Sides & Sauces

Cannellini Bean Salad

February 16, 2018

Soft, creamy and just a little squishy, cannellini beans are fabulously delicious and nutritious in a salad.

Slightly kidney-shaped with squarish ends, cannellini beans are highly popular in Italian, in particular, Tuscan cuisine.  They are a wonderful source of protein and fibre. To top it off, they are very, very easy to use. While l like using dried beans, for convenience, l tend to buy tins as the preparation is minimal. Did l mention how inexpensive they are?

Because of their versatility, there are so many uses for cannellini beans. You can use them in soups, dips and stews. Stirred through hot pasta with a squeeze of lemon juice and a good glug of olive oil and you have heaven on a plate. One of the great benefits is that they don’t overload a meal with calories.

One of my preferred ways of eating cannellini beans is in a salad. Summer or winter, it is not unusual to find a Cannellini Bean Salad at my dinner table. It requires a just handful of ingredients; juicy tomatoes, 1/2 a red onion and lots of fresh parsley. Cannellini beans have a very mild flavour and fluffy texture which allows them to soak up all the flavours of the vinaigrette.

It’s easy to be creative too! Transform the Cannellini Bean Salad into bruschetta by spreading it onto Italian bread (mash it a little first) and topping it off with either avocado or tuna. Fabulous for brunch or a light dinner.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes          Serves: 4


  • 2 x 400 g (14 oz) tins of cannellini beans
  • 1/2 medium red onion (chopped into small pieces)
  • 2 – 3 medium tomatoes (chopped into small pieces)
  • a handful of parsley (roughly chopped)

The Vinaigrette

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • salt, pepper to taste


  1. Remove the cannellini beans from the tins and rinse well. Place on tea-towel and pat down gently with another tea- towel to remove excess water.
  2. Place cannellini beans in a medium size bowl.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, red onion and parsley.
  4. Mix together the vinaigrette ingredients. Pour over the salad. Mix gently.
  5. Serve with your favourite protein or as a vegetarian meal on its own.

Here’s to becoming a Cannellini Bean Salad convert!!!


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