You will love this Tuscan bean salad! It is easy to make, super creamy, filled with Mediterranean flavors, loaded with plant-based protein and fiber and has that perfect sweet and tangy balance of taste. Also great for meal-prep and 100% vegan and dairy-free.
Here is a new summer fresh healthy salad: creamy Tuscan white bean salad.
With the weather finally warming up, I'm craving all the easy light salads, especially the ones that are packed with nutrition while keeping me full for a while.
I make this vegan watermelon feta salad all summer long and also, this mango edamame salad whenever the mangoes are easy to find, super sweet and cheaper. Or this beet watermelon salad since I am obsessed with watermelon. But I was craving a creamy bean salad loaded with veggies, so I made this simple Tuscan dish!
I know you will love this recipe: it is filled with earthy white beans, such as Navy bean and cannelini beans, plus it features tons of fresh raw vegetables for a good crunch. I chose cucumber, tomatoes and pepper as I find them perfect for an Italian-style salad and they are colorful + very summery, which made this salad so perfect.
Adding a large handful of fresh aromatic herbs also adds such a good amount of freshness to this dish and I like to squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice to brighten up the flavors even more. So delicious!
The white beans and crunchy veggies are brought together with this vegan honey mustard dressing that I just posted on the blog. It is super creamy, sweet yet tangy and done within 2 minutes + using 4 ingredients. Super easy, versatile and makes for the perfect rich sauce to pair with this easy vegan bean salad.
Also, this healthy Italian bean salad definitely counts as a full meal as it is packed with fiber, plant-based protein and tons of healthy complex carbohydrates. I included barley, although you can use whatever whole grain you like, to make it more filling and add a pleasant chewy bite.
You can serve this recipe as a side salad or make it ahead to have a few lunches ready-to-go for a busy week!
Let me know if you gave it a try! ❤️
Highlights of this recipe
- Easy to make and great for meal-prep
- So healthy: rich in plant-based protein and packed with fiber
- Very versatile
- Loaded with amazing Mediterranean flavors
- Includes a yummy sweet & savory creamy salad dressing
- Great for gatherings, pot lucks and summer BBQs
- Fresh and light yet super filling and hearty
- Vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free
Ingredients you'll need
- Canned white beans: I used a can of cannelini beans and a can of navy beans, which gave it a nice mix of texture. BUT, feel-free to use butter beans, chickpeas or great Northern white beans instead.
- Cooked grain: I like barley for a Tuscan salad, but you can use other cooked grains if you prefer, such as quinoa, brown rice or farro.
- Pepper: I used a yellow pepper, but use any colored pepper you like!
- Cucumber: it adds a nice crunch and tons of freshness to this salad.
- Tomatoes: I like cherry tomatoes as they are sweeter and less juicy, but use any tomatoes you have. Roma tomatoes would be great because they tend to be less watery too.
- Fresh herbs: it is nice to use a mix of a few different kinds of fresh herbs for this salad. I used parsley + basil, but dill, oregano, cilantro, thyme or mint would all work well.
- Lemon juice: to brighten up the salad and add an extra tangy flavor. I used a half lemon, but simply add to taste!
- Vegan honey mustard dressing: perfectly sweet vs tangy, this is a creamy dressing that goes well with the Italian-inspired ingredients in this salad.
How to make this Tuscan bean salad
Prepare the grains
This is a great recipe to use up any leftover cooked grains, but if you don't have any ready to-go, then start by cooking them first.
I used barley as they go great with this Italian-style salad, but you can use brown rice or farro too. As a side note, if you are short on time, then you could cook some quinoa instead, which will be much quicker than cooking other whole grains.
You can follow this guide on how to cook barley to help you out. I cook mine using my instant pot, but you can easily cook barley on the stove too. This guide will show you how to cook it using both technique. Aim to have about 1 cup of cooked grain.
Make the dressing
While the grain is cooking, also make the dressing. I used my vegan honey mustard dressing, which was so yummy! Keep it in the fridge until ready to eat.
Prep the beans and produce
Rinse and drain both cans of beans. Also, dice the pepper + cucumber and halve the cherry tomatoes.
To a large mixing bowl, add the chopped veggies, beans, cooked grain and top with the fresh herbs.
Combine and serve
Squeeze the juice from half of a lemon over the bowl and then, drizzle some of the dressing over. Just start with a little bit of the sauce and add more as you go (you won't need the whole batch). Stir until combined and adjust salt, lemon juice and dressing to your taste.
You can enjoy the salad right away or store in the fridge until time to eat.
- The flavors get more pronounced as they sit, so I recommend you to try making it ahead of time, at least the dressing, so the flavors can deepen a little more.
- Chop the vegetables about all the same size and similar to the beans for best results.
- You can easily make this recipe oil-free and 100% WFPB by swapping the vegan mayo in the dressing with vegan yogurt.
This salad is pretty filling by itself, thanks to all the beans and barley, which makes it a perfect light lunch or healthy summer dinner. You can also serve with a side of crusty bread or similarly to my black bean toast recipe, you can also pile up the bean mixture over toast for a fun change.
Also makes for delicious creamy beans to garnish a bed of green salad and add more protein and fiber to your meal. Garnish with more fresh herbs and add maybe a drizzle of balsamic vinegar over, so good.
Use this recipe as a side salad for sandwiches or burgers, especially during BBQ season. Try pairing with these recipes:
- Vegan oat chickpea burgers
- Smoky tofu sandwich
- Vegan jackfruit burger patties
- Balsamic tofu wraps
- Beet pickle sandwich
- Oyster mushroom burgers
- Mashed avocado chickpea sandwich
If you are left with extra leftovers, then you can try serving the salad differently to change things up a bit and scoop the bean mixture using crispy pita chips or simply use it as a filling for burrito wraps (also stuffed with crunchy romaine lettuce).
There are endless ways to make this recipe your own. Especially if you like it and make it often, then swap or add a few ingredients every time, such as:
- Marinated artichokes
- Green onion or red onion
- Roasted cauliflower
- Jarred roasted red pepper
- Spinach, baby kale or arugula
You can try using other salad dressings, there are plenty on the blog that would work great with the Italian flavor profile of the ingredients, such as:
- Creamy balsamic dressing
- Tahini pesto sauce
- Vegan avocado green goddess dressing
- Creamy cajun salad dressing
Keep the salad in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Stir well before serving.
If you wanted to add some leafy green to it, then it will not keep as well because of all the wilting, just something to consider.
More recipes like this
- Edamame crunch salad
- Red lentil pasta salad
- Vegan Waldorf salad
- Vegan green nourish bowl
- Chili-lime bean salad
- Southwestern rice and quinoa salad
- Rainbow salad bowl
- Creamy dill chickpea salad
- Mediterranean chickpea quinoa bowl
- Vegan couscous salad
- Beet cucumber salad
- Zesty quinoa salad
- Cilantro lime pasta salad
I hope you enjoy this Tuscan bean salad as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Tuscan Bean Salad
- 2 x 15 oz canned white beans - I used one can of Navy beans and one can of Cannelini beans
- 1 cup cooked grain of your choice - I used barley
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes - halved
- ½ English cucumber - diced
- 1 pepper (any color) - diced
- 1 large handful of fresh herbs - such as parsley, cilantro or basil or a mix
- ½ lemon - juiced, or to taste
- 1 batch vegan honey mustard dressing - find the sweet mustard dressing here
- Start by cooking your grain accordingly. I followed this guide to cook barley. Once done, drain the excess of water if necessary and set aside.
- Also, make the vegan honey mustard dressing and set aside.
- Clean and prepare all produce. Then, combine in a large mixing bowl the cooked grain, beans, cucumber, pepper, tomatoes and fresh herbs.
- Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the bowl and drizzle some of the dressing (you won't need the whole batch of sauce). Stir until combined and adjust lemon juice, salt and dressing to your preference. Enjoy!
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days and stir well before serving.
- Makes for an amazing full meal on itself, but you can also serve with a side of crusty bread, in a burrito wrap, scooped out with crispy pita bread, etc. Check out the blog post for more ideas!