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White Beans with Greens + Sausage

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Gluten Free
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Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

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Why we love it:

If you have a pretty cast-iron pan or Dutch oven, break it out for this meal and serve it from the center of the table. We love a smashed white bean for a rich and hearty dinner but also for a winter brunch.


  • 14 ounces Sausage (chicken or pork, the firm cooked ones)
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 2 15-ounce cans White Beans (cannellini, navy, or great northern)
  • 112 cups Chicken Stock
  • 12 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 14 teaspoon Black Pepper (freshly cracked)
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme (or fresh)
  • 12 bunch Green Kale (or 3 cups baby kale)
  • 12 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • 1 Lemon (zest and juice)
  • Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. SAUSAGE

    Slice the sausage on a slight angle. In a 12-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook on both sides until browned, about 4 - 5 minutes, then remove them to a plate.


    Mince the garlic and add it to the pan. Open and drain the beans; add ⅔ of them to the pan with the stock. Season with the salt, pepper and thyme; stir and bring to a simmer.


    In a medium bowl, smash remaining beans with a fork until a thick paste is formed. Add the smashed beans back into the skillet and stir to combine. Simmer until the beans are heated through and simmering, about 2 - 3 minutes.

  • 4. KALE

    Wash and dry the kale, and slice into about 1 - 2” squares. We’re ok with the stems here and cut right through them, but if you prefer, you can remove them first.

    Add the kale to the beans and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often until sauce becomes creamy, is slightly reduced and kale has wilted, about 4 minutes more.


    Add the parmesan, lemon zest and juice, and sausage to the pan. Stir to combine and adjust seasoning to taste.

  • 6. SERVING

    Sprinkle with a pinch of red pepper flakes if desired, and perhaps more parmesan. Serve with crusty bread.

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    omit parmesan - consider adding a shake of nutritional yeast
    shredded or diced chicken, sliced pork loin, bacon
    garbanzo beans are nice and will taste great but won’t make a thick sauce, pinto beans work well
  • KALE:
    any leafy green works, try spinach for a less bitter green. Or sub for a different look by using broccoli, cauliflower, or green beans - just be sure to cook them fully
  • EGG ON IT:
    add a fried egg on top for color, richness and a more healthy protein

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Use sausages that they like - chicken apple are a perennial favorite but you can also just get them some hot dogs!
  • Keep them whole if that’s more familiar and serve with the crusty bread for a hot dog vibe, or slice them and put the slices on toothpicks. Serve with their favorite dipping sauce
  • You can bake some of the kale at 400 with a drizzle of olive oil and perhaps garlic power or taco seasoning, and make easy chips
  • Or sub out the kale for something they’ll eat - edamame, broccoli, cauliflower, or greens beans would all work well in the bean sauce or roasted on the side

For Toddlers

  • The mashed beans are great for toddlers, serve theirs before the kale goes in
  • The texture of kale and leafy greens can be tough for toddlers so either swap it out for them or chop it up very finely after cooking it and mix it in with the beans

For Choosy Eaters

  • Try a whole white bean - cook some pasta or rice for a side dish
  • Sausage can be swapped for bacon if that's a better choice
  • Add a fried egg on top of everyone’s meal but serve theirs on the side
  • Fill plate with raw veggies or fruit

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Cook it fully
  2. Or –  just prep the kale
  3. This dish reheats well in the microwave or a pot. Consider adding a little more stock or water as the beans will thicken a bit as it sits
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