Kale with Sausage and White Beans

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

“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.


  • 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


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.


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.


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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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

Showing 4 of 72 Comments

  • hannah

    I made this with soy chorizo from TJs instead of sausage, it turned out great!

  • Steve

    Add vinegar to this recipe. This recipe turned out great

  • Anastacio Taz Herrera

    I made this for lunch but I used squash leaves with their stalk cut into bite size pieces and added some top tendrils. I used Joe’s Italian hot sausage plus one more hot Thai chili minced to jack the heat up a bit more. Served over steam rice and ooohh so good. Next time, I might add a sunny side up egg as someone mentioned.

  • My modifications

    OK, so I treat this like a stir fry and work everything in stages. First, crumble and brown the sausage in a bit of olive oil over medium/medium high heat. Set aside. Then saute/lightly brown the onion (and thinly sliced jalapeño) over medium/medium low heat. Set aside. Then saute the kale, taking care not to overcook. A nice bright green color means it’s done. Re-combine everything in a big sauce pan, add stock, raise the temp to a boil and then immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Add the rinsed beans and cover at the lowest possible heat.

    After a while, the beans will be heated through and you are good to go.

  • Sandy in Tacoma

    I made this tonight — hearty comfort food at its best! Thank you for this delicious, healthy recipe. I plan to add diced tomatoes and more chicken broth to the leftovers for soup. Next time I’ll try deglazing the pan with red wine before adding the kale, and I love the idea of a runny fried egg on top. A terrific recipe as is that also invites tinkering.

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