Herbed White Bean and Sausage Stew Recipe (2024)



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One of the reasons to soak beans is that hey are far more nutritious if you do. Soaking beans and grains can reduce phytic acid. Phytic acid binds minerals in the digestive tract, making them less available to our bodies. So, soak if you can.


This is like a far easier version of cassoulet. As others have noted, you don't need to soak the beans: just bring the pot to a boil, cover and simmer for two hours. The beans will be nice and done.

I held off on adding the salt until I seasoned the pot at the end; salt makes beans crunchy while they're cooking.

Lastly, the rosemary and thyme leaves will come off the branch during the simmer. Not a problem for thyme, which largely dissolves, but I suggest chopping the rosemary first.

Brooks Twilley

DETAILED INSTANT POT ADAPTATIONSauté (high) Brown sausage, remove. Reduce to sauté medium + tomato paste & cumin, + veggies, sauté until soft, + water/stock, herbs & beans Manual, High pressure 40 minutes, 15 min natural release Smash some beans in bottom of pot to thicken broth. + sausage & balsamic, splash olive oil, salt & pepper to taste. I used Hot Italian Sausage, the spice shone through the earthy broth. Don't skip balsamic (in the pot & plating)!


I made this tonight and took several of the recommendations below:1. Liquid was 1/2 chicken broth2. Doubled the tomato paste3. Used a stick blender to thicken and add texture4. Doubled the thyme, rosemary and bay and wrapped in cheese cloth5. Soaked the beans (only because I had the time)6. Added dark leafy greens to the servings7. Added a Parmesan rindWhat I'll do differently. Skip the greens. Add more sausage, maybe 1.5 lbs. The parm rind was a definite plus. A Keeper


this was really good. jacked up the spicehere are my edits to the recipe:total cook time 1 hour1 used 2 cans of great Northern beans, 2 cut liquid to 6 cups ( 1/2 water, 1/2 chicken stock) 3 added red pepper flakes4. added rind of parmesan5 took one cup of the beans/mixture toward end and pureed and put back into soup6 cut salt in 1/2


The culprit for uncooked beans could be hard water as I learned moving to hard water town. From Chris Kimball: "...soaking dried beans in mineral-rich; hard tap water can toughen skins. Some recommend using distilled water to avoid this issue, but we’ve discovered a simpler solution: adding salt to the tap water...prevents the magnesium and calcium in the water from binding to the cell walls...three tablespoons of salt per gallon of soaking water is enough to guarantee soft skins."


sorry, the beans need to be soaked. what's the big deal? it takes no effort at all to soak and there's such a difference. i thought it was a waste of an otherwise excellent recipe to have crunchy beans.

Molly M

I went the slow cooker route (swapping spicy for sweet sausage) and it was like coming home to Christmas morning. To the people in the comments saying “soaking beans isn’t hard” - we get it. Congratulations on being a person who plans ahead. We salute you.


Delicious! I put all the herbs in a bouquet garnie wrapped in cheese cloth to make for easy removal at the end of cooking. In addition, I blitzed 2-3 laddle-fulls in in the blender and then added back to the pot for added richness and a creamier texture. Would definitely make again.


This is probably better is with the cumin left out. It doesn't quite match the rest of the spicing. I'm going to try it without cumin next time.

Kevin Osinski

Very tasty and great return on a relatively small amount of effort. Made as directed in an Instant Pot using pre-soaked beans. Removed some of the rendered fat from the pot after browning sausage. Cooked for 25 minutes at high pressure followed by a quick pressure release. Added some baby kale at the end along with the browned sausage, which added a nice bit of color and flavor.

Neil Conklin

I am from northern New England and grew up believing that beans should always be soaked. My personal opinion but great northern are not a good bean. They are relatively high yielding and have thus become a popular commercial bean. Soldier beans, yellow eyes, or Jacobs Cattle beans (trout beans) would be a better choice. Just so you know I am not a Yankee chauvinist Cannolini beans would be another good choice. No time to soak? Buy canned cannolinis, they aren’t too bad.


As you'll notice below, the original article that this recipe accompanied was titled "Tender Beans, Without Soaking." The recipe is for those who are not wanting to soak the beans overnight. I have made this many times since I first read the article when it was published in 2010 and I have never soaked them. It has worked great every time! I have noticed a variation in the simmer time for different types of white beans (other than the great northerns listed), but never too much more.

kathleen rugger

Do you cover the pot?

Sammy Joe

I tend to go really heavy on the balsamic. I add in batches throughout the simmer.I also highly recommend making rosemary rye bread croutons to put on top, and add shredded bourbon bellavitano cheese


I made this in the slow cooker and it came out perfectly. I followed the recipe exactly and did not soak the beans. This made for a very easy and delicious weeknight meal for my family — will definitely make again!

kareen n

Made this in the instant pot - sautéed sausage first, removed, added everything else but the balsamic, and pressure cooked for 40 min. After natural release, I lightly blended some of the soup to thicken, then added the sausage back in and the balsamic, plus a small bag of baby spinach. The only thing I would do differently is either cut the sausage into smaller pieces or remove the sausage casings and cook the sausage loose so you


I was very excited about this recipe as one of my goals this year is to become more comfortable cooking dried beans. I am normally bad at doing the (very simple) task of soaking beans overnight, so this seemed like a perfect recipe. I used Rancho Gordo Marcella beans but, after three hours, they still had a bit of a bite to them. It was a shame as the flavor of the soup is great. I will try again, but I’m joining the chorus of people here saying “just soak the beans!”! Better safe than sorry.


Almost 3 hrs to cook and what a disappointment. We’ve made so many amazing NYT recipes but this is not one. In the end it just tasted like a bowl of beans with a few sausage balls in it. It needed more - definitely greens. But even so the spices seemed off, and it had a weird sweet flavor. I think there are much better bean stew recipes using canned beans that take less time.


This was my 1st NYT cooking recipe and I’m disappointed. Too dependent on vinegar and salt for flavor. It was a fine simple home cooked soup. Not 5 star. What am I missing?

Megan Root

Couldn’t slice the sausage I had so made small meatballs insteadDoubled the tomato paste Add a hefty pinch of crushed pepper to the vegetables at the end. Cooked the vegetables for some extra time Used canned northern white beans and cut liquid to about four cups: 2 water and 2 chicken stockAdded a parm rindSimmered about 40 min then puréed 1/2 and simmered with the sausage for another 10Cheers to all the helpful suggestions!!


This is a pretty fabulous stew! I made a few changes based on pantry ingredients and diet preferences, but hubs took one bite and asked for it on rotation.My edits:Used about half the sausage (one link of hot Italian, rest sweet). Replaced missing sausage with ground (no skin) chicken breast. Crumbled sausage and chicken before browning.Added chopped kale. The vibrancy of the stew made the kale basically tasteless (a GOOD thing per hubs), and added more carrot and celery.


It was good but I wish I would’ve soaked the beans. I added about 2 more teaspoons of salt and a bunch of Parmesan cheese to my bowl.


Soaking beans are not required. By not soaking, you actually end up with a more flavorful broth. It just takes longer to cook them.


I heard that cooking dried beans in a slow cooker can cause sickness from a toxin called PHA. More prevalent in kidney beans than white beans. I'm a fan of your recipes, and I know you're a pro and these recipes are tested...could you help me put me at ease by confirming this is low risk for PHA? And if I wanted to quick cook them before adding, how should I adjust the overall cooking time? Thank you!

Fred M

How do you slice uncooked Italian sausage? Too sift to result in anything but blobs at best.


And immersion blend about 1/3 of it before serving.


I love this soup. I made the following tweaks thanks to recommendations below:1) I soaked the beans for about 12 hours before making this. I’m glad I did - it definitely needed it. Some of the beans turned out tougher than I wanted even with the soaking (despite my cook time matching what the recipe called for). 2) I used chicken sausage instead of pork. 3) I puréed some of the soup with a stick blender to make the soup thicker/creamier (and also to hide the beans for my kids!)


Beans took over 3 hours so plan appropriately :)

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Herbed White Bean and Sausage Stew Recipe (2024)
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