Easy White Bean Salad with Mediterranean flavors of olive oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs and red onion. Add fresh crunchy veggies and this recipe is ready in only 15 minutes for any occasion!
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When life gives you lots of white beans, you make simple white bean salad. With dried herbs, fresh herbs and fresh veggies!
Whether it’s for a quick lunch or transformed into a dinner recipe with a glass of red wine and slice of crusty bread, this bean salad is healthy and delicious!
“Fresh” and “quality” are the keyword for a good bean salad like this or chickpea salad with avocado. So, please don’t think of this cannellini bean salad as a soggy, oversalted and oversweetened gooey blob from a can.
Only 15 minutes of your time and voila! You have vegetarian meal, loaded with protein and fiber. Make it the day before for a picnic or a meal prep for days of no-brainer lunches.
Let’s make the most delicious, easy and healthy salad with white beans that will rock your world!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Simple ingredients: Beans, herbs, veggies, olive oil, vinegar are all items you may already have on hand!
- Flavorful: Fresh vegetables and herbs plus a simple dressing with dried seasonings add so much flavor.
- Nutritious: White beans are full of plant based protein and fiber! Combined with fresh vegetables this is naturally gluten free, vegan plus hearty and satisfying.
- Versatile: Make ahead for a picnic, serve as a side to healthy grilled chicken recipe at dinner, or meal prep for lunch.
- White beans: Any white beans work, but I prefer cannellini beans if I have them! The day I made this, I had some cannellini and some black eyed peas. If buying canned white beans I recommend to buy low sodium.
- Red onion: Is mild onion that is perfect to eat raw. Green onion would be great too. Not white or yellow though, it is too strong for this salad.
- Crunchy vegetables: I love celery and red bell pepper, but cucumber or zucchini would be great, too!
- Fresh herbs: Fresh parsley adds a bright herbaceous taste, although basil would be delicious, as well.
- Dressing: Quality extra virgin olive oil is the best for raw salad dressings. Combined with white or red wine vinegar or lemon juice, dried herbs, salt and pepper makes easy and quick homemade salad dressing.
How to Make White Bean Salad
This salad with white beans takes 15 minutes to make. It is one of the easiest salad recipes I have ever made!
Make dressing before chopping veggies so its flavors meld together. All you need are pantry staples: olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, dried herbs, garlic, salt and pepper.
Chop veggies into small pieces the size of your beans. It ensures all flavors are in every bite.
Prep beans by draining and rinsing canned ones. You don’t want gooey liquid in your salad.
Add vegetables, beans, and parsley to large bowl.
Pour salad dressing on top and stir gently. And if you have time, let salad refrigerate for 1 hour. Trust me on this one.
What Kind of Beans to Use in This Salad?
While cannellini are the recommended white bean, really any bean works!
- Navy beans
- White northern beans
- Black eyed peas
- Butter beans
You could even use Instant Pot chickpeas, kidney beans, or edamame for white bean alternatives.
Can I Make This Salad With Dry Beans?
While canned beans are a great shortcut, the flavor of fresh cooked dried beans can really add to the freshness of this white bean salad recipe.
Cook 1 cup dried beans in Instant Pot using my Instant Pot black beans as guideline. White beans require same cook time as black beans. That’s what I did, actually.
How Long Does This Salad Stay Good?
Often referred to as a refrigerator salad, this bean salad will keep well in an airtight container for 3 days. I am sure bean salad will be fine on day 5 but I personally find it soaks up all dressing and becomes dry by then.
Make and store bean salad in ceramic or glass bowl, not plastic. Just like beer, it tastes better this way. 🙂
Make the dressing then refrigerate for up to 7 days. Olive oil solidifies in the fridge, so place it in a bowl with hot water for 5 minutes and give a shake.
Chopped ingredients will last in a tightly covered bowl for 2 days in the fridge.
This salad is so forgiving when it comes to the dressing. Swap the vinegar for lemon juice. I recommend fresh lemon juice for best taste.
Feta cheese would be a delicious addition! With its salty plus creamy texture it would make this salad outstanding.
Bean salad is best served cold. I like to let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour. That’s when flavors really have a chance “to marry” each other. But who can wait, sometimes?!
Make easy pantry lunch by adding canned tuna or salmon. For another lunch, try my canned salmon salad recipe!
At potlucks, I bring this salad and healthy pasta salad and just watch them disappear!
More Bean Salad Recipes
And if you have Instant Pot, may I recommend this crazy popular Instant Pot white chicken chili for your next 2 cans of cannellini or any white beans!
Easy White Bean Salad
White Bean Salad:
- 2 x 15 oz cans low sodium white navy, cannellini beans or black eyed peas rinsed & drained
- 1 large red bell pepper diced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 1/4 cup red onion diced
- 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
- In a small bowl, add olive oil, vinegar, garlic, dried herbs, salt, pepper and whisk with a fork. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add white beans, bell pepper, celery, red onion and parsley. Pour vinaigrette on top and stir gently.
- Serve immediately but best if you refrigerate salad for about an hour to let flavors marry each other and salad become cold.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Do not freeze.
- Use what you have: Use any fresh or dried herbs you have on hand.
- Toss lightly: Mix salad gently so beans don’t turn into mush.
- Glass is best: Make and store bean salad in ceramic or glass bowl, not plastic – just like beer it tastes better this way.