Tuna and White Bean Salad
This Tuna and White Bean Salad is a fun idea for using canned tuna, and this is a tasty lunch any time of year! Please don’t be skeptical about the parsley, because it’s the tuna and parsley combination that makes this so good.
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This Tuna and White Bean Salad is a favorite recipe of mine for a quick lunch salad, and if you’ve never thought of combining these ingredients, you might be surprised what a delicious lunch salad this is. In the early days of my blog I discovered Genova Tuna Packed in Olive Oil (affiliate link), which changed my way of thinking about canned tuna forever. That tuna plus my love of parsley and lemon inspired this delicious tuna salad.
I updated the photos for this recipe when I had plenty of fresh parsley from the garden, but parsley is an herb that’s available and inexpensive all year from the grocery store, and I love that this salad uses ingredients I always have on hand.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
- canned white beans
- canned tuna, preferably Genova Tuna Packed in Olive Oil (affiliate link)
- curly parsley
- green onion
- extra-virgin olive oil
- fresh-squeezed lemon juice, I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice
- black pepper and sea salt to taste
How can you make a lower-carb version of this salad?
If you’d like a lower carb option, try doubling the amount of tuna and adding a generous amount of chopped celery for a lower-carb version.
What other fresh herbs could you use?
I’ve never tried the salad with other fresh herbs, but I think both fresh basil and fresh cilantro would be delicious used instead of parsley in this salad.
What other salads can you make with tuna and beans?
I’d love this Tuna and White Bean Salad with some baby kale added to the mix. I also love this Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad with Peperoncini and this Pinto Bean Salad with Tuna, Tomatoes, and Peperoncini.
How to make this salad:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- I use Cannellini beans for the salad, but most any white beans will work. Rinse beans and let them drain well.
- Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and fresh ground black pepper to make the dressing.
- Put the beans in a bowl and add the dressing. Let beans marinate while you drain the tuna and chop the parsley and onion.
- I use the same mini-colander to drain the tuna.
- I use a generous amount of parsley, probably a packed cup of chopped parsley, but if you’re not that much of a parsley fan you can use less.
- Chop up some sliced green onion or chopped red onion, whichever you prefer.
- Gently stir the chopped parsley, sliced green onion, and drained tuna into the marinating beans.
- Season to taste with more salt and fresh ground black pepper if desired and serve immediately.
More Tasty Salads with Parsley:
Cucumber Salad with Onion, Parsley, and Feta ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Lebanese Lentil Salad ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Quinoa Tabbouli Salad ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Tabbouleh with Almonds ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Tuna and White Bean Salad
If you like tuna, Tuna and White Bean Salad is a tasty lunch any time of year!
- one 15.5 oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained well
- one 5 oz. can tuna in olive oil (see notes)
- 1 cup chopped curly parsley (more or less to taste)
- 1/4 cup sliced green onion (see notes)
- 3 T good quality extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 T fresh lemon juice
- black pepper and sea salt to taste
- Put beans in colander and rinse well with cold water, until no more foam appears. Let drain, then pat dry with paper towels.
- In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Put the beans into a bowl big enough to hold all the salad ingredients and mix in dressing.
- Let the beans marinate while you drain the tuna, chop the parsley, and dice or slice the onions.
- Put the tuna into the same colander you used to drain the beans and let the oil drain off. (I wipe out the colander with a paper towel so the tuna doesn’t get wet.)
- Chop the parsley and thinly slice green onion, whichever you’re using.
- Add chopped parsley, red or green onion, and drained tuna to the marinating beans and gently combine. (Don’t overstir, you want the tuna to stay chunky.)
- I usually taste and see if I want a bit more lemon juice.
- Season to taste with fresh ground black pepper and sea salt and serve.
- This will stay good in the refrigerator for at least a day or two, but it probably won’t last that long.
I love Genova Tuna Packed in Olive Oil (affiliate link) but any brand of olive oil packed tuna will work. You can use finely chopped red onion if you prefer.
This recipe created by Kalyn, inspired by many other similar salads seen in cookbooks and on the web.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 718Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 1818mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 9gSugar: 1gProtein: 80g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This salad with beans is too high in carbs for a low-carb diet, but see the tips above for making a lower-carb version. This salad would be fine for any phase of the original South Beach Diet, but limit portion size for phase one. (If you make it like I do with lots of parsley, you can probably have about a cup for phase one, since the salad is about half tuna and parsley.)
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Salad Recipes to find more tasty salads like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2007. The recipe was updated with new photos in 2011 and it was updated with more information in 2021.
50 Comments on “Tuna and White Bean Salad”
What do you mean when you say it changed your way of thinking of canned tuna? I cannot stand the smell of canned meat: chicken or tuna. When a recipe calls for canned tuna, I typically buy a filet and poach my own in olive oil and spices so you don’t get that terrible smell.
Is this something that this specific/brand type also accomplishes, in your opinion?
What I mean is that I never thought that canned tuna was especially flavorful or tasty until I tried the tuna packed in olive oil. This was nothing bout the smell of the tuna, and that never bothered me so I can’t say if this type of tuna would be more tolerable for you. To me it doesn’t smell terrible, but everyone is different.
This is my favorite summertime lunch. I make a recipe, divide it into 3 portions and keep in the frig, taking a portion each day to work for lunch. My favorite greens to use are baby kale, or baby kale/spring green mix. Sometimes I punch it up with extra lemon or course ground pepper, but it’s good as written. Love, love, love this recipe!
I love this salad too! So glad you are enjoying it!
Do you have the original recipe version of this? It had red onion, and Mayo in the dressing. Thanks!
I am e-mailing you!
Danielle, I am crazy about it, hope you enjoy!
I think this may be my lunch today!
Bill I am crazy about this salad too! I think any kind of tuna would be good, but I do love that tuna packed in olive oil!
This was good. I never before used curly parsley as a salad green which is pretty much what is happening here. I use flat parsley al the time, mostly in Italian-ish dishes. But curly parsley i think of as some kind of weird garnish from the 70's. This was a revelation. I used the red onion since I like it better than green and I also thought the color looked good in the salad. This may be blasphemy, but since I can't find Italian tuna locally, I just used Starkist or Bumblebee in olive oil, (don't remember which) and it was still delicious. But next time I am in Winston-Salem, my nearest city, I'll look at Whole Foods and Costco for the Italian tuna. If it's any better, I may not be able to stand it.