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Italian Sausage and White Beans with Sage (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)

Italian Sausage and White Beans with Sage gets extra flavorful when the cooked beans, sausage, and sage are simmered in the Instant Pot or slow cooker with tomatoes and ground fennel. And this delicious recipe is low-glycemic, gluten-free, and South Beach Diet friendly. If you’re watching carbs, double the sausage and use less beans for a more carb-conscious dish.

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Italian Sausage and White Beans with Sage (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker) found on KalynsKitchen.com

I’ve been having fun discovering that so many of my favorite slow cooker recipes can be made more quickly in the Instant Pot, and it’s fun to have options for recipes for people who prefer different cooking options. This wonderful dish of Italian Sausage and White Beans with Sage was inspired by a lovely woman named Ilva, who lives in Tuscany. I met her online in the early days of blogging and we chatted frequently for a while. Then Ilva stopped focusing on recipes and started to focus on her beautiful food photography, and for the last few years I haven’t talked to her so much.

But I do appreciate Ilva introducing me to rustic Italian dishes like this one, where the emphasis is entirely on the flavors and not on the looks of the dish. And whether you use the Instant Pot or the slow cooker for this Italian Sausage and White Beans with Sage, you’ll definitely have best flavor if you start with dried beans and cook them yourself. But if that just isn’t happening at your house, I’ll also give tips for making this with canned beans. If you want a more carb-conscious dish, double the amount of sausage and cut the amount of beans down to one cup (or less). And no matter how you cook it or what kind of beans you use, please do not skip the dried fennel that makes this so good!


Italian Sausage and White Beans with Sage (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker) found on KalynsKitchen.com

If you’re cooking your own beans, start with 2 cups of fresh dried white beans. If you want to cook the beans on the stovetop, I would soak them in cold water overnight; for cooking dried beans in the slow cooker or the Instant Pot, you can skip the soaking. Put dried beans, celery, garlic, sage, salt, Italian Seasoning, and a little olive oil in the slow cooker or Instant Pot with enough water to just cover the beans. Cook beans 5-6 hours in the slow cooker. (more here about How to Cook Dried Beans in a Slow Cooker.) In the Instant Pot, lock the book and cook 30 minutes at HIGH PRESSURE; then let beans NATURAL RELEASE for 15 minutes followed by quick release as needed. For either method, drain the beans, saving the large cloves of garlic and 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

Italian Sausage and White Beans with Sage (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker) found on KalynsKitchen.com

While beans cook (or when they’re nearly cooked for slow cooker method) heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the Italian Sausage, then slice into diagonal pieces and brown the sides of those pieces. (This adds flavor; please don’t skip the browning!) Put the drained beans, sausage pieces, garlic, sage leaves, canned tomatoes, and ground fennel into the slow cooker or Instant Pot with 1/2 cup reserved liquid. For Instant Pot cook 10 minutes at HIGH PRESSURE, then NATURAL RELEASE for five minutes, and then quick release. For slow cooker, put same ingredients into the slow cooker and cook on high for 2-3 hours.

Italian Sausage and White Beans with Sage (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker) found on KalynsKitchen.com

Serve Italian Sausage and White Bean with Sage hot, with a little freshly-grated Parmesan if desired, although the cheese is definitely optional.

More Tasty Ideas for Turkey or Pork Italian Sausage:
Stuffed Peppers with Turkey Italian Sausage, Ground Beef, and Mozzarella ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Italian White Bean, Sausage, and Cabbage Soup ~ Barefeet in the Kitchen
Low-Carb Italian Sausage and Sweet Mini-Peppers Breakfast Bake ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Sausage and Peppers Stuffed Spaghetti Squash ~ Nutmeg Nanny
Low-Carb Roasted Italian Sausage and Sweet Mini-Peppers Sheet Pan Meal ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Sausage Macaroni and Cheese ~ Crazy for Crust

Italian Sausage and White Beans with Sage (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried white beans, fresher beans will cook more quickly (Use 4 cans – 15 oz. can – if you don’t want to cook beans from scratch.)
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 3-4 large whole cloves garlic (or more)
  • 3 + 10 fresh sage leaves (or you can use dried ground sage if needed, but use it sparingly)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp. + 1 tsp. dried Italian Seasoning (or use Italian Sausage Seasoning if you have that.)
  • 1 T olive oil + 1 T olive oil
  • 5 links (about 20 oz.) uncooked turkey or pork Italian sausage (I love Jenni-O Turkey Italian Sausage, which is what I used)
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seed (highly recommended, please do not skip)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) petite dice tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup cooking water (saved from cooking beans)
  • freshly-grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional but good)

Directions:

  1. If you’re cooking your own beans, start with 2 cups of fresh dried white beans. If you want to cook the beans on the stovetop, I would soak them in cold water overnight; for cooking dried beans in the slow cooker or the Instant Pot, you can skip the soaking.
  2. Put dried beans, celery, garlic, 3 leaves sage or a pinch of dried sage, salt, 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning, and 1 T olive oil in the slow cooker, Instant Pot, or in a pan on the stove with enough water to just cover the beans.
  3. Cook beans 5-6 hours in the slow cooker. (more here about How to Cook Dried Beans in a Slow Cooker.)
  4. For Instant Pot, lock the lid and cook 30 minutes at HIGH PRESSURE; then let beans NATURAL RELEASE for 15 minutes followed by quick release as needed.
  5. To cook beans on the stove, cook at a low simmer until beans are tender; cooking time will depend on how fresh the beans are.
  6. For either method, drain the beans, saving the large cloves of garlic and 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
  7. While beans cook or when slow cooker beans are almost done, heat another 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the outside of sausage well. Let sausage cool and then cut into diagonal pieces. Add another 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil and brown the cut sides of the sausage well. (Don’t skip browning the sausage; this builds flavor.)
  8. Chop garlic pieces and add the cooked beans, chopped garlic, browned sausage pieces, 10 sage leaves or a little dried sage,  canned tomatoes with juice, ground fennel, and the 1/2 cup cooking water from the beans to slow cooker or Instant Pot.
  9. For slow cooker, cook 2-3 hours on high.
  10. For Instant Pot, lock lid and then cook at HIGH PRESSURE for 10 minutes; then let the dish NATURAL RELEASE for 5 minutes followed by quick release as needed.
  11. Serve hot, with some freshly-grated Parmesan to add at the table as desired.

This recipe adapted from an early blogging friend and The Silver Spoon.

All images and text ©

Italian Sausage and White Beans with Sage (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker) found on KalynsKitchen.com

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This is a good low-glycemic recipe that would be suitable for any phase of the South Beach Diet. South Beach would recommend turkey Italian Sausage, and I’m a huge fan of Jenni-O Turkey Italian Sausage but pork sausage would also be delicious. Dried beans are too high in carbs if you’re following a strict low-carb eating plan, but if you want a more carb-conscious version of this recipe double the sausage and cut the amount of beans in half.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, you can sign up for a free membership with Yummly and use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information. Another option is entering the recipe into this Recipe Nutrition Analyzer, which will calculate it for you.

Italian Sausage and White Beans with Sage (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker) found on KalynsKitchen.com

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29 comments on “Italian Sausage and White Beans with Sage (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)”

  1. Wow Ilva’s looked great and so does yours! I love the turkey sausage.
    Well, no Aleppo pepper to be found in Dallas so I’ll have to order from Penzeys, that will be a first for me. No Aleppo but Sue & I sure did find a wonderful new market that we have to return to.

  2. i always get the sausage and then sit and wonder what to do with it beyond cutting it and sauteing it. will surely try ur way next.

  3. Kalyn,

    I am so exicited you can leave comments on my blog now. I love these white beans, I am sure I will be tryng some variation of this.

    They have recently opened a Penzey’s near us. I must stop by.

    Rinku

  4. Yum….I make a variation on this about once a week, I like it especially with some sauteed greens, chard or kale.

  5. o la la! My 15 minutes of South Beach Diet fame has arrived! I can tell you that I like it. And that I really wish I could try those turkey sausages. I have been thinking about making my own sausages for a while now so…

  6. Oh I bet this was good….it sure looks it!

  7. It’s very nice to hear that you guys think this looks good. I really liked it.

    Tanna, sorry to hear you can’t find Aleppo pepper, but Penzeys rocks; you will love it. I’m going to order some stuff today.

    Mallugirl, hope you like it.

    Rinku, I learned to right click on comment and open in a new window, so if you know anyone else having trouble tell them to do that.

    Erin, must try with kale. BTW, I just got some glasses just about like yours.

    Ilva, you were already famous!! Wish I could send you some turkey sausage. Guess you must come here and try them.

    Naudee, try it. Just cook on the stove if you don’t have a crockpot.

  8. Forgot to say, Rinku I am so JEALOUS that you have a Penzeys by your house!

  9. Ilva made me cook this Tuscan bean dish last week. Unfortunately I didn’t have any fresh sage so I used dried one instead. Big mistake! I fished the dried leaves out as soon as I realized they were turning this beautiful meal bitter.
    After this experience I am very grateful for your hint about the frozen sage, never heard of or thought of before.
    Many thanks and good cookings,
    Merisi

  10. I read your blog about the Aleppo pepper. You are right, it has a very distinct flavour, I love it.
    There are many Turkish markets here in Vienna, so it’s easy to have a supply on hand. If any of your readers cannot find it elsewhere, I could try to mail some, as a little thank you for all the good recipes you’re leading me to.

  11. Merisi, I’ve had good luck with the frozen sage. You’re sweet to offer about the Aleppo pepper. I hope most people can get it at Penzeys; I think they ship all over the world. (And no, they aren’t give me any free spices, I just love them.)

  12. Kalyn,
    What size can of tomatoes? Seems like regular 15-ish ounce may be too little liquid, did you use the bigger can?
    Thanks

  13. Anonymous, I used the regular sized can, 14.5 oz. Ilva said she likes a lot of tomatoes, and I think you could certainly use a bigger can if you wanted, especially if you were cooking it on top of the stove. In the Crockpot, it creates more liquid, but this wasn’t overly liquidy.

  14. I made it Saturday. Used 2 cans of tomatoes. It was delicious!
    BTW, I love your site and your recipes. And, I love being able to print them easily now!!!
    Thanks,
    Ruthie_b

  15. Ruthie, so glad you liked it. I agree, print the new way is so much better. (I’m just lucky to have Rand and Bradley to help me and Zoe to consult with!)

  16. WoW! I want to say that my husband and I have found a new way and only way to cook sausages. The convection oven worked amazingly! We were a touch wary to start but were extremely happy with the outcome. I’m sure the recipe is wonderful too however I made so many changes I can’t really comment 🙂 Thanks!

  17. Liz, glad you liked the sausage, and I’m always happy when people just use my recipe as a starting point. I think adapting a recipe to your own taste and pantry is what real cooking is all about!

  18. Hi Kalyn – I'm worried about my choice of turkey sausage. I bought the Jenny-O sweet Italian sausage…but should I have purchased the hot version? What do you typically use?

    Making this tomorrow and cannot wait! -Katie

  19. I usually buy the Hot Italian Sausage, but I like them both. You can add a few pinches of red pepper flakes if you want to add some heat.

  20. I think it looks beautiful! What a lovely, rustic dish and so great that you finish it all off in the slow cooker.

  21. Very excited to try this recipe this week! I'm lucky to have a Penzey's near me in Boulder, so I'm going to give that Aleppo pepper a try. Also, I have an idea on how to stretch your budget – how about writing a cookbook with your great recipes? I'll buy a copy, probably more than one 🙂

  22. Thanks, TW. I love this type of dish for comfort food.

    Amy, you are too kind. I don't really have much interest in writing a cookbook for a couple of reasons. I work pretty hard on the blog, so I can't imagine adding more work into my life. And the cookbook market is so saturated with bloggers writing books, that most of the people who write them don't really make much money. I would not say no if I got an offer from The South Beach Diet people though!

  23. I am experimenting with this recipe using different types of sausage – they need to be robust for the dish, butthere are so many types to choose from you can re-invent this yummy meal over and over. Thanks

  24. Hello – I have never had good luck with dry white beans. They seem to have this funky shell that comes off after I soak them. How many canned beans would you suggest for this recipe. Thanks!

  25. One pound beans makes about 7 cups and a can of beans is 1.5 cups.

  26. I’ve been having fun trying some of my favorite recipes in the Instant Pot, too. It gives them new life! I love the rustic nature of this dish. It’s all about the flavor of the beans!

  27. Olive oil. Just can’t get enough of it. With sausage or salads, it is just so healthy. By the way, this recipe looks mouth watering, thank you for sharing it.

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