Slow Cooker Sausage Casserole
The slow-cooked sausage casserole is a rich and hearty dish straight from the south of France, perfect for autumn when the weather gets cooler. Thick herbaceous sausages and tasty beans in a seasoned tomato sauce create the most comforting casserole! It is delicious served with crusty bread.
Sausage casserole in slow cooker This simple slow
It is inspired by the classic French recipe cassoulet. This rustic one-pot meal is named after the type of large clay dish on which it is cooked.
Cassoulets are originally from the Languedoc region in the south of France, which we had the pleasure of visiting a few years ago. They are usually made from cuts of meat or sausages, legumes and vegetables. Flavors are intensified by gently boiling in broth, wine, and herbs.
Naturally, after trying the dish in France, I had to make a version for the slow cooker!
What you’ll need
Here are the ingredients for making a slow cooker sausage casserole
: see the full recipe card for quantities.
Sausages – The star attraction! I opt for Toulouse style sausages to keep it as authentic as possible. These contain herbs, red wine and garlic. I also add pork lardons to give it an extra flavor.
Beans – White beans are grown throughout France and are popular in French casseroles. In my recipe I use Haricot and Butter beans (also known as Lima beans) as they have a mild creamy flavor that complements the tomatoes and herbs in the sauce.
Vegetables: Use onion, carrot, and celery to create a sweet, earthy hue to the sauce that’s familiar in French and Italian recipes.
Herbs – Add dried thyme, bay leaves, and freshly chopped parsley for a full herbaceous flavor, a combination usually found in a traditional French bouquet Garni.
Sauce – Canned chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, and white wine are used to create a tasty sauce. Then season with broth, pepper, garlic, paprika, and any acidity of tomatoes is balanced with a little sugar.
– This recipe was developed in a slow cooker of 5 liters, but fits in a 3.5 liter without adjustment. You can also scale the recipe by clicking the number of servings on the recipe card.
Countertop – A countertop is required to brown sausages. If you have a slow cooker with a metal pot, then there is no need to transfer them between a pan and the slow cooker, which means less washing!
How to Make Slow Cook Sausage Casserole
Here’s how to make a delicious sausage casserole
in the slow cooker.
- Dice vegetables – Finely cut the carrots, onion and celery. Add them to the slow cooker with the chopped garlic, parsely and thyme.
- – Cook sausages in a large skillet in a little oil over medium heat for a few minutes until lightly browned. Add the pork lardons and cook until golden brown on the edges and the sausages have a deeper color. Add everything to the slow cooker.
- Reduce wine – In the same pan, drain any excess fat released and return to the pan on the fire. Add the wine and simmer for 2-3 minutes to evaporate the alcohol.
- Add reduced wine, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, chicken broth (bucket of broth dissolved in hot water), paprika, and sugar to the slow cooker.
- – Pour the beans
- Stir gently – Combine and dip the bay in the sauce. Cook for 6-8 hours over low heat.
Add the beans
and bay leaves.
casserole is a one-pot meal and contains meat, vegetables, and beans, so you don’t need to serve too much with it
I opt for thick slices of crusty bread that are perfect for cleaning that delicious sauce at the end!
Alternatively, creamy mashed potatoes also work well with the dish.
- – Browning the outside of sausages not only makes them look more appetizing, but also initiates Maillard’s reaction, adding a lot of flavor you won’t want to miss! It also firms the skin of sausages so they are less likely to crumble during cooking.
- Add salt: I recommend only adding salt at the end of the cooking time, if necessary. The sausages are already seasoned, and the broth and pork lardons also contain salt.
- cubes – Finely cut the vegetables into cubes so that they mix in the sauce with the beans. 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) pieces are the ideal size.
Cut the vegetables into
It’s easy to alter the flavor and texture of a slow-cooked sausage casserole to suit your taste. Some ideas of ways to vary the recipe are:
Type of sausage – I use sausages from Toulouse as they taste great! However, leek sausages and herbs are a good substitution. Cumberland sausages are also delicious and give a wonderful pepper to the dish.
Legumes – Beans are great in the slow cooker as they soften during the cooking time without losing their shape. They also act as natural thickeners in the sauce, releasing starch while cooking.
White beans are
typical in French stews, however, borlotti, cannolini or beans are also delicious
Vegetables: If you want to add extra vegetables to the casserole, green beans make a lovely addition, and pieces of red or yellow pepper add a delicate sweetness to the sauce.