White Bean and Sausage Ragout

Listen. I get it. I really do. It’s hard to inspire love, joy and excitement over a recipe titled White Bean and Sausage Ragout {with Tomatoes, Kale and Zucchini}. Can’t even compare with the buzz around recipes like this.

But even so, trust me when I say that I don’t post anything unless it is 100% unrighteously delicious.

And this White Bean and Sausage Ragout {with Tomatoes, Kale and Zucchini} is just that. The bonus is that it is shockingly healthy and full of crazy-good-for-you nutrients.

Not to mention that I’ve developed a love affair with chicken apple sausages (tried them??) and this is only one of two recipes I’m posting with the delicious morsels this week.

This ragout – simply a thick stew-like concoction – has layers of flavor, starting with the sauteed onion, sausage and garlic, and enhanced by the hearty vegetables: kale, zucchini, tomatoes.

What To ServeAlthough it probably goes against the rules of ragout, I served this over a scoop of steaming rice, so as not to completely shock my children’s systems and attitudes with the plethora of healthiness going on. The real shock was that they ate it right up. A blessing, on one hand, but a curse, on the other, since it left less for me to enjoy later. Seriously good stuff. And it doesn’t hurt that it comes together in less than 30 minutes.

White Bean and Sausage Ragout

White Bean and Sausage Ragout {with Tomatoes, Kale and Zucchini}

Yield: Serves 4-6

White Bean and Sausage Ragout {with Tomatoes, Kale and Zucchini}

Note: If you are unfamiliar with kale, it needs to be rinsed well and then the tough stems need to be cut away before using. Also, I found the chicken apple sausages in my average, every day grocery store near the hot dogs and kielbasa (Johnsonville brand) but I hear Trader Joe's carries an excellent sausage as well.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 12 ounces chicken apple sausages, cut into (1/2-inch) slices
  • 1 zucchini, quartered and cut into (1/2-inch) slices (about 2 cups)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans white beans, like Great Northern, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chopped trimmed kale (about 1/2 pound)


  1. In a large 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until it is hot and ripping. Add the onion and sausage and saute for about 4 minutes until the sausage is brown and the onion is translucent. Add the zucchini and garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring often. Add the water, beans, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Stir. Add the kale and without stirring it in - because at this point the skillet will be very full - cover the skillet. Simmer the ragout for 10 minutes, covered, until the mixture is heated and the kale is completely wilted. Remove the lid, stir the kale into the ragout. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Cooking Light: Cooking Through the Seasons

35 Responses to White Bean and Sausage Ragout {with Tomatoes, Kale and Zucchini}

  1. Emily says:

    My family LOVES this recipe! I am a fitness instructor at a gym and I need a favorite recipe to share for an instructor spotlight. Do you mind if I use one of your beautiful photos if I give you credit and a link to your website? I am a terrible food photographer!

  2. Debra says:

    My 5 year old declared that this was “super yummy”. I smiled as I remembered your comment about Rock Star status. You can bet this is now in the rotation.

  3. Jane Camero says:

    Mel, this is almost exactly like a dish my mother and grandmother made and that I also make. This recipe is very versatile. My grandmother, aunts and mom referred to it as “minestra” – a sort of Italian stew (Grandma came to the US from Italy in the early 1900’s). It was made from whatever meat – usually leftovers – was available. I use crumbled Italian sausage but chopped up leftover ham, sausage like you use, or even leftover roast beef works. It always had white beans and greens (kale, swiss chard, spinach and even mustard greens or broccoli rabe). Other veggies were dictated by what Grandpa had picked from the garden. Often cubed potatoes were added and a little broth. Mmmm – I’m going to make it today! LOL Mel, I love your recipes. Every one I’ve made is a real winner. I look forward to more and thanks for letting an old lady take a walk down memory lane!

  4. Natalie says:

    Costco has great chicken apple sausages. Trying this tonight with orzo to encourage the kiddos! Love all your recipes. Thank you!

  5. Melissa says:

    This was awesome!

  6. Vicky says:

    I made this a couple of nights ago when I wanted to use up half a pound of kale. It was only the second time I had ever cooked with kale, and I have been surprised how much I like it! My family likes it better than spinach also. Anyway, great, healthful recipe. I didn’t have the chicken apple sausage (those things are pricey!) but I did have a Hillshire Farm smoked chicken sausage in the freezer, which worked fine for me. I made my beans from scratch, and other than that step it all came together really quickly. It’s a keeper!

  7. Katie says:

    I love this meal. I make a batch of it and live off of it for lunch for several days. I’m not a big fan of chicken sausage so I used chopped up rotisserie chicken instead. Delish and super healthy!

  8. Mel says:

    Travis – I think it should all double nicely. If it were me, I might only do 3 cans of beans instead of 4, but it really boils down to preference. Good luck!

  9. Travis says:

    Hi Mel, I love this dish! I’m cooking it for 12 this weekend; should I just double the recipe or are there any ingredients that wouldn’t mesh with? Thanks in advance!

  10. Carrie says:

    I had all these ingredients on hand and was looking for a quick, easy dinner. I wanted to like this so badly. It made a HUGE amount, way more than I anticipated. Sadly, nobody liked it at all- including me- and it all went to waste. Just waaaaayyyy too much going on in one dish. Too many ingredients and flavors. We are kind of a simple dinner loving family, so I knew I was taking a gamble and unfortunately it just didn’t work out.

  11. Maggie says:

    Fact: It turned out delicious and made me believe in kale again. Quote from my husband: “You really scored big with this one.”

  12. Heidi says:

    My daughter complained of the smell while it was cooking (the kale being the culprit) and all three of my small children complained when they saw it, but they ALL ate it up and I think enjoyed it. My husband and I both had seconds. Thanks, Mel! I am always looking for new ways to incorporate kale into our diet. Oh and I used roasted red pepper and garlic chicken sausage because that is what I had on hand. Great!

  13. Julianne says:

    OK. I’ve been skeptical of this for a long time. (Forgive me.) But Ryan was in the dinner-making mode, so I say Amen to whatever he wants to make. And he made this. IT WAS SO GOOD. So good. We just had regular breakfast crumbly sausage, so he did a half pound of that. SO SO good. We loved it. Gracias, dear Melanie.

  14. Kerri says:

    Yummy. I only used one can of beans and doubled the zucchini and didn’t serve it over anything and it was still really good! I did add a little red pepper flake, but overall a really easy healthy meal.

  15. Dena says:

    Hi Mel! I made this last night for myself with a couple variations. Since I’m on a diet, I only used 1 can of beans, my can of tomatoes had green chilies already in them, and I didn’t have any of the sausage available so I cubed up some chicken breast. I didn’t have it over rice, just ate it out of a bowl since I’m trying to be low-carb. It was great! Made enough for at least 4 meals for me. I like that it didn’t make a ton so I don’t have to eat it for a week, since my husband is “allergic” to veggies. Was a little nervous since it was my first time cooking or eating kale and was very pleasantly surprised! Thank you so much for this healthy recipe! Keep them coming!

  16. LB says:

    Made this tonight for my turn to do dinner for a group of friends. Really easy, fast, and tasty. I bought spicy italian chicken sausage, and used an assortment of bell peppers from our CSA delivery instead of zucchini. We had lots of greens in our box but no kale this week, but to me they’re almost interchangeable in a dish like this, so I chopped our collards (our chard was already spoken for) and it all went together nicely. Good versatile dish.

  17. Rebecca Dey says:

    This was really good. My only suggestion would be to chop up the kale before adding it to the pot. I sliced mine off in one or two chunks and I think it would have been better a little smaller. Also thinking about adding a little nutmeg and cinnamon next time.

  18. Liss says:

    This was a wonderfully tasty dinner. The kids loved it because of the sausage, beans and tomatoes and we loved it because of how easy it was to make. Served it with some quinoa.

  19. Kristina says:

    I made this last night… And I have to admit that my roommate and I almost finished off the whole pot in one sitting! I love how these so simple ingredients made something so incredibly tasty! We’re big kale fans (kale and potatoes being a favorite), so this was a must-try recipe!

  20. Chavah says:

    Just tried this last night….AWESOME!! I couldn’t stop eating it. It’s so unassuming that such simple ingredients can taste so amazing. Though my kids were scared off by the kale, it didn’t matter….it meant I had more leftovers for my hubby and I to eat. Fantastic recipe…a keeper!

  21. Chavah says:

    Just tried this last night….AWESOME!! I couldn’t stop eating it. It’s so unassuming that such simple ingredients Though my kids were scared off by the kale, it didn’t matter….it meant I had more leftovers for my hubby and I to eat. Fantastic recipe…a keeper!

  22. kira says:

    My mother in law makes something similar and serves is over noodles. Delicious either way!

  23. Andrea says:

    This looks awesome! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks!

  24. This sounds wonderful and I love that it’s so healthy, I love all of the different flavors of chicken sausage. Sam’s carries a delicious one that’s only 110 calories and has 15 grms of protein!

  25. Leslie says:

    I’ve made about 10 of your recipes in the last 2 weeks and my family (and myself) have LOVED them all!! You are very talented in the kitchen!!! Thanks for
    Your recipes!!! I am a mom of 3 young boys and we are always cooking and eating!!! Appreciate you making meal planning different and easy!!

  26. Rachel says:

    I’ve never had chicken apple sausage but I’m completely game! I can’t wait to make this, it has all my favorite veggies and my husband loves sausage. It’s a win win! Thanks!

  27. Sara Q. says:

    Can not wait to try this!! I bet it would also make for a tasty soup with a little chicken broth added and maybe even some potatoes. And I agree 100%, everything you post is absolutely delicious.

  28. Beth says:

    Substitution for chicken apple sausage? 2 allergic to apples here! Turkey sausage? Looks sooo good!

  29. Lindsay says:

    This looks so good! Just curious.. would using spinach instead of kale be an okay substitution?

  30. Yummy flavors in this one! I really like this.

  31. StephenC says:

    This is my kind of food. Ragout is my friend. It’s right up there with cassoulet.

  32. Kim in MD says:

    I love chicken apple sausage! The fact that the sausage is pre-cooked makes this a quick, healthy dinner for any night of the week!

    Oh- and I made the mistake of clicking on the link in this post, Mel! Why do you do that to me? Now I am craving Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake for breakfast! 😉 Seriously.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *