A filling, hearty slow cooker sausage and bean dish with a kick that you can customise.
Sausages are such a great food – we must eat them at least once a month. They’re cheap and tasty, and they can be cooked slowly or quickly. Sausage and bean is a classic combination, from Heinz tins all the way up to the classic French dish Cassoulet. I’ve added a twist, turning the dish into a chilli with plenty of hearty, budget friendly root veg.
It’s questionable, though, whether this is a sausage dish with added beans, or a bean dish with sausage added for flavour. With the alarming claims recently about the health dangers of processed meat and concerns about animal welfare and the environment it’s easy to want to eat less sausage, but often a hard thing to practice. By adding in lots of smooth, squishy pinto beans, you get twice as much meal for your sausage.
Cooking and Serving Sausage Chilli
The first time I made this recipe I used chilli paste, and thereafter extra hot chilli powder so I’ve included quanities for both. It was mild to medium – feel free to vary it according to your tastes. I also varied the other spices – use what you prefer, or what you have in. For more hints on different types of chilli and how to use them see my article on Chilli.
I’ve pictured this slow cooker sausage and bean chilli with couscous as it’s really quick to make when you come in and the slow cooker smells so good you just want to devour it – but you could try rice, bread, or even tortillas. I have often made this chilli with chiplatas – small thin sausages – as you then have more pieces of sausage spread throughout the chilli. However, it will taste great with your favourite traditional sausage.
An easy, customizable slow cooker dish. Calories assume the recipe makes 6 servings.
- 9 oz or 1.5 cups pinto beans (250g)
- 7 oz button mushrooms (200g)
- 4 large carrots
- 2 parsnips
- 2 onions
- 1 lb (6-8) cumberland sausages 454g
- 2 400g/14oz tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder or 1 1/2 tsp chilli paste
- 4 tsp cumin or coriander
- 4 tsp garlic powder or smoked paprika
- 4 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
- Soak the pinto beans in cold water for 8 hours or overnight.
- Quarter the button mushrooms. Peel the carrots and parsnips and cut into half or quarter slices, depending on their size. Peel and dice the onions.
- Place the tinned tomatoes in a small pan or microwave suitable jug and mix in the spices and cornflour paste. Bring to the boil.
- Place the vegetables in the slow cooker, and slice the sausages directly into it using scissors.
- Mix in the sauce, and cook for 8 hours on low.