Need a quick, midweek winter warmer… this is the one.

A nice simple sausage & butter bean stew is all you need sometimes.

And this doesn’t disappoint.

Totally delicious and comforting.

PREP TIME: 5 mins
IDEAL FOR: crowd-pleaser, family, midweek meal

Simple sausage & butter bean stew

There is nothing better than being able to whip up a great meal.

And listen to the oooh’s and ahhhh’s around the table as people slurp up the last of the sauce on their plates.

This is why I love this recipe.

It does exactly that.

And best of all, you’re not left slaving after a long day to make this happen.

Literally, 5 mins of prep and leave those butter beans to absorb all the flavours.

Then serve it up with some greens or a bowl of crusty bread.

But what if I don’t have butter beans?

Fear not… here’s the low-down on beans!

(*did you ever think you needed one??)

The great bean conundrum

Now, you may think, why do I really need to read this?

And I would have agreed with you a while back.

But now, I am further down the line on my cooking journey.

And braving more and more to go ‘off-piste’ when I don’t have all the ingredients.

I’ve found it’s quite nice (and reassuring) when you can easily sub-in ingredients... with confidence.

So, for me, the beans mind field needs to be uncovered.

Because does it really make a lot of difference??

Sausage and butter bean stew… so simple, yet so delicious.

More bean chat… & discover subs for butter beans

Ok, just in case, butter beans are the same as lima beans. 

Named after Peru’s capital, Lima, by Spanish explorers.

The butterbean has a sweet, velvety, buttery taste.

And holds the flavours from a dish like no other.

It can have a slightly chalky texture.

But it’s perfect for using baked, braised, in soups, stews or casseroles.

Cannellini beans

Cannellini beans are used in a lot of Italian recipes.

They are part of the haricot family – along with flageolet

They have a mild, nutty flavour, and a soft creamy but meaty texture.

So are good for stews and soups, such as minestrone, or for use in salads.

Borlotti Beans

These are the red and white beans.

And are related to kidney beans and pinto beans.

They are also popular in Italian cooking.

They have a mild, nutty flavour, but with more sweetness.

They can be used in almost any dish where butter beans would be used – soups, pasta, casseroles, and salads.

Pinto beans

Named from the Spanish word meaning “painted”.

These beans have a brown speckled colour when dry.

But go completely brown once cooked.

You’ll often find pinto beans in Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes like refried beans, burritos, or chilli.

Compared to butter beans which are creamier, pinto beans have a slightly powdery texture.


These beans come from the Middle East.

And are great for falafel’s, hummus, etc.

Probably the beans you’d use last off this list as a sub for butter beans as their texture is firmer.

But use them if it’s all you have in the cupboard.

Red kidney beans

These guys go back 8,000 years.

Compared to butter beans, kidney beans have a slightly sweeter taste.

But are similar in shape and texture and good for slow cooking.

The only big difference is the colour.

Haricot beans

Also known as Navy beans or Boston.

They are your baked beans.

So are great with hot spices and tomato sauces.

Great bean dishes

If you like the sound of this simple sausage & butter bean stew.

Then you’ll also need to check out these outstanding dishes:

Slow-cooked pork, bacon and beans

Slow-braised oxtail & pit-beans

Moroccan lamb tagine


Easy sausage & butter bean stew

Course Main Course
Keyword casserole, family meals, midweek meal, one pot meal, pork and beans, sausages, stew
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost £


  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 12 chipolatas (or any nice sausages you can find)
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 leek, chopped) optional
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes optional
  • 8 garlic cloves, sliced or minced
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 600 ml chicken stock
  • 2 x 400g tinned butter beans, drained
  • 75 g butter, cubed
  • handful of parsley, chopped
  • 2 lemons, zested


  • In a large pan, heat the oil and fry the sausages until brown, then remove and set aside.
    Add the onion to the pan and fry for 5-10 mins until golden and soft, then add the chopped leek (optional), chilli flakes (optional), garlic and rosemary, and cook for 2 mins more.
    Pour over the stock and bring to a boil.
  • Now, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 mins, then add the sausages back to the pan along with the butter beans.
    Simmer for 8 mins, then stir in the butter, parsley and lemon zest.
  • Best served in bowls.


Inspired by Tom Kerridge


Wonderful Cook

Tom Kerridge