Sausage, Bean and Greens Gratin


A gratin is simply a dish that has been topped with a browned crust of cheese or breadcrumbs. I love the versatility of this idea – I can combine any number of things together, divide it up between ramekins, top with cheese (I usually forgo the breadcrumbs), bake, and I’ve got what seems like a special meal. Done in about 30 minutes, no less.

This day I combined a spicy sausage, cooked white beans from the freezer, and leafy kale from the garden (yes, in February- that’s one of the reasons I always try to grow kale) with home-canned tomatoes and spices to make a sausage, bean and greens gratin. It turned out very tasty – and quite healthy – and was fabulous served with Easy Artisan Bread.

And “gratin” is so much more appealing than mere “casserole,” don’t you think?

Sausage-Bean-Kale Gratin


Sausage, Bean and Greens Gratin

Serves 6

  • 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage (spicy, turkey, chicken, pork – your choice) see note*
  • 1 med. onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 c. cooked white beans (= 2 cans) – or any bean you have
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 c. water or chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • Cayenne pepper to taste (omit if using spicy sausage)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 c. chopped greens: kale, spinach or chard
  • 1-1/2 c. grated cheese: mozzarella, fontina, cheddar, parmesan or your choice
  1. Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is softened.
  2. Add beans, water or broth, tomatoes, and spices. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. If it seems dry, add more water/broth at this point and taste for seasoning with salt and pepper.
  3.  Turn heat up to medium and add greens. If using spinach, cook only until the spinach wilts; if kale or chard, cook until tender – about 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat broiler. Divide the mixture between 6 one-cup ramekins and top each with about 1/4-cup of cheese.
  5. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet and broil a few inches from the heat until the cheese is melted and browned.
  6. Serve immediately with bread to sop up all the lovely juices.

*Note: This is easy to make meatless, by the way- just leave out the sausage and cook the onion in butter or olive oil before proceeding with the recipe. It will probably only make 4 servings unless you add more beans, though.


This is linked to: Pennywise Platter Thursday  and Foodie Friday.


  1. says

    Hi Jami,
    We made this tonight, accompanied with roasted asparagus and whole wheat ciabatta (somewhat similar to your easy artisan bread) and it was wonderful! Everyone loved the gratin, so delicious, thank you!

    • says

      SO nice to hear, Jon! I love simple recipes like this that don’t seem that special when looking at the ingredients, but the flavor is just SO good. Too bad many others just pass by it without trying (notice the lack of comments…). You and I know the secret, huh? 😉

      • says

        Well, I’ll work on letting the secret out 😉
        One thing I liked about this meal was how we took just a pound of meat and shared the dish around a table of 6 adults and still had leftovers! It’s not vegetarian but it’s a great way to limit the amount of meat in the meal and still get that full flavor that comes from the sausage.

        • Cathy Pendrak says

          This sounds wonderful! I can’t wait to try it. I just recently tried kale for the first time in a Minestrone Soup recipe found on Martha Stewart’s website. The whole family loved it and so I have been looking for other recipes with kale. I have never tried growing kale and didn’t realize you could grow it in the middle of winter. We too live in Oregon (Salem) and I will definitely put it in my garden this year. Thanks for the heads up!


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