Easy White Bean Salad Recipe For Summer

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Enjoy this filling, yet easy and refreshing white bean salad this summer. This bean salad recipe is a perfect side dish for all your grilling recipes.

White Bean Salad on a plate with watermelon and a hot dog

White bean salads are a perfect addition to summer suppers. Not only are they typically served chilled or at room temperature helping you avoid a hot kitchen, but they are super filling so that you know folks won’t be hungry ten minutes after supper’s concluded.

My husband loves this salad. I made it earlier this week and he enjoyed it as an afternoon snack as well as with dinner. Many of you have been asking about the recipe since I posted a picture of it alongside our Drunken Brats and Caramelized Onions.

This salad can be made with cannellini or great northern beans. If you buy them canned, you’ll have a super quick fix ready to go.

White beans are delicate, so be sure to stir gently. This side dish is simple, yet packed with flavor and fiber. It’s also a great make-ahead if you’ve got more time in the morning than you do at suppertime.

What’s in a white bean salad recipe?

With just a few simple fresh ingredients you can whip up this bean salad in about 5 minutes.

  • cannellini beans – you want to drain and rinse these well. You could also use other white beans such as Great Northern or Navy beans.
  • red bell pepper – Or any colored pepper, diced small works great
  • parsley – Some fresh parsley really adds some great color and freshness to this salad. So don’t skip it!
  • sweet onion – In the summertime, I love using a little sweet onion such as a Vidalia onion in recipes. But you could also use red onion if that’s what you have on hand.
  • white wine vinegar – You are in a sense making a quick viniagrette with this vinegar
  • garlic – Mince this finely.
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper – You want add this to taste
  • olive oil – A good tasting olive oil combined with the vinegar makes for a quick dressing in this salad.

Bowl of White Bean Salad

How do you make this white bean salad recipe?

Combine the salad ingredients. Place the beans, pepper, parsley, and onion in a large salad bowl.

Make the dressing.  In a small jar or bowl, place the vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cap the jar and shake, or whisk to combine. Add the oil, and shake or whisk again.

Toss it all together. Toss the salad with the dressing, folding gently so as not to break up the beans. Adjust the seasonings and serve.

White bean salad substitutions

  • Use a different bean. I used cannelini beans, but you could use another white bean such as Great Northern or Navy beans.
  • Swap out the fresh herbs. Try using something like cilantro instead for a different taste. 
  • Make it a Mediterranean bean salad. Try adding some feta cheese!
  • Turn it into a complete meal. You could add some tuna to it. It’s one way I turn a can of tuna into a meal.

Can I make this salad ahead of time?

The salad can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

What can I serve this white bean salad with?

This is a perfect dish to serve in the summertime along with some many other great meals. Here are a few options to try:

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White Bean Salad
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: white bean salad
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 228 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
Ingredients
  • 2 (15-ounccans cannellini beans rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion such as Vidalia
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Instructions
  1. Place the beans, pepper, parsley, and onion in a large salad bowl.
  2. In a small jar or bowl, place the vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cap the jar and shake, or whisk to combine. Add the oil, and shake or whisk again.
  3. Toss the salad with the dressing, folding gently so as not to break up the beans. Adjust the seasonings and serve.
  4. Make-ahead: The salad can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Nutrition Facts
White Bean Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 228 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 462mg20%
Potassium 79mg2%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 1004IU20%
Vitamin C 31mg38%
Calcium 134mg13%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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Comments

  1. Stephanie M. says

    Hi Jessica:

    As a daughter born from a father who came from Cyprus, I have grown up eating beans in so many ways. I, too, make bean salad on a regular basis. Sometimes, I use red kidney beans mixed with celery, red onion, oil and vinegar, and salt and pepper. Other times, I add some yellow corn for some color. Other times still, I make it your way with small white beans or white cannellini beans. Anyway it’s served, bean salad is a wonderful thing packed with fiber and deliciousness. I truly don’t think there is any way a bean could be served that I would not like it. Using the canned beans and then rinsing them makes for a good cheap eat and one that is full of fiber and a healthy choice. 🙂

    • Stephanie, I make a bean salad (with cannellini beans) very similar to the one you described from Cyprus. I had no idea I was so worldy! 🙂 Mine adds in lemon, and omits the celery, but is really delicious as a side (or by itself for lunch). http://twoforksonelove.com/cannellini-bean-salad/

      • Stephanie M. says

        Hi Jackie: My father used to use lemon in just about everything including bean salad. It is the “Greek” way and also all of the Mediterranean way to use lemon. You are indeed very worldly. 🙂 There are very few things I can think of where my father did not add lemon. Just in case you are interested, I have a wonderful recipe for Greek lemon potatoes. They are very typical of the potatoes you would find in Greece or any of the Greek islands or any Greek restaurant. I always serve them with roasted salmon with dill sauce and they are not only easy but a big hit.

  2. This looks so yummy. I just made a chick pea salad the other day that I will be posting about soon. Bean salad are some of my favorite as they are quick, easy, healthy, and frugal. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Diana says

    Yum! Had this tonight (along with with BLTs!) with a few changes. I only had rice vinegar, so we used that. I tried to halve it but forgot and made the whole vinaigrette. I only had one can of beans, though, so I added chopped cucumber and tomato. It was delicious!

  4. Linda says

    I don’t think I’ve ever told you just how much I love your blog! This Bean Salad is an example of why. Your recipes are delicious, yes, but most importantly they are approachable and doable by cooks of so many levels. Thank you so much for sharing your time, your recipes, your advice and your beautiful attitude about families and food.

  5. david nau says

    I too added lemon, it needed a little acid. But great salad !!!

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