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.
PIN the tuna salad to try it later!
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”
Thanks for the tuna recommendation. I've eaten way too much Starkist tuna as a kid and now associated canned tuna with a bland, almost bitter, tinny taste. Which is unfortunate, since so many good quick recipes involve canned tuna. I'll be sure see if my local supermarkets carry Tonno Genova.
I would like to try this but I just can't imagine liking the parsley. I always trust you fully and have NEVER been disappointed with a recipe but I'm just not sure. Can you suggest another herb to either replace the parsley or to put with it maybe half and half?
Lydia it seems to me that the garden parsley is just a bit sweeter than the parsley from the store. (Well, as long as you don't let it go too long!)
I love looking at photos from our early days of blogging. Sometimes I'm not sure mine have improved all that much! I love white bean and tuna salad. The person who taught me to make it years ago was the manager of our local grocery store. He came from an Italian family, and it was one of their favorite dishes. I've been making it ever since, and with parsley from my own garden it tastes better than ever.
Lisa, I still like your 2007 photo better than mine, but then we're always more critical of our own photos, don't you think? Hope you are feeling better soon.
Oh my goodness—talk about bad photos! Yikes. (Mine in that 2007 post.) Still, the salad was great, and I'm going to make it your way as soon as I can stand on two feet again. Or maybe I can talk Keith through it. 🙂 SO GOOD. Thanks for this recipe.
This is my new lunch. Right here.
So glad to hear you liked it, and I'm beside myself with jealousy hearing about temperatures in the 80's. Here we are having our usual spring snow!
Another winner. Today the temps hit over 80 in upstate NY. I had a large bag of parsley and no experience with such quantities. Kalyn to the rescue.
Both my husband and I were surprised this combination was so tasty. It was fast. It was delicious. And we ate healthy.
This is going to become a regular dish in our household.
Yum, yum, yum. I adore the extra links to other great recipes; that is, if ever I mix and blend beyond yours:).
Kalyn, FYI, I made this and posted about it today, linking to you of course…Cheers.
This sounds great. I’d gotten a can of Italian tuna (for the first time) a while back, and I have a can of white beans, too, so this is my ticket! Nice thing to take to work for lunch, too.
Merisi, how I’d love to try that Italian Tuna in Rome! Someday! I do think South Beach is pretty nutritionally sound.
Cate, cilantro will always be my first love, no doubt about it.
Mimi, I’m going to make some today, now that I discovered I have parsley growing in my garden. Woo Hoo. (Love the way it comes back like that. For some reason the flat leaf parsley doesn’t come back as well for me.)
Kalyn, you are psychic. I have been looking for a recipe like this.
I could have found one, but life has been so chaotic lately.
Thank you for making is so easy for me.
I am totally with you on the cilantro love – it’s one of my favorites. Parsley? Eh, not so much. Italian tuna, though, now we’re talking! I first discovered it when a made a Spumo di Tonno from Michael Chiarello that is out-of-this-world good.
I share your taste in tuna and while the canned varietes of Italian tuna are very good, wait til you buy it by the ounce from a deli in Rome (like Franchi’s on Via Cola di Rienzo). Heavenly taste! Romans add to this tuna salad tomato slice when they are in season, and eat it with that wonderful Casareccio bread, dunking every last drop out of the bowl.
By the way, you have made me to go read up on the South Beach Diet, interesting. I shall incorporate some of the great nutrition tips into my cooking (I am not dieting, just trying to eat healthy). Thank you!
Katie, had no idea that Salad Nicoise could be made with canned tuna. Now I need to make it; I’ve still got a few cans. Very jealous if you have parsley growing.
Maria, it was amazing.
Lila, everyone but me seems to like the flatleaf type, and to tell the truth I like both, but I think curly parsley is better in some things, and this is one of them.
Sher, it’s true. I never was that good at making a commitment.
This looks excellent. I have to travel to get flat-leaf parsley. My local grocery stores only carry the curly type!
Simple yet delicious!
I love salad like this – white beans, tuna and parsley….perfect spring salad. My parsley is in full second growth!
BTY – did you know that a proper Salad Nicoise is only made with good canned tuna? Never fresh?