You won't find much more of a classic comfort food dish than a sausage casserole. A dish that you can just throw everything in to, this Sausage and Bean Casserole is protein packed with a rich smoky sauce, ready in just 30 minutes and the perfect way to warm up on a cold night. It's a great way to use up leftovers and it's like a big hug in a bowl. It is easy to make a vegetarian version too!
Sausage and bean casserole is a family favourite here. It's hearty and comforting, but with plenty of vegetables in it too. There are so many different way to serve it, you never have to eat it the same way. Crispy sausages in a rich and smokey tomato sauce that is packed with beans and vegetables. What's not to love!
Why you will love it
- A great way to use sausages - Sausage based meals always go down well in our house, but the usual grilled sausages and mash can get a little boring. This is a delicious way to make sausages more exciting.
- Ready in 30 minutes - Dinner ready and on the table in just 30 minutes. Comfort food doesn't have to take a long time.
- An easy way to add vegetables - We had added carrots, leek and cabbage to this sausage and bean casserole, but there are loads of different ways you can adapt it with a different sauce or added vegetables. More on that below.
- Minimum prep time - Once you have your vegetables chopped and you have browned your sausages, everything else is just cooking it together in a pan.
- Protein packed - With the sausages and the beans, this is a protein packed meal.
- Good for batch cooking - We try to always make double of this, because it freezes so well. Perfect for getting out of the freezer in the morning when you know you won't have much time in the evening.
- Sausages - We used 97% pork sausages, however you could use chicken or turkey sausages, or even your favourite vegetarian/vegan variety (this would change the cooking time). The sauce itself has quite a lot of flavour, so we tend to stay away from sausages that have lots of added flavour, but that really is a preference thing.
- Beans - Adding beans means you can use less sausages and still ensure that it is protein packed. We used cannellini beans, but this can be easily adapted to use pinto beans, butter beans or even chickpeas. If you wanted to swap the beans for lentils, why not try our Sausage and Lentil Stew?
- Leeks - Instead of using onion or shallots, we used sliced leeks for a more intense flavour, and they add some colour too.
- Carrots - You will need to make sure that these are really finely diced, so that they cook through and aren't crunchy. Cutting them up small means they are more hidden too, which is perfect for fussy eaters.
- Mushrooms - Try using a couple of different types of mushrooms, like chestnut and shittake for a mixture of textures. Any mushrooms will work though.
- Bell pepper - We used a red bell pepper so it blended in with the sauce, however any colour will work.
- Tomatoes - Tinned chopped tomatoes is where the majority of the sauce comes from in this casserole. Try to use the best quality tinned tomatoes that you can, as you really will be able to taste the difference. Cheap tinned tomatoes are really watery and you won't get the same result.
- Chicken stock pot - This is what adds some richness to the casserole. If you are using veggie sausages, you can use vegetable stock instead.
- Worcestershire sauce - This is pretty much always my "secret" ingredient in stews or casseroles. It just has so much rich flavour to it.
- Tomato puree - An easy way to add a boost of tomato flavour. You could use sun-dried tomato paste too.
- Dried herbs - We used a mixture of dried oregano and thyme, but you can change it to suit your own preference.
- Paprika - This is what adds the smokiness to the casserole. Add more if you want more of that smokey flavour.
- Mustard - This adds a touch of warmth to the sausage casserole. We used Dijon, but wholegrain would work too.
- Spring greens - This gives the whole dish a green vegetable boost. You could swap it for spinach or kale.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Heat some oil in a pan and fry the sausages until cooked through - about 12 minutes.
Two: Put the leeks, carrot, mushrooms and pepper into the pan. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes.
Three: Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, herbs, paprika, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, stock and salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes.
Four: Add the sausages, beans and spring greens.
Five: Mix well and simmer for 5 minutes.
Health benefits of beans
Beans are a great way to add lots of extra protein and fibre, and reduce the amount of meat in a dish. You could use less sausages and more beans if you like, or just add extra beans and have less sausages per person.
Beans are a cheap and low-fat source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals, and they also count towards your recommended 5 daily portions of fruit and vegetables. Beans are a good source of B vitamins, iron and potassium.
Just like the sausages, you can use any beans you like. We used cannellini and pinto beans, however you could swap them for butterbeans, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans or even a can of baked beans.
We used canned just to make this meal as simple as possible, but you could use dried beans, which would make this even more of a budget friendly meal.
The great thing about this sausage and bean casserole is that it is so easy to adapt. An easy way to add lots of flavour is to fry up some bacon or chorizo at the same time as the leeks.
You can also easily adapt the vegetables that have been used. Try to only use quicker cooking vegetables, like courgette and aubergine, or at least chop them really small so that they cook at the same rate as all the other vegetables. You can also give this an extra green veggie boost by stirring in some spinach or even kale.
When it comes to the sauce, it has a serious amount of sauce. It is rich and smokey and just brings all the ingredients together. If you want to change it up a little, then we recommend adding a splash of our Healthy BBQ Sauce, or your favourite BBQ sauce.
What to serve it with
It really has to be mashed potatoes with sausage casserole - it's a classic. Plus it soaks up all that delicious casserole sauce. But, even if you are not a mashed potato fan then we have lots of side dish options for you:
- Easy Roast Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Green Beans
- Easy Cheesy Potato Bake
- Broccoli Cheese
- Roasted Lemon Asparagus
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Easy Cauliflower Cheese
- The BEST Air Fryer Fries
- Italian Parmesan Roasted Potatoes
If you want to keep it simple, then some crusty French bread dipped in to soak all that sauce up works just as well. You could serve leftovers chopped up on a baked potato or even on some rice.
Store: Leftovers will store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Freeze: You can freeze this sausage and bean casserole in a freezable container for up to 3 months.
Defrost: Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
Reheat: This can be reheated in the oven, or reheated on the hob until pipping hot.
Yes, you can make it in advance. You can cook the whole dish and then once it is cooled, cover it and then put it in the fridge for up to 2 days. Take it out of the fridge about an hour before you want to heat it up and then heat it on the hob for about 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly, until heated all the way through.
There are 440 calories in this casserole. This isn't a low calorie dish, but it really hearty and filling and has plenty of vegetables in it. Beans are quite high in calories, so that does bump it up a bit.
If you use gluten free sausages and make sure the stock you are using is gluten free, and that there is no cross contamination, this is a delicious gluten free dish.
• You can easily make this dish vegetarian or vegan, but swapping the sausages for a meat-free alternative. If you are using meat sausages, use any kind you like to add a different flavour.
• If you don't like woody herbs like thyme, then you could use something more leafy like parsley or even chives.
• Serve this sausage casserole on creamy mashed potatoes, or with some homemade potato wedges.
• Add some extra greens by stirring in some spinach a couple of minutes before serving.
• You could cook the sausages under the grill first to keep this dish lighter.
• Why not finish this dish in the oven, and you could sprinkle some cheese on top so it goes a bit crispy?
• Add some extra smokey flavour by adding some chopped up chorizo to the mix.
More sausage recipes
Sausage and Bean Casserole
- 6 Pork sausages - (approx 70g/2.5oz each)
- 235 g Cannellini beans - (drained weight)
- 1 Leek - sliced
- 1 Carrot - finely diced
- 8 Button mushrooms - sliced
- 1 Red bell pepper - dices
- 400 g Chopped tomatoes - canned
- 100 ml Boiling water
- 1 Chicken stock pot
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 0.5 teaspoon paprika
- 0.5 teaspoon dried thyme
- 0.5 teaspoon Dried oregano
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoon Tomato puree
- 70 g Spring greens - thinly sliced
- Heat some oil in a pan and fry the sausages until cooked through - about 12 minutes. Set aside.6 Pork sausages
- Put the leeks, carrot, mushrooms and pepper into the pan. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes.1 Leek, 1 Carrot, 8 Button mushrooms, 1 Red bell pepper
- Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, herbs, paprika, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, stock and salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes.400 g Chopped tomatoes, 100 ml Boiling water, 1 Chicken stock pot, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 0.5 teaspoon dried thyme, 0.5 teaspoon Dried oregano, 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoon Tomato puree, 0.5 teaspoon paprika
- Add the sausages, beans and spring greens.6 Pork sausages, 235 g Cannellini beans, 70 g Spring greens
- Mix well and simmer for 5 minutes.
- You can easily make this dish vegetarian or vegan, but swapping the sausages for a meat-free alternative. If you are using meat sausages, use any kind you like to add a different flavour.
- If you don't like woody herbs like thyme, then you could use something more leafy like parsley or even chives.
- Serve this sausage casserole on creamy mashed potatoes, or with some homemade potato wedges.
- Add some extra greens by stirring in some spinach a couple of minutes before serving.
- You could cook the sausages under the grill first to keep this dish lighter.
- Why not finish this dish in the oven, and you could sprinkle some cheese on top so it goes a bit crispy.
- Add some extra smokey flavour by adding some chopped up chorizo to the mix.