Slow cooker white beans and sausage is a delicious and easy dinner recipe with creamy beans, smoked turkey sausage and fresh herbs - perfect comfort food!
We've had a lot of warm weather in October here in N.C., but it's finally cooling off and I'm finally breaking out the boots! Sweaters soon to follow and it makes me so happy 🙂
I also finally got the book Girl on the Train. (Yes, I am way, way behind. I always am with things like this. We just started watching Friday Night Lights, to give you an idea.) I'm trying to read it before the weekend so I can go see the movie!
Speaking of the weather, here we are well into fall and somehow, it’s been a while since I’ve brought you a slow cooker recipe.
Which is weird because I make so many slow cooker dishes. I’ve been using mine about once a week for all of this year. It frees me up at dinner time to do our reading homework, catch up on emails, fix a side dish, fix a cocktail… 😉
I love that just a few minutes of prep in the morning means dinner is cooking away and I have a little more freedom in my day.
I also love leaving the house to pick J up at preschool — and later M from kindergarten — and coming back to the delicious smells in the house.
And this slow cooker white beans and sausage smells particularly amazing.
Funny story on that one… When I made this to photograph for this here blog, I had to start it one day, take the assembly pictures and then save the finished meal to photograph the following day. It's a lighting thing.
So my husband gets home from work that night and it’s finishing up in the slow cooker. The smell is intoxicating and he asks what it is. I tell him, “It’s that slow cooker white beans and sausage recipe.”
He knows this recipe. He loves this recipe. He says it reminds him of white beans and rice, a New Orleans dish that’s similar to his own famous red beans and rice. This one is just more strictly French style than Cajun.
“Awesome, it smells great!” he tells me.
“Thanks, but we’re not having it for dinner.”
“I have to photograph it tomorrow,” I say.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me,” he says. #foodbloggerspouseproblems
The next week when I had a different dish in the slow cooker, he walked in and warily asked, “What is it and do I get to eat it tonight?” Hahaha 😉
Can’t say I blame him. It’s so super creamy from the beans that cook all day with the other flavors, absorbing them and turning melt-in-your-mouth tender.
And it’s got chunks of meaty turkey sausage and a great herby background from the thyme and rosemary.
And of course, we like to add hot sauce at the table. #gimmesomespicy
Notes on slow cooker white beans and sausage:
- I really like searing the turkey sausage first before I add it to the slow cooker. It adds a lot of flavor and really only takes 5 minutes.
- I also like cooking the sausage with the entire meal in the slow cooker. It helps everything really marry together. You could also add it in the last 30 minutes of cooking time, if you prefer. (It’s fully cooked so you’re OK on that front.)
- My beans are tender, soft and just starting to break down — which is where you want them — at about 7 ½ hours. Your exact timing will depend on your slow cooker.
- This freezes great! To reheat, thaw completely (in the refrigerator overnight) then warm through in a saucepan, adding some chicken broth or water to get it to the right consistency.
- It’s hearty enough on it’s own but if you’re a carb-lover, you can serve this white beans and sausage with rolls, cornbread or even over rice.
- I’ve made this before without the green pepper and it’s fine, so you can skip that if you’d prefer.
Whether you’re just getting into slow cooker season in your house, or whether you’re like me and use yours year-round, I hope you’ll add this easy, creamy dinner to your rotation.
Slow cooker white beans and sausage
Slow cooker white beans and sausage is a delicious, easy and creamy dinner!
- 1 ½ lbs. smoked turkey sausage (or substitute smoked pork sausage), sliced in 1-inch pieces
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb. dry white beans (I used Great Northern), rinsed and picked over
- 32 oz. low-sodium chicken broth (4 cups)
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add sliced sausage. (I don’t use olive oil, but you could.) Cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove sausage and add to slow cooker.
- Return skillet to stove on medium heat. Add two teaspoons olive oil.
- Add onion, pepper and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer onions and garlic to slow cooker.
- Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Cook on high for 7-8 hours, until beans are tender and creamy and starting to break down.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.
This freezes great! To reheat, thaw completely (in the refrigerator overnight) then warm through in a saucepan, adding some chicken broth or water to get it to the right consistency.
It’s hearty enough on it’s own but if you’re a carb-lover, you can serve this white beans and sausage with rolls, cornbread or even over rice.
I’ve made this before without the green pepper and it’s fine, so you can skip that if you’d prefer.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 1092mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 6gSugar: 5gProtein: 28g
Hooray for slow cooker recipes! 😀 This looks so hearty + flavorful! :]
Thanks Farrah! It is definitely hearty and oh so flavorful! 😀
I made this recipe last night and cooked it exactly as the instructions are and.. I'm disappointed. It's VERY watery and not creamy AT ALL. The taste is bland at best. Please help. I don't want to throw away all this food. Can I still revive it??
Hi Aniela - yes, it's because you pre-soaked your beans (I saw your other comment below). The beans are supposed to go in uncooked and NOT soaked. That's how they soak up all the liquid and become creamy during the cooking time - yours weren't able to absorb as much liquid. I'm not sure if you can just drain off some of the extra liquid and then try to season it with some salt and pepper?
Cornstarch slurry is good to thicken soup. Or I prefer to use a potato masher to mash some of the beans to release the starch...
Why is this recipe so high in calories? What is the serving size??
Hi Christina, I'm not sure why that was displayed wrong. I just updated the recipe card and re-ran the nutrition calculations, so it's correct now. Thanks for pointing that out!
Dawn @ Girl Heart Food
#gimmesomespicy - Hahaha! Girl, that should be a thing and I totally agree with ya!! I read Girl on the Train a little while back and looking forward to seeing the movie too! I totally hear ya about the lighting issues!! Happened to me the other day. That's too funny, but what's a girl to do, right? At least your hubby had something to look forward to 😉 This recipe is seriously up me alley. I LOVE beans and sausage! And in the slow cooker. I could just taste this right now. Pinning this one. This is happening soon. So perfect for this cooler weather we've been having. Hope you're having a great week. Enjoy the book! xoxo
You're my spicy girl go-to 😉 XOXO
I'm guessing that you are using dry beans?
Yes Angie! It's a bag of dry beans - I'll clarify that in the recipe card. Thanks!
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
I finally busted out the boots and a sweater today to run errands!! I was SOOO excited... but it doesn't take much to make me happy. Clearly. lol. As far as Girl on a Train and Friday Night Lights, who cares if you are a little late to the party. What's important is that you arrived! 😉 Now for this dinner - YUMMMMMM!!! Anything in the slow cooker is winning in my book, and I just LOVE what you have going on here!! Creamy white beans and turkey sausage? GIMME dat! Looks perfectly cozy and delicious, girlfriend! Cheers!
I wore boots today and a sweater/wrap today and was so happy!! We've got some warm weather coming back, but I'm still gonna be in fall mode 😉 And yes, I always show up.... eventually. Hehe!
We love our crock pot and use it every chance we can! This recipe sounds perfect for those cold, rainy days! Thanks for sharing such a simple and tasty looking dish, Kathryn! Can't wait to try it!
Luci’s Morsels | fashion. food. frivolity.
Thanks Luci! It's such a great comfort food meal 😊
This is the PERFECT fall/winter dish! Hearty and warm and totally delicious. I have a feeling this one's going to be a huge hit at my house!!
YES! Thanks Karly 🙂 I hope you give it a try! Have a great weekend!
When you say chopped rosemary, are we removing it before we eat or leaving it in there? I'm new to herbs and spices!
Hi Jen! The fresh thyme and rosemary both cook and stay in the dish. You'll want to remove the green needle-like leaves from the stem (which you don't need) then chop the leaves up pretty small. Hope that helps and hope you give this a try!
Do you need to soak the white beans overnight before cooking them in the slow cooker?
Hi! No, you do not need to pre-soak your beans before adding them to the slow cooker. They will cook and turn tender and creamy in the slow cooker.
I pre-soaked my beans... and my recipe didn't turn out. Could that be why?
Do you cut the sausage up before you put it in the slow cooker?
Hi Tasha! Yes, I do slice the sausage, in about 1-inch pieces, before adding it. I also like to sear it in a pan to help add some flavor - just 1-2 minutes on each side over medium-high heat -- but that's optional. Hope you give this recipe a try!
The recipe says to cook on high for 7-8 hours, but my beans were very done after 4 hours on high. I've not cooked dry beans in a crock pot before. Should I have cooked on low?
Hi Amy! It may be a difference in our slow cookers. Some are faster than others. For me, using white beans that I did not pre-soak, it takes about 7 hours on high. I've heard others say to check starting around 5-6 hours. Yours might just be fast!
Great recipe, I used the ninja cooking system. 4 hours on high 2 hours on low. Came out amazing the family really enjoyed it. Being a stay at home dad, crock pot recipes are great. Thanks again for sharing.
I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it Allen! Thanks so much for sharing! 😊
Can you use canned beans for this recipe?
Hi Christy! You can substitute canned beans but you don't want to add them at the beginning, as in the recipe - they would completely break down during the cooking time. Instead, you could stir them in during the last hour of cook time to get them warmed through and hopefully help them absorb some of the other flavors. Hope that helps!
I cooked this today. I added Tony's, garlic powder, onion powder and oregano to it as well as the thyme and rosemary. It came out so creamy and delicious! My husband and my daughter, who doesn't eat anything loved it! Great recipe!
I'm so happy you all loved it!! Those additions sound yummy, too! Thanks so much for sharing! 😊
Hi Kathryn, I cooked this recipe today...the recipe caught my eye cause it looked so good and it said that the recipe was creamy and delicious... a different recipe for beans than what I’m use too, and thought I would try it. I was very disappointed ☹️!!! I used turkey sausage and followed the recipe exactly, but didn’t come out creamy, the taste of the turkey sausage and the beans just didn’t go together it was bland and no special taste. But I guess each too their own taste.
I'm so sorry you were disappointed with the recipe. I use smoked turkey sausage -- the long rope-like style, as seen in the pictures. That's different than link turkey sausage, which I don't recommend for this recipe. I think the flavors go great together and mine comes out super creamy and delicious, but I'm sorry if this wasn't a good fit for you.
Can I use Italian sweet sausage instead of smoked sausage.
You could, but you would need to cook the sausage through first before adding it to the slow cooker. (Ground meat and ground sausage is supposed to be already cooked before going into a slow cooker.) You also won't have the same smoky flavor to balance all the flavors, but if you don't like a smoky sausage flavor, that might be OK. Would love to hear if you try it!
I just made this recipe. (It’s currently cooking in the slow cooker). I made a couple of changes and have my fingers crossed that it will still work!
I wanted to use standard pork sausages (the bland kind) so I did that and then added a tablespoon of Spanish smoked paprika (I’m hoping to mimic the smoked flavor with that). I also used red speckled beans instead of white beans and was nervous about them getting soft enough, so pre-soaked them for about an hour in boiling water (after reading all the comments I realise I made a mistake with that!)
I really have no idea if this will work, but I guess I’ll just have to wait and then see what it tastes like!
Made this tonight and it turned out so delicious! I added some extra seasonings and ended up having to cook on high for about 9 hours to get it nice and creamy. So good with some French bread 🙂 thank you for this recipe!
I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed it Tara! And YUM with the French bread to go with it! 😊
Can I use canned great northern beans for this recipe?
You can, but I don't really recommend it for this recipe and you would need to make some adjustments, such as needing less liquid since you won't need it for the beans to soak up and cook. You'll also not need to cook this nearly as long since the beans are already cooked - and you don't want them to break down into total mush, so you might need to add them closer to the end. Also, the full flavor might not be there. The reason this recipe is so creamy and flavorful is because the raw beans cook in the liquids with everything else for the full cooking time to flavor them from the beginning. Throwing canned beans in at the end won't have quite the same effect.