Cassoulet – a French bean stew


This white bean Cassoulet has become a favorite in our household. For the past 6 years, I have made it once every winter, choosing a blustery day when we’re home working on various house projects. Beware, it does take about 6 hours from start to finish, but with plenty of time in the oven while you can do other things. And it will make your house smell AMAZING!IMG_6101Chop up 4 slices of thick cut bacon and render them in your dutch oven. IMG_6103Brown the lamb and set aside. (If you do not like lamb, or cannot find it, beef stew meat is a pretty good substitute). IMG_6104Brown the chicken thighs and set aside. IMG_6107Dump out all of the rendered fat, reserving about 1-2 tablespoons. Sauté chopped onions in the remaining fat. IMG_6108Add tomato paste and garlic. IMG_6110Whisk in chicken broth and water, and nestle in the browned meats. Braise this in your oven for 2 and a half hours. IMG_6111Add 4 cans of white beans, and return to your oven for another hour and ten minutes.
IMG_6112Top with bread crumbs and brown in the oven. IMG_6114

Serve with a hunk of crusty bread and a fresh green salad.  This is a delicious meal to enjoy on a cool winter evening.

White Bean Cassoulet

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

(adapted from Cooking Light)


  • 1/4 c salt
  • 6 chicken leg quarters (I used boneless and skinless and the meat was still very moist)
  • 4 bacon strips, sliced
  • 3/4 lb lamb, cut into cubes
  • 1.5 c onion chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 c tomato puree
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 c chicken broth
  • 2 c water
  • 3-4 15 oz cans of great northern beans, drained (I could only fit 3 in my pot)
  • 8 oz cooked spicy Italian sausage, sliced
  • 1/4 c breadcrumbs

Rub salt evenly over the chicken, cover and refrigerate 30 min. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon to pan; cook 7 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add lamb to the bacon grease and cook 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove lamb and set aside. Rinse chicken with cold water and pat dry. Add 2-3 legs to pan at a time, cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and brown 10 minutes on other side, remove and set aside. Repeat until all chicken is browned.  Discard all but 1-2 tablespoons of rendered fat.

Add onion and pepper to pan, stirring to scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Sauté onion until lightly browned. Stir in tomato puree and garlic, cook briefly.  Return lamb and chicken to pan. Add broth and water until covered. Cover and bake at 300  degrees for 2 and a half hours or until lamb and chicken are very tender. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.

Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Stir 2 cans of beans into lamb mixture. Add bacon and sausage. Top mixture with remaining beans (whatever you can fit). Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over top. Cover and cook 1 hour and 10 minutes. Uncover and cook an additional 20 minutes or until browned and bubbly.


1 Comment

Filed under Cooking Project, Dinner, Recipes, Soup

One response to “Cassoulet – a French bean stew

  1. aunt shariI

    i wish i could see what your dutch oven looks like. not sure if i know what one is….but if it came from your mom, maybe i was with her when it was purchased?


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