One Pot Sausage, Bean, & Escarole Pasta

If there’s a thing or two I know about cooking, it’s how to make one-pot meals. Yes, I built my credibility using an Instant Pot, but as wonderful as it is, some folks who stumble across my blog just don’t want to deal with a pressure cooker and often ask me to do a stovetop version. And so it’s high time I show you how to make a one-pot pasta dish in the most amazing and simple way, with zero draining of the pasta water because it becomes the sauce! Here, we’re taking a variation of my Bean & Escarole Soup and giving it the pasta treatment with ground Italian sausage and adorable orecchiette. I call it One Pot Sausage, Bean, & Escarole Pasta and it’s a very summery dish; light in some ways, but so rich in flavor at the same time, and done with basically no effort at all.

Watch The Video!

One Pot Sausage Bean & Escarole Pasta

Sauté Away

Dutch oven with olive oil on stove
Begin by placing a Dutch oven or large soup pot on your stovetop. Add some olive oil and heat it up.
Adding ground Italian sausage to pot
Once the oil’s shimmering, some ground Italian sausage (if using links, use a knife to slit and split the casing so the meat comes out)…
Using spatula to break up sausage meat.
Break up the ground sausage meat as you sauté it. You can do with with a wooden spatula or meat chopper.
Browned and crumbled sausage in pot
Once it’s crumbly and lightly browned, we’re good to go!
Roughly chop a head of escarole…
Sautéing escarole in pot
…and add it to the pot. It may go up to the brim and feel like it will overcrowd the pot but fret not! It will begin to wilt down very quickly as we sauté.
Wilted escarole in pot with sausage
See? Told ya!
Adding minced garlic to pot
Let’s add a some fragrant garlic to the pot…

Putting It Together

Pouring broth in pot
Time to add the liquid! Since this is a one pot pasta, we aren’t going to drain the liquid after the pasta is cooked. Nope – the liquid will BECOME the base for the sauce! As such, use broth instead of water. Any flavor will work, but I generally use chicken or garlic broth.

NOTE: If there’s some browning on the bottom of the pot from sautéing the sausage and the wilted escarole didn’t get it all up, add a little broth to start. Deglaze (scrape) the bottom to get any browned bits (aka fond) off, and then pour in the remaining broth.
Adding pepper to pot
Add a little pepper as well…
Adding orecchiette to pot
And then there’s that final ingredient: our pasta! I prefer orecchiette for this, which looks like little ears, frisbees, or those toys that came in an egg-shaped capsule at the supermarket exit vending machine that you’d lay on the counter, press down the center of, and then they pop into the air!
Stirring pot so everything's mixed up
Give everything a stir until well-combined (NOTE: If doing this in the Instant Pot, you won’t stir it. See the recipe card below).
Boiling broth
Bring up the heat of the pot to high so the broth begins to boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to medium-to-medium-high so it’s more of a gentle boil.

Cooking The Pasta

Lid on pot
Add the lid and let cook for 5 minutes.
Stirring pasta
Remove the lid and give the pasta a stir, making sire the bottom is nice and smooth.
Lid on pot
Cover the pot with the lid again for another 5 minutes.
Stirring pasta
And, like before, remove the lid and give it all a good stir! By now, most of the broth will have been absorbed by the pasta with some remaining in there. The pasta will also be slightly al dente (Italian for “to the tooth”). This is perfect because this is the starch of the pasta is really going to thicken things up as the pasta continues to cook as it absorbs the broth. Reduce the heat to low.

The Finishing Touches

Adding white beans to pot
Add in any white beans of your choice. I use cannellini, but you can also use navy, great Northern, or what the heck – go crazy and use any color bean you wish!
Adding grated Parmesan cheese to pot
Finally, we’ll tie both the flavor and the sauce together with some grated Parmesan cheese.

A Little Rest Is Best

Finished and rested pasta in pot
Give everything a good stir until fully combined and let rest for 5 minutes. This is when the sauce will really come together beautifully into the perfect consistency as the pasta continues to cook and absorb!

The Taste Test

Man holding bowl of pasta
When it’s time to serve, get ready! Spoon some into bowls…
Man tasting pasta
…and play a tasty game of airplane.
Man looking over-the-top content
It just don’t get any better than one pot pasta. In fact, it’s so good, you may get all verklempt and look like this over-the-top yutz. Enjoy this One Pot Sausage, Bean, & Escarole Pasta!
Yield: 6

One Pot Sausage, Bean & Escarole Pasta

One Pot Sausage, Bean & Escarole Pasta

If there's a thing or two I know about cooking, it's how to make one-pot meals. Yes, I built my credibility using an Instant Pot, but as wonderful as it is, some folks who stumble across my blog just don't want to deal with a pressure cooker and often ask me to do a stovetop version. And so it's high time I show you how to make a one-pot pasta dish in the most amazing and simple way, with zero draining of the pasta water because it becomes the sauce! Here, we're taking a variation of my Bean & Escarole Soup and giving it the pasta treatment with ground Italian sausage and adorable orecchiette. It's a very summery dish; light in some ways, but so rich in flavor at the same time, and done with basically no effort at all.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 pounds Italian sausage (sweet, hot, or a mix), casing removed
  • 1 bunch escarole, tougher white bottoms discarded, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 3 ½ - 4 1/2 cups chicken broth (3 1/2 cups for Instant Pot and 4 1/2 cups for stovetop)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini, navy or great northern beans(either with their juices or drained – see Jeff’s Tips)
  • ½-1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

Instructions

  1. Add the oil to a 6-8-quart Dutch oven or a nonstick 8-quart pot and bring to medium-high heat (or hit Sauté and Adjust to the High or More setting on the Instant Pot). Once shimmering, add the sausage (I use 2 pounds, but you can use 1 if you want it less meaty) and sauté for 2-3 minutes until crumbled and browned. Leave the juices in the pot as they’ll add rich flavor to the sauce!
  2. Add the escarole and garlic and sauté until the escarole is wilted, about another 1-2 minutes. The escarole will cook down significantly and quickly.
  3. Add some of the broth and deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pan to get up anything that may have been browned onto it and then add the rest of the broth, pepper, and stir well. 
  4. Cook The Pasta: For Stovetop: Add the pasta to the pot and stir. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-to-medium-high so the boil is a bit more contained. Cover the pot and allow the pasta to cook for 10-15 minutes total, stirring every 5 minutes to make sure the pasta cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. When most of the broth has been absorbed by the pasta and it’s fully cooked, turn the stove to low. There should still be some liquid left and that’s what we want! For Instant PotAdd the pasta to the pot but do not stir. Simply smooth it out so it’s mostly submerged. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position and hit Cancel followed by Pressure Cook or Manual for 6minutes at High Pressure. Quick release when done. There will still be some liquid left and that’s what we want!
  5. Add the beans (see Jeff Tips) and Parmesan and stir until combined into the pasta. Let rest for 5 minutes to come together. Serve topped with additional Parmesan, if desired.

Jeffrey's Tips

Adding the beans with their juices will add additional flavor and creaminess to the dish. I’d suggest starting with the juices from one can. See how you like the consistency, and then decide from there if you’d like to add the juices from the second can or have the beans from that one drained and rinsed.

To keep this vegetarian, omit the meat or use a plant-based version and use a vegetarian-friendly broth.

To keep this dairy-free, omit the Parmesan. The sauce will still come together nicely, but allow it a few extra minutes to rest in Step 5 so it comes together.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Susan Mannion-Proksa

    Jeff, For Instant Pot, do you add escarole on top of submerged pasta and cook for 6 min. or is it added after?

  2. Gina T

    I can’t find escarole anywhere I live. What else can I use? Possibly Kale or is that completely different?

  3. Jane

    This is very similar to a dish my Mom, Aunts and Grandmother used to make. My Grandma came over from Italy and we called this Minestre. A kind of stew. It was made with leftover meat (think Sundays Ham, pork or beef roast – or sausage!). They used whatever greens chopped like in your recipe but often made with Swiss chard or kale or what Grandpa had in the garden. It didn’t have pasta but had the white beans and diced potatoes. Sauce was water, broth or other cooking liquid. It was yummy! I’m going to make it your way soon!

  4. Angie

    This was a huge hit! Substituted bow tie pasta since that is what I had. Used less sausage since I had leftovers from another recipe. I also cooked on the stovetop.

  5. PattyB

    Wow. A much-needed, solidly-delicous and easy recipe.

    I used 1 lb of sweet Italian turkey sausage, baby spinach (no one had escarole) and navy beans that I cooked in the IP this morning. Made dish on stovetop for the full experience. I ate 2 bowls! And all with one arm as I am post shoulder surgery! Thank you!

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