Quick and easy to make for lunch or even a light dinner, this healthy Tuscan salad puts high protein front and center with chunks of albacore tuna and white beans tossed with arugula and more Mediterranean flavors.
Tuscan White Bean Salad
It’s not every day that a salad wakes me from a dead sleep. But this morning, this one did. Not because I was hungry—because I wasn’t—but because I sleepily woke to the words, sentences, and phrases for this blog post forming in my head. Why I didn’t write it all down at that moment instead of rolling over and going back to sleep is a choice I’m regretting now. But this cannellini bean salad? There’s absolutely nothing to regret about this salad, nothing at all.
What’s in This Tuscan Bean Salad?
This easy, all-in-one-meal, tuna salad is made with simple ingredients and pantry staples to create a lunch that’s totally fresh and filling. I’ve always been a tuna salad sandwich fan (extra pickles and potato chips, please!), but when I’m leaning into my regular work day lunches, salads are most often my thing. And thanks to my well-stocked pantry basics, I always have canned tuna on hand, but don’t need all the mayo to enjoy it. I use chunk white albacore tuna packed in water that flakes in large chunks rather than skinny bits like you might find in regular old tuna sandwiches. Chunk tuna packed in water is one of my pantry staples, but if you prefer, chunk tuna packed in olive oil is a good option too. Fresh arugula creates the fresh, leafy base for this salad and provides plenty of nutrients, but you can always choose spinach, kale, or even red-leaf lettuce instead. Beans are another pantry staple used here with Great Northern white beans, white navy beans or Italian cannellini beans are easily interchangeable here. Or if you prefer, garbanzo beans are protein-packed and fit the Mediterranean flavor profile, too. Red onion adds a touch of color and a little heat to this simple salad. I slice it very thinly in rings for a little visual variety. Sweet cherry tomatoes, lemon juice, and briny olives with a drizzle of bright and fruity olive oil and a sprinkling of feta cheese round out the Tuscan flavors.
How to Make Tuscan White Bean Salad
Simply combine the arugula, white beans, tuna, tomatoes, olives, and red onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and squeeze some lemon juice on top. Toss to combine, then top with crumbled feta and season to your liking.
Can I Use Another Leafy Green?
Of course! I love the way the peppery arugula pairs with the salty feta and briney olives, but you’re welcome to use any leafy green you’d like.
Tips for Making White Bean Salad
Canned beans work perfectly fine here, just be sure to drain and rinse them thoroughly before using. I used green olives in this Tuscan bean salad but pitted kalamata or plain old black olives would work equally well. Another great point about this white bean salad is you can certainly mix and match more Mediterranean or Tuscan ingredients into your salad as well like artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, pickled beans, or capers. That’s the thing about cooking, it’s always there for you to make it your own.
More Mediterranean Recipes You’ll Love
- Outrageous Herbaceous Chickpea Salad
- Greek-Style Panzanella Bread Salad
- Mediterranean Orzo Salad
- Greek Chicken Gyro Salad
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad
- 4 cups arugula , (or spinach or other favorite lettuce)
- 15 ounces cannellini beans , rinsed and drained (or Great Northern beans)
- 5 ounces white albacore tuna packed in water , drained
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes , halved
- ¼ cup sliced olives , (green, Kalamata, or your favorite variety)
- Thinly sliced red onion
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lemon
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bowl or two smaller bowls, combine the arugula, white beans, tuna, tomatoes, olives and and red onion.
- Drizzle with the olive oil and the juice from the lemon. Toss to combine.
- Top with crumbled feta cheese and season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.
More Healthy Salads That Make a Lunchtime Meal
- 30 Days of Healthier Salads That Make a Meal
- Strawberry and Avocado with Tuna Salad Recipe
- How to Create the Ultimate Italian Salad Platter
- Citrus Shrimp and Avocado Salad
- Roasted Beet, Avocado and Goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Chicken
- Crunchy Green Salad with Dilly Chickpeas and Avocado
- Avocado and Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
- Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Chicken
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I wish my brain worked overtime like yours. Anyway, thank you for the gift of THIS salad. I used spinach because that was what I had on hand. My guy LOVED this, and it’s the first time he’d ever tried albacore. Just wonderful, and the leftovers (it’s just the 2 of us) the day after were divine.
Made this for a second time and love it. I used baby kale this time – otherwise I like it exactly with the ingredients you have listed. Enjoyed it with crusty bread on the side. I will be making this in the future. Thank you!
So glad you liked it Maureen, and baby kale is a great sub!
Looks So Tasty And Delicious
This looks delish!! What do you mean by a “fruity” olive oil? Any examples?
looks amazing! I’m not an olive-loveer, but everything else looks perfect. i need a go-to list of high-protein salads like this for lunch after the gym. we’ve also started grilling salmon, which would probably elevate this even more. thanks!
Sounds delicious!!! What’s a good fruity olive oil that you would recommend?
It sure seems your brain WAS working overtime while you were sleeping – this salad looks great!
Ha! Exactly Cecile! I think I need to start listening to my subconscious more often :) So good to see a comment from you again #hearts
I love food very much. But maximum delicious food are unhealthy. If this food is healthy then we have to try it! The team at Jade Mountain Resort St Lucia love it and we have shared this internally. Look forward to more posts from you guys.