Meat, Soup, Veggies

Thyme Scented Three Bean Cassoulet

I feel like the world is going to come to an end with this post. As if Julia Child herself is going to magically appear and give me a big fat F for my latest dish- My Three Bean Cassoulet. This was my first time making a cassoulet and I was a little skeptical if I would like the original version due to all the soupy, broth stuff going on. Nonetheless, I had spotted a cassoulet on a blog recently and it looked so delicious I knew I had to give this rather peculiar dish a try.
A cassoulet is a rich, slow coked bean stew or casserole, hence cassoulet. It’s a great recipe for its simplicity but time consuming nonetheless. I believe there is nothing wrong taking a traditional version of a dish and making it into a quick no fail recipe. This is where I feel like Julia would give me a failing grade.  You see, not only did I make my cassoulet very very chunky but I made it in 1/3 less of time than her recipe calls for and to her horror- I replaced the traditional duck and turkey with sausage, ham and prosciutto and I added cheese! Yes- I added cheese to the top. I couldn’t help myself. When I even hear the word cassoulet I think cheese and by golly I couldn’t let this dish slip through my hands without adding some.
I am now a firm believer in Cassoulets! They are amazing. Full of flavor, so rich and hearty. I added Italian sausage, sweet honey ham, prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, herbs, onions, garlic, three beans and loads of bread crumbs. All of which resulted in the most fantastic flavor. It just says Welcome Home! Although it has continually reached over 100 here in Texas this summer, on this particular day it was rainy and windy so no one can have an excuse not to make this dish- hot or cold, rainy or sunny! It is perfect!
Honestly, I love Julia Child and I think all of her recipes ROCK but with all due respect, there is no need to have a cassoulet take you all day to make. You cook your meats, saute your veggies, drain your beans (yes, go ahead and by all means just use canned!) and pop this sucker in the oven. 30 minutes prep time TOPS and 45 minutes of baking. Now, doesn’t that sound good?


Thyme Scented Three Bean Casoulet


1 pound of Italian sausage

1 1/2 cups of diced ham (I used honey but you can chose your flavor)

1/4 pound of chopped prosciutto

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 can cannellini beans

1 can garbanzo

1 can kidney beans or white beans

1 onion, finely diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved

2 bay leaves

1/2 bunch of fresh thyme

1/2 bunch of fresh parsley

1 tsp salt and pepper each

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp paprika

1 cup of panko breadcrumbs

1 TBSP fresh lemon juice


In a medium skillet cook sausages in oil over moderate heat, turning them, until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 8 minutes, and transfer to paper towels to drain.

In the fat remaining in the skillet cook onions and garlic, stirring, until golden and tender. Stir in the cherry tomatoes, herbs, bay leaves, chicken broth, white wine and seasonings. Cook stirring occasionally to help break down the tomatoes, for about 10 minutes (pressing the tomatoes to release their juices). Stir in the beans and cook, stirring, until heated through. Discard bay leaf.

To Make the Topping:

Toast the breadcrumbs with a drizzle of olive oil along with the lemon juice in a medium saute pan over medium to low heat for 2-3 minutes. To prepare the cassoulet, Spoon half of the tomato and bean mixture into a 3 quart casserole dutch oven. Spread the ham and sausage over it, then top with the remaining bean mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and cheese (if you prefer) then drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the cheese has fully melted. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.



  1. Maureen

    Don’t apologize. I think this sounds delicious. Life’s all about diversity — that’s how new things happen. I love this. Maybe you could give it a new name. 🙂

    29 . Jun . 2011
  2. Joanne

    I’ve made a vegetarian version of cassoulet so I think, of the two of us, Julie is going to massacre me first. 😛 This looks quite delicious, though! And isn’t everything better with cheese on top?

    29 . Jun . 2011
  3. Shawn

    I agree with Maureen(I don’t even know her)…No apologies! In the southern dynamic, anything that’s made with tomatoes, garlic, and meat, has to have cheese! Not to add it would be like sending an invitation to a husband and kids but leaving the wife out!

    29 . Jun . 2011
  4. Three-Cookies

    I’ve never cooked beans this way, looks really delicious and it goes on my ‘to try’ list.

    29 . Jun . 2011
  5. Jill

    I think it looks delicioius!!

    29 . Jun . 2011
  6. Bonnie

    I have made Julia’s cassoulet. It was in the heat of a Texas summer’s day. Have I mentioned that we used to live in Texas? It was delicious but what a MESS!! Greasy duck, greasy sausage (all of what it is so good) a toddler and an infant made me doubt my sanity! I’m looking forward to trying your version!


    29 . Jun . 2011
  7. Erica

    mmmmm I give you an A 🙂 Looks so good. Those tomatoes alone look amazing. Deliciousness

    29 . Jun . 2011
  8. Scientific Housewife

    That looks amazing!

    29 . Jun . 2011
  9. Helene

    Making a cassoulet is on my to-do list. I was under the impression that it would take couple days to make. Looks so good.

    29 . Jun . 2011
  10. Greg

    Where to start? This looks amazing. I like the meats you chose, those tomatoes look wonderful and cheese? Yes, please. Isn’t it funny how casserole sounds so much more appealing in French? This really looks great.

    29 . Jun . 2011
  11. Stacey

    how absolutely delicious

    29 . Jun . 2011
  12. To the Kitchen

    I love this! Who care you didn’t do it “her” way! I love the way you do it. Looks amazing and so flavorful

    29 . Jun . 2011
  13. Jihane @Sinful Sundays

    I absolutely love cassoulets but never make them because they do take f-o-r-e-v-e-r. My aunt would spend hours in the kitchen and that was after she put the beans to soak overnight!

    Your dish looks delicious and I think cheese makes everything taste better, so I vote yes!

    29 . Jun . 2011
  14. Kelli

    Yummmm, this looks so good. Minus the tomatoes and Im in for sure. Will have to set them aside the the hubby to add in. Great job a+

    29 . Jun . 2011
  15. Alice

    I love this version. So much easier and simple and I love the sausage with the ham! great idea- I am with the others- I give you an A+ and I think Julia would have been proud of your twist

    29 . Jun . 2011
  16. Alea Milham

    I am a firm believer in updating recipes to make them faster, easier, healthier, and more appealing to moms! Your cassoulet looks delicious and I really like the chunky vegetables.

    29 . Jun . 2011
  17. Alli

    I am kinda obsessing over your tweaks. I always look at cassoulets and think they look so comforting and delicious but, the duck throws me. I am so making this with your changes. YUM!

    29 . Jun . 2011
  18. yummychunklet

    I think this cassoulet looks amazing! I’ve been wanting to try one but the time factor was always a deterrent. Great post!

    29 . Jun . 2011
  19. Becky

    Sounds great, but did I miss where you mention how much sausage, ham, and cheese?

    29 . Jun . 2011
    • Kitchen Belleicious

      Oh I am so glad you posted this! OMG- i cant believe I left out those ingredients in the recipe card. I am doing it now! Sorry and thanks again

      30 . Jun . 2011
  20. Tori @eat-tori

    Ok, now I am kicking myself. A year ago I made the full blown thing for a birthday lunch. It pretty much took all week, if you include the time it took to confit the duck. Added to that, I had duck fat cheekily streaked around the kitchen for days afterwards. My favourite bit was the cheesy breadcrumbs on top. But I’ve been scared off since then. You’ve inspired me to get back onto it!

    29 . Jun . 2011
  21. Chaya

    Yes, this does sound good and it also looks good and you have inspired me. I think, I would go vegetarian, though.

    29 . Jun . 2011
  22. Joyti

    I top all sorts of things with cheese too. And there’s nothing with cutting down the prep and baking time on a traditional dish. Especially since you guys have 100-degree weather – who wants to leave the oven on all day in that?
    The cassolulet looks really comforting and delicious.

    29 . Jun . 2011
  23. The Slow Roasted Italian

    Your cassoulet is beautiful. Honestly I would never eat her recipe. The changes you made are perfect for our family! And I LOVE the cheese.

    29 . Jun . 2011
  24. Torrie @ a place to share...

    AMEN sister. Could not agree more!!

    I haven’t had lunch yet (still drinking coffee! a little behind :)), but this sure is making me hungry!!

    29 . Jun . 2011
  25. Cooking Creation

    I’ve always wanted to try cassoulet! The addition of cheese is perfect. This is a fantastic recipe! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    29 . Jun . 2011
  26. Sandie

    what a sweet to write on my blog :)… I wish I could post cooking recipes like you but I hardly ever follow recipes when cooking and I honestly don’t think I have the energy to post everyday. I don’t know how you do it!!!

    29 . Jun . 2011
  27. Gopika

    Woww.. this cassoulet looks awesome.. Cant wait to try these 😀

    29 . Jun . 2011
  28. Kate (What Kate is Cooking)

    I’ve never even heard of cassoulet! It sounds so fancy and it looks delicious 🙂

    29 . Jun . 2011
  29. Fran

    Love your version so much better! It’s great and can’t wait to try it

    29 . Jun . 2011
  30. Yumyum

    Yum! Oh I am loving the ham in it and the cheese in top:)

    29 . Jun . 2011
  31. Maris (In Good Taste)

    You did an amazing job on this. It looks perfect!

    29 . Jun . 2011
  32. Veronica's Kitchen

    We are living in the busy life with job, kids, cooking and cleaning… and blogging, sure the quickest and healthiest way is the best cooking!

    29 . Jun . 2011
  33. Mary

    A really excellent recipe – I would LOVE this tonight

    29 . Jun . 2011
  34. Maria

    And this is why you are the woman! Anyone that can take a dish like this and cut the prep time in half is awesome in my book. The time it takes to prepare a cassoulet is the reason why I’ve never made it. That and the duck. And hey I am loving all the cheesy goodness in your version. I have been recoving from strep throat/flu this week and all I’ve eaten is chicke soup and drank fluids because I cannot stand food right now, and no kidding, this is the first time I have seen anything I want to eat this whole week. This just looks beautiful and comforting.

    29 . Jun . 2011
  35. Shea

    This looks so comforting and delicious. And the fact that it’s a busy gal’s cassoulet makes it even better. I’m not a “spend all day cooking” kind of girl!

    29 . Jun . 2011
  36. SharleneT.

    It looks yummy and something I’m going to try because I don’t care what Julia says. I go to her for ideas and, sometimes, will follow exactly what she says, but definitely not always. Good pix and thanks for sharing.

    29 . Jun . 2011
  37. ModernMom

    I’m so glad I started reading you, now Iknow what a cassoulet is! Gee you come to my blog and all you get is trash tv and lawn boy sitings:)

    29 . Jun . 2011
  38. The Harried Cook

    Wow… You have no idea how good this looks to me! I love the flavors in this dish & I am bookmarking it… Nobody else in my home likes beans. Well, that’s good! More for me 😀 Thanks for sharing!

    29 . Jun . 2011
  39. Kristy

    I think Julia would gasp…I’ve never heard of a cassoulet. It looks wonderful though and I love that you added cheese! How could you not! 🙂

    29 . Jun . 2011
  40. the good soup

    oooh, you’re so naughty. Now I have to admit, I don’t mind an all day dish- I like it when a meal works away at itself for hours and hours, without needing my care. Slow cooking and a warm kitchen all day. Still, your quickie looks really delicious, Belle. NIce one! x

    30 . Jun . 2011
  41. foodfashionandflow

    This looks like the ultimate comfort dish. those flavors sound so good!

    30 . Jun . 2011
  42. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    I’mall for updated versions of the classics, there’s a place for both. The classic for those days when we’ve got a good chunk of time to devote to cooking and the updated for everyday meals.

    30 . Jun . 2011
  43. Blond Duck

    Printing immediately!

    30 . Jun . 2011
  44. Silver Strands

    Just found you … you are FUNNY and I have to say, I could never make anything so time-consuming, so I’m glad you’ve given me an alternative!

    PS – I’m your newest follower 🙂

    30 . Jun . 2011
  45. purabi naha

    What a wonderful dish! I didn’t know that such a dish exists, frankly! This is the fun of blogging…you get to know so many things!

    30 . Jun . 2011
  46. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite

    I think this sounds amazing! That’s the beauty of cooking – you can always change things and make them your own 🙂 I might be borrowing this recipe soon. Love the photo of the sauteeing tomatoes – is there anything prettier?

    30 . Jun . 2011
  47. Alexis @ There She Goes

    veg cassoulet, yes!

    30 . Jun . 2011
  48. greencookinlife

    Amazing- don’t know how you to did it. What a simple and much better looking dish than Julia’s! I think she would be proud. I really do. I know I want to eat it right now

    30 . Jun . 2011
  49. Heatherk

    I love cassoulet but not to make it myself. This version I think I cam attempt though! Thanks girl- as always

    30 . Jun . 2011
  50. val

    Yowza, now this is comfort food!!

    30 . Jun . 2011
  51. Caroline

    I actually think your cassoulet sounds tastier, well, and much more up my alley! I love prosciutto, and you can never go wrong with adding cheese. I’m sure Julia would approve. 🙂

    30 . Jun . 2011
  52. Jane Kirn

    This sounds heavely. Everytime I see your post, my diet is talking to me. I am saving your recipes, and will try them when I can. The photographs are so beautiful to look at. Thank you.

    30 . Jun . 2011
  53. Maria @ Scandifoodie

    This sounds perfectly wholesome, fragrant and full of flavour! What a tasty dish!

    30 . Jun . 2011
  54. Tina (PinayInTexas)

    Your cassoulet actually looks awesome! Very flavorful but a lot easier to prepare…so I’ll go for it!

    30 . Jun . 2011
  55. Nami @ Just One Cookbook

    Hi Jessica! First, I want to say thank you for the hairband! It arrived today and I’m wearing it right now. It’s very cute and strong enough to hold my hair and bang. I love it. My daugther look at it and she knew I got something different on my head, so she tried and she liked it too. Well she usually doesn’t like anything on hair. Thanks so much for your personal card too! You are very kind and sweet. Thanks so much. Now onto your cassoulet. I’m not used to eating so much bean as a main dish. But I love the look of this picture and I actually think it looks delicious! Thank you for sharing!

    01 . Jul . 2011
  56. My Carolina Kitchen

    We love cassoulet in our house too and often I use chicken in it to make it more healthy. I’ve also used black-eyed peas that bring a smoky flavor to it. I agree it doesn’t have to be a winter dish and I would love to try some cheese on the top.

    03 . Jul . 2011
  57. Candace

    omygoodness, I’ve been missing so much around here that I’m getting to catch up on this morning. yay! First of all…..I’ve never had cassoulet until I moved to New Hampshire where my father-in-law, “the cassoulet king” reigns supreme with his delicious version of that dish. I have to say that after tasting his (delicious!) and reading about yours and seeing your photos that’s there is absolutely no apology necessary. Your cassoulet can most definitely hang with the best of them. Absolutely fantastic choice of ingredients, Jessica! I can’t wait to give this a try in my own kitchen and invite the in-laws over for a meal. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I love how you kicked up this dish bayou style. You go girl! Hope you and your family are enjoying a happy and safe 4th of July.

    03 . Jul . 2011
  58. April@The 21st Century Housewife

    I love how you have used the fresh tomatoes and thyme in your version of Julia’s cassoulet – it’s such a fresh and delicious alternative. And I LOVE the idea of the cheese as well. Thank you for sharing this yummy, comforting cassoulet with the Hearth and Soul blog hop.

    04 . Jul . 2011
  59. Hearth and Soul Hop with Premeditated Leftovers 7/4 | Premeditated Leftovers

    […] Thyme Scented Three Bean Cassoulet […]

    04 . Jul . 2011
  60. Cindy thehomemaker

    I have never attempted julia’s recipe nor do I plan on it after seeing your quick version! A masterpiece might I say!

    06 . Jul . 2011
  61. Cassie

    What a fun and easy dish. We eat beans all the time here at my house so this is perfect for us. Thanks again

    10 . Jul . 2011

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