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Cherry Tomato and Bean Salad

My Cherry Tomato and Bean Salad is a simple and tasty recipe that you'll want to make all summer long. Perfect as a light lunch or as an easy side dish for grilled meats.

If you’re looking for a simple, summery salad with big Mediterranean flavours you have come to the right place! My Cherry Tomato and Bean Salad is the perfect salad for grilling season and comes together in minutes.

During the hottest days of summer, I always like to have a couple of big salads in the fridge that can be easily served with simply grilled meat (or just eaten on their own!) to make meal preparation as stress free as possible.

Using ingredients like pre-cooked beans means you can have a a meal like this ready in a flash, without standing over a hot stove. This recipe is tasty, healthy, and easy. Just how I like my summer meals.

What is Tomato and Bean Salad?

This salad is a super-simple combination of white beans and juicy cherry tomatoes. Flavoured with fresh herbs, red onion and a zingy lemon-garlic dressing, it’s ideal for a light lunch or served alongside grilled meat for a healthy dinner. This easy salad is so good that you’ll have it on permanent rotation all through the summer months.

This is a great recipe for meal prepping to take you through the work week, and brilliant for taking to a picnic as nothing will wilt or go soggy. In fact, the flavour is even better on day two.

Cherry Tomato and White Bean Salad in a bowl with wooden salad servers and a baguette

Ingredients

To make Tomato and Bean Salad you’ll need:

  • sweet and juicy cherry or grape tomatoes
  • canned white beans (cannellini, white kidney, butter beans etc.)
  • a finely diced red onion
  • fresh parsley, basil and thyme for a big Mediterranean flavour kick
  • and shaved Parmesan cheese

The zingy lemon and garlic dressing is made from extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and mustard.

These ingredients are all easy to come by and the combination of fresh herbs gives the whole dish a real Mediterranean flair. I like to use cherry tomatoes, as they are guaranteed to be sweet and flavoursome, though you could use whatever tomatoes you have to hand. Just be sure to use ripe and juicy tomatoes for the best results.

Instructions

This salad couldn’t be easier to make!

  • First, toss the sliced tomatoes with a little sugar and salt (this will bring out all their delicious, summery flavour.
  • Second, shake all the dressing ingredients together in a jar until thick and emulsified.
  • Last, toss it all together in a large bowl, top with shaved Parmesan cheese and serve with some crusty bread and some icy cold white wine.

If you’ve got plenty of time and fancy cooking up some dried beans, they’ll need soaking and boiling. You can find instructions for cooking your own beans in my recipe over here.

Variations

When making white bean salad, I like to use the biggest white beans that I can find – they sometimes go by the name baby lima beans or corona beans, though any canned white beans such as cannellini beans (white kidney beans) will do. You could also use canned chickpeas to make this dish. If you want to get away from canned food altogether you could even use blanched and diced green beans instead.

Add more vegetables: I like to keep this salad very simple, though you could certainly bulk it out by adding a few extra vegetables to the mix. Mediterranean vegetables like red pepper or grilled eggplant are a natural combination. Some diced fresh cucumber or leafy greens will add a delicate freshness to the salad but need to be added just before eating.

Add meat: Shredded, poached chicken breast or a little diced chorizo or other salami are fantastic add-ins to this salad.

Scale up or down as necessary: My Cherry Tomato and Bean Salad scales up to feed as many as necessary and keeps well for several days in the fridge. If making in advance, either make extra dressing to add just before eating, or sprinkle over a little fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar to brighten up the flavours.

Cherry Tomato and White Bean Salad in a bowl with wooden salad servers and a baguette

Looking for more healthy and delicious summer salads? Try my Chicken and Farro Salad, or my Orzo and Roast Pepper Salad! Like something with a little spice? My Spicy Thai Beef Salad or Steak and Salsa Salad are both packed with masses of flavour.


Frequently Asked Questions

How long will Cherry Tomato and Bean salad keep in the fridge?

You can keep this salad in the fridge for up to 5 days. Before eating, refresh the dressing with a little lemon juice or vinegar.

Can I make this salad with different herbs?

Yes! Go for it! It’s great with fresh dill if you are serving it with chicken or fish.

Can this salad be frozen?

Not this one I’m afraid, though it keeps perfectly well in the refrigerator (and never lasts long in my house, it all gets eaten up!)


Cherry Tomato and White Bean Salad in a bowl with wooden salad servers and a baguette
Cherry Tomato and White Bean Salad in a bowl with wooden salad servers and a baguette

Recipe Card

Cherry Tomato and White Bean Salad in a bowl with wooden salad servers and a baguette

Cherry Tomato and Bean Salad

Yield: Serves 2-4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Packed with fabulous flavour, my Cherry Tomato and Bean Salad is a simple and tasty recipe that you'll want to make all summer long. Perfect as a light lunch or as an easy side dish for grilled meats.

Ingredients

for the salad:

  • 300g (10 oz.) cherry or grape tomatoes
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • a pinch of white sugar
  • 400g (15 oz) can of white beans (see notes)
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • small bunch of fresh parsley, finely diced
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
  • small bunch of fresh basil, leaves torn
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 50g (1.75 oz.) shaved Parmesan cheese

optional:

  • mild chilli flakes

for the dressing

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • sea salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. SLICE TOMATOES: Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, then place them in a colander. Sprinkle over the sugar and salt, then leave to drain for 10 minutes.
  2. MAKE THE DRESSING: Combine all dressing ingredients in a glass jar. Shake well to combine, taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  3. ASSEMBLE SALAD: Toss the tomatoes, beans, onions, fresh and dried herbs together. Pour over the dressing and toss to combine. Garnish with shaved Parmesan and mild chilli flakes (if using,)
  4. SERVE: Serve at room temperature with some crusty white bread.

WINE RECOMMENDATION: A light, crisp Pinot Grigio compliments the Mediterranean flavours in this salad perfectly.

    Notes

    When making white bean salad, I like to use the biggest white beans that I can find - they sometimes go by the name baby lima beans or corona beans, though any canned white beans such as cannellini beans (white kidney beans) will do.

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 bowl
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 692Total Fat: 45gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 1391mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 8gSugar: 6gProtein: 29g

    Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.

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    Jay Wadams

    Jay Wadams is a cookbook author and food photographer. Jay is the author of two cookbooks: 'Tasty' (2017) and 'Simply Summer' (2019). Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

    Articles: 273

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