Lemony White Bean Salad

$2.53 recipe / $0.42 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 6 votes
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I’ve been leaning on canned beans a lot lately because they’re just super fast and easy to make things with, and, as grocery prices continue to climb, they’re an inexpensive way to fill my belly. I made this super simple Lemony White Bean Salad the other day for meal prep and it was too easy and too good not to share. It makes a great side dish, or you can add a few more ingredients to make it a meal!

Overhead view of lemony white bean salad in a bowl.

What’s in this White Bean Salad?

I love simple food, and this bean salad is a great example. It’s just white beans, thinly sliced red onion, a little parsley, and a quick homemade lemon vinaigrette. Quick, simple, delicious, and FRESH.

What Kind of White Beans Are Best

For this salad, you want a bean that is fairly large and firm so they don’t fall apart when the salad is stirred together. I used cannellini beans, but butter beans would also do well. I would avoid using navy beans or great northern beans for this recipe.

What to Serve with White Bean Salad

I served this salad as part of my weekly meal prep along with some Garlic Marinated Chicken, and a few triangles of pita. It would also go great with Mediterranean Turkey Burgers, Baked Cod, Chimichurri Chicken Kebabs, or as an addition to a Hummus Lunch Box.

What Else Can I Add?

Because this recipe is so simple and basic, there are a lot of ways to dress it up and make it into something new! So browse your fridge and pantry for ingredients that might need to be used up, because chances are you can add them to this salad! Here are a few ideas:

  • Fresh or sun dried tomatoes
  • Crumbled feta
  • Fresh spinach
  • Any fresh herbs (scallions, chives, basil, tarragon, cilantro, rosemary)
  • Cucumbers
  • Sautéed kale
  • Tuna
  • Grilled chicken
  • Thinly sliced radishes
  • Diced avocado
White bean salad in meal prep containers with chicken and pita.
Shown with pita bread and Garlic Marinated Chicken.
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Lemony White Bean Salad

5 from 6 votes
This simple Lemony White Bean Salad is an inexpensive, light, and fresh option for summer meals or your weekly meal prep.
Overhead view of a bowl of lemony white bean salad.
Servings 6 ½ cup each
Prep 15 minutes
Total 15 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.04)
  • 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard ($0.06)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 1/8 tsp salt ($0.01)
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.01)
  • 2 15oz. cans Cannellini beans ($1.78)
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced ($0.08)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley ($0.10)


  • Make the vinaigrette first. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Dijon, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • Rinse and drain the cannellini beans. Thinly slice the red onion and roughly chop the parsley.
  • Place the beans, onions, and parsley in a bowl, then pour the vinaigrette over top. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust the salt or pepper to your liking.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 151kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 8gFat: 5gSodium: 373mgFiber: 7g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!
Close up side view of Lemony White Bean Salad in a bowl.

How to Make Lemony White Bean Salad – Step by Step Photos

Lemon vinaigrette in a bowl.

Make the Lemon Vinaigrette first so the flavors have a few minutes to chill. Simply whisk together 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, ½ Tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 clove of minced garlic, ⅛ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp freshly cracked pepper.

Cannellini beans draining in a colander.

Rinse and drain two 15oz. cans of cannellini beans.

Salad ingredients being combined in a bowl.

Thinly slice about ¼ of a red onion and roughly chop about 2 Tbsp of parsley. Add the beans, onions, and parsley to a bowl, then pour the vinaigrette over top.

White bean salad stirred together in a bowl.

Stir the ingredients together until well combined. Taste and adjust the salt or pepper to your liking.

Overhead view of a bowl of lemony white bean salad.

You can serve the salad immediately or let it chill in the refrigerator for a while. It will be good for 3-4 days and the flavors will blend more as time goes on. Always give it a good stir to redistribute the flavors just before serving!

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  1. This recipe is perfect for hot days when I need a cool lunch! I do not like parsley and I instead swapped it for Cilantro, which really enhances the flavor in my opinion. I do not have red wine vinegar or Dijon mustard, I added a bit of balsamic.

    Still tastes pretty good!

  2. This meal preps so well! It’s a lifesaver on those triple-digit days – fresh and bright and crunchy, but also substantial and filling.

  3. I really enjoyed this salad. For added lemon flavor, I also included the zest. And for a bit more flavor, I added some nutritional yeast and a bit of sugar for sweetness. Endless possibilities with this salad – I’ll definitely make it again.

  4. This was SO delicious that I made it twice in a row. I might use basil instead of parsley next time. Just a thought.

    1. Well that depends on what you mean by “bite.” If it’s heat you’re after, try dicing a little pickled hot Italian pepper or a few dashes of rep pepper flakes. If by “bite” you meN that you prefer a more aggressive acidity, than sub some of the lemon juice for distilled white vinegar in the dressing. XOXO

    2. Me too love this salad. I added mint along with the parsley. Then 1/4 c of pepita seeds oe pistachios forthat Mediterranean flare. For that quick flare omited salt and pepper and used everything bagel seasoning, loved the crunch from that seasonong..

  5. I ate once as a side dish (sans the parsley) and later added tuna for a light meal. Delicious. 

  6. YUM. Just had this for lunch ~2 days after putting it together, and it’s even more delicious! I doubled the dressing and mixed in cooked pasta, then topped with nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt before serving. Thanks for sharing this simple, delicious recipe!

  7. I’ve been making this for over 30 years – almost identical ingredients (minus the vinegar and Dijon).  It is hands down one of my favorite recipes, I could half the bowl in one sitting!  I use cannellini beans but found that flageolet beans are wonderful too if they have them in your neighborhood (can be difficult to find, in the UK they were sold in grocery stores but in Canada I’ve only ever seen them in specialty stores or Italian markets and they’re $$$)

  8. Hi Beth, I think you may find a freudian slip in your introduction to this recipe!!
    You have said that it is an expensive dish…..I know you mean inexpensive!!!!

      1. There are so many of us who just love all that you do I personally have tried many combinations of flavours (tuna and curry) that without your inspiration of trying new flavours I may never have done. PLEASE, PLEASE KEEP THIS SITE GOING FOR A LONG LONG TIME. Thank you

  9. This looks awesome!!  What have you served with it or has it been a one dish meal?

    I love your recipes!!

    1. Hi Amy, there’s a section above the recipe titled, “What to Serve with White Bean Salad” where I have some suggestions linked. :)

  10. Beth, the lede on the main page for this recipe reads as “is an expensive”. I’m sure you meant to write “inexpensive”, or your website wouldn’t be called “budget bytes”.

  11. Delicious! It’s the day before my grocery run, so I subbed chickpeas. Added a ripe avocado I had in the fridge, and enjoyed a light dinner on a hot day.