You can never have enough easy side dish recipes, am I right?? I like to keep my side dishes simple so they don’t steal the show from my main dish, and they don’t add a lot of extra work to the overall preparation of the meal. Simple salads like this Mediterranean White Bean Salad only take minutes to prepare, they bring flavor, color, and texture to your plate, and they hold up really well as leftovers (hello, tomorrow’s lunch). Bookmark this one, because I know you’ll use this recipe a lot!
Originally posted 2-19-2010, updated 8-22-2020.
This Mediterranean style bean salad was inspired by one of my all-time favorite salads, tabbouleh, but it uses white beans instead of bulgar. It has all that tangy lemon-garlic flavor that I love about tabbouleh, but without needing to spend time cooking and cooling bulgur.
What Kind of Beans Can I Use?
I used large butter beans for this recipe, but if you don’t have butter beans available try cannellini beans or chickpeas. I would avoid softer beans that tend to mash easily, like navy beans or great northern beans. Cannellini beans and chickpeas are large enough and firm enough to hold up to the stirring of this salad.
What to Serve with Mediterranean White Bean Salad
The flavors in this white bean salad (lemon and garlic) are so versatile that it makes a great side dish for a wide variety of mains. Try it with Garlic Butter Baked Cod, Baked Pizza Chicken, Greek Turkey Burgers, Creamy Spinach Artichoke Chicken, Oven Baked Fish with Tomatoes, or Chicken Piccata. Or, this could be one part of a vegetarian spread with some homemade hummus, pita, and falafel.
How Long Does This Salad Stay Good?
This is another great example of a “refrigerator salad” or a salad that holds up really well in the refrigerator. This salad will stay enjoyable when stored in the refrigerator for a good four days or so. The flavors will blend and the beans will marinate in the dressing as it refrigerates, making it even better the next day! Make sure to give it a stir just before serving to redistribute the flavors.
Mediterranean White Bean Salad
- 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.24)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.06)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
- 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.02)
- 2 15oz. cans butter beans* ($1.38)
- ½ bunch fresh parsley ($0.40)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes ($1.49)
- 2 oz. feta cheese ($1.10)
- Prepare the dressing first. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
- Rinse and drain the canned beans. Allow them to drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Finely chop about 1 cup of fresh parsley (about ½ bunch). Cut the grape tomatoes in half.
- Add the drained beans, chopped parsley, tomatoes, and 2 oz. feta cheese to a bowl. Pour the prepared dressing over top, then stir to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to four days.
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How to Make Mediterranean White Bean Salad – Step by Step Photos
Make the dressing first. Combine 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 cloves garlic (minced), ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper in a small bowl. Set the dressing aside.
Rinse and drain two 15oz. cans of butter beans (or cannellini or chickpeas). Let them drain well.
Finely chop about one cup of fresh parsley (about ½ bunch). Slice one pint grape tomatoes in half.
Add the beans, tomatoes, chopped parsley, 2 oz. crumbled feta, and the prepared dressing in a bowl.
Toss the ingredients to combine and serve!