A light and healthy Cannellini Bean Salad tossed in a lemon and olive oil dressing. This is a perfect side salad to any grilled meat or take it to a summer pot luck!

cannellini bean salad on a plate

I’m way more in love with all sorts of beans now than when I was a kid. Baked beans were everything for me back then and I loved laying them on a slice of toasted bread, topped with cheese and then shoving them under the broiler. We called them Cheese Beano’s.

Now I’m a fully fledged bean lover and to be honest they’re kinda meh if you eat them by themselves. But throw them in salads and stews or serve them with cauliflower rice chicken, and you’ve got texture and heartiness that you won’t get from adding just veggies.The ingredients for this salad are super simple and totally adaptable to whatever you might have in your fridge. You could even use white navy beans or pinto beans if you can’t find cannellini.

Making my easy cannellini bean salad

For this recipe you can use canned beans but make sure to dump them out into a colander and rinse them with cold water. This will get rid of the extra sodium that gets added to canned beans which is a ton! Seriously, I always rinse any canned beans I buy. I said the ingredients were super simple and that includes the dressing. A glug of good extra virgin olive oil with some lemon juice and salt and pepper is all it takes.

This is one of my favorite bean salads and tastes great if you mix it the night before serving, but hold off on adding the dressing until the last moment. It’s way too warm to be switching on the oven right now, so salads like this are perfect healthy options for summertime dinners.

drizzling dressing onto cannelinni bean salad

Ingredients you’ll need for this cannellini bean salad

  • Cannellini beans. Canned is perfect to use but make sure to rinse them in cold water and a colander to get rid of as much sodium as you can.
  • Tomatoes. Any kind will work though I do like Roma tomatoes for their juiciness.
  • Red onion.
  • Red chili. This is optional but I love the slight kick it adds o the flavor.
  • Green bell pepper.
  • Garlic. Minced or chopped straight from the clove will work.
  • Radish. Wash thoroughly and discard the green tops before slicing them into thin rounds.
  • Cilantro. Use lots as it really enhances the flavor and gets better after a few hours.

FAQ’s about cannellini beans

Are cannellini beans and white kidney beans the same?

Yes, they are and have a similar shape.

Are cannellini beans healthy?

They are full of protein, fiber and iron. Rinsing them before using will omit a lot of sodium that doesn’t need to be added.

What other beans can I substitute for cannellini beans?

Navy beans or white kidney beans will work just as well.

Are dried cannellini beans better than canned?

It just depends on your use and how quickly you need them. Dried are cheaper but will take 1-2 hours to fully cook. Canned are all ready to go.

Is there such a thing as too many beans to eat?

Aside from the gas and bloating issues, beans are pretty healthy and can be eaten in moderation.

Cannellini Bean Salad

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 Serves 6-8
Calories: 110kcal
Author: foodnessgracious
A light and healthy Cannellini Bean Salad tossed in a lemon and olive oil dressing. This is a perfect side salad to any grilled meat or take it to a summer pot luck and watch it fly from the table!
Print Recipe


  • 2 cans Cannellini beans 14oz each
  • 1 1/2 cups diced seeded tomatoes
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2-1 tablespoon finely chopped red chili
  • 1 cup green diced pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 radish sliced thinly
  • 1 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • Sea salt and black pepper

For The Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper


  • Make the dressing by combining the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small container with a lid.
  • Shake vigorously until combined and set aside.
  • Drain the beans into a colander and rinse with cold water. Let sit for 5 minutes and then transfer to a bowl.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, onion, chili, green pepper, garlic, radish and cilantro to the beans.
  • Season well with salt and black pepper.
  • Give the salad a few turns with a wooden spoon.
  • Add some of the dressing and toss gently.
  • Taste and add more dressing if you think it needs it and adjust the seasoning.
  • Toss again and serve at once.


Dressing from Jamie Oliver.com


Calories: 110kcal