Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tuna and White Bean Salad

Growing up, Sundays were the only day of the week my whole family would eat lunch together.  Weekdays there was school, and Saturdays Dad was always out on the farm, and between my mom, sister, & brother we would often just do our own thing.  Sundays after church (if there wasn’t a big Baptist potluck going on) we would sometimes go out to eat at local restaurant.  But most often we’d head back home and eat leftovers, soup, or often my mother would fix tuna salad.  Her tuna salad always consisted of tuna, mayonnaise, a hard boiled egg, and salt & pepper.  We’d eat it on saltine crackers.  While I sometimes fix tuna salad like that too, it’s not something I crave too often.  It brings back good memories for me, but doesn’t exactly tingle my tastebuds.

That’s why, when I saw this in the Real Simple: Meals Made Easy cookbook, my tastebuds took notice.  This recipe offered the same type of combination of flavors I love so much in quinoa and cous cous salads.  A little lemon zest, oil, beans, and vegetables, and I’m there!  This is from the same cookbook I found the Soy Marinated London Broil recipe in.  I love that all the recipes in this cookbook are super simple to make, no need for tons and tons of ingredients.  This recipe was under the header “No-Shop Meals”.  And it’s true, most everything in this recipe is a pantry staple I often keep on hand.

I loved this recipe, even though I’m not a fan of capers.  What I am a HUGE fan of, is roasted red peppers, and cannellini beans, so that’s what drew me to this recipe.  Also, I knew it would be great to mix up, and use for lunches during the week.  I most often purchase tuna in water, but for this recipe I chose the tuna packed in oil.  I’m glad I did, because it added a touch more flavor.  I served mine on toast, but you could also eat it with cracker or on it’s own.  This is a great tuna salad recipe that packs a delicious, nutritious, and fresh take on a lunchtime standby.


Tuna and White Bean Salad


2 6oz cans of tuna, drained (oil-packed recommended)
1 15oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 12oz jar roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons capers
zest 1 lemon, grated
1 tomato, roughly chopped (optional)
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
toasted bread, for serving


In a large bowl, combine the tuna, beans, red peppers, capers, lemon zest, and tomato (if using). In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, salt, and black pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the tuna mixture and toss. Serve with the bread.

**For a variation, try adding olives, red onion, or jarred artichokes.**

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13 Responses to “Tuna and White Bean Salad”

  1. 1
    28 — May 23, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

    This looks awesome. I like that it uses a bunch of ingredients I typically have on hand for other recipes.

  2. 2
    Kel — May 23, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

    Have you been in my kitchen? I DO have all of these ingredients! Thanks for sharing – it sounds awesome!

  3. 3
    Jenn — May 24, 2010 @ 7:03 am

    Hi Erin! So happy to have found your beautiful site. This spin on tuna salad sounds perfect for lunch this week. By the way, I also live in the Nashville area, love food and blogging, and belong to the Delvin Farms CSA. Were you, by chance, at their picnic yesterday?

  4. 4
    Maris (In Good Taste) — May 24, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

    I’m not really even a big fan of tuna salad but this looks awesome; the beans and peppers are definitely the hero!

  5. 5
    Nicole, RD — May 25, 2010 @ 10:29 am

    That looks wonderful. I’ve never tried tuna packed in oil, but I’ll bet it makes it very rich and delicious! I love canellini beans!

  6. 6
    Lyndsee — May 27, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

    I made this tonight and it was wonderful. It came together so quickly too. This is a perfect after-work dinner.

  7. 7
    Erin — May 31, 2010 @ 8:15 pm

    I think tuna & white beans are a match made in heaven! With tomatoes & red peppers, this sounds great. Perfect for hot evenings when I don’t feel like cooking!

  8. 8
    Emily — June 2, 2010 @ 11:54 am

    That looks wonderful. I’ve never tried tuna packed in oil, but I’ll bet it makes it very rich and delicious! I love canellini beans!

  9. 9
    Colleen — June 3, 2010 @ 10:52 am

    I love recipes like this for light lunches all week – looks great!

  10. 10
    Rachel — June 3, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

    Delicious! I used tuna packed in water, which was what I had on hand, and it came out great. Very refreshing!

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  13. 11
    Juno M — April 15, 2012 @ 8:37 pm

    I made this tonight – delicious! In the future, I will make a couple changes:

    -I probably won’t use the whole 12oz jar of roasted red peppers last time. I’ll probably try half the jar and see if that hits a good balance.
    -I’ll also use less lemon juice and zest. Using the zest of a whole lemon as well as 3 tbsp of lemon juice (basically the juice from one lemon), the primary taste in the dish was lemon. It was hard to detect the other flavors. I love lemon, but as more of a subtle flavor rather than the main flavor of the dish.

    Great recipe, thanks!

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