by Olena

White Bean Salad

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Olena Osipov
5 from 3 votes

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Tuscan White Bean Salad with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs and red onion. Add any fresh crunchy veggies and you have a winner white bean salad recipe for any occasion!

Did life give you lots of white beans? Make this Instant Pot minestrone recipe, reader favorite healthy white chicken chili or my mom’s bean mushroom soup.

White Bean Salad recipe

When life gives you lots of white beans, you make a white bean salad. With any dried herbs, fresh herbs and fresh veggies life gives you the same day. For a quick lunch with addition of a can of tuna, for dinner with a glass of red wine and a slice of crusty bread, this white bean salad recipe tastes healthy and delicious!

“Fresh” and “quality” are the keyword for a good bean salad like this black bean salad with mango, or Mexican bean salad, or garbanzo bean salad. So, please don’t think of this cannellini bean salad as a soggy, oversalted and oversweetened gooey blob from a can. 15 minutes of your time and voila – you have vegetarian meal, loaded with protein and fiber, and its name is Tuscan white bean salad. Make it the day before for a picnic or a week of no-brainer lunches.

Let’s make the most delicious, easy and healthy navy bean salad in the world!

Ingredients You Will Need

Ingredients for this white bean salad recipe come mostly from your pantry or are fridge staples. Its prep process reminds me of when cooking pasta e fagioli or minestrone soup – clean out fridge and pantry, adjust to taste as you go and you know it will be delish.

  • 2 x 15 oz cans of white beans: Cannellini beans, navy beans, great northern beans, black eyed peas or even pressure cooked chickpeas would work. 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 cannellini bean salad.
  • Dressing: Quality extra virgin olive oil is the best for raw salad dressings. They say in dark and glass bottle it retains freshness and nutrients better. Combined with vinegar or lemon juice, dried herbs, salt and pepper makes easy and quick homemade salad dressing.
  • Fresh veggies: If you have any crunchy veggies in your produce drawer, throw them in this navy bean salad. For example: celery, bell pepper, cucumber, zucchini.

How to Make White Bean Salad

This navy bean salad recipe takes 15 minutes to make. It is one of the easiest salads I have ever made!

  • Prep beans by draining and rinsing canned ones. You don’t want gooey liquid in your salad. You can also cook 1 cup dried beans in Instant Pot using pressure cooker black beans recipe as guideline. White beans require same cook time as black beans. That’s what I did, actually.
  • 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.
  • Combine all ingredients by gently stirring bean salad with a large spoon. And if you have time, let salad refrigerate for 1 hour. Trust me on this one.

Tips and Variations

This white bean salad recipe is the case when “anything goes”. So here are basic tips, so you never go hungry:

  • Don’t skimp on oil and vinegar: Generous amount of quality olive oil with even more generous amount of quality acid is key. I mean fresh lemon juice, white or red wine vinegar from a glass bottle, raw apple cider vinegar.
  • Fresh is best: Fresh veggies make starchy beans even more juicy.
  • Use what you have: Use any fresh or dried herbs you have on hand. Think Mediterranean and Mexican ingredients – both go well.
  • 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. 🙂
  • For white bean caprese salad: Add a handful of freshly chopped basil, 1 cup halved grape or whole cherry tomatoes and 1 cup mini mozzarella balls.
  • For kale white bean salad: Add 3 cups of stalks removed and chopped green or lacinato kale. You can also buy pre-washed baby kale or arugula in a box, and add it in.
White Bean Salad garnished with parsley

Serving and Storing

White bean salad or any 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 complete dinner with:

Bean salad is perfect for meal prep, picnics and holidays. It can be made ahead and refrigerates well for days.

To store, keep in an airtight container for up to 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.

To make ahead, refrigerate salad dressing 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.

Enjoy and I would love to hear how much you enjoyed the salad!

More Bean Salad Recipes

And if you have Instant Pot, may I recommend this crazy popular pressure cooker white chicken chili for your next 2 cans of cannellini or any white beans?!

white bean salad
White Bean Salad

15 Minute White Bean Salad Recipe

Tuscan White Bean Salad with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs and red onion. Add any fresh crunchy veggies and you have a winner white bean salad recipe for any occasion!
5 from 3 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 158kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

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

Italian Dressing:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 5 tbsp white/red wine or apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove grated
  • 1 tsp dried herbs like rosemary basil, oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, add olive oil, vinegar, garlic, dried herbs, salt, pepper and whisk with a fork. Set aside.
  • In the meanwhile, prep beans and chop veggies.
  • In a large bowl, add white beans, bell pepper, celery, red onion and parsley.
  • Pour salad dressing 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. Yum!

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Do not freeze. 🙂

    Notes

    • Don’t skimp on oil and vinegar: Generous amount of quality olive oil with even more generous amount of quality acid is key. I mean fresh lemon juice, white or red wine vinegar from a glass bottle, raw apple cider vinegar.
    • Fresh is best: Fresh veggies make starchy beans even more juicy.
    • Use what you have: Use any fresh or dried herbs you have on hand. Think Mediterranean and Mexican ingredients – both go well.
    • 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. 🙂
    • For white bean caprese salad: Add a handful of freshly chopped basil, 1 cup halved grape or whole cherry tomatoes and 1 cup mini mozzarella balls.
    • For kale white bean salad: Add 3 cups of stalks removed and chopped green or lacinato kale. You can also buy pre-washed baby kale or arugula in a box, and add it in.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 630IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg
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