Tomato and Coconut Cassoulet

This delicious recipe brings together so many of my favourite things. Sticky roasted tomatoes, the soothing creaminess of coconut milk and sweet little white beans, topped with a crust of sourdough bread. Don’t be put off by the coconut milk – it adds a gentle creamy note and brings everything together (the rest can be frozen and used in a curry another day).

If fresh tomatoes are not at their best, a second tin of chopped tomatoes will do just fine. In the winter I swap the basil for some thyme too. I like to cook my own beans, but I sometimes use a decent jar of Spanish cooked beans – tinned will work too, but I find the jarred ones are cooked with more care.

I love sourdough bread. If you haven’t tried it before, search it out. It’s made from a natural fermented starter dough. When I worked as a baker I loved that someone topped it up every couple of days and kept it alive. Because of the starter it’s actually easier for our bodies to digest. So everyone’s a winner.


1 leek, washed, trimmed and roughly sliced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
a 1cm thick piece of fresh ginger, the size of a 50p piece, peeled and roughly chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 × 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
4 tablespoons coconut milk
1 × 400g jar haricot beans, drained, or 1 × 400g tin, drained
500g vine or cherry tomatoes, halved
a bunch of fresh basil
4 slices of sourdough bread

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.

First heat an ovenproof pan on a medium heat and add a slosh of olive oil. Throw in the leeks, garlic, chilli and ginger and a pinch of salt and some pepper, then turn the heat down and cook for 10 minutes, until the leeks are soft and sweet. Next, add the tinned tomatoes, coconut milk and beans and simmer for a couple of minutes, then take off the heat. Check the seasoning, and add a little more salt and pepper if needed.

Scatter over the fresh tomatoes, followed by the basil, then tear the slices of bread into chunks and push them into the gaps between the tomatoes. You are looking for a covering of tomatoes and chunks of bread.

Drizzle the lot with olive oil and pop it into the oven for 30 minutes, until the tomatoes have shrunk and sweetened and the bread is crisp and golden. Allow to sit for a few minutes before piling on to plates with lemony green salad.

Image: Brian W Ferry

Posted: 12.01.15 29 Comments


Posted by Sarah Stevens at 3:17 on the 27.01.15

Delicious! I have the recipe book and made this recipe last week! Ate far too much!

Posted by Sue at 9:21 on the 20.07.15

This was the first thing I made from your book Anna. It did not disappoint. I served it with lemony greens as you suggested for a Sunday family lunch. It was absolutely delicious. The success of this recipe got me even more excited to try more of the recipes and the Restorative Coconut Broth was on the dinner table.

Posted by Anna at 9:26 on the 20.07.15

So lovely to hear Sue. Glad you enjoyed. AJ x

Posted by Helen at 4:28 on the 30.08.15

This recipe is perfect, its simple, full of flavour and totally adaptable to what’s in the cupboard. I have used butterbeans, oat cream and [parsley instead of coconut milk and basil and its still delicious. My 11 month old girls scoffed it too, definitely putting your book on my wish list!

Posted by Vanisha at 3:52 on the 24.09.15

This was the first recipe I made from you book, I used coconut milk the type in a can instead of the carton in error so it was overly coconuty but still delicious! Really excited about working my way through the rest of the book, I’ll be making the burger today!

Posted by Rachel at 12:00 on the 30.11.16

This is my favorite meal! It’s my go-to when entertaining people for a rustic, comfort-food dinner. My partner, who is a big meat-lover, gets excited whenever I make it. Thank you!!!

Posted by Anna at 10:01 on the 01.12.16

So pleased you guys like it Rachel, thank you for such a lovely comment. AJ x

Posted by Jacqueline Hajisinou at 11:03 on the 23.01.17

Hi just wondering when you say coconut milk do you mean the one in cartons that you eat with cereal or the coconut milk in a can( thick stuff)? Thanks J

Posted by Anna at 9:47 on the 30.01.17

Hello Jacqueline, I mean the coconut milk from a can for this recipe. Hope you enjoy. AJ x

Posted by Christie at 5:38 on the 01.04.17

Hi Anna

I’m a vegetarian trying to go vegan and often struggle with cooking tasty, filling vegan food. This recipe has opened doors for me, it’s delicious and so quick and simple. Look forward to trying out some more!

Posted by Beatrix at 6:17 on the 24.04.17

Our top recipe in the book! It’s become a standard in my repertoire as I’ve yet have to come across a person that does not love it. I usually have all the ingredients in the house anyways so I can whip it up at a moments notice.

Only thing I need fresh is the basil. However, I make sure to only stir in half the basil and leave the rest to add fresh at serving time. It does get black in the oven and looses some of its flavour.

Posted by Anna at 8:36 on the 27.04.17

Thanks Beatrix, it’s a fave in my house too. AJ x

Posted by Jo at 10:01 on the 04.07.17

Hi Anna, cooking this tonight :), what do recommend in place of leek in summer? Red onion? Jxx

Posted by kate at 12:40 on the 08.08.17

Hi, does anyone know if this can be frozen?

Posted by Gemma at 10:35 on the 10.12.17

Hi Anna, this is the 2nd of your recipes I’ve tried and its absolutely delicious!

Posted by AB at 1:24 on the 11.12.17

I made this tonight, exactly as written, and it was wonderful! My red chili was *really* hot (and I like spicy food), so I might leave that out next time. But it was a combination of flavors I would never have thought to put together, and it was delicious! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

Posted by Emily at 6:04 on the 15.01.18

Cooked this tonight & yep as everyone else’s comments it was really yummy! Husband thoroughly enjoyed too & went back for seconds which is a real compliment! I also used tinned coconut milk & shall use the carton variety next time but it was still gorgeous none the less! Sourdough on the top is an absolute treat! Thank you for creating a super healthy meal that doesn’t require a list of pricey ingredients

Posted by alexandra at 12:42 on the 17.01.18

This is so delicious! I cooked a second batch to make sure I could enjoy it one more time! I didnt have any sourdough bread so I put krisprolls instead… it gives it a certain chew which was really good. I also added some spinach leaves. Thank you so much for sharing. I have bought your book and discover every day new recipes thanks to you

Posted by Neen at 10:21 on the 24.01.18

Just found your site today whilst googling on my phone, walking the dogs, in the forest, in the rain! And what a ray of warm sunshine you are!

Supporting my 18 year old daughter as she transitions to becoming a vegetarian and decided to spend 2018 as a vegetarian myself!

Slightly scary but here goes.

I’m making this tonight but wanted to ask what “lemony greens” were?

Thank you and looking forward to having you along for our journey this year.

Posted by Karen beesley at 8:55 on the 13.03.18

Delicious – and very easy and satisfying to make although this only serves three people who are as greedy as us!

Posted by LIZ at 7:08 on the 28.10.18

Please can you give me a recipe for the ‘lemony greens’?
I am planning on cooking this for a veggie supper with friends but would appreciate any suggestions to go with it and recipe.
Many thanks

Posted by LIZ at 7:39 on the 28.10.18

Please can you give me the recipe for lemony greens?

Posted by Anna at 12:15 on the 06.11.18

Just some simple cooked seasonal greens with olive oil, lemon juice and a good crunch of sea salt will be delicious.

Posted by Heather at 12:12 on the 19.11.18

Serves 4-6? It served 2 greedy adults and a toddler when I made it.
Works well with chunks of corn bread too.

Posted by Lindsey at 5:31 on the 02.01.19

This is a top of the bill favourite in my house – I have four sons (just two of them vegetarian) who are completely sold on this recipe! One of my lads introduced us to this dish several months ago and I’m so glad he did. Easy, filling, warming and inexpensive. What’s not to like! Thank you Anna

Posted by Julie Gartside-Dalby at 6:55 on the 30.04.19

Just amazing…’s hard living in this part of France where meals always revolve around a huge peice of meat. Will be trying the recipe out of my French friends….my partner has already been converted…

Merci beaucoup

Posted by Ilektra at 7:01 on the 21.08.19

For a family dinner, my cousin-in-law had to prepare a meal for a lactose intolerant, a vegan, a peanut allergic and a gluten intolerant and he made this! I have made it ever since as a treat for those I love – it is delicious, easy and the right kind of messy, thank you for this, it was inspired.

Posted by Felix at 7:07 on the 04.01.21

There’s a formatting error on this recipe where the coconut milk is not listed on a separate line (at least on my browser!) and is therefore easily missed. Would be great if this could be fixed!

Posted by Bronwyn at 7:12 on the 15.08.22

What an outstanding dish!! Flavour PLUS. I will be making this again and again. So simple to make, and a mixed leaf green salad with a citrus vignette was the perfect accomplishment to make the dish POP. Thanks so much.

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