Italian Sausage and White Bean Chili | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Monday, February 19, 2018

Italian Sausage and White Bean Chili

This is no ordinary chili recipe! Italian Sausage and White Bean Chili is a departure from tradition. So full of zesty Italian pork sausage, veggies, and white Cannellini beans, it will take you to the Italian countryside in just one bite! No, not really...but it is amazingly tasty and the perfect recipe when you want something a little different on your menu!

Italian Pork Sausage and White Bean Chili in a bowl garnished with fresh rosemary

I've partnered with my friends at to create this delicious recipe and blog post for you. All opinions are my own. 

We love a good pot of chili in this house and I do make it often. But, sometimes I get bored with the same old, same old. Traditional chili is great, but kicking it up a notch and stepping outside the chili box can result in a very tasty meal. The thing I LOVE about chili is that you can customize it to whatever you like best! There are probably a gazillion fantastic chili recipes out there...and now here's one more to add to that list!

Can you make chili with Italian sausage?

Our family loves Italian pork sausage. So much so, I've almost always got a pound or two in my freezer. A couple of weeks ago, I wanted to make chili, but I also had a taste for something a little different. When I opened the freezer and saw a pound of Italian Pork Sausage...the creative juices started flowing!

I could have just swapped the ground beef in my recipe for Italian Pork Sausage and called it a meal, but I decided to play on those Italian flavors and make an entirely different kind of chili all together.

Italian Sausage and White Bean Chili by Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Is chili good for you?

Since I like a big vegetable presence and beans in my chili, I'm going to go with a big yes to this question! I chose vegetables you might find in an Italian dish to complement the Italian sausage. I used zucchini, onion, red and green bell peppers, and cremini mushrooms in this recipe.

For the beans in the chili (yes, I am on #teambeansinchili) naturally, I went with Cannellini beans!

Italian Sausage and White Bean Chili by Renee's Kitchen Adventures

All About Italian Pork Sausage 

  • Italian Pork Sausage is so flavorful! It makes an incredible base for chili. You can find Italian Pork Sausage at your grocers in bulk or in links. 
  • Many grocers make their own sausage and although they are all labeled as Italian pork sausage, they all have their own flavor profile, so go with a brand or in-store sausage you like. One thing they all have in common though is delicious pork!  Read about my visit to an Ohio Hog Farm to learn more about pork. 
  • Italian Pork Sausage cooks up very similar to ground pork. Sometimes it's left in it's bulk state and other times it's extruded into a casing to make links. 
  • You can usually find Italian Pork Sausage in either Hot, Mild or Sweet varieties. Choose the kind you like best for this recipe.
  • Consider swapping out Italian pork sausage for the ground pork or ground beef in your favorite recipes! Making the swap in this recipe for Slow Cooker Ground Pork Sweet and Sour Meatballs  will really boost the flavor.

Italian Sausage and White Bean Chili

Renee Paj
Italian Sausage and White Bean Chili
Italian Sausage and White Bean Chili is a departure from tradition. So full of zesty Italian pork sausage, veggies, and white Cannellini beans, it will take you to the Italian countryside in just one bite!


  • 1 pound bulk Italian Pork Sausage (Hot, Mild, or Sweet)
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper OR red pepper flakes (or to your taste)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to your taste
  • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes with Italian Seasonings
  • 4 oz. can diced green chilies
  • 2 cups chicken stock (use less for thicker chili)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 2 cans Cannelini beans, rinsed and drained, divided


  1. In a 6 quart stock pot, brown the Italian pork sausage over med/high heat , breaking it up as it cooks. (I use a potato masher to do this)
  2. Drain off excess fat, leaving about a TBS in the pot with the sausage. Add in zucchini, onion, mushrooms (if using), and red and green bell peppers. Cook until the onion becomes translucent and the veggies begin to soften. (about 6 to 10 min.) Add in the garlic. Cook one more minute.
  3. Stir in cumin, basil, oregano, and cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. (you can also wait until the end for this if unsure of salt content of sausage)
  4. Add in canned tomatoes with juices, green chilies, chicken stock, and fresh rosemary sprig (if using). Bring to boil and turn down to simmer.
  5. Add in 1 1/2 cans of beans, reserving 1/2 can. With the reserved 1/2 can mash with potato masher. Add mashed beans to chili.
  6. Continue to simmer until all the vegetables are soft and the chili has thickened somewhat.(about 45 minutes) Test again for additional salt and pepper. Remove rosemary sprig, if used.
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.
Cook time: 01 hrs. 00 mins.
Total time: 1 hrs. 10 mins.

Printable Recipe

What goes well with chili for dinner?

  • Some sort of "bread" element. I love a good cornbread, like this Chile-Cheese Cornbread recipe!
  • a simple garden salad  made with lettuce, tomato, and cucumber rounds out the meal nicely! 
  • A veggie and bean packed chili such as this one can stand on it's own on your dinner table as a complete meal! No need to add any side dishes! 

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Italian Sausage and White Bean Chili made with Italian Pork Sausage and Cannellini beans pinnable image

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  1. I am soooo in love with Italian Sausage. I can't wait to try this!

    1. Thank you Taylor! We love Italian Pork Sausage here too!

  2. I love the addition of sausage in this chili. I have never tried that before!

  3. This looks so hearty and delicious! I love the sausage and beans!

  4. This looks wonderful! This type of dish is always a winner in my house. And Italian pork sausage is pretty popular with us, too! Yum!

  5. This combo sounds so fantastic! Can't wait to try it :)

  6. This one looks good, I'll certainly try this one out. And it seems easy to make.


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