Easy Slow Cooker Lady Pea Cassoulet is a hearty casserole full of flavor. Delicious Lady Cream Peas are used in place of white beans for a twist on the classic casserole.
This recipe is sponsored by Camellia Beans as part of #SlowCookerMonth. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures possible.
Many many years ago, I tried my hand at cassoulet. Well, I should say the hubs tried his hand at what I described would be cassoulet for dinner. For those that don’t know, cassoulet is a French casserole with white beans, some kind of meat, vegetables, herbs, and spices.
The cassoulet, like cacciatore, ratatouille, and red beans and rice are born out of necessity. Peasant food extends what they have on hand and uses bits and pieces of leftovers to make a new meal. Cassoulet can be made with sausages, duck, mutton, chicken, and whatever meat you have on hand. It’s typically sausages, but feel free to add chicken, pork, or whatever else you have in the fridge.
Traditional cassoulet has white beans. There are four types of white beans, according to Camelia Brand.
- Navy (Pea) Beans or Navy Beans are small and quick cooking. They’re the perfect bean for Boston baked beans, but they’re also great for thickening soups and stews.
- Great Northern Beans are mild in flavor. They’re perfect for soups and stews because they hold their shape well when cooked.
- Cannellini beans are the largest of the white beans. They’re also called white kidney beans because they’re shaped like kidney beans with a similar size. Since they keep their shape and texture well, they’re great in soups and salads.
- Baby Lima Beans are also known as butterbeans. They’re have a starchier flavor than the other beans. They’re typically cooked in the south with ham or bacon and served over rice or found in succotash with corn.
I didn’t use white beans. However, I did use a small pea called a Lady Cream Pea. And I have to tell you, these babies are totally creamy and delicious. They’re tender with a slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with the carrots and sweet Italian sausage in this easy slow cooker lady pea cassoulet.
Lady cream peas are typically a southern pea. And I have to tell you it was a bit mundane trying to find a recipe that didn’t involve simmering in ham, country ham, salt pork, or bacon. Not that they wouldn’t be delicious simmered southern style, but I wanted something different to make with these creamy peas.
This easy slow cooker lady pea cassoulet was just the dish to highlight the flavor of these delicious peas. With simple ingredients, you showcase the creamy flavor of these little peas. And when cooking beans, less is more. Especially when you slow cook them.
Beans, if you don’t know, have a habit of absorbing everything that you cook them with. That includes herbs, spices, and salt. I never salt my beans before they’re cooked. I always salt them after they’re cooked. And I should have done the same with the rosemary. I put 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary initially. Don’t do this unless you really like rosemary. Add just a pinch. You can easily taste and re-season if you want more rosemary and thyme flavor.
Now, there was quite a discussion about rinsing and cooking beans before you cook them in a slow cooker. Apparently, so much so that the FDA has chimed in on the issue. I didn’t know this, but according to the FDA, red kidney beans have a protein called Phytohaemagglutinin that can be toxic to some people. Yes, I know there’s no kidney beans in this recipe, but I feel the need to let y’all about this issue.
Anyway, this Phytohaemagglutinin can cause severe gastrointestinal illness, diarrhea, and even vomiting. If you don’t rinse, soak, and boil the beans for at least 10 minutes this protein can adversely affect you in more than a typical gassy bean way. Thankfully, this only applies to dried beans and not canned ones. They should already by cooked and not have to worry about any discomfort.
I’ve learned some interesting tips for cooking beans while research recipes to make with these beans. The most interest trick is not to drain them immediately after cooking. This causes the skins to keep away from the meat of the bean and makes them look unappealing. Add cool water to pot to cool them for salads or other uses. This prevents the bean from peeling unattractively.
Soaking beans overnight only lessens the cooking time marginally. There’s a group that believe it lessens the flavor of your beans. I have always soaked my beans and haven’t experienced any less flavor than not soaking them. Yes, I’ve speed soaked them in boiling water and think they still taste the same as the soaked overnight beans.
And with a delicious dish like this easy slow cooker lady pea cassoulet, you’ll want all the flavors in there! It’s a hearty meal that you can make on the cheap. A few stalks of celery, a couple of carrots, a package of beans, a package of sausage (or chicken or whatever), and some broth. A few herbs and spices and you have a hearty and delicious meal to warm you up this colder winter.
Oh, and feel free to put the sausage in your air-fryer or cook them on the stove before adding them to the slow cooker at the end. I wanted a one pot, hands off, no worries meal, so I put them in to braise with the beans and veggies. But, it’s your slow cooker cassoulet so make it however you want!
- 1 pound Camelia Lady Cream Peas
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 1 cup diced celery
- Pinch dried thyme
- Pinch dried rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups unsalted (or reduced sodium) chicken broth
- 20 ounces sweet Italian sausage
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse the beans and place them in a large mixing bowl. Fill the bowl almost to the top with water and let the beans soak overnight.
- Drain and rinse the beans. Place them in the liner of the slow cooker.
- Add the carrot, celery, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and chicken broth.
- Place the sausages on top of the beans and cook on low 8 hours or until the beans are tender.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving with crusty bread.
Nutrition InformationYield 5 servings Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 563Total Fat 45gSaturated Fat 25gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 16gCholesterol 142mgSodium 1050mgCarbohydrates 16gFiber 1gSugar 7gProtein 26g
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