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Fresh and light and loaded with protein. This Tuna White Bean Salad is a great make-ahead, low calorie lunch or dinner choice.
I’ve been working from home long before the events of last year created a giant shift in the working world. I don’t think I’m alone in my lunchtime boredom. I’ve heard from so many people who are working from their couches, kitchen tables, and home offices and one thing we all have in common is the desire for something tasty and healthy to eat for lunch.
This Tuna White Bean Salad recipe was inspired by a salad I ordered from Pastini, a local Italian restaurant chain. I opted to forgo the pasta that day and instead ordered their take on this protein loaded salad. It’s an easy recipe to replicate at home and oh, so nice for a work at home lunch!
For the Tuna White Bean Salad
- It is important to use good quality solid albacore tuna in water for this salad. It is firm in texture and has fabulous flavor. I could seriously eat it straight from the can with nothing added. I like Wild Planet and Kirkland brand, both are a great value at Costco. Don’t be tempted to substitute chunk light tuna which is sourced from smaller tuna fish. It is far softer and flakier in texture and doesn’t hold up well in recipes like this.
- Canned cannellini beans add more protein and fiber to the salad. The creamy texture of the beans pairs perfectly with crunchy celery and salad greens.
- Cherry or grape tomatoes add a pop of color. Big flavor comes from diced red onion, briny capers, and a sprinkling of tangy, salty feta cheese.
For the Vinaigrette
- The easy dressing for this salad is made up of pantry staples – extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, a touch of sugar, Italian seasoning, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Just add all the ingredients to a mason jar or other airtight container and shake it vigorously until combined.
How to Make Tuna White Bean Salad
- Drain the tuna, place it in a bowl and break it up with a spoon. Add the beans, cherry tomatoes, celery, red onion, capers and parsley.
- Drizzle with half of the vinaigrette and toss lightly to combine.
- Place your choice of salad greens in a salad bowl or on a platter. Top with the tuna and white bean mixture. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and season with a little freshly ground black pepper.
- Sprinkle crumbled feta over the top before serving or serve it on the side.
Meal Prep Instructions
This is a gorgeous salad I would happily eat immediately after assembling but this recipe also works really well for meal prep. I’m so happy to have this salad waiting in the fridge for an easy, healthy lunch.
Follow the recipe as directed to prepare the tuna and white bean mixture and toss it with half of the vinaigrette. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. Store the remaining dressing in a mason jar or other airtight container separately in the refrigerator. Add the mixture to salad greens and top feta and additional dressing for a delicious lunch the next day. For the best quality, use the Tuna White Bean Salad mixture and leftover vinaigrette in 3 to 4 days.
More Healthy Lunch Ideas
- Instant Pot Navy Bean Soup
- BBQ Chicken Salad Wraps
- Turkey Tacos (see Meal Prep Instructions to make tasty Turkey Taco Bowls!)
- Salmon Salad Sandwiches
Tuna White Bean Salad
For the Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup red-wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Tuna White Bean Salad
- 5 ounce can albacore tuna like Wild Planet
- 15 ounce can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
- 6 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (about 1 cup)
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 8 ounces mixed salad greens like spring mix or your favorite lettuce blend
- Add the vinaigrette ingredients to a mason jar or other airtight container and shake vigorously for a minute to combine. Set aside.
- Drain the tuna, place it in a bowl and break it up with a spoon. Add the beans, cherry tomatoes, celery, red onion, capers and parsley. Drizzle with half of the vinaigrette and toss lightly to combine.
- Place the greens in salad bowl or on a platter. Top with the tuna and white bean mixture. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and season with a little freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle crumbled feta over the top and serve.
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