Marinated Kale, White Bean, and Tomato Salad

Tomatoes might be one of my favorite parts of summer. Even just the smell of a tomato stem sends me into a summertime euphoria. So, now that it’s all gorgeous and summery out, I needed to make a tomato salad, pronto.

I’ve been adding tomatoes to my Marinated White Bean Salad for quite some time, so I decided to make it more “salady” by switching out the parsley for kale. I gave the kale a quick sauté before adding it to the salad to soften it up and make it a little easier on my stomach. The result is an amazingly flavorful salad that can be paired with any summer meal, but is filling enough to stand alone as light supper (with a chunk of crusty bread to soak up all those delicious marinating juices, of course). If you love strong garlic and lemon flavors, like in most Greek food, you’ll LOVE this salad. Thinking about this salad paired with a crisp white wine just makes my mouth water!

Marinated Kale, White Bean, and Tomato Salad

Marinated Kale White Bean and Tomato Salad close

4.59 from 17 votes

Marinated Kale, White Bean, and Tomato Salad

A tangy homemade lemon garlic dressing gives this Marinated Kale, White Bean, and Tomato Salad BIG flavor. It's the perfect side for summer grilling!

Total Cost $4.54 recipe / $0.76 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 about 1 cup each



  • 1/2 lb pre-washed and chopped kale or one large bunch $1.50
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1/4 cup water $0.00
  • 1 lb ripe tomatoes $0.99
  • 15 oz can white beans (navy, cannellini, etc.) $1.119


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice $0.09
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03
  • Freshly cracked pepper $0.05


  1. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the washed and chopped kale, along with 1/4 cup of water to help it steam. Cook and stir the kale for 3-5 minutes, or just until it has wilted and is soft, but still vibrant green in color. Use tongs to transfer the kale to a bowl (leaving any remaining water behind). Let the kale cool in the refrigerator as you prepare the rest of the salad.
  2. Empty the can of beans into a colander and rinse well under cool running water. Allow the excess water to drain from the beans. Dice the tomatoes.
  3. To make the dressing, combine the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and a healthy dose of freshly cracked pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  4. Once the kale has cooled slightly, add the rinsed and drained beans, diced tomatoes, and dressing. Toss the ingredients together until everything is evenly combined and coated in dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. Give the salad a good stir to redistribute the dressing before serving.

Marinated Kale White Bean and Tomato Salad plates


Step by Step Photos

Kale Greens

Today I took the easy route and bought a big bag of pre-washed and chopped kale. Surprisingly, it’s less expensive than whole kale bunches. That’s a win in my book! This bag is one pound and I used half of it. Most kale bunches are about 1/2 pound each.

Sauté Kale

Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pot (the tall sides help contain the kale before it wilts). Add the kale and about 1/4 cup of water. The water will help the kale steam and wilt. Stir the kale constantly as it cooks. It should only take about 5 minutes for it to wilt down.

Cool Kale

I just barely cooked the kale so that it is soft and easy to chew, but still has some volume and texture. Also, I didn’t cook it past the point where it is still vibrant green in color. Transfer the cooked kale to a bowl with tongs so that any remaining water stays in the pot and not on the kale. Watery salad =/= good. Place the kale in the refrigerator to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Kale Stems

Oh, also, one of the few draw backs to the pre-chopped kale is that sometimes the thicker bits of the stems are left on. I just pulled them out as I sautéed the kale. 

White Beans

Next you’ll need a 15 oz. can of white beans. I used cannellini, but you could also use navy, or any other type of white bean.

Rinse and Drain Beans

White beans tend to have a lot of “goop” in the can, so be sure to rinse them very well. Let them drain really well, too, because as mentioned before watery salad =/= good.

Chop Tomatoes

Dice about one pound of tomatoes. Mine were on sale for $0.99/lb. Yay!

Lemon Garlic Dressing

Now make the insanely delicious lemon garlic dressing. In a small bowl combine 1 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, two cloves of garlic (minced), 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper (15 cranks of a pepper mill, or so). Usually dressings have a 2:1 ratio of oil to acid (lemon juice), but since there was already a lot of oil on the kale, I reduced it some. 

Combine Ingredients

Once the kale has cooled a bit, add the beans and tomatoes to the bowl.

Add Dressing and Stir

Pour the delicious dressing over top and stir to combine. You can eat it immediately (I did), or let it refrigerate so the flavors can mingle and blend. Always give it a good stir before serving, though, so the delicious dressing and juices redistribute and add a ton of flavor to each bite.

Marinated Kale White Bean and Tomato Salad bowl

So simple, so good.

Marinated Kale White Bean and Tomato Salad