Michigan Beans ‘n’ Sausage

Dry beans are versatile, economical, nutritious and delicious. No one is more sure of that than Taste of Home reader Elaine S. from Southfield, Michigan.

“Coming from the Upper Peninsula, we’re used to cold winters and outdoor work,” she says. “So a simmering pot or steaming casserole of beans is always welcome.”

Elaine shares the recipe for Michigan Beans ‘n’ Sausage, a savory dish with smoky flavor and a golden topping. “A hot bean dish like this warms the body and the house… I’m glad that my husband, Jim, is also crazy about beans.”


  • 1 pound dry navy beans
  • 6 bacon strips, diced
  • 3 medium onions, sliced into rings
  • 1 pound chicken gizzards, trimmed and halved, optional
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound fully cooked kielbasa or Polish sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

    How to make it 

  • 1

    Place beans in a Dutch oven; add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour.

  • 2

    Drain and discard liquid. Return beans to pan and set aside.

  • 3

    In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of drippings; set bacon aside.

  • 4

    Saut&eacute onions and gizzards if desired in drippings until the onions are tender and the gizzards are browned. Add water, garlic, salt, marjoram, bay leaf, pepper, bacon and onion mixture to the beans.

  • 5

    Cover and bake at 350° for 3 hours or until beans are tender. Discard bay leaf.

  • 6

    Stir in sausage and tomato sauce. Toss bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, 25 minutes longer or until golden.  Serves: 10-12.

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