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Italian sausage and cannelini beans in tomato sauce over creamy polenta on a white plate.

Italian Sausage with Creamy Polenta and Cannelini Beans

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose
Keyword: Creamy polenta recipe with Italian sausage
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 198kcal
This easy Italian sausage and polenta recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free. The simple, stove-top preparation uses only a few ingredients.
Print Recipe


  • 6 sweet Italian sausages
  • 1 onion small, chopped
  • 3 slices bacon diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 28-ounce can tomatoes preferably San Marzano, crushed by hand
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • cracked black pepper
  • polenta 1 cup dry = 3 cups cooked


Italian Sausage Recipe

  • Place a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil and sauté bacon until it begins to render fat. Drop in the sausages and let them begin to brown. Add the onion and bay leaves, keep turning sausages so they brown on all sides.
  • Once meat and onions have caramelized, clear a space on the pan bottom and drop in the tomato paste. Stir it in the clear spot until it begins to sizzle, then spread it all around the pan and be sure to coat the sausages.
  • Make another clear space in the pan, then add the red wine vinegar, allow it to sizzle and evaporate for a few seconds, then stir everything together once again.
  • Pour 1 cup of the hot water into the pan, raise the heat and deglaze the pan as the water begins to bubble. Scrape up any remaining bits of fond from the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour in the crushed tomatoes. Rinse the can with the remaining cup of hot water and pour into pan. (You don't want to miss all of that yummy, expensive tomato residue that you just paid good money for.) Stir in a ¼ teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer at a gentle bubble for about 10 minutes, then add the beans. Return to a gentle boil and simmer for about 10 more minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. It should be a loose sauce that covers the beans and sausages. Season with additional salt if needed and freshly ground black pepper.

Creamy Polenta Recipe

  • Use one cup dry polenta to 4 parts water or chicken stock. In a deep pot, bring liquid to a boil, add salt to taste.
  • Slowly whisk the polenta into the boiling liquid, stirring constantly to get rid of any lumps. 
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook polenta, stirring frequently, until it is soft and creamy and pulling away from the sides of the pot. 


  • To cook the Italian sausages and tomato sauce, you will need a VERY large skillet - a deep one about 12 inches wide. This is a one-pan plan, but it's a BIG pan.
  • When cooking polenta, use a large, deep pot, as it bubbles and splatters when it cooks. 
  • You'll want to use freshly cooked, soft and creamy polenta for this recipe, not the firm polenta that you slice. 
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Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 692mg | Potassium: 130mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 122IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg