This delicious marinated 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 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 prepping and enjoying at barbecues or dinner parties.
If you’re looking for the ultimate vegetarian side dish recipe, this is the one. This Bean Salad is wholesome, flavorful, and beyond easy to make. Seriously, it only takes a few minutes to whip up. Plus the options are endless to customize this salad. Use any beans you have on hand, add your favorite veggies, or add some grilled meat or tofu to make it a meal.
This healthy and easy salad is filled with all the good stuff your body craves and none of the bad stuff it doesn’t. It’s low in fat, yet high in protein and fiber—so it keeps you feeling full for longer. Not only is this dish super healthy, but it’s so delicious that the whole family is bound to fall in love.
Easy Bean Salad is amazing on its own as a vegetarian lunch, or as a healthy side dish alongside something heartier like my Salmon Patties or Grilled Chicken Sandwiches. I love prepping a huge batch of this salad at the beginning of the week so I can store it to enjoy throughout the week for lunches, snacks, and dinner sides.
It’s easy to make, quick, healthy, and packed with flavor. What’s not to love? Trust me, this two bean salad is guaranteed to become a staple side dish in your home. Heart salad lovers will also love this Lentil Salad and Quinoa and Black Bean Salad.
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 fluffy, 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 for these 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.
- Fres herbs: One of the key ways that we build flavor in this recipe is the fresh herbs. This version uses parsley and cialntro, but you could swap in basil, mint, dill, chives, or oregano.
- Dijon mustard: The mustard here acts as a binder for the vinaigrette, adding tons of tangy flavor and bringing everything together.
Easy 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 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 Bean Salad
This easy and delicious salad is the perfect compliment 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:
- Cowboy Turkey Burgers
- Ranch Chickpea Burgers
- Easy Grilled Chicken Breasts
- Barbecue Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
- Blackened Salmon
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.
- 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:
Is this dish healthy?
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.
Can I add meat?
Absolutely! If you’re looking to turn this vegetarian dish into a meat lover’s dream, you have several options of meat to toss in. Some of my top choices include shredded chicken, shrimp, and chopped bacon.
Can you eat beans right out of the can?
Yes. Because canned beans are pre-cooked, they are safe to eat directly out of the can. A lot of recipes merely call for beans to be warmed on a stovetop, but because this bean salad is served cold, all you have to do is drain them.
Bonus tip: unlike many other canned products, beans are able to maintain their nutrients throughout the canning process, giving this salad an extra boost of health and nutrients.
What happens if I don’t let the salad marinate?
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.
More Healthy Side Salad Recipes
If you liked this dish, try these next:
Easy Bean Salad
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- 1 U shallot, diced
- 1 U 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)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt and pepper
* 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.
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