This delicious marinated Mediterranean Bean Salad with garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, cherry tomatoes, and fresh herbs is the perfect make-ahead side dish or meal. Packed with flavor and full of protein and fiber.
This Easy Mediterranean Bean Salad is made with chickpeas, cannellini beans, and fresh herbs, all coated in a fresh and flavorful vinaigrette. This healthy side dish recipe is perfect for meal prep and enjoying at barbecues or dinner parties.
If you’re looking for the ultimate side dish recipe, this is the one. This Mediterranean-inspired bean salad is wholesome, flavorful, and beyond easy to make. Seriously, it only takes a few minutes to whip up and we love serving it with Mediterranean Chicken, Chicken Feta Meatballs, and as a topping on these easy Mediterranean Bowls.
The options are endless to customize this salad. Use any beans you have on hand, add your favorite chopped veggies, switch up the herbs, add some feta cheese, or toss in some roasted red peppers, olives, or artichoke hearts. You get the idea.
Think of this Mediterranean chickpea and white bean salad as a jumping-off point to make a truly healthy and delicious salad. It’s high in fiber, protein, healthy fats, and tons of nutrients from fresh herbs and vegetables.
Key Ingredients and Swaps
To make this super easy bean salad, you will need the following key ingredients:
- Chickpeas: These form part of the base of this delicious, protein-packed salad. Not only are they a wonderful source of nutrients, protein, and fiber, but they also have a beautiful texture and a mild flavor that pairs well with anything.
- Cannellini beans: These are a type of white bean that are creamy and filled with nutty flavors. If you aren’t a fan or can’t find them, feel free to swap them out for northern or white navy beans. You can swap in any beans you like (kidney or black beans work great) for the cannellini beans or chickpeas.
- Shallots: Shallots taste a lot like onions, except with a more delicate and sweet flavor. I love the incredible flavor they add to the salad, but feel free to use white or red onion instead if preferred.
- Fresh herbs: One of the key ways that we build flavor in this recipe is the fresh herbs. This version uses parsley and cilantro, but you could swap in basil, mint, dill, chives, or oregano.
- Vinaigrette: This vinaigrette uses olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. This classic vinaigrette is similar to Greek salad dressing and just tastes so good.
- Optional additions: To keep this salad simple, I only added cherry tomatoes but many times I add so many more ingredients. Favorites include cucumbers, celery, black olives, feta cheese, fresh dill, roasted red peppers, capers, or artichoke hearts,
Mediterranean Bean Salad Recipe Tips
Here are some of my top tips to help you make this healthy side dish:
- Let it marinate. Although this dish can be ready in 5 minutes or less, there is tremendous value in letting it sit. To let the flavors fully come together, allow this bean salad to marinate in the fridge for about an hour before serving it. It’s well worth the wait!
- Drain your beans. Before adding them to the salad, make sure to rinse and drain your beans and chickpeas. The slimy canning liquid is typically packed with sodium and we don’t want that to alter the flavors of the salad.
- Add some spice. Prefer your food with a kick? Same here! You can easily add some heat to this dish by sprinkling in some crushed red pepper or diced red chili peppers.
- Add a bit of crunch. Adding crunchy veggies like fresh green beans, celery, bell peppers, or cucumbers is a great way to add a really nice crunch to this salad, as well as a hearty dose of vitamins and minerals. you can also serve this over a bed of greens like Romaine or arugula.
- Add cheese: Add another layer of flavor with some salty feta crumbles, creamy goat cheese, or small cubes of mozzarella.
What to Serve with Mediterranean Bean Salad
This easy and delicious bean salad is the perfect complement to all of your favorite picnic fare, sandwiches, and quick proteins. If you need some inspiration, here are some of my favorite dishes to serve with bean salad:
- Chicken Piccata
- Grilled Chicken Souvlaki
- Healthy Greek Meatballs
- Lemon Oregano Chicken
- Greek Turkey Burgers
Storage Tips and Meal Prep
One of the beautiful things about this delicious yet easy bean salad is how easy it is to store. Because it is traditionally served cold, this salad is great for making ahead of time for healthy lunches or snacks throughout the week.
For this reason, I always advise doubling the recipe and saving the rest. To store, seal any leftovers in an airtight storage container and store in one of a few ways:
- In the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
- In the freezer for up to 3 months. Only freeze the marinated beans without any additional vegetables.
- Thaw by transferring your leftovers to the fridge about 24 hours before you plan on enjoying them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this healthy side dish recipe:
Yes! Not only is this dish chock-full of protein, fiber, and nutrients, but it’s also relatively low in fat and calories. This delicious vegetarian dish is light enough that you won’t feel lethargic after, but nourishing enough that you will feel satisfied.
Although it is not required, letting the bean salad marinate goes a long way in letting the flavors develop and soak into the beans. For best results, I recommend letting the salad marinate in the fridge for an hour before enjoying it.
Almost all beans and legumes are used in Mediterranean cooking. The most popular are chickpeas, white beans, and lentils. But you will also see black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans at times.
Mediterranean Bean Salad
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1 shallot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
15 oz. canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
15 oz. cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (or basil)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper
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- Nutritional Information
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
This salad is so good with additional ingredients! Consider adding cucumbers, red bell peppers, celery, feta cheese, olives, roasted red peppers, or artichokes.
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