Tuna & White Bean Salad

$2.21 recipe / $0.74 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.85 from 39 votes
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Every now and again I get a pretty strong craving for canned tuna, but there are two problems with that: 1) canned tuna has gotten quite expensive and 2) All that mayo can be pretty dangerous. So, I came up with this easy little Tuna and White Bean Salad to solve both of those problems.

Originally posted 10-2/2012, updated 12-27-16

top view of a bowl of tuna and white bean salad with pita chips on the side

What’s in Tuna and White Bean Salad

White beans (navy or great northern) are pretty neutral in flavor and the texture goes quite well with tuna, so they’re a really great way to bulk out tuna salad for cheap. Instead of using mayo to keep the salad moist and flavorful, I made a light and bright mix of lemon juice and olive oil. Green onions, freshly cracked pepper, and a little salt are all you need to make the flavors pop. This salad is simple, flavorful, filling, and can be eaten on crackers, in a pita, or just plain with a fork. It’s a great way to pack in that protein!

What Else Can I Add?

If you happen to have lemon pepper seasoning on hand, you can sprinkle that into the salad for a little extra pop or in place of the lemon juice and freshly cracked pepper. It will give the same great flavor with one little shake of the bottle! A chopped up hard boiled egg would also be an excellent and inexpensive way to bulk up this salad.

Close up of a pita chip with tuna and white bean salad on it

 

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Tuna & White Bean Salad

4.85 from 39 votes
This Tuna and White Bean salad is mayo-free, but big on flavor. Whip up this salad in minutes to satisfy your hunger and tastebuds. 
This Tuna and White Bean salad is mayo-free, but big on flavor. Whip up this salad in minutes to satisfy your hunger and tastebuds. BudgetBytes.com
Servings 3
Prep 10 mins
Total 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 15 oz. can white beans ($0.86)
  • 1 5 oz. can chunk light tuna in water ($0.89)
  • 2 whole green onions ($0.19)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.06)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
  • salt & pepper to taste ($0.05)

Instructions 

  • Pour the can of beans into a colander and rinse with cool water. Allow the excess water to drain off. Drain the can of tuna. Combine the drained beans and tuna in a bowl. Thinly slice the green onions and add to the bowl as well.
  • Add the olive oil and lemon juice to the bowl, along with a light sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Taste the mixture and add salt, pepper, or lemon juice to your liking.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 322.33kcalCarbohydrates: 44.83gProtein: 24.77gFat: 5.8gSodium: 883.7mgFiber: 10.47g
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How to Make Tuna and White Bean Salad – Step By Step Photos

white beans, tuna and green onion in mixing bowl
Drain and rinse the white beans. Drain the tuna and thinly slice the green onions. Combine all three in a bowl.

seasoning added to mixing bowl
Add the olive oil, lemon juice, a light sprinkle of salt, and some freshly ground black pepper. I like pepper a lot, so I added probably about 20 cranks of the pepper mill.

all ingredients stirred together in bowl with fork
Stir everything together and then adjust the seasoning to your liking. You can see how the tuna and beans were kind of falling apart, which makes it not so pretty. Higher quality beans will stay intact and higher quality tuna will be more chunky than mushy. But it tasted great all the same!

Top view of a bowl of tuna and white bean salad with pita chips on the side

 

Tuna & White Bean Salad - BudgetBytes.com
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  1. It’s wicked hot today and opening cans was about all I could summon the energy to do. I added about 1/4 cup of fresh basil I had to use, then refrigerated the salad for an hour. Perfect for a nice, light, filling, minimal effort lunch. Thank you!

  2. This is amazing!! I only had chick peas and I did add some jalapeno but I can’t wait to eat this again. The lemon is amazing and makes it really refreshing!! Thank you so much fot making my lunch exciting. Not to mention how easy it was to meal prep.

  3. Made this today for a quick little lunch – ate with some crackers! So so so good!!!

  4. I ate a whole batch of this (on a few slices of toasted sourdough bread) during my ICU double shift. Took 5minutes (max) to put together last night (after another double shift). Super convenient, so good. (I also used Penzey’s “sandwich sprinkle” seasoning on top) 

  5. Delicious! I need high protein meals on my lift days, but can’t eat albacore tuna EVERY day! So chunk light tuna works, and this recipe is great. I added Greek Seasoning to it for an extra taste, and it did not disappoint.

  6. I have made this a couple of times and made a few modifications. I double it and quadruple the dressing. I added an extra green onion and chopped Italian parsley for more greens. I also added the zest of one lemon, 3 cloves of chopped garlic, a squeeze of honey and salt/white pepper to the dressing. I then toss the salad and squeezed a little more lemon over the top. Lastly, when I serve it, I add a small bit of mayonnaise and mix it for a creamy texture & it stays fresh in the fridge better without the mayonnaise to the whole bowl. This is a keeper for me!

  7. This is quick and easy, although I may have used cannelloni beans instead. It’s a great snack. 

    Is there a way to make this into a white-bean/tuna spread for sandwiches? Mash it up and use (a little) may to bind it together? 

  8. We really like this recipe! I serve it over mixed salad greens. I like to mix it up ahead of time and take it work for lunch, but we also enjoy it in the summer for a cool and easy dinner.