Cabbage and Beans

cabbage-and-beansI grew up eating Cabbage and Beans made by my Italian grandmother. Sometimes she made it with left-over ham, other times it was with keilbasa or Italian sausage. When there was no meat, it was made without any and it was just as good. Cabbage and Beans is a great, hearty recipe, that feeds many and can be made for just a few dollars.








  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, bulk, or removed from casings
  • 1 large yellow onion, half sliced and half minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can of white beans (cannellini, Great Northern, or Navy), drained
  • 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 2-pound cabbage, quartered, then sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 cup chopped parsley, loosely packed (if desired)
  • 1/2 cup to a cup of freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese for garnish


  • Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat in a large (8-quart), thick-bottomed pot.
  • Add the sausage, breaking it up into pieces as you put it into the pot in a single layer.
  • When the sausage has nicely browned, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add the minced onion (save the sliced onion for later) and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Once the onions give up some of their water, use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the beans and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. If you want, for a thicker base, use an immersion blender to blend some (or all) of the beans and onions.
  • Add the water, stock, salt, cabbage, sliced onion half,  and browned sausage. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then uncover and continue cooking until the cabbage is tender, about another 10-20 minutes.
  • To serve, sprinkle on chopped parsley and grated cheese.
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