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White Bean Sausage Skillet

One pan? Check. Super delicious? Check and check. This garlic-flecked, kale, white bean and sausage skillet dinner is easy, tasty and ready fast.


sausage and white bean skillet dinner with kale

Busy Day? Sausage Skillet Dinner to the Rescue!

Beans and greens are a classic combo, and we’ve made them even meatier and more satisfying with the addition of big slices of sausage. Toss it all in a skillet—cast iron is great, but any skillet will do—and call it dinner. The magic begins when the sausage, garlic and beans begin to braise together for a few minutes with some stock and herbs. Then you smash some (not all) of the beans sort of casually with the back of the spoon you’re using to stir it all together. Smash and stir, smash and stir. It’s lazy and magical all at once. Kale goes in, wilts, and you’re basically done! This stands as a meal all on its own for a few hungry people, or add a big loaf of good bread and it’ll feed even more people. Plus, you can use the bread to sop up every last ounce of loveliness in the pan. So yeah, bread: not a must, but highly recommended! If you’re wanting more bean recipes try our Red Beans and Rice.

white beans, chicken stock, sausage, kale, parmesan, lemon, thyme, garlic and olive oil on a counter for a skillet dinner
sliced sausage being browned in a cast iron skillet
white beans smashed in a small bowl with a fork
white bean and sausage skillet with chicken stock, garlic and thyme being stored with a wooden spoon.

Sausage Skillet: Simple, Pantry Ingredients Make for a Fast, Yummy, One-Pan Dinner

Pre-cooked sausages—you can use Italian sausage or a favorite smoked sausage—plus a couple of cans of beans make up the bulk of this quick, filling skillet recipe. Plus, kale is a hearty green that just lasts and lasts in the fridge—you can buy it and keep it in there for at least a couple of weeks (in an airtight container) without issue, especially if you’re planning to cook it (as we do here). That means it’s easy to keep the ingredients around for a quick dinner almost any time. Here’s everything you’ll need to make this sausage and veggie skillet recipe:

  • Olive oil

  • Italian sausage or smoked sausage

  • Garlic

  • White beans (any kind you like or have around)

  • Chicken stock

  • Fresh thyme

  • Kale

  • Lemon juice

  • Parmesan

White Bean Sausage Skillet dinner with garlic and chicken stock being stirred together.
White Bean Sausage dinner with garlic, chicken stock and kale being stirred together with a spoon.
White Bean and sausage skillet dinner with garlic, chicken stock, kale and parmesan cheese being in a cast iron pan
white bean and sausage skillet dinner with kale being stirred with a spoon

How To Make This White Bean & Sausage Skillet Dinner

We kind of blitzed through the gist of this already, but let’s do a quick step-by-step with a few tips worked in so that you can feel super duper confident about making this simple supper. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Brown the sausage—this will help keep it from losing all of its texture when you braise it later. Remember, we’re calling for cooked sausage, so if all you have is raw, cook it first. Then slice it up and brown those slices.

  2. Set the sausage aside while you use that same skillet to get dinner going. Start with oil and garlic, then quickly add the beans, stock, salt, pepper and thyme.

  3. It’s already going to smell like dinner is well on the way at this point, and that’s because IT IS. Now you get to smash those beans—remember some, not all of them.

  4. When everything’s really bubbling together and smelling good, stir in the kale and let it wilt.

  5. Time for parmesan, lemon and sausages! Stir them in and simmer it all together on low.

  6. Dinner is served!

white bean and sausage skillet dinner with kale, parmesan cheese and lemon being stirred with a spoon

Tools You’ll Need

Even More Skillet Dinner Recipes to Try

white bean and sausage skillet dinner with kale in a bowl served with crusty bread
white bean and sausage skillet dinner with kale in a bowl with a fork and red pepper flakes.

Killin’ It With A Skillet

Is that lame or really great? We’re not sure. What we do know for sure that skillet dinners are total lifesavers. They’re pretty quick, healthyish, only use one pan and often rely on pantry ingredients. In essence, they check all of our weeknight dinner boxes. Oh, and everyone likes them, too. Try the recipe, and let us know how you like it, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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White Bean Sausage Skillet

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  20 min
  • Calories: 414


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 12-14 oz smoked or Italian sausage links (chicken or pork), cooked, 1/2-inch sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, like great northern, butter beans or cannellini, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 bunch curly kale, stems removed, leaves torn into bite size pieces, about 3 cups packed
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • red pepper fakes, optional


  1. 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. Set the sausage aside.
  2. Add the garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add ⅔ of the beans and 1 cup of chicken stock to the skillet and season with salt, pepper and thyme, stir to combine and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. 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 the stock is simmering, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the kale, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often until sauce becomes creamy, is slightly reduced and kale has wilted, about 2 minutes more.
  5. Add the parmesan, lemon and sausage to the pan. Stir to combine. Add remaining stock a little at a time if you need more creaminess. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  6. Serve with extra parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes if desired, alongside some crusty bread!

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories414
  • Protein27 g
  • Carbohydrates45 g
  • Total Fat18 g
  • Dietary Fiber14 g
  • Cholesterol60 mg
  • sodium1208 mg
  • Total Sugars3 g

White Bean Sausage Skillet

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Halie

    What type of Parmesan? Shaved, shredded, or grated?

    Any will do! We love shaved.

  • Frank

    After cooking, how long they'll last in the fridge?
    Can I freeze the stew?

    Should be good for 3-4 days. Freezing should be fine, hope you enjoy Frank!

  • Marlow

    Can I use spinach instead of kale and prepare it the same way?


  • Candace

    Hi! I might be missing something in the recipe - do you take the sausage *out* of the pan at some point? Which step does that happen? Just reached the step saying to add it to the pan and realized I never took it out.

    Oh good catch! Edited—it's in the first step now.

  • Jen

    Can't wait to make this. It looks great. Do you think Kolbassa would be an OK sub for the sausage?


  • Jor

    Terrific. My wife, who is not the biggest beans recipe eater went over the top on this one! Sooo good and so easy. I cut it down as there are only the two of us. I used a smoked farmer’s sausage otherwise basically followed as stated. she asked if there was more (seconds is not a usual for us). Served with a (late) salad. This WILL be made again.

    Thanks Jor, so glad you both enjoyed it!

  • Lisa

    This was fabulous!!!

    Thanks Lisa! Glad you loved it!

  • Hannah

    One of my favorite recipes! I double the beans, because we try to make it stretch a few more servings, but otherwise I make as directed. So good!

    Thanks Hannah, so glad you loved it!

  • Madeline

    This was so good! Instead of cannned beans I use dried beans from a bag and cooked them with some herbs before making this recipe. It turned out so good! This will make it on our dinner rotation schedule! Thanks!

    Thanks Madeline! We are so glad you loved this!

  • Becky

    Very good recipe. I had spinach on hand, no Kale and added hot sauce instead of red pepper flakes.

    Thanks Becky, we are so happy you loved it!