Less involved than the French version but still carrying all the wonderful flavor, this slow cooker cassoulet is easy enough to make for busy weeknights.
I’ve been making this easy slow cooker cassoulet for many years, so I guess that makes it a staple in our house. And since that house includes people that like meat, meat, and more meat (I’ve tried…they just don’t appreciate meatless Mondays!), a dish with two types of meat is a no-brainer.
Of course, this is a very streamlined cassoulet compared to the traditional French dish (which has more steps and even more meat, believe it or not). Maybe I should call it “Harried American Cassoulet” since it’s a way to have cassoulet on busy weeknights when coming home to a cooked meal like this is pretty much perfection.
You can transfer the cooked cassoulet to a shallow baking pan, add a crumb topping like the French version and bake it for 30 to 45 minutes when you’d like a more authentic flavor (which is nice for entertaining). But for weeknights when you’re just wanting to get everyone fed you can’t beat the ease of the slow cooker and it tastes wonderful straight from the pot, too.
Make Slow Cooker Cassoulet
Chop a couple of carrots and an onion and add them to the slow cooker. Add a couple cloves of minced garlic. Next, add a layer of cooked white beans (I used the beans I keep in the freezer, but you could use freshly cooked or canned beans). Sometimes I cheat and use whatever beans I have like red or cranberry if I don’t have enough white beans in the freezer. C’est la vie.
Add white wine and chicken broth (or water, or all broth) and seasonings before topping with skinned chicken pieces (I don’t care for slow-cooked chicken skin, if it doesn’t bother you, feel free to leave it on!). I use whatever I have- a whole chicken cut up, 6 to 8 legs or thighs, or 3 to 4 chicken breasts, cut in half. Then place fully-cooked sausage (cut into 2 to 3-inch pieces) among the chicken and sprinkle the top with fresh parsley.
Cover and cook on low about 7 hours until chicken is tender and starting to fall off the bone. Cook about 1/2-hour less if you plan to transfer it to the oven. Otherwise, serve from the slow cooker along with a crusty bread (like easy artisan bread) and a green salad.
See? That was easy- just what this harried American needs.