Less-Meat Mondays: Cannellini with Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Sausage


By Freya Bellin

With the end of summer we must grudgingly say goodbye to peaches and berries, but I happen to love fall produce.  One of my favorites, the Brussels sprout, is a kind of vegetable underdog.  Over the past few years it seems to have made the transition from rejected to revered, and I love finding recipes that would bring even the most hesitant of sprout-eaters onto the bandwagon.  This is one of those recipes.  The sausage (I used an Italian chicken sausage) and red pepper flakes add nice heat to the dish, and shaved Brussels sprouts make it light and salad-like. This is essentially a meal on its own, but I bet it would taste great over polenta or farro.  I opted to serve it in a bowl with a big hunk of onion and olive focaccia to help soak up the juices.  Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

Cannellini with Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Sausage

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 20 minutes with cooked or canned beans

Cannellini beans with garlic and sausage are admittedly hard to beat (there’s a reason you see it everywhere). But shredded Brussels sprouts are a welcome addition to this classic combination; if there are still Brussels sprout haters out there, this will convert them. Serve this dish, with its beautifully flavored pan juices, over cooked grains like farro, bulgur, or cracked wheat, or a couple of thick slices of toasted bread.

3 tablespoons olive oil

8 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed

2 tablespoons minced garlic

Red chile flakes, to taste

Salt and black pepper

1 pound Brussels sprouts, shredded in a food processor or roughly chopped

1⁄2 cup white wine or water

2 cups cooked or canned cannellini beans, drained

1. Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, crumble the sausage into the pan and cook, stirring occasionally to break the meat into relatively small bits, until browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and chile flakes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for another minute or so.

2. Add the Brussels sprouts and wine to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until the sprouts are tender but still a bit crunchy, 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Add the beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are heated through, just a minute or 2. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve.


Posted in Italian, Recipes


  1. Anonymous said...

    I am the odd bod that LOVES Brussels sprouts, but I’m always on the hunt for new and exciting recipes to try – can’t wait to make this tomorrow. As luck would have it, I bought Brussels sprouts on a whim today, and have the sausages defrosting in the fridge. Thank you!

  2. TracyTThomas said...

    I’m a Brussels sprouts hater from way back, but I might get the nerve up to actually try this. I’ve made leaps and bounds with greens and cabbage in the last couple of years (and actually like them), but tacking the Brussels sprouts barrier has been tough. I’ve heard how good they are roasted, but it’s really hard to get past the psychological barrier of how bad they tasted (steamed to @)*%) in childhood. So, perhaps it’s time!

  3. Anonymous said...

    @TracyTThomas, the sprouts are great! And they’re almost unrecognizable when prepared this way, so maybe you can trick your brain into thinking they’re some other veggie. This is definitely a good place to start.

  4. obkabie said...

    Had this for dinner tonight with some homemade bread and strawberries. So unbelievably good! Even my brussel sprout hating husband loved this!

  5. Jaclyn Mussehl McKewan said...

    This is one of my favorite recipes from the Food Matters Cookbook. I just recorded a video of this for my cooking blog: http://www.cookingwithfood.info/2011/07/31/a-dinner-with-brussels-sprouts-in-disguise/

  6. MelanieO said...

    Made this the other night, and even my 9- and 11-year-old children loved it. I used sweet Italian sausage with fennel and served it over farro. I nearly had to arm-wrestle my husband to get possession of the leftovers for lunch the next day!

  7. franki said...

    thanks so much for this great recipe. I made it for my husband’s pack lunch and can attest that it reheats fine. He mentioned that it was a little skimpy. Thought I gave him an ample portion-he usually complains that I give him too much food so I’d say make large portions.
    He has been put on a diet that restricts corn, wheat and rice. Finding pack-able substitutes has been a challenge. Will do this one again.

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