My colorful and crunchy Mediterranean Bean Salad is the perfect mixed bean salad ~ it’ll take you through picnic and barbecue season with ease, and you’ll want to make up a big batch to keep in the fridge for quick and healthy lunches, too, it’s packed with protein!
You guys ~ we should all be eating lots of beans ~ and a healthy bean salad is such a yummy way to do it.
I’m always looking for new bean recipes, they’re the most under-utilized super foods out there. Pop open a can, drain and rinse, and you’ve got a nutritional powerhouse just waiting to make you a healthier person ~ you don’t need a fancy diet, you just need to eat more beans! Today I’ve chosen cannellinis and garbanzos, for a contrast of texture. I’ve been using garbanzos forever, but I’m a recent convert to cannellinis. I chose them to star in my Nicoise Salad, too, because they’re SO creamy! I think kidney and black beans would make a beautiful combo in this salad, as well.
TIP: Canned beans don’t have to taste canned ~ rinsing them extra well helps get rid of that unpleasant canned flavor and lowers their salt content by as much as 40%.
With a few fresh veggies and a well stocked pantry this mixed bean salad comes together fast
Multi-colored bell peppers, cukes, and red onion provide the crunch. Both black and pimento stuffed green olives add the brine ~ you can never have too many olives ~ and pickled peppadew peppers (the bright red ones) provide the tart tang. Marinated artichokes and feta cheese round out the group. As for herbs, I went with shredded basil leaves, but you could do fresh thyme, dill, or oregano if you’ve got them.
Cold bean salads are indispensable for outdoor events because you can make them ahead, they travel well, and they tolerate the heat.
The best bean salad dressing ~
- My dressing is a good old fashioned Italian style vinaigrette.
- I use extra virgin olive oil which provides loads of flavor and health benefits.
- Red wine vinegar is flavorful but doesn’t overpower.
- Fresh garlic adds that all important bite.
- Dried mixed Italian herbs give it that classic Mediterranean vibe. While you can certainly use fresh herbs in this bean salad dressing, dried work just fine.
TIP: On the second day I added tuna to my leftover Mediterranean bean salad and it was awesome. It’s a great way to make this into a meal. Try hard cooked eggs, too.
For more potluck worthy side salad ideas, try these ~
- Charred Corn and Bean Salad
- Chopped Greek Salad!
- Purple Cauliflower Rice Salad
- Corn and Cucumber Salad
Reader Rave ~
“Sue, I made this recipe to take to my sisters house when I visited in the summer. Everyone loved it. When my 16 year old nephew heard I was coming to visit this weekend, he asked his mom if she thought that I might make that awesome bean salad again! Of course, I’ll be making it for him! It’s soo good! Thank you!” ~Therese
Mediterranean Bean Salad
- Large salad bowl
- 15 ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and well rinsed.
- 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans, chickpeas drained and well rinsed.
- 1 cup cherry tomato halves
- 2 small Persian cucumbers, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (do not peel.)
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced.
- 1/2 cup Peppadew peppers* (or other pickled peppers), rough chopped.
- 1/2 cup pitted black olives, halved.
- 1/2 cup pimento stuffed green olives, halved.
- 1 cup assorted colorful bell peppers, diced
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped marinated artichokes, chopped.
- 10 large fresh basil leaves, shredded.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together and taste to adjust any of them to suit you. Add more vinegar if you want a tangier flavor. Set aside.
- Put the beans in a large salad bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss with enough dressing to coat everything but not drown the salad.
- Chill the salad thoroughly before serving. The salad will keep, well covered, for several days in the refrigerator. Note: if making this bean salad ahead of time I like to leave out the tomatoes until you are ready to serve. Tomatoes tend to get mushy in the refrigerator.
- As with all bean salads, be sure to give it a quick toss just before serving if it's been sitting, the dressing will tend to settle at the bottom
- Those delicious cannellini beans are delicate! Be gentle when you rinse and toss them.
- This is a great salad to store in mason jars for grab and go lunches, like I did with my Layered 7-Bean Salad in a Jar recipe.
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