Easy White Bean Salad

This quick white bean salad is bursting with Mediterranean flavor! It’s great for a fast lunch or an easy side…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This quick white bean salad is bursting with Mediterranean flavor! It’s great for a fast lunch or an easy side dish.

White Bean Salad

We’re always on the hunt for quick and easy lunch ideas over here. Here’s our newest invention you can mix up in minutes: White Bean Salad! It’s bursting with Mediterranean flavor from simple ingredients: bell pepper brings a crunch, parsley an herbaceous bite, and red wine vinegar brings a zing of acidity. Top with a sprinkle of feta, and it’s irresistibly tasty with minimal effort. We often lean on bean recipes for healthy lunches, and this simple mix hits it out of the park for us. It also does double duty as an easy side dish!

Ingredients in white bean salad

This white bean salad is perfect for lunches: we created the recipe as something you could whip up on the fly right before eating. Or, it’s great as a party salad: especially for summer picnics or potlucks! The ingredients are optimized for it to stay well in the refrigerator, but it’s great for eating right away. Here’s what you’ll need for this white bean salad:

  • Navy beans or cannellini beans (see below)
  • Red pepper
  • Red onion or shallot
  • Parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Feta cheese
White Bean Salad

Navy beans vs cannellini

This white bean salad leans on a bean that’s worth seeking out: navy beans! They’re small and have a velvety texture and nutty flavor. Cannellini beans are easiest to find at the grocery, but they can sometimes taste a little mushy. Navy beans have a nice pop when you bite into them, which makes them our top choice for this salad.

Navy beans are worth seeking out, though sometimes we have a harder time finding them at our local grocery (yes, we’ve made some extra grocery trips!). Of course, you can substitute cannellini beans if desired and this salad still tastes great.

Olive oil & vinegar quantities

One note on the oil and vinegar quantities in this white bean salad! We’ve provided two options depending on how you’re serving it.

  • Use less oil and vinegar if eating right away. Make it to eat for lunch right away, and you can get away with ½ tablespoon oil and vinegar. It tastes great right when you mix it up.
  • Use more if storing it refrigerated or making for a party. Use 1 tablespoon each oil and vinegar and it makes more of a marinated bean salad texture. This is best here because it can dry out in the fridge or as it sits.
White Bean Salad

Make a double batch for a party

Want to make this white bean salad for a party? The quantity in the recipe below makes enough for 2 large lunch servings or 4 small servings as a side dish. We kept it this size because we eat it primarily as a lunch salad: and it’s easy to double.

Making it for a party or entertaining? Make a double batch! You’ll want to use the larger quantity of oil and vinegar for the party size, which will be 2 tablespoons each oil and vinegar. Click the 2x button in the recipe below.

Ways to serve this white bean salad

This white bean salad is ultra versatile: it works from healthy lunches to picnics to cookouts to quick sides! Here are a few ways to serve it:

  • For lunches, stored in a covered jar
  • With shrimp like baked shrimp or sautéed shrimp as a fast and easy meal
  • With salmon like baked salmon or pan seared salmon
  • At a picnic or potluck (double recipe)
  • With chopped ripe tomatoes when in season
  • With other fresh herbs like basil, oregano, chives or thyme when in season

More bean salad recipes

Love a good bean salad? We could eat them every day of the week. Here are a few more ways to use beans:

This white bean salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, omit the feta cheese.

White Bean Salad

Easy White Bean Salad

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 large or 4 side dish servings
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This quick white bean salad is bursting with Mediterranean flavor! It’s great for a fast lunch or an easy side dish.


  • 1 can navy beans* (or cannellini beans)
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper (or substitute sliced ripe cherry tomatoes, when in season)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion or shallot
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (or green onion top or other herbs)
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese (omit for vegan)


  1. Drain and rinse the beans.
  2. Dice the bell pepper. Mince the red onion, and chop the parsley.
  3. In a bowl, mix together all ingredients (if you’re eating right away, use the ½ tablespoon oil and vinegar; if making to refrigerate or for a party where it will sit out, use 1 tablespoon). Taste and add additional salt if desired. Saves up to 3 days refrigerated; taste and add additional salt, olive oil and vinegar after storage.


*If making for a party, make a double recipe (use the 2x button).

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: No cook
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: White bean salad

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Classic Bean Soup

This classic bean soup recipe is smoky and irresistibly satisfying! It’s quick and easy in just over 30 minutes. Here’s…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This classic bean soup recipe is smoky and irresistibly satisfying! It’s quick and easy in just over 30 minutes.

Bean Soup

Here’s a cozy bowl that’s so hearty and satisfying, you’ll never want to put your spoon down. Try this Smoky Bean Soup! Make room in your heart for this recipe, because this one dazzles. Kidney beans and navy beans float in a savory, smoky broth of fire roasted tomatoes that has just the right glossy texture. It uses canned beans, but it tastes like it’s been simmering all day. Each silky, smoky spoonful is a bit of heaven. (Plus, it saves well too!)

Ingredients in this bean soup

Sure, there are bean soups with dried beans, and crockpot recipes that simmer for hours. (You know, the kind with the ham hock?) We love those, but we also love fast and easy soups that required little foresight. This classic bean recipe requires just over 30 minutes and 3 cans of beans. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Canned navy beans
  • Canned kidney beans
  • Fire-roasted tomatoes (important: see notes below)
  • Vegetables: yellow onion, carrots, celery, garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable broth
  • Spices: Smoked paprika, cumin, fennel seeds, and salt

Smoked paprika is key to the flavor here! It’s a Spanish version of paprika, often labeled as pimenton, that infuses smoky flavor to dishes. It’s worth grabbing a bottle for this recipe, and you can use it in these smoked paprika recipes. The fennel seed is also essential, as it evokes a meaty flavor.

Bean Soup

Notes on the beans

Various types of bean work in this mixed bean soup recipe: really any three 15-ounce cans of beans goes! You can also use cooked beans that you may have on hand. But we have a few tips for the variety of beans you use here:

  • Navy beans are worth seeking out: their small size and buttery flavor is a great contrast to the larger kidney beans. You can substitute cannellini, but they can taste large and starchy. Think of using a smaller bean like pinto or black beans instead.
  • Kidney beans add a nice contrast in color and size. If you substitute other types, think about these contrasts.
  • You can also use beans cooked from dry. Just don’t use them dry in the soup: cook them first! One 15-ounce can equals 1 ½ cups cooked beans, so use 4 ½ cups total.
Bean soup recipe

Find fire roasted tomatoes for best flavor

The best secret in this bean soup, besides the savory combination of spices? Fire roasted tomatoes. This type of tomato brings massive sweet flavor to soups and sauces, right out of the can. Here’s what to know about this variety:

  • Fire roasted tomatoes are a type of canned tomato that’s roasted over a flame before canning. They’re sold by several different brands; look for them in the canned tomato section in your local grocery. We like Muir Glen.
  • Fire roasted tomatoes taste sweet right out of the can. This means you can cook them for less time, which is always a pro in our book!
  • Can’t find them? Use the highest quality canned tomatoes you can find. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes longer than specified below, and you may want to consider adding 1 teaspoon sugar to round out the flavors.
Bean soup

Leftover storage

This bean soup recipe stores very well! Once you’ve simmered it up, you can save it for up to 3 days refrigerated. The flavor just gets better over time! (We were eating this one for days and it kept tasting even more savory and delicious.) You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

Sides to serve with bean soup

Got a big pot of bean soup? There are many sides to serve with soup to make it a meal, from crunchy fresh salads to bread or muffins. Here are some favorite ideas:

More bean soup recipes

Many bean varieties make make a great soup: from black to white to garbanzos! Here are some of our top bean soup recipes:

This bean soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Bean soup

Classic Bean Soup


This classic bean soup recipe is smoky and irresistibly satisfying! It’s quick and easy in just over 30 minutes.


  • 1 medium yellow onion, small diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 28-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 15-ounce cans navy beans*, drained (or substitute cannellini beans or pinto beans)
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt


  1. Dice the onion, carrots and celery. Mince the garlic.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté the onion, carrots, and celery for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add tomatoes, drained beans, vegetable broth, smoked paprika, cumin, fennel seeds (crushing the fennel seeds with your fingers as you add them), and kosher salt. Simmer for 15 minutes**. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Serve warm: leftovers keep well refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months.


*Or, substitute any mix of 3 15-ounce cans of different types of beans. Navy beans are worth seeking out: the small size and buttery flavor is a nice contrast to the larger kidney beans. Or, substitute beans cooked from dry: use a total of 4 ½ cups cooked beans.

**The flavor should taste sweet and developed. If you aren’t using fire-roasted tomatoes, simmer 5 to 10 minutes more, and you may want to consider adding 1 teaspoon sugar to round out the flavors.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 23 minutes
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Soup

Keywords: Bean soup, bean soup recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.