Bean and Sausage Stew with Parmesan

Adding the hard outer rind of the Parmesan cheese is an old Italian trick to give flavor to soups. If you don’t have a rind on hand, just add Parmesan cheese.

Serves: 10Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 2 hours 20 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 10


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 package (16 oz.) smoked sausage, cut into ½" pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups unseasoned dried mixed beans, soaked overnight in water to cover
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese rinds or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt


  • In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat two tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the sausage. Cook the sausage, stirring several times, until it is brown on all sides, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the onion and carrots and continue to cook until the onions are translucent, about 4 minutes longer. Add the beans, thyme, bay leaves, and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the larger beans are just tender, about 1 hour.
  • Add the cheese rinds and salt and continue to cook until the smallest of the beans have fallen apart and the largest of the beans are very tender, about another hour. Be sure to stir the stew occasionally to make sure the cheese doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Remove the cheese rinds before serving.