Chicken Sausage, White Beans and Kale

March 25, 2014 | By | COMMENTS


Last week I was going to share with you a great weeknight recipe I came up with involving chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s (the garlic and herb flavor), mirepoix–that’s carrots, onions and celery for you amateurs–and white beans. That was it. Then, a week later, I made it again, only this time I added kale and suddenly a super casual dinner took on some oomph. This was a dinner that people might really want to make on a weeknight, that’s tasty but also healthy and surprisingly flavorful with the addition of a secret ingredient at the end which I won’t tell you about until after the jump. Ok fine, I’ll tell you: it’s lemon juice. And it works wonders.

Let’s start at the beginning. To make this dinner, buy some chicken sausage–the one I bought was already cooked, so you’re really just getting some color in this first step–slice it into thick rings and cook in 1/4 cup olive oil that you heat on high heat in a fairly large, metal skillet.


See all the color I developed there? That’s because I let it sear well on both sides. Once that happens, remove the sausage to a plate and add either onions, carrots and celery or, if you don’t have all of those things, just onions. About one yellow onion, chopped. Sprinkle with salt, lower the heat and allow to cook for as long as you can until the onion takes on a deep brown color. Then add 2 or 3 cloves of sliced garlic:


[Note: that picture's from the week before when I didn't use kale and had carrots and celery; the kale version was all onion.]

When the garlic becomes fragrant, add a can of drained white beans. Any kind will do.


Here’s where you squeeze in the juice of one lemon; try to hit the bottom of the pan with the lemon juice because it’ll help work up the brown bits. Stir everything around and season again with salt.

Now, add your sausage back to the pan and a big pile of shredded kale.


Sprinkle with more salt, squeeze on a little more lemon, stir all around and cover to allow the kale to wilt for a minute or so.

Then taste and adjust for salt and lemon:


Um, guys? This is such a perfect, easy weeknight dinner. It’s got protein, it’s got kale, it’s got heat and acid and, well, it’s just wonderful. You can eat it with white wine, you can eat it with red wine. You can eat it while watching Jeopardy OR Wheel of Fortune, both will work.

I’ll pat myself on the back, now, because I know you’re proud of me and my new favorite weeknight dinner.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Adam's Personal Favorites, Recipes

  • Jill Donnelly

    I love making this because my husband doesn’t like it so I get to eat all of it. I’ve never tried it with lemon, only red wine vinegar… I will try lemon. THANK YOU Adam!

  • Jill Donnelly

    I love making this because my husband doesn’t like it so I get to eat all of it. I’ve never tried it with lemon, only red wine vinegar… I will try lemon. THANK YOU Adam!

  • Jill Donnelly

    I love making this because my husband doesn’t like it so I get to eat all of it. I’ve never tried it with lemon, only red wine vinegar… I will try lemon. THANK YOU Adam!

  • Jill Donnelly

    I love making this because my husband doesn’t like it so I get to eat all of it. I’ve never tried it with lemon, only red wine vinegar… I will try lemon. THANK YOU Adam!

  • Kevin Wong

    How can one not like it? Kale or bean aversion? I’m going to make this with a little sprinkle of lemon zest and parmesan cheese at the end.

  • Mike from Palm Springs

    Definitely Jeopardy-watching with this dinner!

  • Ttrockwood

    Love this kind of easy one pan meal!! Since i’m veg i’ll swap in TJs soyrizo (good stuff!)…..

  • mimi rippee

    Isn’t cooking so easy? I hope more novice or intimidated cooks read this post and follow your recipe. Thanks!

  • Sarah

    You can also try this with garbanzo beans, equally as delicious!

  • Anonymous

    This looks SO delicious!

  • Boise Runner

    I was given a bunch of white beans and I was running out of ideas of using them. I hate them sitting in the pantry and I don’t want them thrown out. This dish looks perfect.

  • thejulia

    Add broth and a can of tomatoes + some spices and you have an incredibly filling and healthy soup too!

  • Tochi

    Yes, yes, yessss! This will be mine tonight :)

  • Julie Chase

    I make something very similar, except I add a little chicken stock and Balsamic to the pan before wilting the kale. I also only use a butt-ton of onions (actual measurement) and caramelize them a bit. It’s SO easy.

  • Anonymous

    Try this with black kale which is much more tender than regular kale, and maybe serve it over polenta with Parmesan cheese in it. That’s a pretty standard Tuscan dish.


    look delicious, easy to cook and nutritious.
    Kale is an excellent source for vitamins A, C and K. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sandy

    This is great – so easy and healthy. It’s going into my weekly rotation.

  • Debi

    Made this for dinner tonight……Sooooooo delicious.

  • Sonia Castleberry

    This was a little dry to me so I added a small can of tomato sauce. Yum!

  • Vicky Lynn

    This was delicious! Navy beans were my white bean of choice and I didn’t have any kale but tons of spinach. I’ll be sure to have kale next time but it was still pretty awesome with spinach. The lemon is key – just that little bit has a big flavor punch.

  • Taylor

    finally made this last night and it was so good! The only thing I did was add in some Cajun seasoning and I cooked up some rice for my husband to add to it. I knew it was going to be good but I did not expect my husband to like it (he hates Kale) but he loved it, kale and all! Thank you :)

  • Brooke

    I made this tonight! It was great!!!!

  • Denise And Bob

    One of my favorite recipes, my husband surprised me by loving it. I do cheat though,I add one hot Italian hot sausage for the two of us

  • Elder Swindell

    Leave out the Kale, it rocks!

    “The Truth About The Coming Zombie Apocalypse”

  • Nathan Clark

    I’m excited to try this this week!

  • Sandy Jarvis

    This should go over big at our neighborhood picnic. Thanks!

  • Beth

    Thanks Adam. I included this recipe in a cookbook I put together for my dad. Mom has Altzheimers and Dad has taken over the cooking. This recipe will be perfect for him!

  • radiit

    To alloy the lights can be acclimated to add lighting lamps chicken board abode minimalist consequence of you.

    rumah minimalis

  • Anonymous

    Just made this for my 4th time, it has become one of my go-to meals. This time along with the lemon juice, i added a couple tablespoons of chicken stock and it was even better! Love this mix of ingredients!

  • Kim

    Just made this dish. It is awesome! Lemon makes the difference.

  • Dona England

    Love your recipes? I’d also love a printable version?

  • carole

    you can substitute white kidney beans for the white beans. They help with losing weight

  • Sendai Ahuma

    looks so yummy, i will try to cook this for diner.
    Agen Bola Online
    Agen SBOBET Terpercaya
    Agen Bola Terpercaya

  • Kaela Bergquist

    This will be a good upgrade to the kale and creamy white beans I’ve been making for two months straight. My secret ingredient for a dish like this is… nutmeg! Looking forward to rushing to Trader Joe’s in the morning!

  • Cara Watters

    I found this recipe about 3 weeks ago and I’ve made it twice so far. Last night was the second time and I decided to caramelize the onions, use smoked chicken sausage, fake lemon juice (I was lazy) and Flavor God Everything Spicy seasoning. I love this recipe – thank you SO much for posting.

  • Marissa Sese

    I love this. I have made this before and it really addicting. I can seriously eat the whole pot in one night! It has all the good stuff! Beans, kale and sausage, OH MY!!