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This easy and fast cannellini bean salad combines fluffy white beans with juicy tomatoes, savory olives, and refreshing parsley. All tossed in a fantastic lemon garlic dressing.
The perfect make-ahead lunch ready in 10 minutes.
I’m always looking for variety and nutrition when it comes to lunch. Bonus points if it’s something I can make with easy ingredients and ahead of time.
This cannellini bean salad ticks all the boxes for when I want a fresh and healthy meal ready in minutes.
The recipe is embarassingly easy to make, it uses only 4 basic ingredients and a super simple dressing but it packs a protein punch and big flavors.
The combination of textures and flavors utterly delicious, it keeps well in the fridge and work great for work lunches, picnics and potluck.
Grab your salad ingredients, and make a protein-packed salad that is so simple, and so good.
Watch how to make it
List of the ingredients
- Cannellini beans
- Kalamata olives
- Fresh parsley
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper
How to make cannellini bean salad
- Rinse and drain the cannellini beans.
- Place the beans, tomatoes, and olives in a large bowl.
- Chop the parsley leaves.
- Make the dressing by whisking olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and garlic.
- Add the parsley to the bowl and pour the dressing over the salad.
- Toss well until well combined and enjoy!
What you need for this white bean salad recipe…
Beans: to make this salad recipe quick and convenient, I used canned cannellini beans, one of my favorite pantry staples. But you can use a variety of white beans, from navy beans and butter beans to great northern beans. They are all good substitutions.
Tomatoes: ripe cherry tomatoes are the best for this salad, they’re sweet, flavorful and they don’t release too much moisture making the salad watery. Grape tomatoes work too, just make sure to remove excess water by placing the slices of tomatoes on a colander for a few minutes.
Olives: I used pitted kalamata olives, they add a rich flavor, they’re juicy and taste definitely better than basic black olives. They’re a bit more expensive than their basic counterpart, but you need just a handful.
Herbs: fresh parsley is full of aromatic flavor and rich in Vitamin C, it works so well with the creamy beans. However, fresh herbs such as basil or dill work just fine if you wish.
Salad dressing: the fruity extra virgin olive oil, garlic and fresh lemon juice lend so much flavor. You can also use red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice if you wish.
Salt & pepper: adjust as needed to make the flavor pops!
Are cannellini beans good for you?
The answer is yes! Cannellini beans are a terrific source of plant-based protein, minerals and antioxidants. Their fiber content make you feel full for longer making them a weight loss-friendly food.
Cannellini bean salad variations
The recipe is versatile and works with any kind of beans including chickpeas and it’s easy to customize to your taste preferences:
- Veggies: finely sliced red onions or red bell pepper pair so well with white beans. And if fresh tomatoes are out of season and tasteless, sun dried tomatoes make a great substitution. I also love diced avocado that adds extra flavor, texture and nutrition.
- Protein: to improve the protein punch, shredded chicken, seared salmon, shrimp or crumbled feta cheese are all great add-ins.
How long does it keep?
Make a big batch, you can store this cannellini bean salad leftovers in the fridge in airtight container for 3-4 days.
More recipes with beans?
If you love cannellini beans as much as I do, have a look at these amazing recipes!
- The best white bean soup, creamy and delicious
- Italian white bean soup, with chili and garlic
- 1-Pot white bean pasta, ready in 15 minutes
- White bean and kale soup, hearty and filling
- 15 Cannellini bean recipes you will love, from soups to salads!
- Bread and beans
Lastly, if you make this cannellini bean salad recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!
Cannellini Bean Salad
- 2 cans (15oz/425 grams each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained*
- 1 cup (7oz/200 grams) cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered*
- ⅓ cup (2oz/60 grams) pitted black olives, halved
- ⅓ cup parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoon (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil, or adjust to taste
- 2 tablespoon (30 ml) lemon, juice
- 1-2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon fine salt, or adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Place quartered tomatoes, halved olives and cannellini bean in a large salad bowl.
- Remove thicker stems from the parsley, and chop the leaves.
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk them well. Alternatively, place the ingredients in a glass jar tightly cover with a lid and shake until well combined and emulsified.
- Add parsley and dressing to the salad, toss well until well combined and juicy.
- Taste, and adjust as necessary until the flavors really pop. You might want to add more salt or olive oil according to your taste.
- If time allows, leave the salad to rest for at least 30 minutes to enhance the flavor. Enjoy!