Slow Cooker Sausage, Bean and Pasta Stew

This stew is delicious and hearty and the recipe can easily be doubled so you have some for leftovers or freezing for later.

It’s also easy to customize to your tastes with some easy substitutions from your pantry, fridge or freezer. No Italian sausage? Use ground beef or turkey. Sub in beans you have on hand for the white beans called for and experiment with spices you enjoy from your rack. A different type of small pasta would also work well or you could omit it from the recipe. If you don’t have fresh veggies, use frozen, just add them at the end of the cooking process for 20-30 minutes.

For more slow cooker inspiration, check out these recipes:

Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan

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  • 1 onion, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 4 gloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 oz. dried, white beans
  • 6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage
  • One 14.5-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
  • One 4-oz. chunk Parmesan rind
  • ½ cup ditalini pasta
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • Crusty bread for serving

Slow Cooker Sausage, Bean and Pasta Stew

1. Spread the onions over the bottom of a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker and top with the carrot, garlic, white beans, sausage links and fresh thyme bundle. Mix the diced tomatoes with the broth and 3 cups water and pour over the sausage mixture. Add the Parmesan rind.
2. Cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours. The beans will be tender and start to fall apart.
3. Uncover the slow cooker, remove and discard the thyme bundle and Parmesan rind and transfer the sausage links to a cutting board. Stir the pasta into the stew and continue to cook until the pasta is cooked, around 20 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat, cut the sausage into bite sized pieces and stir into the stew along with the parsley and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with grated Parmesan sprinkled on top and a slice of crusty bread on the side. Enjoy!

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