Sausage & Bean Casserole, 60p (WAS 48p) [DF]

This recipe first appeared in my Guardian column in 2013, where the prices have been helpfully preserved for posterity – and comparison. It is not a vegan recipe, for the purposes of accurately comparing the rise in prices in basic food products over the past five years, but can easily be made vegan by using your favourite brand of vegan sausages. I hope that readers understand why I am choosing to do this – I no longer eat pork sausages, but there are plenty of people who use my old recipes who do, and I cannot accurately demonstrate the rising cost of food without doing it across *all* of my recipes from that particular period of time. 

(Serves 4) was £1.92

1 tbsp sunflower oil, 3p (£3/3l – unchanged)

1 onion, chopped, 11p (was 5p)

6 basics sausages, £1 (was 80p)

400g tin baked beans, 25p (was 22p)

400g tin chopped tomatoes, 35p (was 31p)

142g double concentrate tomato puree, 35p (was 35p, no change – but important to note it is from the mid-range own brand section, not the Basics range)

220ml bitter, 14p at £1.10/440ml (was 13p)

1 tsp mixed herbs, 12p (was 3p at 14p for Basics herbs. These were discontinued around 2015 and are now £1 for 14g. I use plain thyme from Natco or KTC range at 80p/100g now, found in the world foods aisle.)

1 stock cube, 3p (was 1p)

Heat the oil in a large saute pan and add the onion.

Add the sausages and cook on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until they start to brown.

Thoroughly rinse the beans and pour over, then add the tomatoes, puree and booze.

Add the herbs and crumble in the stock cube, and stir well to combine.

Turn the heat up high to bring to the boil for five minutes, then reduce to a medium simmer for a further 15, or until the sausages are cooked through.

This is one of those dishes that improves if left in the fridge or freezer for the flavours to develop – so freeze leftovers and enjoy them even more the second time around.

     This blog is free to those who need it, and always will be, but it does of course incur costs to run and keep it running. If you use it and benefit, enjoy it, and would like to keep it going, please consider popping something in the tip jar, and thankyou.

Click here for ‘Cooking On a Bootstrap’

Click here for ‘A Girl Called Jack’

Click here for ‘A Year In 120 Recipes’


  1. I live in Australia where the main issue for people on a benefit is that it is not rising with inflation. I would be interested to know whether this is similar in th UK.

    • It’s very similar. And worse, food is rising faster than normal inflation because of certain decisions the country appears to have thought were a good idea.

  2. Good grief how sad that you should feel the need to apologise to one section of your readers because there are other people out there who do not live their lives in exactly the same manner they do. If only we could all learn to be a little more understanding of others.

    • What if you knew that your neighbour was abusing his children? Would you just be understanding of someone who does not live his life in exactly the same manner you do? What if you see someone being harassed and insulted on public transport because of some difference? That said, in case you imagine me accosting strangers in restaurants, almost every one I know is a meat-eater and this issue has never come between us. Of course, treat people with kindness and understanding. But not everything is just a matter of how we live our lives.

    • Those of us who choose not to eat animals and their products are often deeply and horribly affected by the actions of those who do not so choose. I am grateful to Jack for her words, and it costs nobody anything that she said them.

    • Or try a little bit of strong black tea, this is another of Jack Monroe’s really good tips – you’re after the tannins and other heavy flavours from booze as you’re cooking the alcohol off anyway.

  3. Thanks for recipe. I do have some
    Leftover vegan sausage. Though I do wonder why rinse the beans first. Would the recipe be too watery otherwise. As I know value beans is more sauce than beans.

    • Hi Colin, I’m 99% sure they mean “bitter” here as in “beer”; what we call in the UK a pale ale beer with a fairly low alcohol content and nice flavour for cooking things like pies and casseroles with. I would very much like to witness anyone consume a casserole made with 220ml of Angostura bitters the cocktail ingredient – but probably someone I didn’t like. 😉

      • Oh I knew it was bitter as in beer/ale, I live in Yorkshire 🙂 I added an extra s by accident. Apologies if it made you think I was mean Bitters. Yikes. That wouldn’t be nice at all… But Bitters and Soda water is a nice drink and very refreshing.

        I was meaning the 220ml of bitter is half the bottle. If it is half the bottle the price would be 55p not 14p. 14p is 1/8th the price, 1/8th the bottle would be 55ml…

      • AHH! 4 cans for £1.10. That means my one £1.50 bottle is Uber expensive.

        Thanks for clearing that up, Jack. Much appreciated 🙂

        (It didn’t let me reply to your comment for some reason)

  4. Oh, no. Someone accuse you of dropping the original prices to make your point? Arrragh! And hugs to you if that was the case. It’s also possible you just pre-emptied thi, in which case high fives!

  5. I know it’s obvious,but to have this gluten free…we must carefully look at the ingredients that are in the sausage. It’s so easy to gluten oneself (Coeliac) It looks a great recipe…will be making it! Thanks.

  6. Been making sausage casserole for ages now , I add the been Juice aswell as I don’t drink beer much I add a packet of sausage casserole mix
    And some mushrooms .
    I always make up more then I need and freeze the rest , I agree it does taste better once it it out of the freezer .

  7. Brilliant that you can increase awareness of good sturdy recipes at low prices . From the point of view of government health advice on vegetable intake could your costing add in carrots and cabbage say?

  8. I made this for tea tonight, although added a carrot too and served with rice for me and my boys, they ate it all up, also before adding any salt or sausage it made a good purée for my 6 month old. Thank you 😊

  9. Just a note, this isn’t actually a gluten free recipe 🙂 most sausages & stock cubes contain wheat as a filler and bitter (I assume you mean the drink?) generally has wheat, barley, or oats.

  10. Hi Jack,

    Do you recommend rinsed baked beans because they’re cheaper than regular beans in the UK? They’re more expensive here in Oz, so it seems like if that’s the reason (rather than flavour), it makes sense to choose an 80c tin of cannelini or similar.


  11. Brilliant recipe, very nourishing everyone ate it all!! A friend has given me masses of dried coriander so added a little. Truly delicious. Thank you!

  12. I have thought of going vegetarian but as I have food intolerances mainly fruit it would be very hard so I eat a little meat and lots if veg. An animal or vegetable died that I may live so I do not waste . Do not judge we all live in glass houses.

Leave a Reply