My colorful and crunchy Mediterranean Bean Salad is the perfect side 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 this salad is such a yummy way to do that. 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 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.
Bean salads are indispensable for outdoor events because you can make them ahead, they travel well, and they tolerate the heat.
The dressing is a good old fashioned Italian, with extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, and dried herbs. PERFECT.
TIP: On the second day I added tuna to my Mediterranean bean salad and it was awesome. It’s a great way to make this into a meal. Try hard cooked eggs, too.
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
- 1 15 ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and well rinsed
- 1 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, rough chopped
- 1/2 cup 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
- about 10 large basil leaves, shredded
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Tbsp red wine vinegar, or more to taste
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs, I used thyme, oregano, and rosemary
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together and taste to adjust any of them. 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 a generous amount of the dressing.
- The salad will keep, well covered, for several days in the refrigerator.
- 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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