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Slow Cooker Cannellini Bean Stew with Tomatoes, Italian Sausage, and Kale

Updated: Wednesday, April 23 2014, 11:23 AM CDT
Made by: Linda Castor, RN, RN, LCPC -

Yield: 6-8 servings

5 links (19.5 oz.) Hot or Mild Italian turkey sausage
2 tsp. olive oil or a shallow amount of water
2 cans (14.5 oz.) petite dice tomatoes with juice
2 cans (15 oz.) cannellini beans, rinses, drained
2 T minced garlic
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground fennel
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
4 cups chopped kale leaves
Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat the oil or water in a large, heavy frying pan.  Cut open the meat from the casing, and dollop the meat into the pan in bite-size pieces.  Cook, turning often, for 10 minutes or until sausage is nicely browned on all sides. Transfer directly to slow cooker.

Open and dump the two cans of cannellini beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse well with cold water (until no more foam appears.) Let beans drain well.

Add drained beans, tomatoes with juice, garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, ground fennel, and chicken stock into the slow cooker and stir gently. Let cook for about 2 1/2 hours on high or 5 hours on low.

While the stew is cooking, chop the kale, cutting away and discarding any thick inner ribs. After 2 1/2 hours on high (or 5 hours on low), add the kale and stir gently into the stew. Continue cooking stew about 45 minutes more on high (or 1 1/2 hours on low). Serve hot, with some Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

This freezes well and can be reheated in the microwave or in a pan on the stove.

This recipe aired March 18, 2014. Slow Cooker Cannellini Bean Stew with Tomatoes, Italian Sausage, and Kale

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