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Cabbage, white beans and spicy sausage give this hearty one-pan dinner a little bit of everything

(Photos by Scott Suchman for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)
Cabbage, Sausage and White Bean Casserole
Active time:30 mins
Total time:1 hour
Servings:4 to 6
Active time:30 mins
Total time:1 hour
Servings:4 to 6

Over the past year, many of us have (re)discovered the wonders of cabbage. Thanks in large part to its long shelf life during a time when many Americans are grocery shopping less frequently, cabbage has found its way into refrigerators across the country. As such, I wanted to develop a new pantry-friendly recipe to help you make use of the cruciferous vegetable. Fairly neutral with a slight pepperiness when raw, cabbage takes on a subtle sweetness when cooked, which complements the spicy pork and earthy beans in this dish. And when prepared in an oven-safe skillet such as cast iron, this recipe has the added bonus of being a one-pan meal.

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Hot Italian sausage does the bulk of the heavy lifting when it comes to flavor in this recipe. I used it more as a seasoning and for its fat than as a substantial contributor to the recipe’s bulk. (If you prefer to use a turkey-based sausage, note that you might need to use extra olive oil to compensate for the lack of fat.) And because a fairly small amount of sausage is called for, this dish is an easy entry point for anyone looking to cut down on meat consumption.

Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here.

The cabbage and onion pick up tons of flavor from the sausage’s rendered fat. A couple of cans of white beans — or whatever beans you have on hand — add heft and earthiness, while a bit of cream provides richness. You’ll cover the pan with a mixture of Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs before baking for a cheesy, crunchy, golden topping. (This recipe calls for plain breadcrumbs, but panko would also work.) It all comes together in about an hour, making for a great weeknight dinner option.

Make Ahead: The dish can be made up until the topping part 1 day in advance and refrigerated. To bake, top with the breadcrumb-Parmesan mixture and cook as instructed, adding a few more minutes to the time to account for the cold filling.

Storage Notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

This one-pot riff on stuffed cabbage has all the flavors of the classic — in half the time


  • 8 ounces loose hot Italian sausage
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small head green cabbage (about 2 pounds), quartered, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion (about 7 ounces), thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans white beans, such as cannellini, great Northern or navy, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup packed (1 ounce) finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving (optional)

Step 1

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.

Step 2

In a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, combine the sausage with 2 tablespoons of oil. Set the skillet over medium heat and cook, breaking the meat apart with a spoon until the fat has been rendered and the sausage is no longer pink, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate, leaving the fat in the skillet.

Step 3

Add the sliced cabbage and onion, in batches if necessary, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 15 minutes.

Step 4

Add the beans, heavy cream and the reserved sausage to the skillet and stir to combine. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. (Transfer to a casserole dish if not using an oven-safe skillet.)

Step 5

In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle evenly over the cabbage mixture.

Step 6

Bake for about 15 minutes, until bubbling and lightly golden on top. Let cool slightly, sprinkle with the parsley, if using, and serve.

Nutrition Information

(Based on 6 servings)

Calories: 533; Total Fat: 22 g; Saturated Fat: 8 g; Cholesterol: 48 mg; Sodium: 564 mg; Carbohydrates: 61 g; Dietary Fiber: 14 g; Sugar: 7 g; Protein: 25 g.

From staff writer Aaron Hutcherson.

Tested by Aaron Hutcherson and Ann Maloney; email questions to

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