Thick, Spicy, Rich, and Dee-lish.

Cutting back on carbs? Who said Italian night has to include pasta? This quick-cooking stew has onions, garlic, and spicy Italian sausage—classic flavors you expect in an Italian meal—and it’s warming and comforting too, the perfect antidote to these frigid temperatures. Of course if you can’t tolerate spicy, use sweet Italian sausage instead.


This Spicy Sausage, Escarole and White Bean Stew recipe hits all the right buttons. Thick, spicy, rich, and delish. Plus it’s super easy to prepare. If you’re not into escarole or can’t find it, substitute spinach or kale. Just make sure that whatever greens you decide on, wash them real well and spin dry.

The jury is in, we loved it! Of course we used more sausage, escarole, and vinegar than originally called for (reflected in the directions below.) The only other change we’d make next time, is incorporating 2 cups of broth as opposed to one.

And if you don’t care about counting carbs, make some toasted bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil for a nice accompaniment. Or, make your own garlic butter to spread on Italian or rustic bread.


Spicy Sausage, Escarole and White Bean Stew

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 head escarole, chopped into 1- to 2-inch pieces, washed, and lightly dried
  • 1 cup low-salt canned chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar; more to taste
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (we used Grano Padano)


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy 5- to 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add the sausage, raise the heat to medium high, and cook, stirring and breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon or spatula until lightly browned and broken into small (1-inch) pieces, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the beans.
  4. Add the escarole to the pot in batches; using tongs, toss with the sausage mixture to wilt the escarole and make room for more.
  5. When all the escarole is in, add the chicken broth, cover the pot, and cook until the beans are heated through and the escarole is tender, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with the vinegar and salt. Transfer to bowls and sprinkle each portion with some of the Parmigiano.


Adapted from a recipe by Joann Smart from Fine Cooking

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