Chicken Meatball Cassoulet - a delicious and quick version of the ever so popular French white bean stew, packed with vegetables and tender tasty Chicken Meatballs.
Traditional French Cassoulet
This recipe for Chicken Meatballs Cassoulet makes no claims to be authentic or traditional. It's my own take and quick cheats version of this popular recipe using Chicken Meatballs to make it much more appealing as a family meal.
Traditional French Cassoulet is a process of slow cooking meat with sausage and white beans, for a hearty rich tasting stew that has such immense and delicious flavours.
My kids love hearty stews and it's always a good way to get plenty of good healthy vegetables into a meal, but busy family life often means we don't have time for complicated recipes, no matter how delicious they are and that's where this Chicken Meatballs Cassoulet is perfect.
Who doesn't love a yummy meatball dish? I know we do.
Easy Chicken Meatball and White Bean Stew
I was originally going to make this version of cassoulet with some chicken thighs and smokey bacon, but with some chicken mince (ground chicken) on hand to be used up, I figured why not meatballs? Great for absorbing all those flavours too and an Easy Chicken Meatball and White Bean Stew just sounded delicious.
Never be afraid to put your own spin on even the most traditional of recipes, so long as you stick to the basics if it's something your whole family will enjoy, make those changes or swaps to suit you.
What type of bacon?
One thing I do advise not to swap in this recipe is the bacon, yes I know British style back bacon with the fat removed or turkey bacon is leaner and syn free, but we use the flavours and fat from the streaky bacon to fry the vegetables and you are skipping all those beautiful flavour by swapping it for something else.
This recipe serves 4 people, so once divided up it really doesn't use too much of your daily syn allowance and is well worth it.
White Wine in Cassoulet
White wine is the perfect ingredient for deglazing the pan once you have sauteed off the vegetables, you know what I mean right? all those bits that stick to the bottom. Those add amazing flavour to any casserole, but if you don't deglaze the pan, then whatever you add in next will stick to the bottom and burn, which is what you really do not want with this yummy Chicken Meatball Stew.
If you really don't want to use wine, because you don't like to have any kind of alcohol in the house, then just use stock instead, but you may want to add a little drop of any good quality white vinegar for that acidity. I don't recommend using the same amount of vinegar to the white wine though, just a tablespoon along with the stock will be plenty.
Type of Beans in Cassoulet
Traditionally any dry white beans like cannellini or haricot are used in a cassoulet recipe, soaked overnight as part of the process of the whole recipe. But as my version is a quick easy family recipe, I just used canned beans that are already cooked.
You can use any kind of canned white bean available to you. As they all will work in this dish.
How to serve Chicken Meatballs Cassoulet
Personally, this is so hearty and filling, it is perfect just as it is in a bowl sprinkled with a little fresh chopped parsley sprinkled on top.
If you have a healthy extra A choice spare, then some grated parmesan to the top, takes it to a whole other level. There is something comforting about a smokey meaty bean type dish when it's finished off with a little bit of parmesan.
Can't do without some filling sides? It definitely makes you fancy some bread for mopping up all those amazing flavours in the juices and you can totally enjoy some bread as part of your Healthy Extra B choice. Any type of stew type dish always makes me think of this Soda Bread Recipe, which my kids love alongside any kind of stew or casserole.
These Syn Free Mashed Potatoes would also be perfect, but seriously I loved it just as it is.
More bean recipes
Fancy some other recipes that use beans? Then check out these:
- INSTANT POT CAJUN PORK AND BEANS
- LEFTOVER CHICKEN BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND BEAN SOUP
- VEGETABLE AND BEAN STEW (STOVE TOP AND INSTANT POT)
- GROUND TURKEY VEGETABLE BEAN SOUP
- TUSCAN CHICKEN AND WHITE BEAN SOUP
- CAMPFIRE STEW
- TUSCAN CHICKEN SALAD
- SPICY BEEF, BEANS AND RICE
- ONE POT SOUTHERN HOPPIN JOHN
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For the meatballs
- 455g (16oz) of extra lean chicken mince (ground chicken)
- 1 tsp of paprika
- ½ tsp of dried oregano
- ½ tsp of dried thyme
- ¼ tsp of garlic powder
- ¼ tsp of onion powder
- ½ tsp of salt
For the cassoulet
- 3 slices of smoked streaky bacon, chopped - 6 syns
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- few sprigs of fresh thyme
- couple of bay leaves
- ½ cup (120ml) of white wine - 5 syns
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 can (440g) of Great Northern Beans (or any white beans of choice)
- 1 cup (240ml) of chicken stock (broth)
- 1 tbs of tomato puree (paste)
- 1 tbs of cornflour (cornstarch) - 1 syn
- cooking oil spray (I used olive oil)
- fresh parsley to garnish
- salt and black pepper
- Preheat oven to 190c/fan 170c/375f or gas mark 5
- Add all the ingredients for the meatballs to a bowl and mix until combined. Form into 20 equal sized meatballs.
- Spray a deep casserole pan over a medium heat with some cooking oil spray. Add the meatballs in two batches and lightly brown. (I add the meatballs and as they start to brown, just lift the pan up slightly and give a little shake of the pot, so that the heat of the pan browns the outside of each meatballs evenly)
- Remove the meatballs and set aside.
- Add the chopped bacon into the casserole pan and cook until golden brown, then using a slotted spoon, scoop out the bacon and set aside. (Do not discard the fat that was released from the bacon).
- Using the bacon juices (fat) now in the casserole pan, add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots and fry until softened (about 4-5 minutes).
- Add in the white wine to fully deglaze the pan ensuring you scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Then add in the peppers, herbs, beans, meatballs, bacon, tomato paste and stock.
- Mix the cornstarch with a couple of tbs of water ot make a slurry and then stir this in also.
- Bring to a bubble, then add the lid and transfer to the oven, baking for about 35-40 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt and black pepper
- Garnish with some fresh chopped parsley.
This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly
- Slimming World - 3 syns per serving
- Weight Watchers - 3 per serving
- Gluten Free - use gluten free stock and cornstarch
Optional: Top with a little grated parmesan
NOTE: streaky style bacon can vary in syns depending on thickness and fat etc, choose one of a similar syn value or adjust syns accordingly.
*SUITABLE FOR FREEZING
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Nutrition InformationServing Size 1 serving
Amount Per Serving Calories 374Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3.2gCholesterol 68mgSodium 983mgCarbohydrates 31.4gFiber 8.1gSugar 7.7gProtein 33.2g