This fresh and vibrant Cannellini Bean Salad is a great option for a light and flavorful side or a delicious appetizer!
You’ll love a refreshing cold bean salad, whether as part of a meal spread, to serve for a picnic or cookout, or a light savory appetizer at your next happy hour. Using cannellini beans in salad yields a nutty and earthy flavor that’s light but still filling.
Tender beans combined with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella make for a delicious Caprese bean salad that will be a crowd pleaser wherever you serve it! Pair with these adorable Caprese Bites to drive home the flavors of the classic dish.
Why You’ll Love this White Bean Salad Recipe
With bold and refreshing flavors, Cannellini Bean Salad is a fantastic option as an appetizer or side dish. With just 6 ingredients, you can also add additional mix-ins and toppings to customize to your liking and take your bean salad to the next level!
This salad conjures the flavors of classic Caprese salad and other Italian dishes with its combination of tomato, basil, and mozzarella.
Great for meal prep, this healthy salad is good to store in the refrigerator for days at a time. Whip up a big bowl and enjoy familiar flavors in a brand new setting.
Add some fresh herbs or follow this salad with cannellini beans recipe right down to the dot. Either way, you’ll end up with a satisfying dish that everybody will be clamoring for!
Cannellini Bean Salad Ingredients
- Cannellini Beans – also called white kidney beans, this kidney-shaped bean has a somewhat meaty texture with a smooth, butty flavor.
- Minced Garlic – deepens the other flavors and provides a garlicky sharpness.
- Lemon Juice – lightens up any heavy ingredients with a burst of citrus acidity.
- Fresh Basil Leaves – for a punch of aromatic green flavor; I recommend using fresh basil whenever possible.
- Mozzarella Cheese – adds a saltiness and that classic creamy mozzarella texture.
- Cherry Tomatoes – for sweetness and even more nutritional benefits.
How to Make Bean Salad
- Drain and wash cannellini beans. Place the beans into a medium bowl.
- Cut tomatoes and cheese. Place into the bowl. Chop basil and add to the bowl.
- Drizzle with lemon juice and toss with minced garlic. Serve cold.
What herbs go with cannellini beans?
Using any blend of your favorite fresh herbs will go well with these white beans. Classics like rosemary, thyme, parsley, and oregano are always great options.
What is special about cannellini beans?
This variety of beans is loaded with nutritional benefits and delicious flavor! They’re naturally fat free and also contains lots of fiber, iron, magnesium, and folate. 1/4 cup of cannellini beans has about 11 grams of protein as well.
Is there another name for cannellini beans?
They’re sometimes called white beans or white kidney beans because of their distinctive kidney shape. They’re similar to other beans in the white bean family like navy beans, great Northern beans, or baby lima beans (also called butterbeans).
They retain their shape well, which makes them good for hot dishes. Realistically, you can use all of these types of white beans more or less interchangeably without any issues!
Can you eat cannellini beans right from the can?
Yes, these beans are pre-cooked so there’s no need for any cooking. I recommend rinsing them before enjoying them though!
Are cannellini beans carbs or protein?
These white beans fall into the complex carbohydrates category. That being said, these beans are also a good source of protein. A full cup contains only about 180 calories, and because of the caloric composition the calories from your beans are also easy to burn.
Popular Cannellini Bean Salad Variations and Substitutions
- If you can’t find cannellini beans, you can use great Northern beans as a great white bean substitute.
- You could also make this a pinto bean salad, or use another kind of bean like navy beans or butter beans. You can even combine different types of beans to make a multi-bean salad!
- Here are some ideas for ingredients to add for additional flavor: grilled marinated chicken, green onions, red onion, or some salt and pepper to taste.
- Add additional greens like arugula or spinach for an even healthier salad!
- A bit of extra virgin olive oil can also be added for that slightly herbacious and oily flavor.
- If you’re working from dried beans, there are a few methods to use for re-hydrating them.
- Need your beans hydrated quickly? Simmer them in water for 3-4 hours or so.
- Have more time? You can soak your beans in cold water by soaking them overnight or for a full 24 hours.
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Easy Tuna Salad – Need another easy and light salad to serve alongside your white bean salad? Make this unique tuna salad with apples and pickles!
- Orzo Arugula Salad – Another side salad packed with super healthy greens and flavors that pop.
- Dragon Fruit Cocktail (Dragon Serum) – Serve this delicious and fruity cocktail with the exotic flavor of dragon fruit combined with familiar cranberry, orange, and rum.
- Blood Orange Vodka Cocktail – With a gorgeous and subtle ruby red flavor, this simple cocktail is flavored with blood orange and makes a great addition to any cocktail menu.
- White Bean Hummus with Cranberries – Need a delicious holiday appetizer? Use any leftover beans from your salad to make this special hummus with cranberries from Dizzy Busy and Hungry.
White Bean Salad Recipe
- Drain and wash beans. Place the beans into a medium bowl.
- Cut tomatoes and cheese. Place into the bowl.
- Chop basil and add to the bowl. Mix together.
- Drizzle with lemon juice and toss with minced garlic.
- Serve cold.
- Any kind of white bean (like navy beans or butterbeans) can be used as a substitution for cannellini beans.
- Add additional ingredients like red onion, arugula, green onions, olive oil, or salt and pepper for even more flavor.
- If you're using dried beans, be sure to soak them first, either in cold water overnight or in simmering water for 3-4 hours.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 325Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 60mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 14gSugar: 1gProtein: 23g