Extra easy White Bean Salad with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs and red onion. Add any fresh crunchy veggies and you have a winner bean salad recipe for any occasion!
Did life give you lots of white beans? Make minestrone or bean mushroom soup.
Easy Bean Salad Recipe
When life gives you lots of white beans, you make a bean salad. With any dried herbs, fresh herbs and fresh veggies life gives you the same day. For a quick lunch with canned tuna to a dinner with a glass of red wine and a slice of crusty bread, this white bean salad tastes healthy and delicious!
“Fresh” is the keyword for a bean salad. And “quality”. So, please don’t think of a 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. Make it the day before for a picnic or a week of no-brainer lunches. Let’s do it!
Ingredients You Will Need
- 2 x 15 oz cans of white beans: Cannellini beans, navy beans, great northern beans, black eyed peas or even chickpeas would work. If buying cans, 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 – too strong.
- 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 a bean salad. For example: celery, bell pepper, cucumber, zucchini.
How to Make White Bean Salad
- 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 this recipe. 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 for Best Bean Salad
Any bean salad recipe is the case when “anything goes”. So here are basic tips, so you never go hungry:
- 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 veggies make starchy beans even more juicy.
- Use any fresh or dried herbs you have on hand. Think Mediterranean and Mexican ingredients – both go well.
- Mix salad gently so beans don’t turn into mush.
- Make and store bean salad in ceramic or glass bowl, not plastic – just like beer it tastes better this way. 🙂
Serving and Storing Bean Salad
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:
- Canned tuna or salmon – amazeballs easy pantry lunch.
- Bean salad makes a great bed for baked or grilled chicken breast, baked or grilled salmon.
- Instant Pot whole chicken – such easy homemade rotisserie chicken.
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!
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
- 4 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 5 tbsp white/red wine or apple cider vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1 tsp dried herbs like rosemary, basil, oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 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. 🙂
Fresh lemon juice would work well in place of vinegar.
Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.