We can't get enough of this white bean salad with lemon, artichokes, herbs, feta and edamame. It's light, refreshing, tangy, briny, and packed with plant-based protein. It makes for a wonderful side dish for any occasion, or a light dinner or lunch.
Why We Love This Recipe
- Light on the greens: This salad is a great change up from the norm because it's totally lettuce-less. Sure, there's a time and a place for a kale salad (preferably drenched in a tahini caesar dressing), but my personal favorite salads are light on lettuce. This also makes it great for picky eaters, especially kids who don't like leafy greens.
- Full of plant-based protein: With cannellini beans and edamame, this salad has a good amount of protein and will actually fill you up.
- Tons of flavor: With feta, capers, artichokes and an herby vinaigrette, this salad is packed with flavors that will transport you to the Mediterranean.
- Meal prep friendly: Since this salad doesn't contain any lettuce, it stores well in the fridge for several days without getting soggy!
- Side dish, appetizer, light lunch or dinner...this white bean salad does it all!
Here's what you'll need to make this white bean salad:
- White beans: Check out the section below for more info on white beans and which ones you should use in this salad. If you don't have any white beans, you can swap in chickpeas.
- Edamame: We love the addition of edamame, which adds color, textural variation and more plant-based protein. Use frozen, shelled edamame and steam or add to boiling water for 2-3 minutes before adding to this recipe.
- Feta: We love this brand of vegan feta. Feel free to use regular feta if you're not vegan!
- Artichokes: We used marinated artichokes from a jar. You can also use water-packed artichokes but marinated add extra flavor.
- Capers: Optional, but they add so much salty, briny, delicious flavor!
- Fresh herbs: Using fresh herbs will go a long way. If you opt for dried, just remember the rule: 1 teaspoon of dried herbs = 1 tablespoon of fresh.
- Pine nuts: Feel free to sub with another nut of choice (like pistachios or almonds) or leave out altogether if preferred.
Choosing Your White Beans
If you go to the store looking for a can labeled "white beans", you won't find what you're looking for. There are quite a few different varieties of white beans, all of which would technically work in this recipe.
The most common varieties include cannellini, Great Northern and Navy beans. To further confuse you, cannellini beans are sometimes referred to as white kidney beans.
Don't fear! Despite the many varieties (which differ slightly in size, shape and taste), they're all relatively interchangeable. My personal favorite are cannellini beans, so that's what we chose for this recipe.
If you have another variety on hand, feel free to use those instead. In fact, you could actually also use red kidney beans for this recipe. It would taste a bit different, but not enough to fundamentally change the flavor profile.
(1) If using dried white beans, cook according to package directions. If using canned, drain and rinse well.
Boil or steam edamame for 2-3 minutes. Then drain and set aside to cool while preparing other ingredients.
In a small pan over medium-low, toast pine nuts until golden brown, stirring very often. Keep a close eye on them - they tend to burn very quickly. It should take about 3-4 minutes.
Whisk together all ingredients for vinaigrette.
(2) In a large mixing bowl, toss together all ingredients until well coated in vinaigrette. Top with more feta, pine nuts, fresh herbs and black pepper.
Expert Tips and FAQs
- Canned vs. dried beans: To save on time, use canned instead of dried white/cannellini/great northern/navy beans. They're all slightly different but interchangeable. You can certainly use dried, but you'll need to factor in extra prep time to soak and cook the beans.
- How to enjoy this salad: I personally love eating this as a light lunch on its own. It also makes for a great compliment to a grilled protein (or this grilled cauliflower steak!). It would also make a great addition to a summer bbq spread with other salads like this caprese salad, Mexican street corn salad, or this black bean, mango and avocado salad. However you eat it, we're pretty sure you'll go back for seconds!
- Meal prep / storage: This salad holds up well for meal prep. In fact, the longer the beans sit in the flavorful dressing, the better they'll taste. Just hold off on the pine nuts and feta until just before serving, otherwise they'll get too soggy. You can keep the salad (without feta and pine nuts) in the fridge in an airtight container and enjoy within 3 days.
First things first, rinse and sort through the dried beans and discard any small rocks or debris.
Whether or not you want to soak the beans is up to you and your beliefs. The old myth states that dried beans must be soaked before cooking in order to soften them for faster cooking. Epicurious does a great job of debunking that myth in this article.
The general consensus is that they don't need a super long soak. About an hour will do.
Next, add the beans to a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and let them simmer until they're tender. Depending on the beans and whether or not you pre-soaked them, this may take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. It took about two and a half hours for us.
Towards the end of the cooking time, throw in a large pinch of salt to add extra flavor. Don't worry if you think you added too much - you'll be draining them anyways, which will discard of most of the salty liquid.
You can keep this salad in the fridge for 3 days, just be sure to leave off the pine nuts and feta until you're ready to serve.
More Salads Without Lettuce to Try
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We can't get enough of this white bean salad with lemon, artichokes, herbs and edamame. It's light, refreshing, tangy, briny, and packed with plant-based protein.
- 3 cups (2 15oz cans) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups frozen, shelled edamame, cooked according to package directions
- 1 cup marinated artichokes, quartered
- 3 tablespoons capers
- 3 tablespoons scallions, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic, finely minced
- ⅓-½ cups crumbled feta (regular or vegan)
- ⅓ cup toasted pine nuts
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¾-1 teaspoon kosher salt (adjust to taste)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- If using dried white beans, cook according to package directions. If using canned, drain and rinse well.
- Boil or steam edamame for 2-3 minutes. Then drain and set aside to cool while preparing other ingredients.
- In a small pan over medium-low, toast pine nuts until golden brown, stirring very often. Keep a close eye on them - they tend to burn very quickly. It should take about 3-4 minutes.
- Whisk together all ingredients for vinaigrette.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together all ingredients until well coated in vinaigrette. Top with more feta, pine nuts, fresh herbs and black pepper.
Cannellini beans can be substituted for another variety of white bean, including navy or Great Northern beans.
Feel free to use dried or canned beans. Read the full blog post for more info on cooking dried beans from scratch.
Meal prep/storage: This vegan white bean salad holds up well for meal prep. In fact, the longer the beans sit in the flavorful dressing, the better they'll taste. Just hold off on the pine nuts and feta until just before serving, otherwise they'll get too soggy. You can keep the salad (without feta and pine nuts) in the fridge in an airtight container and enjoy within 3 days.
Capers: Optional, but they add so much salty, briny, delicious flavor!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Salads
- Method: No Cook
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 330
- Sugar: 1.9 g
- Sodium: 810.7 mg
- Fat: 15.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 36.3 g
- Fiber: 10 g
- Protein: 15 g
Keywords: white bean salad