Another healthy no-cook lunch recipe that takes just minutes to put together is here for you. This white bean tuna salad has Tuscan flavors with sun-dried tomatoes, pepperoncini, and a lemon herb vinaigrette. Make it for your lunch today, and enjoy the leftovers all week.
I'm on a mission to make you see that beans are the fastest and healthiest way to get a proper lunch on your table. Anytime you open a can of beans, I want you to know that a flavorful meal awaits. We know that beans are healthy, low-calorie sources of protein, and we all know that we need to be eating more greens, don't we?
This white bean and tuna salad full of briny, spicy, tangy, crunchy, and creamy flavors. Bring the punch is pepperoncini peppers, since we have them leftover from my Mediterranean Chickpea Salad.
This recipe contains an actual can of tuna, making it a non-vegan version of my Chickpea Tuna Salad. If you're vegan, head that way; if not, stick around for a hearty, healthy lunch idea that keeps well throughout the week.
If you have a can of white beans, a can of olive-oil packed tuna, and some leftover pepperoncini peppers in the fridge, you can make this recipe!
- Olive Oil. Reach for extra virgin olive oil when making salad dressing, since it will be consumed raw.
- Lemon Juice. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is always best, in my opinion.
- Pepperoncini. Tiny green peppers that sometimes come with pizzas, pepperoncinis are only mildly spicy. Furthermore, their heat is tamed by the vinegar. We need the juice from the jar for the vinaigrette and some chopped peppers for the actual white bean tuna salad.
- Oregano. If you have fresh oregano in your garden, it's delicious here. Use 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped oregano or ½ teaspoon of dried oregano. Be sure to crush dried oregano in your hands before using.
- Cannellini Beans. One can of any white beans, but cannellini beans are my preference. They're hearty and strong enough not to be easily crushed when tossed into a salad.
- Tuna. Anytime I'm using tuna, I reach for oil-packed tuna for its richness and softer texture. Open the can and drain it lightly before flaking with a fork and using. Here's a great guide on selecting oil-packed tuna.
- Sun-dried Tomatoes. Check the produce section for glass jars of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil.
- Red Onion. We're going to thinly slice one-quarter of a red onion for bite and spiciness. If raw onions bother you, soak the slices in hot water for about 15 minutes before draining and using them in the salad.
- Feta Cheese. Crumbed feta cheese brings a salty bite here.
- Spring Salad Mix. I like to serve this white bean and tuna salad over a bed of mixed spring salad greens for some extra green in my day.
See recipe card for exact quantities.
How to Make White Bean Tuna Salad
This is an entirely no-cook recipe, just like my butter bean hummus recipe. Just chop and toss everything together!
First, make the vinaigrette: in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, pepperoncini juice from the jar, and oregano. Add the salt and pepper, and taste. Add more salt or pepper, to taste. Set aside.
In a serving bowl, combine the beans, drained tuna, sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, sliced pepperoncini peppers, and crumbled feta.
Drizzle the dressing over the ingredients, and toss to combine.
Serve scoops of the white bean tuna salad over bowls of spring salad mix.
Since this recipe relies on pantry ingredients, I want to let you know there are some substitutions you can make to make this without a trip to the store.
- Beans - Any type of white beans work for this recipe--canned navy beans, chickpeas, or cannellini beans
- Tuna - If you don't have olive oil packed tuna, regular water-packed tuna is fine. You can also use canned boneless salmon, if you prefer.
- Vegetarian - You can omit the tuna and keep this recipe vegetarian. To make it vegan, you must also leave out the feta, or use a vegan cheese substitute that resembles feta.
This white bean tuna salad keeps well for several days in the fridge. I like to portion it into individual lunch containers to toss in my bag on busy mornings. However, I let the salad sit at room temperature on my desk for about 15 minutes before eating it.
Finally, I don't recommend freezing this salad. It will keep in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.
White Bean Tuna Salad
Delicious high-protein white bean and tuna salad with lemon herb vinaigrette.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon pepperoncini juice from the jar
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 15-ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 5 ounce can of tuna packed in oil, drained
- ¼ cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
- ¼ cup julienned pepperoncini peppers
- ¼ of a small red onion, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup crumbled Feta cheese
- 4 cups spring salad mix
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, pepperonicini juice, oregano, salt and pepper. This is your dressing—taste and add more salt if you like.
- To a serving bowl, add the beans, tuna, sun-dried tomatoes, sliced pepperoncinis, onion, and feta.
- Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and toss very well.
- Serve scoops of the salad over salad greens.
Beans - Any type of white bean works--canned navy beans, chickpeas, or cannellini beans.
Tuna - If you don't have olive oil packed tuna, regular water-packed tuna is fine. You can also use canned boneless salmon.
Vegetarian - You can omit the tuna and keep this recipe vegetarian. To make it vegan, you must also leave out the feta, or use a vegan cheese substitute that resembles feta.
Storage: This white bean tuna salad keeps well for several days in the fridge. I like to portion it into individual lunch containers that are air-tight. I let it sit at room temperature on my desk for about 15 minutes before giving it another toss and eating it. I don't recommend freezing this salad. It will keep in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 383Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 1023mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 8gSugar: 10gProtein: 22g
Okay I'm definitely making this!
Can another cheese be used in place of feta?