If you love rich, flavorful stews, this home-style cassoulet recipe is one you must try.
We’ve taken the complicated traditional French recipe and simplified it to make it simple and easy for you to make at home.
This recipe has more ingredients than most recipes we right, but they are all pantry staples, with nothing out of the ordinary need to make this cassoulet. The recipe flows easily once you start cooking.
If you make this recipe, plan on feeding a crowd or having leftovers for a while, as it makes a generous amount of servings and is a very filling meal. Don’t worry if you have leftovers, they will last in the refrigerator for several days!
While we’ve simplified this recipe, the dish of cassoulet has many points of interest. We’re providing a little more background about the dish, ingredient choices, and preparation tips below.
If you’re ready to start cooking, just skip down to the ingredients and you’ll be making cassoulet in no time!
What is cassoulet?
Cassoulet is a classic French stew that was, according to legend, invented in the small French town of Castelnaudary town in 1355 when the town was under siege by the English.
The legend states that the inhabitants made ready for battle by eating a rich stew of beans, duck, goose and sausage, and, thus prepared, repelled the English attackers.
While this legend is historically dubious, it is a great story, and reflects the long-standing history of this stew in French cuisine.
At its heart, cassoulet is a stew of white beans and meat seasoned with herbs and garlic. There are many variations of this stew within France, and while the meats will change from region to region, there will always be beans!
For a more classic French-style cassoulet recipe that has more ingredients and steps, you can check out Julia Child’s cassoulet recipe here.
Tell me about the beans I should use in this cassoulet.
The base of this recipe is the haricot bean, more commonly known in America as the navy bean or Boston bean. We suggest using dry white beans that have been soaked overnight and drained, but you can use canned beans that have been rinsed and dried.
If you don’t have navy beans, you could use other white beans for your cassoulet such as:
- Cannelini beans
- Lima beans
- Great Northern beans
What meats are included in your cassoulet?
You’ll often find a mixture of pork, duck, lamb, and sausage in a cassoulet recipe, especially very traditional French recipes.
Our home-style cassoulet recipe has been simplified to include three meats that are easily accessible to anyone who wants to enjoy a richly flavored stew:
- Pork shoulder
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs
- Smoked kielbasa
You can substitute duck legs for chicken thighs for a more authentic meal, but we know duck legs are expensive, so to make this recipe more accessible, we use chicken. If you want to use duck legs, we do stock them at LGCM.
To add a bit of rustic flavor, you can add up to a pound of lamb stew or diced shoulder to the pot. Lamb is often included in French recipes, but it’s not common in America, so we stuck with only using pork.
Finally, we suggest using our Smoked Kielbasa for this recipe, because it’s already cooked, which saves time in preparing the recipe and the smoked flavor adds a nice note to the cassoulet.
Most French recipes call for “Toulouse Sausage,” which is a very basic pork sausage. If you would like to stay closer to the original recipe, you could cook our plain pork sausage, drain the fat, and add the crumbles to the cassoulet.
Can I make cassoulet in advance?
Cassoulet is a dish that often tastes better the day after it’s cooked when all of the flavors have gotten to know each other and intensified. If you want to make it in advance, that’s great!
To reheat your cassoulet, we suggest placing the pot you made the recipe in back on the stovetop. Heat it over a low flame while stirring occasionally.
The stew may dry out a bit as it reheats, so if it seems thick or dry, just add a little chicken stock or water to bring back moisture.
Is it possible to cook this cassoulet in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can cook this recipe in your slow cooker, but it will lack some depth of flavor and complexity that the version made on the stove top possesses.
To make this cassoulet in your slow cooker, follow these steps:
- Add all of the ingredients except the sausage to a slow cooker and turn the heat to high.
- Cook for 6 hours or until the beans are tender. Add the sausage to the stew after 5 hours.
Do you have other recipes similar to this cassoulet?
While nothing is quite the same as a cassoulet, here are a few recipes that share similarities:
- Easy Beef Bourguignon – another classic French stew that uses beef instead of the meat mixture we used in this recipe.
- Italian Tomato & Bean Stew – this recipe uses Italian sausage, tomatoes, and cannellini beans to create a hearty stew that is ready fast.
We hope this answers any questions you may have about our cassoulet recipe. It’s meant to be easy to cook at home and show quality meats like you find at Lake Geneva Country Meats.
If there is an ingredient you don’t like in this recipe, you can swap it out with something you prefer more. There are millions of versions of cassoulet in existence, and you can feel free to make this recipe your own – just be sure to keep the white beans!
When you’re done cooking our cassoulet, leave us feedback with a rating or comment. We especially like hearing if you made any swaps or changes to the recipe to make it to your taste.
Have a great day, enjoy cooking, we’ll see you soon at Lake Geneva Country Meats!
- 1 lb Boneless Pork Shoulder (cut into 1″ chunks)
- 1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs (cut into 1″ chunks)
- 1 lb Leahy’s Smoked Kielbasa Sausage (cut into 1″ chunks)
- 2 cup Navy Beans (soaked overnight and drained)
- 1 Yellow Onion (large – diced)
- 2 Carrot (diced)
- 2 stalk Celery (chopped)
- 4 clove Garlic (minced)
- 1 can Diced Tomatoes (14 oz)
- 4 cup Chicken Stock
- 2 Bay Leaf
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- Parsley (fresh – for garnish)
Add the olive oil to a large Dutch oven or similar dish. Heat to medium-high heat and add the cut-up pork and chicken. Season with salt and pepper, then sear until browned, working in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pot. Once seared, remove the meat and set aside.
In the same pot, add the onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent, and then add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
Return the meats to the pot, then add the white beans, diced tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaves, and thyme. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the beans and meats are tender. Stir occasionally.
After 90 minutes of cooking, add the sausages to the pot. Stir and continue to simmer.
Once the beans are tender, remove the bay leaves, and taste the stew. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
Garnish with fresh parsley, and serve with crusty bread.