Thursday, July 15, 2010

Crockpot Recipe for Sausage, Beans, and Greens (Gluten-Free, Can Freeze)

This Crockpot Recipe for healthy and delicious Sausage, Beans, and Greens is a dish I've made over and over!

Sausage, Beans, and Greens

Sometimes I tend to forget about crockpot recipes when it's summer, but actually slow cookers are a wonderful way to cook when you don't want to heat up your house. This week I had lots of collard greens in my garden, so I used the slow cooker to make this Crockpot Recipe for Sausage, Beans, and Greens. My neighbor Michelle loves this recipe, and she tells me you can also cook it on the stove if you're in a hurry or don't have a crockpot.

I used pinto beans, but you could make this with any type of dried beans and kale or swiss chard could replace the collards if that's what you have. Crockpot dishes tend to be not too photogenic, but luckily I had some leftovers to try more than once on the photos, and trust me when I say this picture is a big improvement on the previous one!

(This favorite recipes for Sausage, Beans, and Greens was updated and added to Recipe Favorites, July 2010.) 

Soak dried beans overnight, then drain, add fresh water, garlic powder, and onion powder, and simmer on low heat until beans are soft. (Cooking time will depend on how fresh the beans are, but probably 30-45 minutes for most beans.) You can use canned beans, but soaked and cooked dried beans are much better.

While beans are cooking, brown the sausage well in a non-stick frying pan. (You will need to add a little oil for turkey Italian sausage.) Get the sausage as brown as you can, then let cool and cut into slices.

Cut collard greens into thin ribbons (cut the ribbons in half crosswise if the collards are very big.) Wash collards after you cut them (I used a salad spinner.)

Put collard greens in the bottom of the crockpot. Deglaze the pan where you cooked the sausage with 1/2 cup bean cooking liquid and fresh garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Put drained cooked beans and sausages in the crockpot on top of the collard greens, then pour over the deglazing liquid from the pan.

Cook on low 4-6 hours or on high 2-3 hours, or until collard greens are quite soft. (If your crockpot is larger than I used, you may need to add a bit more water.) Serve hot, with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Crockpot Recipe for Sausage, Beans, and Greens
(Makes 4-6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn.

I used my Crock-Pot 3-1/2-Quart Slow Cooker for this recipe.

1 cup uncooked dried beans of any type, soaked overnight (You could substitute 1 can of beans)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
4-5 links hot turkey or pork Italian Sausage (use turkey sausage for South Beach diet)
1-2 tsp. oil, for browning sausage
1 bunch collard greens, cut into ribbons and washed
1/2 cup bean cooking liquid (or water plus liquid from canned beans if using canned)
1 tsp. finely minced fresh garlic
(possibly more water if your crock pot is large)
Parmesan cheese for serving, if desired

Put beans in small saucepan with garlic powder, onion powder, and enough water to cover. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until beans are nearly done but still have a little bite. Drain, saving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. (Fresh cooked beans are by far better, but if you forget to soak some, use a can of kidney beans, white beans, or pinto beans and save 1/2 cup of water when you rinse them.)

While beans cook, brown sausage well in frying pan, adding a little olive oil for turkey sausage. The crock pot kind of removes the color from browned foods, so let them get very, very brown. When sausages are nicely browned, remove from pan, cool enough to handle, and cut into slices.

Cut stems off collard green, cut into ribbons crosswise, then cut the long ribbons into 2-3 pieces and rinse. Place collard greens in bottom of crock pot. Pour 1/2 cup bean cooking liquid into pan where you cooked the sausage, add fresh garlic, and cook 2-3 minutes to deglaze pan. Put beans in crock pot, top with sausage, and pour deglazing liquid from pan over.

Cook on low 4-6 hours or on high 2-3 hours, or until collard greens are quite soft and flavors are well-combined. Serve hot, with Parmesan cheese if desired.

South Beach Suggestions:
Everything in this dish is a wonderfully healthful and low-glycemic food, making this perfect for any phase of the South Beach Diet.

More Ideas with Collard Greens:
Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Pasta with Sausage and Collard Greens from Kalyn's Kitchen

Chicken Soup with Collard Greens, Carrots, and Brown Rice from Kalyn's Kitchen

Hopping John Soup with Ham, Black-Eyed Peas, and Collard Greens from Kalyn's Kitchen

Collard Greens with Spaghetti from Modern Beet

Pasta with Sausage and Collard Greens from Erin Cooks

Michael Richard's Collard Greens and Lentils from The Wednesday Chef

Collard Greens, Mushrooms, and Proscuitto from WrightFood

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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More to Chew On:


  1. That's good food!
    I love beans. And I've discovered that throwing some sausage into a stewy dish is like "instant flavor," because of all the spices in the sausage.
    Good work.

  2. Thanks for the plug Kalyn! Your dish looks wonderful. It will be on my Thursday menu this week.


  3. Are you sure you're not southern, Kalyn? First the Hoppin' John Soup, now collard greens and sausage?? You'd fit right in down here, dahlin. Although, we might make you add a big 'ol ham hock to that pot of greens!

  4. Yum, I love the combo of sausages, beans and greens. This one sounds and looks particularly delicious.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. I made this Cajun style. I used andouille sausage instead of Italian, added sauteed trinity (onion, bell pepper, celery), mustard greens instead of collards, some ham flavored soup base, and 2 tsp of cumin. It was fabulous and a big hit with my family. Served with pepper sauce, it's Louisiana flavor at it's best. Thanks for the recipe.

    Alexandria, LA

  6. Wasabigirl, love the sound of your variation!

  7. My slow cookers are a life saver in this hot and steamy weather, when I can't bear the thought of turning on the stove burners. I'd probably cook the beans in it, too.

  8. Lydia, great idea to cook the beans in the crockpot too!

  9. Roberta in ToledoJuly 15, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    Could you use Swiss Chard, instead of greens? I am up to my ears in them in the garden.

  10. Roberta in ToledoJuly 15, 2010 at 7:02 PM

    And that cajun version sounds amazing, too!

  11. Roberta, swiss chard would be great for this. I think it might cook a bit more quickly.

  12. I find my collards a bit bitter this year....lack of water?...and have been par-boiling them. Do you think the long cooking will get rid of the bitternesss or will it simply ruin the whole pot?

  13. I've got to break out my crock pot, Kalyn. Especially now, when I'm running around with so much on my plate. My crock pot could help me! I love this recipe.

  14. LibbyD, I'm not sure if slow-cooking will remove the bitterness from greens in the same way par-boiling does; I think I might par-boil them first.

    Italian Dish, the crockpot is so handy for summer!

  15. This looks like my kind of recipe. Straight, simple, to the point and easy to prepare. Plus, I have the ingredients (or proper substitutions thereof) and plan to make this tonight. =)

  16. Garrett, Hope you like it. I love this type of simple comforting food.

  17. Love all the flavors goin' on in this dish. And especially love the Crock Pot angle. Keeping the kitchen cool and cooking up something as delicious as this? Brilliant.

  18. Can I swap in spinach for the collards? That's the only type of green I've managed to get my boyfriend to eat.
    I LOVE the idea of using the crock pot in the summer!

  19. Spinach will work but it will cook more quickly than collards.

  20. I love sausages =)Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will try it.

  21. I make something like this with kale on top of the stove but this crockpot version sounds great!

  22. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I love the combo of sausage

  23. I love using my crockpot in the summer! The house doesn't get hot and I love coming home to a cooked meal!

  24. made this yesterday. it was so good. the dried beans are definitely better also! my family wrinkled their noses when i mentioned collard greens but admitted it was good when they finally tasted it! i am a new fan of collard greens.

  25. Carrie, so glad to hear this was a hit. I remember when I first tried collard greens (in Hopping John Soup) and I was surprised how much I liked them!

  26. I made this for dinner on Sunday. I started the collard greens a little ahead of time so that they wilted down a bit before I added the other ingredients. After wilting the collard greens (and I only used about 1/2 pound of chicken sausage), everything fit in my 1 quart crock pot. I just thought your single friends reading this blog might like to know about that. :) And even though my beans were undercooked, it's still freaking delicious.

  27. I'm not a fan of collard greens, but love kale & spinach. If I substituted, do you know how they would cook? How much faster?

  28. I think spinach might get too soft in the slow cooker, but kale would need just slightly more time than collard greens.

  29. I made this vegan and posted it on my blog.. giving you credit for the original recipe. We loved it!!!!!

  30. Kalyn! Help! What has happened to Ziplist? I depend on it and now it looks like Pinterest which is confusing to me. The pictures are nice, but I cannot get my tags to "take". Help!

  31. I got an e-mail from Ziplist today saying they had changed it but I haven't had a chance to look at it much yet. Dinner guests are coming in a few minutes so I can't really look at it now, but I think if you poke around you'll find out it works pretty much as usual.

  32. I can find my old recipes by tags, but when I type in the new tag and hit + and Save, nothing happens.

  33. Nancy, did you figure this out? I don't see anything about tags in the materials Ziplist sent me, but if you send me an e-mail I can get you in touch with them.


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