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Braised Fennel, Cannellini Beans, and Italian Sausage

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Victor Protazio


Makes 6 servings

Sweet anise-flavored fennel bulb is paired here with cannellini beans, mild Italian sausage, and bitter radicchio for a hearty fall dish.


  • 1 (20-oz.) package mild Italian sausage links
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 fennel bulbs, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 2 (15.5-oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup shredded radicchio
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup shaved pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil

How to Make It

  1. Prick sausage casings with a fork or tip of sharp knife. Cook sausage links in hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 8 minutes, turning often to brown all sides.

  2. Place chopped fennel bulbs and next 6 ingredients in a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 5-qt. slow cooker. Top with sausage in a single layer. Cover and cook on LOW 5 hours or until vegetables are tender and sausage is cooked.

  3. Transfer sausage to a cutting board; cool slightly. Cut sausage diagonally into 3/4-inch-thick pieces.

  4. Stir sausage, beans, and radicchio into fennel mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 15 minutes or until radicchio is wilted and tender. Top with cheese, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Cook's Notes

We tested with Swanson 100% Natural Chicken Broth.