Less involved than the French version but still carrying all the wonderful flavor, this slow cooker cassoulet recipe is easy enough to make for busy weeknights, but special enough to serve to guests.
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.
And one that takes just a few steps and then cooks into a wonderfully flavored dish all on it’s own throughout the day? Well, that’s one that this mom loves.
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.
This is so good, though, that it’s also a really nice meal for serving to guests! Slow cookers are great for entertaining – your meal is cooking away leaving you time to prepare sides, dessert, and set the table.
Here are some things I’ve served with this to give you side dish ideas:
- Green salad: regular salad with whatever you have in the crisper and dressed with this vinaigrette, Orange Almond Salad, or Caesar Salad.
- Bread to soak up the juices: Easy Artisan Bread, Simple French Baguettes, or Sourdough Artisan Bread.
- Easy desserts: Chocolate Lava Cakes, Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups with ice cream, or a plate of Apple Butter Bars.
To make it more authentic – and nice for entertaining – you can transfer the cooked cassoulet to a shallow 13×9 baking pan, add a crumb topping like the French version (toss bread crumbs with melted butter or olive oil and mix before topping) and bake it for 30 minutes.
But for weeknights when you’re just wanting to get everyone fed you can’t beat the ease of the slow cooker. And this tastes wonderful any way you serve it.
Make Slow Cooker Cassoulet
This is one of those wonderful dump-and-go slow cooker recipes:
- 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
- Top 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 (or high 4-5 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.
But don’t take my word for it – put this on your menus asap and you will understand our family’s love for this easy, flavorful cassoulet recipe.
Easy Slow Cooker Cassoulet
- 1 cup chopped carrots about 2 large
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups white beans cooked (about 2 cans)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or broth
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 to 3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces skinned
- 1 to 2 pounds fully cooked sausage cut into 2-inch pieces
- chopped fresh parsley
- Place the carrot, onion, and garlic in the bowl of the slow cooker.
- Top with the beans. Add the salt, pepper, and pour the wine and broth over all.
- Arrange the chicken in the beans, pushing some into the beans. Nestle the sausage amongst the chicken and sprinkle with some chopped parsley.
- Cover and cook on Low for 6-7 hours or on High for 4-5 hours, until the chicken is tender. (See note to make with optional crumb topping.)
- Garnish with more chopped parsley before serving.
- About 1/2 hour before end of slow-cooking, remove contents of cooker to a shallow 2-3-quart baking dish.
- Disperse chicken, sausage, and beans evenly in dish.
- Top with about 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs that have been moistened with a bit of olive oil.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or so, until the crumb topping is browned.
Other easy slow cooker recipes you may like:
This recipe was originally published in 2010 and has been updated with all new photos, clearer formatting and printable recipe.
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