This tuna white bean salad is perfect for picnics, a quick lunch or a healthy dinner. It’s also suitable for those who follow the Mediterranean diet.
It only takes 5 minutes to make so if you are looking for desk lunch recipes, this is a great choice.
Like I have already mentioned, it is the perfect Mediterranean diet recipe.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
It is all about eating fruits and vegetables, fish, whole grains, herbs & seeds, legumes, healthy fats…
Basically, all things that people living in Mediterranean countries tend to eat a lot. It is said to be one of the healthiest diets in the world.
How to make canned tuna and white bean salad
- Chopping board & knife – both are optional; if you are using tiny cherry tomatoes, you don’t have to cut them at all.
- Serving bowl – any bowl or plate that is large enough where you can combine all the ingredients.
- Small container/glass – anything to combine olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This is also optional. You can simply pour the condiments over the salad directly.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Cooked white beans – Cannellini or butter beans
- Black olives – preferably pitted
- Canned tuna
- Fresh basil
- Black pepper – optional
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
All the ingredients are combined together and dressed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Half a small onion should be plenty but feel free to adjust the amount to your liking.
Fresh basil is optional but I recommend adding a few leaves to your salad.
To make the dressing you just combine extra virgin olive oil with balsamic vinegar. You will notice that those two do not really combine but that’s fine. They will come together when pouring. So simply pour this over tuna white bean salad and you are ready to serve.
This bean salad recipe uses ready-cooked beans from a jar/can. If you prefer cooking them yourself, then go ahead and do so.
- Cherry tomatoes – Use any fresh tomatoes you like or have on hand. If you don’t like them, try using avocado instead!
- Black olives – Omit or use green olives.
- Onion – Red onion, yellow, shallot or spring onion will work just as well.
- Herbs – I used a combo of fresh flat-leaf parsley and basil. You can use only one of those or try with dill instead.
Frequently asked questions:
Is it OK to eat canned tuna every week?
This depends. Tuna is a nutrient rich fish, high in protein and healthy fats. However, some varieties contain high amounts of mercury.
According to the FDA, the safest types are skipjack or light tuna and these can be consumed regularly (as a part of the 2-3 servings of fish per week).
If you can, avoid eating the albacore, yellowfin, or bigeye variety or limit their consumption to smaller quantities and less frequently (I would personally not go over 1 max 2 times per month).
If you are not sure what type of tuna you are consuming, limit its intake (just to be on the safe side)!
Tip: It is always good to eat a variety of fish and not only one type. Simple honey glazed salmon or oven baked sea bass are also delicious choices and can be easily added to one’s diet alongside with canned tuna.
Are white beans good for you?
Absolutely! They are high in protein and fiber which makes them a great meal choice when you are trying to incorporate healthy foods in your diet.
More Mediterranean diet recipes:
- Stuffed Zucchini Boats – Delicious appetizer or main with chicken and quinoa!
- Grilled Chicken Kabobs – Easy, tasty and go well with all kinds of sides.
- Greek Salad – Make this salad and you will feel like you are in Greece!
- Tossed Salad with Tuna
Want to see how to make tuna white bean salad? Watch the video!
Tuna White Bean Salad
- 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes , cut in halves, (about 200 grams), see note 1
- 1 cup white beans , cooked (200 grams), see note 2
- ½ cup black olives (pitted), see note 3
- ⅔ cups canned tuna , drained (180 grams), see note 4
- ½ onion (small) , see note 5
- fresh parsley to taste, see note 6
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , see note 7
- In a large bowl combine cherry tomatoes, white beans, olives, drained tuna, onion and finely chopped herbs.
- Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar to a glass and stir. Pour this over the salad.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Enjoy right away or chill in the fridge first.
2. Use cannellini or butter beans.
3. Use any kind of olives you like.
4. Look for light tuna or skipjack tuna. See more on this topic in the post above this recipe card.
5. Yellow, white, red, shallot or spring onion are all great options.
6. I use a generous amount – perhaps about a ¼ cup finely chopped. You can use either fresh basil, flat-leaf parsley or dill. Or a combination of these.
7. Extra virgin olive oil can be substituted with regular olive oil. Don’t substitute with other oils.
8. All the ingredients can be easily adjusted to your liking.