Jump to RecipeJump to VideoLeave a ReviewPin Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Enjoy an easy cassoulet recipe that comes together in a Dutch oven on the stovetop in about 1 hour. The rich, hearty casserole includes bacon, sausage, chicken, and white beans for a cozy, comforting, and flavorful dinner. Add a crusty loaf of French baguette for the ultimate cold-weather meal!

Overhead shot of a bowl of French cassoulet

How to Make an Easy Cassoulet Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Chicken Cassoulet

A traditional Cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked French casserole made with meat, pork skin, and white beans. The texture is similar to a hearty peasant stew, while the name “cassoulet” comes from the French word for the casserole cooking dish that it was originally prepared in — a deep, round, earthenware pot with slanted sides.

An authentic cassoulet recipe can be a daunting meal to tackle for a couple of reasons. First, the ingredients. In America, we don’t have easy access to all of the common cassoulet components — such as French Tarbais beans, precooked garlic sausage, Moulard duck legs, duck fat, duck confit, pork skin, mutton, or goose. Second, a traditional cassoulet requires 2-3 days of cooking and preparation. Not something that most busy moms are willing to undertake for the average weeknight dinner!

That’s why I was so excited when I realized that I could make a shortcut Dutch oven chicken cassoulet recipe in about one hour! Inspired by a leftover turkey cassoulet that I saw in Taste of the South magazine, I created this recipe to take advantage of a store-bought rotisserie chicken (or other pre-cooked chicken). Some bacon, a couple of cans of white beans, and a package of smoked pork sausages complete the hearty, flavorful, one-pot meal.

Horizontal shot of a bowl of chicken cassoulet on a table with bread

What is the difference between a casserole and a cassoulet?

A casserole is defined as a kind of stew or side dish that is cooked slowly in an oven. In America, the casserole usually has three main components: pieces of meat (such as chicken or ground meat), various chopped vegetables, and a starchy binder (such as flour, potatoes or pasta). While a traditional French cassoulet technically qualifies as a casserole, the French version is a time- and labor-intensive dish that refers to un casserole — the pot that the cassoulet is cooked in — and is quite different in texture and method from a classic American casserole. Unlike it’s creamy American counterparts, the cassoulet is closer to what we would consider a thick stew (and you don’t need to bake it in the oven).

Should cassoulet be soupy?

While a cassoulet is closer to a stew than a classic American casserole, the dish shouldn’t actually be “soupy.” Instead, you’re looking for a texture that’s somewhere between soupy and dry — without too much cooking liquid — that can be eaten with a fork. Some crusty bread on the side works perfectly for soaking up any remaining broth or juices in your bowl!

Close overhead shot of an easy cassoulet recipe prepared in a Dutch oven

Ingredients

Here’s a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for this dish. As always, the complete recipe with measurements and specific instructions is included in the box at the bottom of this post.

  • Bacon and smoked sausage: creates a smoky, flavorful base for the dish.
  • Onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic: classic aromatics that add savory flavor to the dish. You’ll need about 1-2 garlic cloves to equal 1 teaspoon minced or pressed.
  • Tomato paste: for a thicker consistency and rich tomato flavor.
  • Diced tomatoes: for even more flavor.
  • Chicken broth or chicken stock: the cooking liquid base of the stew. Use a homemade broth if available, or start with low-sodium broth if you’re sensitive to salt.
  • Dry white wine: such as Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked Chardonnay, or Pinot Grigio.
  • White beans: canned beans are a nice shortcut in this recipe — no need to soak them overnight or simmer them beforehand. Just drain the can and dump in the pot!
  • Chicken: a store-bought rotisserie chicken is a great shortcut. If you prefer to cook your own chicken at home, you’ll need about 1 lb. of raw boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs. You can also use bone-in meat if you prefer, and then discard the skin and chop or shred the meat into chunks to use in this recipe.
  • Red wine vinegar: a touch of acidity brightens up the dish.
  • Kosher salt and pepper: to enhance the other flavors in the dish.
  • Thyme and parsley: use fresh herbs for the best flavor.

Cassoulet Beans

We’re using canned beans in this recipe for a nice shortcut — no soaking or cooking required! I used cannellini beans (or white kidney beans), but you can substitute with other white beans, including navy beans (also called Yankee beans) and Great Northern beans.

White beans in a colander

How to Make Cassoulet

This simple, rustic, one-pot meal comes together on the stovetop quickly and easily!

Overhead shot of ingredients and process showing how to make easy cassoulet recipe
  1. Cook bacon and sausage in a Dutch oven or large saucepan until the bacon is crispy and the sausage is browned. Remove to a plate, reserving the drippings in the pan.
  2. Sauté vegetables in the bacon drippings.
  3. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, broth, and wine. Bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in the beans, chicken, vinegar, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  5. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  6. Return the sausage and bacon to the bean mixture. Cook and stir for 3-5 more minutes, until heated through.
  7. Add the fresh parsley or thyme leaves and serve!
Process shot showing how to make easy cassoulet recipe
Overhead shot of chicken cassoulet made in a Dutch oven

What to Serve with Cassoulet

In France, cassoulet is not traditionally served with additional sides. That said, if you’d like to offer a couple of other options on your dinner menu, try a simple green salad tossed in balsamic vinaigrette, a loaf of crusty French baguette, or a few slices of rustic no-knead bread.

Wine Pairing

A boldly-flavored, full-bodied red wine pairs nicely with cassoulet. Look for something from the Languedoc region of France, such as robust blends involving Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre. We’re not too fancy around here, though — any of your favorite red (or white) wines will be delicious with this simple, rustic meal!

Dessert

Since the chicken cassoulet is rich and hearty, it’s nice to finish the meal with something light — like fresh fruit or an apple galette.

Front shot of easy cassoulet recipe on a table in front of a dark background

Make Ahead and Storage

This is a great make ahead meal! Prepare the cassoulet in advance, cool to room temperature, and then store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. Leftover stew will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. To extend the life of your cassoulet, pack the cooled leftovers in airtight containers or in freezer-safe Ziploc bags and freeze for up to 3 months.

When ready to enjoy, thaw the frozen cassoulet in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat on the stovetop over low heat, just until warmed through. Thin with additional broth, if necessary.

Overhead shot of a bowl of white bean chicken cassoulet with french bread

Recipe Variations

  • Add carrots to the vegetable medley for even more flavor. A bay leaf would also be a nice addition to the simmering pot (just remember to discard it at the end before serving).
  • I use a package of smoked turkey sausage, but you can substitute with any similar fully-cooked smoked pork, beef sausage, or kielbasa.
  • This cassoulet gets its smoky flavor from the bacon and sausage. You can use 1-2 smoked ham hocks or salt pork instead, if you like.
  • Instead of cannellini beans, use other white beans such as Great Northern beans or navy beans. In a pinch, you can even substitute with pinto beans or chickpeas.
  • Cooking just for two? Cut the ingredients in half to prepare a smaller pot of cassoulet. Alternatively, you can make the full batch and freeze extras for another meal.
  • Instead of the parsley and thyme, season the dish with herbes de provence, if you have some. This is traditionally a blend of thyme, basil, rosemary, tarragon, savory, marjoram, oregano, and bay leaf.
  • For an alcohol-free dish, use extra chicken broth instead of the wine.
Square overhead image of an easy cassoulet recipe served in a white bowl

Tips for the Best Easy Cassoulet Recipe

  • Use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken for a shortcut.
  • If you prefer to cook your chicken at home, use about 1 lb. of raw boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs. Boil the chicken for about 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through. When cool enough to handle, chop or shred with forks and use in the recipe.
  • Use a dry, crisp white wine. Rich, oaky whites can become bitter during the cooking process, while sweeter whites add unwanted sweetness. Do not use a bottle of “cooking wine” from the grocery store, which often contain salt and other additives. Good options include Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked Chardonnay, or Pinot Grigio.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs for a bright contrast to the rich, hearty stew.
Close up side shot of a bowl of chicken cassoulet

More Stew Recipes to Try

Square overhead image of an easy cassoulet recipe served in a white bowl

Easy Cassoulet Recipe

4.46 from 11 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings 6 people
Calories 409 kcal
Enjoy an easy Cassoulet recipe that comes together in a Dutch oven on the stovetop in about 1 hour!

Ingredients
  

  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 13 ounces smoked sausage, sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
  • 1 small onion, finely-diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely-diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely-diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cooked, diced or shredded chicken (such as the meat from a rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon and sausage over medium-high heat until bacon is crispy and sausage is browned. Use a slotted spoon to remove to a paper-towel lined plate, reserving the drippings in the pot.
  • Add the onion, bell pepper and celery to the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 more minute. Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth and white wine; bring to a boil, scraping the bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon as you stir. Stir in the beans, chicken, vinegar, salt, pepper and thyme. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Return the sausage and the bacon to the pot. Cook and stir until heated through, about 3-5 more minutes. Remove from heat, stir in parsley, and serve!

Video

Notes

  • Use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken for a shortcut.
  • If you prefer to cook your chicken at home, use about 1 lb. of raw boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs. Boil the chicken for about 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through. When cool enough to handle, chop or shred with forks and use in the recipe.
  • Use a dry, crisp white wine. Rich, oaky whites can become bitter during the cooking process, while sweeter whites add unwanted sweetness. Do not use a bottle of “cooking wine” from the grocery store, which often contain salt and other additives. Good options include Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked Chardonnay, or Pinot Grigio.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs for a bright contrast to the rich, hearty stew.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the recipeCalories: 409kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 35gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 985mgPotassium: 1372mgFiber: 9gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 535IUVitamin C: 32mgCalcium: 153mgIron: 6mg
Keyword: cassoulet, chicken cassoulet, easy cassoulet recipe
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: French
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. Instead of diced tomatoes, could I use the same amount of crushed tomatoes? Recipes sounds amazing.

    Thanks Janet

    1. Hi, Janet! Yes! I think the crushed tomatoes should work fine. The dish will have a slightly different texture (maybe a bit more “soupy” or “brothy” than if you used diced tomatoes), but there’s nothing wrong with that. 🙂 Enjoy!

  2. 5 stars
    sounds good to me think i would stick to just a white bean not chick pea or pinto . wonder if a pre cooked, packaged chicke would be ok?

    1. Hi, Jean! Yes, white beans are definitely most traditional and my top choice here. Pre-cooked, packaged chicken should be fine in this recipe. I used a store-bought cooked rotisserie chicken. You can really add just about any other vegetables that you’d like — broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, etc. Just make sure that you add it to the pot at the beginning if it’s a larger vegetable that requires a longer cooking time (such as broccoli) so that it has time to soften. Hope you enjoy!

  3. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness. I stumbled on this site a few weeks ago and tried the Easy Eggplant Parmesan (fabulous!) and decided it was time to try another recipe from this website. This dish is wonderful as well!! Warm, stick to your bones, complex taste. I admittedly doubled the bacon (because you can’t have too much). My daughter and I loved it! The recipe makes a LOT (especially if you’re only cooking for 2), but gosh, leftovers is so appealing! I may try to freeze some and see how well that works. It’s time to start looking through the site for more recipes. This website is a gem!!!

    1. This is so wonderful to hear, Kate! I agree — you can never have too much bacon. 🙂

      Thanks for your kind words. I hope that you continue to enjoy the recipes!

  4. I just found this website and going to try chicken, potatos and beans. I also saw the one for Easy Cassoulet. I have never had a Dutch oven, will have to buy one. I usually use crockpot. Can this Cassoulet be made in the crockpot also? So excited to try both recipes. Get tired of the old ones.

    1. Hi, Martha! I’m so glad that you found my site. Welcome! 🙂

      I use my Dutch ovens more than just about any other kitchen tool, so they’re definitely worth the investment (in my opinion). I think that you can probably make this cassoulet in the Crock Pot, but you won’t need to cook it for very long since the meat and beans are already cooked. Maybe 3-4 hours on low at the most? Since the slow cooker is covered, you will probably have a thinner “soup” since the condensation will fall back into the pot. Not necessarily a bad thing, but just a different texture in the end.

      Hope that helps, and enjoy!

  5. Wanted to love this, but it’s just meh. I’ve looked at traditional recipes to see if there are spices missing, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. However, I didn’t see any recipes that called for bell pepper, so I left that out and used carrot (which is called for) instead.

  6. 5 stars
    This was so delicious. Simple to make but bursting with flavor. Paired this with a French Bordeaux for an easy French date night. Added this to my recipe tracker for meals I’ll definitely make again.

  7. 5 stars
    In the first taste my comment was “WOW” this is the first time trying a dish from your site and found it to be very full of flavor. We definitely will look at more of your dishes!

  8. 5 stars
    This is the best cassoulet I’ve had! Really hard to stop eating it! And I didn’t have any chicken!

  9. 5 stars
    Wow, really good! I didn’t have fresh herbs so I used dried thyme and added a bay leaf, but other than that followed the recipe exactly. Great flavor

  10. Here’s a few tips that no one seems to mention: use white grape juice instead of wine. It is more flavorful and better for you. Also, use chicken stock instead of chicken broth. Broth is made from the meat and is salty and less flavorful. Stock is made from bone and is more flavorful with less sodium.

  11. 3 stars
    This recipe we just meh. You have to really rearrange the recipe to make it taste good. Not one I can recommend.

  12. 5 stars
    Perfect! While I’ve never had cassoulet before, this recipe made such a delicious dish. Definitely going to be on the family menu.