Italian Cassoulet (Italian Chili)

"I have been “evolving” this recipe for a couple of years as an alternative to the standard (mostly boring) chili that gets presented in the yearly cookoff. This IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!!!!! Nevertheless, it is eminently edible in this configuration. I’m still developing it (sliced mushrooms added last time, OK, but just cluttered up the effect.) Next time maybe I’ll chunk the onion instead of dice, or substitute eggplant for some of the bell pepper. You will notice there is neither salt nor pepper in this recipe – you won't need any!"
photo by Cream Puff photo by Cream Puff
photo by Cream Puff
photo by Cream Puff photo by Cream Puff
Ready In:
2hrs 45mins




  • Simmer beans about an hour to an hour and a half in plenty of water until almost done. You don't want the beans disintegrating during the next stage of cooking.
  • Drain and set aside.
  • Add olive oil to large, heavy pot.
  • Cook sausage, pepper, onions and coarse garlic until sausage is no longer pink, stirring to break up meat into chunks, about 3/8” or so.
  • Add tomatoes, minced garlic, beans, broth, habaneros and rosemary.
  • Bring to simmer, cover and simmer an hour or so – until beans are done and rosemary has absorbed enough liquid to be comfortably edible.
  • Refrigerate for one day.
  • Then reheat amounts as needed and serve with Pugliese and a fine Chianti.
  • Makes about a gallon.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This is a good recipe with great potential. A few things kept me from giving it 5 stars. As instructed, I simmered my overnight-soaked beans about an hour until I thought they were "almost done," but perhaps Bustard's idea of "almost done," and mine are different, because after I completed the recipe, I realized I should have cooked the beans longer in that first step. I should have brought the beans to a boil, reduced the heat, covered the pot and then simmered an hour. Nevertheless, as I plugged through the recipe, careful to follow the ingredient list and instructions, I felt like 3 cups of chicken broth wasn't enough liquid (even with the tomatoes) to finish cooking the beans (since I had drained them), so I added about 2 more cups of broth. (While I didn't use R.L. Schreiber, I did use a good quality boxed broth.) Also, the directions didn't state when to add the onions, so I added them when I cooked the sausage, pepper & course garlic, which worked out fine. Having said all that, I want you to know that the end result is flavorful and delicious! Don't be afraid of using all that garlic, or even the habanero. I suppose you could substitute the habanero for a milder pepper, but DO NOT cut the garlic short. I will definitely try this recipe again. I may sub. Italian seasoning for some of the Rosemary. Thank you, Blue Bustard, for sharing this recipe. It's a great concept! *Made for PAC Spring 2010


Didn't know I liked to cook until after I retired. I don't like to use measuring spoons - I like to use the palm of my hand. I love Italian foods - even pizza and spaghetti. I like Tex/Mex and I like it spicy hot!!!
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