Quick Sausage, Kale, and Crouton Sauté from Smitten Kitchen Every Day

Dinner1-PotItalian SausageKale

Try this Quick Sausage, Kale, and Crouton Sauté from Deb Perelman's new cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Every Day! It's a fast meal that's easy to adapt and is always a hit at dinner time.

Photography Credit: Summer Miller and Emma Christensen

The beauty of Deb Perelman — herself, her blog, and her books — is her sense of humor, humility and grace. She understands that cooking for a family is different than cooking for your own personal creative expression, or for a group of cherished friends.

When food meets the dinner deadlines of young children, life gets pretty intense. No one is more hardcore than a hungry toddler an hour shy of bedtime.

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In her new book, Smitten Kitchen Every Day, Deb addresses the reality of feeding a family — and wanting it to be a positive experience.

Smitten Kitchen Every Day Smitten Kitchen Every Day

Get the book! Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites by Deb Perelman

Smitten Kitchen Every Day has more than 100 recipes that range from breads and biscuits, breakfast, vegetarian main dishes, meat main dishes, and dessert.

On the breakfast side of the things, Ricotta Blini with Honey, Orange, and Sea Salt grabbed my attention. These little cheese-stuffed pancakes are peppered with currents for an extra touch of sweetness. Deb also provides recipes for classics like blueberry muffins – it’s always nice when you find a recipe that challenges your own standbys!

What I probably appreciate more than anything is Deb’s inclusion of accessible, fuss-free vegetable main dishes (and not a single entrée includes a zucchini noodle). She unapologetically uses canned beans and pre-washed, chopped kale.

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She knows that the goal is to serve good food that’s full of flavor, but with the realistic expectations of those of us who put it on the table daily. The recipes, and her writing, are totally absent of pomp and circumstance. I love her for this.

I have several recipes I want to try from the book, but the first one on my list was this simple, and flavorful Quick Sausage, Kale and Crouton Sauté.

It had all the components of a great meal, like sausage, beans, and greens, but the biggest selling point was that it required only one pan for cooking. (Can I get an Amen, from all you mothers out there!)

Quick Sausage, Kale, and Crouton Saute

I’ve made this dish twice already. The second time I added a small jar of artichoke hearts and an extra handful of kale just to increase the vegetable content. My entire family loved it both times. Although my children picked out the kale, they devoured the rest of it without a second thought.

The recipe requires a half can of beans and about a half pound of sausage, casings removed, which are somewhat awkward amounts to shop for. If your family is large enough (or has large enough appetites) and you have a big enough pan, this is an easy recipe to double. Go ahead and use up the entire package of sausage and can of beans.

The leftovers are great too, just reheat them on the stovetop so the bread will crisp up again.

Get the book! Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites by Deb Perelman

Quick Sausage, Kale, and Crouton Saute

Quick Sausage, Kale, and Crouton Sauté Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings

Excerpted with permission from Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites. Copyright © 2017 by Deborah Perelman. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission from the publisher.


  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups (60 grams) 1-inch cubes of sturdy white bread (such as sourdough or ciabatta)
  • 1/2 pound (225 grams) fresh sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 3/4  cup (200 grams) cooked white beans (about half a 15.5-ounce can)
  • 2 big handfuls (or more, to taste) torn curly kale leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) red wine vinegar
  • Grated Parmesan (optional)


1 Make the croutons: Heat two glugs of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bread cubes and toast, stirring, until lightly browned and mostly crisp, 3 to 4 minutes.

2 Cook the sausage: Push the croutons aside and add another glug to the pan, then the garlic and sausage meat. Cook, breaking up sausage into small bits, until browned all over.

3 Cook the greens and beans: Add the greens and cook until they begin to wilt, then add the beans and warm through. Season well with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes

Add vinegar to the pan and use it to scrape up any stuck bits.

4 Serve: Scrape the sauté into bowls, finish with cheese if desired, and inhale.

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Summer Miller

Summer Miller is the Senior Editor for Simply Recipes based in Nebraska. Her work has appeared in Bon Appetit, Eating Well, Grit, SAVEUR, and Every Day with Rachael Ray, among others. Her first book is New Prairie Kitchen (Agate Publishing, 2015).

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4 Comments / Reviews

No ImageQuick Sausage, Kale, and Crouton Sauté from Smitten Kitchen Every Day

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  1. Rebecca J

    Yummy! My family loves it as well. I substitute packaged croutons and let them heat up in the oil a bit before adding the sausage. I use ground hot Italian sausage and as you suggested, the entire can of beans and lb. of kale. We skip the seasonings other than the vinegar. Topped lightly with shredded Parmesan and it’s a perfect way to get greens and beans in the same meal.


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  2. Sandy S.

    This sounds great and may save me from my over indulgence in this season’s sweets! Looks like a good way to use the GF bread experiments and favorite Flageolet beans, a little white bean from France that I get dried from Bob’s Red Barn. A little pricey, but I feel worth it for their flavor and tenderness. Looking forward to trying this recipe!

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Quick Sausage, Kale, and Crouton SauteQuick Sausage, Kale, and Crouton Sauté from Smitten Kitchen Every Day