I think I look forward to Thanksgiving leftovers as much as I look forward to the Thanksgiving dinner itself. I know a lot of you agree with me judging by the number of “doggie bags” I pack up for my guests to take home after the main event on Thursday.
One of my favorite ways to use leftover Thanksgiving turkey is in a cassoulet recipe my mom makes. It’s so easy to throw together the day after Thanksgiving (or the weekend after) and can feed any lingering house guests or visiting family. The smell of this rich, savory dish slow cooking is almost as good as the bird itself.
Cassoulet with White Beans, Sausage & Turkey
2 links sausage, cut into rounds
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
6 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 (14.5 oz) can Great Northern beans (or similar white beans)
4 oz roasted turkey, chopped (dark meat is best)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 Tbs lemon zest
1 Tbs olive oil
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Place a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook through. Remove the sausage, leaving the drippings in the pan. Add the garlic and onion and cook in the sausage drippings until they begin to soften — about 5 minutes. Add the carrot, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, rosemary, thyme and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally to help break down the tomatoes, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the beans.
Spoon half of the tomato and bean mixture into a 3-quart casserole dish or Dutch oven. Scatter the turkey and sausage over it, then top with the remaining beans. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and lemon zest over the top, then drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 60 minutes, or until the sauce is thick and the bread crumbs have browned (if necessary, you can put it under the broiler for 5 minutes at the end to help brown the bread crumbs). Let sit for 15 minutes prior to serving.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 346, Calories from Fat: 51, Cholesterol: 7 mg, Sodium: 166 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 57 g, Dietary Fiber: 16 g, Sugars: 8 g, Protein: 19 g