Cassoulet, for two (sort of)

I normally only make Cassoulet for big dinners with 6 or 8 or 10 people. It’s one of those dishes that is best made for a crowd.

Properly made it should have duck confit and sausages and, maybe, some lamb chops or slabs of pork belly.

You can find my original Cassoulet recipe here, along with a more in-depth explanation of the types of cassoulet. It also has (small) photos of the assembly process. You really should have a look.

However…. After I started cooking beans with my Instant Pot, and loved having the beans on hand, I couldn’t stop thinking about cassoulet. Obviously, we weren’t going to be having a large gathering for dinner anytime soon so I decided to make it for the two of us.

The next time I do it, and there will be a next time, I will use Toulouse sausages in addition to the duck legs and plan on having it twice. As it was, there were enough beans left over for a risotto the next night, and beans for lunch for a few days.

Neither of us complained…..

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Cassoulet, for two

I cooked the beans in the Instant Pot but instructions are also given for the traditional stove-top method, which requires soaking the beans first. They don’t need to be soaked for the Instant Pot.

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: One Dish Dinners


  • 2 cups dried white beans (13oz, 375gr), lingots, cannellini, Great Northern
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3oz (90gr) bacon, chopped
  • 2oz (60gr) dry-cured ham, such as Bayonne, Prosciutto, chopped
  • 2 bay (laurel) leaves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 cups (24oz, 750ml) chicken broth
  • 2 cups (16oz, 500ml) water
  • 2 tbs duck fat
  • 2 duck legs – confit de canard
  • 1 cup (8oz, 250gr) tomatoes, peeled, chopped


  • Instant Pot:
  • Put fat, bacon, ham, onion, garlic in the Instant Pot. 
  • Set it to Sauté for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Onions should be tender and bacon cooked.
  • Add broth, water, paprika, bay leaves, and stir well to scrape up any cooked-on bits.
  • Add beans, stir, put the lid on, and set the Instant Pot to Pressure, (high pressure) for 40 minutes.
  • Let release naturally.
  • Discard bay leaves.
  • Cook top:
  • Soak beans for four hours or overnight. Drain. 
  • Sauté bacon, ham, onion, in fat until bacon is cooked.
  • Add garlic and sauté briefly.
  • Add remaining ingredients and enough additional water (if needed) to cover the beans by 2 – 3 inches. 
  • Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer until beans are tender, 1 1/2 – 2 hours. 
  • When done discard bay leaves.
  • Assembling the Cassoulet
  • Wipe the fat off of the duck legs.  
  • Put a layer of beans in the bottom of a heavy pot. 
  • Lay the duck legs on the beans.
  • Add another layer of beans. 
  • Spread the tomatoes on the beans.
  • Top with remaining beans.
  • Add enough bean liquid / chicken broth / water to almost cover the beans. 
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350F (175C) until you see the top bubbling.  Reduce the heat to 250F (125C) and continue baking for 3 hours.  When the top gets dry and crusty, take the back of a spoon and push it gently into the liquid.  If it starts to dry out, add more liquid.


There is normally a lot of fat on the duck confit. Take it off the duck and save it for frying potatoes.
I use 2 tbs duck fat for frying the onion and bacon. Substitute 1 tbs olive oil
You could substitute chicken legs and thighs for the duck, but I think using smoked sausages would be a better choice.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
  • Calories: 625
  • Sugar: 5.9 g
  • Sodium: 1088.4 mg
  • Fat: 21.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.7 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 68.4 g
  • Fiber: 16.8 g
  • Protein: 41.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 74.1 mg

Keywords: cassoulet, duck confit, beans

Cassoulet for Two

If you can’t get duck confit you could use smoked sausages or pork chops or chicken thighs or lamb chops. If using pork, lamb, or chicken I would suggest using more of the dry-cured ham for flavoring.

As to the leftover beans….

Pick any Risotto from my list and use 1 1/2 cups of beans for the condimenti. Or 1 cup of beans and 4 oz sausage, crumbled and fried.

Or a little bit of leftover duck confit.

So many choices….. Pasta would be good, too.

6 thoughts on “Cassoulet, for two (sort of)”

    • We rarely see whole ducks – but we love the breast for grilling in summer (better than steak) and the legs in confit. Of course they are all grown for the foie gras !

  1. I have never seen duck here. Neither in the meat market or on the shelf. Apparently, we’re not sophisticated enough here, I guess. 😉

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