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White Bean and Tuna Salad

White Bean and Tuna Salad

Simple tuna and white bean salad, a classic combination and so easy to make!

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

Some items that you will almost always find well stocked in our pantry are canned beans (white beans, garbanzo, kidney) and canned tuna packed in olive oil. We also keep well supplied with onions, including at least one red onion.

So when we are looking for a super-easy-I’m-hungry-now-and-I-don’t-want-to-spend-time-cooking meal we’re prepared. This combination, canned tuna with white beans and onions is classic, and so easy!

It helps to have a high quality canned tuna, packed in olive oil. If you have water-packed tuna it will still work, but you’ll need to add a lot of olive oil to help it come together.

An herb or bitter of some sort is a bright addition too. Mint, parsley, arugula are all growing around our garden at some point, and depending on the season we gather what we can find. You could also use cilantro, tarragon, or rosemary.

A little Tabasco or chili pepper will give the salad a bit of zing. Try substituting the white beans with garbanzo beans. (Make homemade beans on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker if you have time!) This salad is designed for improvisation.

White Bean and Tuna Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of chopped red onions or shallots
  • The zest and juice of 1 lemon or 2 limes (can sub a tablespoon or two of cider vinegar)
  • 2 five to six ounce cans of tuna packed in olive oil
  • 2 15-ounce cans of cannellini or Great Northern white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup (loosely packed) of chopped parsley or arugula, or 2 tablespoons thinly sliced mint
  • A few splashes of Tabasco sauce, or 1 minced Serrano chile or 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt and more extra virgin olive oil to taste

Method

1 Sprinkle some of the lemon juice over the chopped onions while you prepare the other ingredients. This will take some of the oniony edge off the onions.

2 Combine ingredients in a bowl: Drain the oil from the tuna and put the tuna into a large bowl. Add the beans to the tuna and gently stir to combine.

Add the onions, herbs, black pepper, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix to combine. Add Tabasco or chili to taste.

If the salad needs more acid, add a little more lemon juice. If the salad seems a little dry, add a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. Add salt to taste.

3 Chill before serving. This salad will last several days in the fridge, tightly covered.

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White Bean and Tuna Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

This refreshing tuna salad is best on hot summer nights.

green beans, trimmed and halved

lightly packed basil leaves

oak leaf lettuce or butter lettuce

15-oz. can small white beans, rinsed

5-oz. cans solid white tuna in water, drained

soft- or hard-boiled eggs, halved

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt, then green beans, and cook until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree shallot, basil, oil, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper until smooth. Transfer half of dressing to a large bowl and toss with green beans. Fold in lettuce, white beans, and tuna and serve with remaining dressing and eggs.

PER SERVING 340 CALORIES, 16.5 G FAT (3 G SATURATED), 31 G PROTEIN, 770 MG SODIUM, 24 G CARB, 8 G FIBER


INSTRUCTIONS

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Tuna Salad With White Beans

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • Serves 2 to 3

Ingredients US Metric

  • One (5-ounce) can good-quality tuna packed in olive oil*, drained
  • One (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 small (about 3 oz) red onion, thinly sliced into half circles
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Handful of halved cherry tomatoes (optional)
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon (optional)

Directions

In a large bowl, gently combine the tuna, beans, and onions.

Add the salt, pepper, olive oil, and fresh parsley and gently toss.

Stir in the cherry tomatoes and lemon juice, if desired.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Barb P.

This recipe produces a pretty, protein-filled salad with a minimum of effort and no real skill required. As such, it deserves a place in my files for those nights when I come home late and I'm too tired to cook. I did add the cherry tomato halves. When I tossed in some chopped green pepper I found while scrounging in the refrigerator for the tomatoes and heated some French bread, the dish was determined to be nutritious, flavorful, and altogether satisfying.

As written, the recipe provided 2 servings but the addition of the bread and a larger amount of vegetables could stretch the servings to 3 or 4.

Helena Pereira

One of the easiest meals you can make with simple ingredients that you always have on hand. I like it seasoned with some lemon juice.

If you want, some variations are possible: replace the bean with chickpeas, the parsley with cilantro, and lime juice in place of lemon. You can also add some red pepper, tomato, or even a boiled egg. The result is always a delicious and satisfying salad with a fresh flavor, ready in minutes!

Kristen Kennedy

This recipe is delicious and deliciously simple. Perfect for dinners all week because I never have time to cook.

I stress using the best-quality canned tuna you can find. I added a bit of freshly-squeezed lemon juice. In the future I may add a dash of lemon zest to brighten up the recipe a little more. I used canned Tonno, which is now available in my grocery store.

This recipe would also be ideal for lunches if your coworkers aren't overly sensitive to raw onion.

Pat Francis

This was quite good, quick, and easy to make. It’s a useful pantry meal to keep in mind and a refreshing alternative to tuna salad with mayo.

My only problem was that the red onion I had on hand had been around a while. I soaked the slices in salted, sugared water for 15 minutes to leech out some of the sharpness. That was somewhat effective but the onion was still a bit too strong in the salad.

I used Wild Planet albacore tuna, Trader Joe’s cannellini beans, Trader Joe’s Kalamata Greek extra-virgin olive oil, and Morton’s kosher salt. I measured the glug of oil into a measuring tablespoon as I poured it. Once mixed in to the other ingredients, that 1 tablespoon seemed not quite enough, so I poured another tablespoon. That was a bit too much, so maybe 1 1/2 tablespoons is about right.

I did use the cherry tomatoes. Mine were on the large side, so I quartered instead of halving them. Since I had the onion issue, I didn’t detect a balancing acidic note from the tomatoes but they were a pleasing addition to the salad nonetheless.

This makes 4 largish or 6 more modest servings.

Jennifer Combs

This was the perfect salad to make on a Sunday afternoon after my husband and I came back from the tennis courts and needed to refuel. Both of us hungry and having little patience for anything with long prep/cooking time, we were drawn to this recipe with its ease of construction and satisfying, nutritious ingredients.

The meatiness of the tuna gives this salad a heft that’s satisfying and filling. The red onion adds a nice spiciness and textural crunch that complements the creaminess of the beans. Chopped parsley brings a brightness and freshness to the dish.

This recipe is a wonderful palette on which embellishments can be made. I didn't use the tomatoes. I added lemon zest and fresh squeezed lemon juice for acidity. While I didn't make this addition this time, I will take my husband’s suggestion next time and add some capers for the added texture and brininess. Served on a bed of mixed greens with crackers, this salad really hit the spot.

Chiyo Ueyama

An elegant, delicious, and nutritious meal in a flash (grilled-cheese fast)! The tender beans and meaty tuna are wonderful together and very satisfying. I made it for dinner after coming home late and tired and enjoyed it with a slice of toasted sourdough. I love the simplicity and that there is room for flexibility.

A little lemon juice would be lovely if you have it and other fresh herbs would shine in this recipe as well. I usually find the raw onion flavor a bit too sharp so I used only 1/8 of a red onion for a hint of it.

I didn't use tomatoes since I didn’t have any on hand. This recipe serves 2 people.

Adrienne Lee

This was a great combination of ingredients and was extremely easy to make. I would definitely make this dish again but reduce the red onion. I might even try other types of beans.

Anna Scott

I adore canned tuna packed in olive oil. In fact, I don't buy tuna packed in water anymore since I discovered this tasty variation. The tuna itself has a heartier texture and has much more flavor, which is very important in a simple dish like this one.

The name of this salad is right on key, meaning that it isn't just focused on the tuna, the beans play a major role in the overall dish. The ratio of beans to flaked tuna is actually about 2:1 this makes this salad a creamy, protein-packed alternative to your basic tuna salad. Very Italian in nature (I'm not big fan of mayo-based tuna salads, so this one was right up my alley!), I love the fresh taste of the salad—peppery sliced red onion, bright green chopped parsley, white beans, tuna (I used solid white albacore tuna in extra-virgin olive oil), olive oil (I used 3 tablespoons oil), and salt and pepper. It’s important to add enough oil to this dish as it gives the overall salad a lovely moist quality. Without enough oil, it would be quite dry.

I also added about 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes to the mix as well. After I tasted the salad, I decided that it needed 2 extra things: some acidity and some heat. I added about 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar. I think lemon juice would also brighten up the salad. Overall, I loved the salad and can't wait to have it tomorrow for lunch as well.

It easily serves 4 to 6 people, depending on portion sizes. I served mine over some mache salad greens with some avocado slices. I would say that both hands-on time and total time were about 10 minutes. Very Italian, and molto delizioso!

Jackie Gorman

Here’s the conversation that we usually have in our house when we do not have leftovers from another meal for lunch. “What would you like for lunch?” “Let’s see what we have in the freezer.” Our freezer is stocked with vacuum-sealed packages of stew, or soup, or chili, or lasagna, or another meal that we had leftovers from. Since I tend to cook for the fleet, we tend to always have leftovers. Quite often, a lot of leftovers. This makes for some wonderful lunches to be sure, but I don’t always want something heavy.

This salad can be thrown together in less time than I can defrost and then heat up one of those packages. And this salad is fresh, light, clean, and delicious. This was so delicious that I made it and ate a huge portion of it while waiting for my husband to get home for lunch. We enjoyed it so much, that I made it again a few days later. The first time that I made it, I used parsley as directed to do in the recipe. The second time I had no more parsley but had cilantro. We liked that version just as much.

I always have the ingredients for this salad in our pantry, as I use imported tuna packed in olive oil in many pastas and salads, and I have cans of beans for many uses. I always have purple onions in the fridge and olive oil, well, that goes without saying. So, it comes down to parsley or cilantro. One is usually always in the fridge. So, there you have it. This salad is a done deal in the time it takes to open those 2 cans and slice some onions.

As far as the amounts of the ingredients in this salad… to me, this is one of those recipes that is not really a recipe to be followed precisely. It's a list of ingredients to be added together to suit your palate. Glugs of olive oil? Again, add it to your liking. The cherry tomatoes that were suggested for a little acidity just reinforced the adage that you should eat things in season. I did scoop a small amount of the salad into another bowl and added some Meyer lemon juice to see if the acidity added anything to the salad. It was good, but not necessary.

Just reading this review has me wanting to make this salad again, which I will definitely do this week. It’s a true winner.

Joel Jenkins

The author was correct in that this is a quick recipe, start to finish it took me less than 5 minutes. I had a leftover red onion already to go. I used the whole thing but I like a lot of onion too.

I had some delicious canned tuna from Samoa and I hate to waste it making tuna salad so this was a great use for it.

We have a nice bunch of currant tomatoes in the garden right now so I added them instead of the cherry tomatoes, it was a nice bit of pop, both literally and in taste.

I also added 3 tablespoons of olive oil but I think you may have to add a little bit more if you did happen to use tuna packed in water instead.

I thought that cumin might go nicely with this salad but next time I'm going to add a sprinkle of ajowan, my latest "experimental" spice.

HUNGRY FOR MORE?

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  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 19-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 6-ounce can chunk light tuna in water, drained and flaked (see Note)

Whisk lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add beans, tuna, onion, parsley and basil toss to coat well.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Note: Chunk light tuna, which comes from the smaller skipjack or yellowfin, has less mercury than canned white albacore tuna. The FDA/EPA advises that women who are or might become pregnant, nursing mothers and young children consume no more than 6 ounces of albacore a week up to 12 ounces of canned light tuna is considered safe.


Mediterranean tuna and white bean salad

We love beans and add them to all sorts of dishes like soups, stews, pastas, risottos, and salads like this one. In this salad we toss white beans and tuna — a classic Italian combination — with all the ingredients that you’d normally find in a traditional Greek salad, including cucumber, tomatoes, green pepper, red onion and Kalamata olives. The dressing, too, is redolent of a Greek salad with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and oregano. The end result is a delicious, rustic salad with fresh flavors and wonderful textures that encapsulates the essence of Mediterranean cuisine.

You can use any kind of white bean in this salad including cannellini or navy beans. We mostly use canned beans for convenience, but once in a while we’ll boil up a batch of dried beans, divide them into portions, and freeze. They’re ready to be defrosted overnight in the fridge, or microwaved for a couple of minutes.

PLACE the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper in a jar with screw-top lid and shake to combine. PLACE the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. POUR the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss gently until well combined.

Variations: Use jarred roasted red pepper instead of fresh. For a touch of luxury, replace the canned tuna with grilled fresh tuna cut into cubes.


How to Make Tuna White Bean Salad, in a Nutshell

This recipe is super convenient – you probably already have all the ingredients required to make this recipe on hand in your pantry and fridge. Plus, it is so simple to make – all you need are 6 ingredients: tuna, white beans, red onion, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice.

Once you have prepped your ingredients, just mix everything together in bowl, season with a little S & P and you are good to go! If you like heat you can add a bit of hot sauce, but it tastes just fine without it too.


White Bean and Tuna Salad

Serve this White Bean and Tuna Salad for lunch or as part of a soup-and-salad supper. It’s a classic combination, healthy, and so easy to make.

We would recommend canned tuna packed in olive oil. Water-packed tuna still works but you’ll need to add a lot of olive oil to help it come together.


Related Video

This has become a go-to! Easy and delicious.

I don't even like seafood, but I loved this recipe. I made it as-is and served it with italian bread. I thought it was a little heavy on the oil especially because it is packed in oil, but that is easy to change per preference. My husband who is very picky and looked at it with a frown also ended up loving it. I wouldn't change a thing.

Pretty darn good. I would go easier next time with the fresh sage, as a little goes a long way. I also used Whole Foods albacore tuna in water, but drizzled a really good olive oil on it. I served it on a bed of arugula with tomatoes. Makes a nice light lunch. Next time, I'll try cilantro, because it's more "summer-y".

Very good and simple. I subbed navy beans as I was out of cannellini. Just took a bite and had to log on to say how good this is! Since there are so few ingredients, it is imperative that you use the best you can, as other reviewers have noted. I'm going back for more!

Love this dish! I added celery and served the bean/tuna combo with arugula (made extra dressing for the salad) and parmesan on the side. THE TRICK IS THE TUNA!! Use only good Italian tuna in olive oil- it makes this recipe sing!

This was a good recipe. I made a few slight changes: used tuna in water vs. oil, skipped the sage, added fresh cilantro and fresh lemon juice.

Very popular at a weekend lunch. Used the best tuna I could get. Also followed another reviewer's advice and added cilantro instead of parsely.

This is a yummy summertime staple using the highest quality ingredients.

I made this for a luncheon today and received good reviews. I used Italian Tuna (Tonno) in olive oil and added no additional oil. I also used two cans of tuna to a can of beans and substituted fresh lemon juice for the vinegar. I added a little cilantro as well. Very good.

This recipe is great, but it's all about the quality of ingredients: Make sure to use high quality tuna and very good olive oil. Also, some good substitutions: Try scallions instead of onions lemon instead of vinegar.

This is really nice summer salad recipe. I added a stalk of celery which provided a good crunchy texture in the salad. Also, I used a mix of fresh thyme, oregano, and sage so the salad wasn't overpowered by the herbs.

I was looking for an easy recipe to use some of the sage in my garden, and this was perfect. I used Progresso tuna in olive oil (didn't need to add add'l oil). It was quick and delicious and the herbs added such flavor and freshness. I will make this often.

What a great summer dish. I find it's even better on the second day, after the flavors have had some time to settle into one another.

Sage is a bit too much for delicate tuna - Iɽ cut it down or completely out. Thyme instead? It was tasty. I toasted a baguette and made a sandwich out of it.

You can't make this with tuna packed in water and then rate the recipe. It MUST be made with italian tuna packed in olive oil - it's a completely different flavor and not "bland" at all.

I added alot of salt/pepper and lemon juice, and this salad was fantastic. I tossed in a handful of toasted pine nuts the next day, and it was even better. I would definitely make this dish a day or at least a few hours ahead!

Only okay, very not special, and no matter how much I drained the beans, was still watery. Use freshly soaked beans perhaps? Not sure how to make it any better

I couldn't believe how simple and good this was! I didn't use the oil from the tuna, subsituted lemon juice and a dash of balsamic vinegar for the red wine vinegar, and added a minced garlic clove and some red pepper flakes (because this was crying out for them). Divine! And relatively healthy. The sage is key, I wouldn't bother making this if I didn't have any.

I did make this salad with the sage and parsley and it was wonderful! Even if you don't have the parsley, the sage is a really tasty addition to the beans. I served it on a bed of romaine for a little crunch-- yum!

Very good! Wouldn't serve it to guests but am planning on making it again this week to take for my lunch! I used flaked white tuna in water and didn't have parsley or sage and it was great (did add a little salt to the dressing). Try it, you'll like it! And it is a healthy choice.

I recommend that cooks follow the recipe exactly: it is a delicious, simple recipe with hearty, satisfying results. It is so easy to make, it's hard to imagine the results, but it is simply perfect just the way it is. This is a terrific low-fat salad that can stand as a meal - take it to the office for lunch: Jam-packed with protein. I love it!

I made this for a cooking store and improvised. I did not have the parsely or sage, so used some seasoning, oregano, and some chili oil. Also, used tuna packed in water and served it over a bed of romaine. Topped it all off with grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Every single person needed the recipe. This one is a keeper - added red hot chili peppers too!

Very simple with delicious results, even with variations. I used tuna packed in water and olive oil and it was still great.


Reviews

Makes a fabulous lunch with not a lot of effort. The parsley vinaigrette is delicious. I did add a few goat cheese crumbles, but other than that, followed the recipe exactly. Light, but filling lunch salad. I suspect it would travel well too. Next time, I might add some lightly pickled shallots if I have them on hand.

Parsley vinaigrette paired very well with this. I had to substitute chpopped red cabbage and red onion for unavailable arugula but think the results were equally good and sturdier for leftovers.

Made this recipe for Xmas Eve dinner. It was light and refreshing. Lots of compliments on the dressing and how flavorful the dish came out. I've since then made this as a lunch to bring to work. It holds up well in the fridge for a few days which is a nice plus!

I was excited to try this salad but was very disappointed. The dressing is great but I think I would have enjoyed this much more without the tuna and just with the beans and a bunch of vegetables. The tuna and beans together just have too mushy of a texture to be enjoyable.

Are you kidding me? This was fantastic. The vinaigrette is amazing and a great way to easily eat lots of green. My brother was drooling over the dish as I made it, saying he was hungry, and enjoyed it once I gave it to him. Hubbie, who normally says he doesn't like beans much, loved the cannelini (which I had cooked myself, and in fact overcooked so they were a bit mushy). Used plenty of salt and pepper. Had leftover cannelini so mixed with more of the vinaigrette and will be eating that later.

I was not sold on this salad until the next day. Had it as leftovers for lunch--the flavors really came together. Make it a day ahead! Easy, inexpensive, and keeps well.

This is a nice lunch salad. The parsley vinaigrette is lovely, and I have made that alone for other salads. I think the radicchio is essential and would not omit as others suggested.

I enjoyed this salad as presented, but felt it could be a bit more interesting so, I made "some" adjustments. I added the following to the vinaigrette: 1 tsp fresh pepper two finely chopped anchovies, and three finely chopped garlic. I increased the vinegar to 1 tbsp from 1/2 tbsp. Also, I added 1/4 cup loosely chopped red onion to the beens and celery mixture. Finely, I replaced the radicchio with mixed greens and topped the salad with some shaved parmesan.

I really liked the fresh taste of the parsley vinaigrette. I have to admit, I used shredded chicken instead of tuna. So I didn't follow the recipe exactly - but I left everything else the same. I actually like this with just the beans, celery and parsley vinaigrette. Definitely easy to make and great for warm days when you don't want to turn on the oven/stove.

We made it with Ortiz tuna and Frantoia as well and thought it was very flavorful. We added salt and pepper liberally but that's a given. This recipe is a keeper especially on hot summer days.

Loved the fresh flavor of the parsley vinegarette, but overall an average salad. We added some radishes and green ripe olives, which helped. I would probably make it again because it's healthy and we did love the dressing.

We used with super good Ortiz tuna, all organic veggies and very good Frantoia olive oil - even so, it was bland. Sister and husband agreed this recipie is not a keeper. However, it was easy to assemble.


Watch the video: Υγιεινή Σαλάτα με φασόλια μαυροματικα!!! (November 2021).