoyed this kale dish but i had to laugh at myself after taking the first bite. I realized that I had eaten almost the exact same thing the night before at my mother in-law’s house. In essence if you switch the white beans for butter beans or cauliflower and a big scoop of sour cream you got yourself some real tasty Hungarian home cook’n. Thankfully my husband didn’t mind eating the same thing again but he did ask for me to pass the sourcream :)

  44. DeeDee

    I made this as a soup. I just increased the Chicken Broth. Fantastic! Reminds me of what my mother used to make. She used rice instead of the beans. I like the beans better. My husband was also an immediate fan. He took a tiny bite with his nose scrunched up and then proceded to eat two bowls of soup! The sausage gives it a great flavor.

  45. Sleeping Mama

    Thank you—this looks delicious! I’ve written up the ingredients to include in this week’s shopping list.

  46. Jimmy Crackcorn

    I did this dish last night but used freshly cooked cranberry beans and added roasted yellow bell peppers. It was absolutely fantastic.

  47. Katherine

    So good! I made this for dinner last night and scrambled some eggs in with it for breakfast this morning!

  48. Caria

    Great recipe – used hot Italian sausage. Definitely will make this dish again. Thanks.

  49. Mary

    This was a fabulous dish. Thank you.

  50. Benjamin Flynt

    Really great recipe. I cooked with chard last night and it was terrific. I chopped up most of the thick stems and added them to the pan after the onions had cooked a bit. Allowed them to cook for a few minutes to soften before adding leaves. Thanks for a new greens and beans recipe!

  51. Sherry in Seattle

    Made this with rainbow chard, and added a couple of dashes of red pepper flakes for a little winter-warmth zip. Delicious!

  52. Mitch

    just made this for my kids and wife for dinner–added a bit more stock and had it as a soup. my picky 8 year old actually said, “good soup” as he finished his bowl; the 11 year old helped himself to a second bowl; my wife is taking the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

    its a hit!!!

  53. Laura in Lafayette

    Made this tonight with ruffly red kale – just delicious!! I may try it with my kids’ cooking class. They LOVE veggies. My first experience with this green was kale chips. OMG! For those, I simply rinsed & dried the leaves, cut out the stems, then cut the greens into big pieces. Sprayed these with olive oil, laid them out on lined baking sheets, and sprinkled with S&P. Baked at 325 about 20 min. until crispy. Watch that they don’t burn…these are the bomb. I’ll try them with Parmesan as suggested by Virginia earlier.

  54. tumbleweed

    I recently ate a cream based soup with kale and Italian sausage at a small bistro. It was delicious. I will definately try this kale, sausage combination.

  55. Emily

    Had this for dinner tonight. Delicious! Finished it up with some parmigiano reggiano cheese and a drizzle of olive oil. At the table, those that wanted a little spice used some hot sauce. Hearty, satisfying, and super quick and easy.

  56. Julie

    I made this last night and my fiance went crazy for it. I used pepper and onion sausage from the farmer’s market and added red pepper flakes and then a dash of balsamic at the end. This was SO tasty.

  57. momnivore

    Okay, I’m a little late to the game here, but just wanted to let you know that I made this for dinner last night and it was fantastic! I used chicken sausage, cut in rounds and sauteed – and added an extra can of beans, but otherwise stuck to the recipe and served it over mashed potatoes. I can’t believe how delicious it was or how fast it was – dinner was on the table in about 20 minutes! Thanks so much for all your recipes – I really have not had a miss from this website yet!

  58. Star

    I made this into a soup like some of the comments mentioned and it’s so good! I added low-sodium chicken broth + water until I achieved the taste I was looking for in the soup. I also added a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar which gave that little something extra to the soup. I wanted to add tomatoes but didn’t since my fiance doesn’t like them but I cut some up for my own bowl and I loved it! I also put in some cooked rice to make it a meal. I used half hot sausage and half sweet and I really liked that combination. Very yummy, what a delicious combination!

  59. Rebekah

    holllaaaaaa. so good. I’m making this again tonight and adding some chopped mushrooms!

  60. A Bit of Brooklyn

    This recipe looks perfect– simple, healthy, and filling. Great way to use up all that kale in the farmer’s markets now. Thanks so much!

  61. Dan

    I make this for my wife all the time. We put it on top of some angel hair pasta and it’s dinner for 2 and lunch the next day. Delicious.

  62. BubbaX

    Tried this last night with Great Northern beans, collard greens instead of kale, and a chicken italian sausage I’d found at Winco. Loved it, girlfriend loved it.

    Great recipe – this one goes in the book.

    Thanks!

  63. bbglo

    This is really good and pretty simple to prepare. I used turkey polska sausage and added red pepper flakes for some heat. Awesome healthy recipe!

    Thanks!

  64. Kevin

    Having just made our first batch of fresh Italian sausage, we will make this tonight. Looks delish…our family loves their greens! Thanks for the great recipe.

  65. Kevin

    Okay, as promised, I made this dish tonight. It was better than I imagined. The dish was savory, yet sweet due to the onions. The kids raved about it, they are 7 and 4, so you know it had to be good.

    Thanks for a great recipe. We enjoyed it immensely.

  66. Kevin

    Okay, I am becoming a pest on this post, but I have to share this. When I made this as a side dish for dinner, I made a 2x batch (I portioned out our sausage in 1 lb bags). Well, this morning, I was frying an egg and suddenly thought that it would taste good on top of this for breakfast. Weird, I know, but soon my wife wanted some too…it was a hit. As usual, the egg yolk added creaminess to this dish that only an egg can do.

    Great idea, thanks Kevin! ~Elise

  67. Maki

    Loved this dish. I had another recipe but yours is so much better- I’m so glad I found this. Yum, thanks for the great recipe!

  68. Reba

    This was good but the flavor seemed a little flat. I added the juice of 1/2 a lemon and sprinkled grated parmesan over the top and that was exactly what it needed.

  69. Joanne Peterson

    Was looking up recipes for kale and white beans, and like the simply recipes site to begin with. Very lovely recipe.

    Just a question though, I always have seen to remove the stem. Is there any way to cook the stem tender enough like the chard stem?

    • Elise

      The stem is tougher. You could try this: remove it, chop it up, sauté it in a little butter until tender and put it back in the soup.

  70. Matt

    I made this and served in warm pita with sriracha, delicious.

  71. Good fiber, happy tummy

    I lightly crush fennel seeds in my lava stone mortar and pestle (google it) and coat the sausage with the crushed fennel seeds. Then pinch the links into the pan to brown. I also thinly slice a jalapeño and add that with the onion. I might also add a tiny pinch of red pepper flakes.

    To me, the fiber from the beans and kale and the heat from the peppers are all good stimulants for the gut.

  72. Big_A

    I am making this AGAIN – for the tenth time at least! I love this dish sooo much. This time, I will be making it with homemade sausage. yummmm.

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