Made with fewer than 10 ingredients in just 10 minutes of active time, this Tuscan Bean Salad is the epitome of simplicity. Perfect for serving as a dip with pita wedges or piling over a bed of your favorite greens, this delectable recipe for white bean salad was inspired by my favorite Italian eatery in NYC.
When it comes to summer eating, I’m all about light, bright flavors, minimal fuss – and, when possible – zero cooking. My white bean Tuscan salad achieves this elusive trifecta in style, making it my current obsession meal.
This dreamy Mediterranean white bean salad recipe is my ode to the delightful restaurant I used to live down the block from, and the appetizer that was my favorite source of sustenance while I lived there. (If you’ve ever had the pleasure of dining at Supper in NYC, you’ll understand my infatuation!)
With plenty of puckery lemon juice, citrusy & herbaceous parsley, and spicy garlic, this fiber and protein-packed Italian white bean salad is as flavorful as it is satiating. Best of all, it’s made with just 8 simple ingredients and only about 10 minutes of active time, leaving you with that much more time to have fun in the sun.
As promised, you only need a handful of ingredients to make this nom-worthy white bean Mediterranean salad. Here’s what to grab:
- Canned White Beans - While I typically always have a can of Great Northern Beans in my pantry, making this Italian-inspired salad with cannellini beans would definitely be more apropos. Other canned or jarred bean varieties like navy beans, lima beans, butterbeans, or even black-eyed peas would also work!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - If you have it, now’s a great time to bust out that fancy cold-pressed finishing oil. If not, your regular cooking oil works, too!
- Fresh Lemon Juice - When you’re making something as bright and invigorating as this cannellini bean salad, it’s essential to use only fresh-tasting ingredients. Put down the bottled stuff and reach for a real lemon — you’ll be shocked at the clear difference in flavor!
- Garlic - As much as I love the toned-down, almost sweet flavor of garlic powder, we’re looking for the spicy bite of fresh garlic. While you *can* swap in jarred minced garlic if needed, I strongly suggest taking the extra minute to peel and mince or grate a fresh clove.
- Parsley - Again, I definitely recommend opting for fresh herbs here. It’s a salad, after all!
- Kosher Salt & Black Pepper - Basic seasoning is all you need to let all the other delectable flavors shine through.
- Red Pepper Flakes - This is an optional addition, but that little bit of fire gives this cannellini bean salad recipe a certain je ne sais quois that I find absolutely divine.
Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl, and stir until well incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the flavors to marinate.
Serve at room temperature as a dip with bread, warm pita, and/or veggies.
- Kale White Bean Salad - Bulk up your plate with several handfuls of torn kale. If you have the time, massage the leaves with the lemony dressing and a few pinches of salt before adding the beans to the mix. Bonus: since kale is super hearty, white bean kale salad is great for packed lunches and picnics!
- Alternatively, try a white bean arugula salad for a more delicate bite and a pepperier punch. Just note that arugula will wilt, so don’t add it until you’re ready to chow down!
- Greek White Bean Salad - Swap out lemon juice for red wine vinegar, and parsley for dill, then add classic Greek favorites like chopped cucumber, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, and feta for a colorful twist on the original.
- Tuscan White Bean Dip - TBH, I use this white bean salad like a dip, eating it with nothing more than a few wedges of warmed pita. However, if you want it to be more of a traditional dip, feel free to blitz everything in a food processor until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Canned beans are great for convenience, but jarred beans take the flavor to the next echelon of flavor. If you’re on more of a budget, I’d argue that making a pot of dried white beans with some flavorful aromatics (think: mirepoix) is as cheap (or cheaper?) as canned and just as yummy as jarred beans.
- If you’re reaching for basic canned beans, give them a quick rinse to wash off the starchy water and remove some of the phytic acid (the compound that gives beans their magical musical properties). If you’re using home-stewed or jarred beans, the liquid is quite flavorful and doesn’t need to be rinsed.
- The smaller you mince your garlic, the more pungent the garlic flavor becomes. For the biggest boost of garlic flavor, either use a garlic press or grate it.
This Navy bean salad will last for up to 5 days in the fridge, making it a perfect option for meal prep.
Sure! Feel free to freeze this great northern bean salad for up to 3 months. I suggest transferring it to a freezer-safe zip-top bag, then removing as much air as possible. Then, go the extra mile to protect it from freezer burn and place the bag in a freezer-safe container.
When you’re ready to eat it, defrost it overnight in the fridge, then sprinkle it with some freshly chopped parsley to help revivify the color.
“Healthy” is one of those divisive words that I generally try to avoid when discussing food. A.) I’m not a licensed nutrition or medical professional, so who am I to deem something healthy? And B.) I find that calling some foods “healthy” is, by extension, branding other foods “not healthy.” Here at BSV, I’m not trying to yuck your yum!
That said, this Tuscan bean salad is what I would consider deeply nutritious. It’s made with only whole foods, is packed with heart-healthy fats, plant-based protein, and tons of fiber, and has a smattering of other vitamins and minerals that are essential for a functioning body.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Aside from being fresh, flavorful, and oh-so-satisfying, this Tuscan bean salad recipe is also:
- Quick & Easy - If you’re using pre-cooked, canned, or jarred beans, the whole recipe takes just 5-10 minutes to prepare.
- Meal Prep-Friendly - This is my go-to picnic entrée, potluck side, and WFH lunch. I’ll mix up a batch on Sunday and enjoy the fruits of my minimal labor all week long!
- Made With Just 8 Ingredients - I’d venture a guess that you have no less than half of them in your pantry already.
Let me know if you try out this Tuscan bean salad, and if you do, I would love it if you left a rating and review below! Make sure you are also following along on Instagram and Pinterest for more food inspiration.
Looking for other dips to whip up for your next party? Try these: