This dinner was surprisingly flavorful. I'm not sure why I expected that it wouldn't be; it just seemed like there wasn't a strong flavor profile when I was making it. I really like the idea of casseroles, but with most of them having a base of pasta or rice, they're just too starchy to have on a regular basis. Cooking Light to the rescue, yet again. This casserole has a base of beans! Ingenious! I followed Brooke's lead and threw some spinach in there for a little green.
This is another great weeknight meal that doesn't require a lot of time or energy and yet tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen. And it makes plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day.
Sausage and Bean Casserole
source: Cooking Light via Brooke
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1 (16-ounce) package light smoked turkey sausage (such as Hillshire Farm), cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (I used a 14 oz package because that's what was on sale.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 (16-ounce) cans cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional) (I used a 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper.)
3 (1-ounce) slices white bread (I used pre-made breadcrumbs.)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I omitted.)
Preheat oven to 375°.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and turkey sausage to pan; sauté for 5 minutes or until browned. Add garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in 2 tablespoons brown sugar, tomato paste, dried thyme, freshly ground black pepper, cannellini beans, and bay leaf. Add ground red pepper, if desired. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. (I don't have a Dutch oven, so I cooked the mixture in a stockpot and then transfered it to a 9x13 Pyrex dish to bake.)
Place bread in a food processor, and pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 1/2 cups.
Sprinkle breadcrumbs evenly over bean mixture, and lightly coat with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until browned. Discard bay leaf. Sprinkle with parsley.
Yields: 8 servings
Calories: 205 (14% from fat), Fat: 3.3g (sat 1.1g,mono 0.1g,poly 0.5g), Protein: 12.1g, Carbohydrate: 30g, Fiber: 4.4g, Cholesterol: 25mg, Iron: 2.7mg, Sodium: 823mg, Calcium: 77mg