This Mediterranean Bean Salad with chickpeas and white beans is packed with fresh tasting flavours – thanks to market fresh vegetables and herbs, plus a few Mediterranean pantry staples like roasted peppers, olives and capers. All tossed together in a zingy za’atar dressing. It’s the perfect side salad that will get you through the picnic and barbecue season! It also makes a quick and healthy lunch too!
It’s summer, so I am focusing on quick, easy and healthy meals. Which is where this mediterranean bean salad comes in. Fresh ingredients, together with pantry staples in a summer salad that take a total of 20 minutes to prepare. Fantastic right? Yes! Which is why I choose to use canned beans. Of course, if you have a pressure cooker and are planning ahead use dried beans. They will definitely give you the tastiest, healthiest results. But for a quick “on-the fly” bean salad recipe, canned is the way to go.
A couple of tips when using canned beans:
- I always buy organic, but that’s a personal choice. However, even with organic beans some brands contain less sodium than others, so if you are concerned about sodium read the label. And some supermarket brands contain sugar, so again, read the label, to double-check that there is no sugar added.
- You want to rinse and drain beans before using. Canned beans release starch into the canning liquid and this isn’t what I want in my salad. So I drain the beans, then rinse them really well, and drain them again before using.
- Canned beans of course are convenient, but if you have a pressure cooker (WMF sells my personal favourite), and are able to plan ahead, I recommend preparing your own beans for this salad. Freshly prepared beans bring any bean salad recipe to the next level of deliciousness!
How to adapt this Mediterranean Bean Salad:
- Add some more of your favourite vegetables: marinated artichokes, diced raw zucchini, crunchy carrots or celery, or even radish.
- I like to serve this over a bed of greens such as romaine hearts or young arugula leaves.
- Turn it into a 3-bean salad and add kidney beans. Or add garden-fresh blanched green beans!
- Try green olives instead of kalamata olives.
- You can add additional fresh herbs, like cilantro, dill, or basil.
Looking for other ideas on how to use beans in salads? Take a look at my bean salads page. One of my favorites is the Asparagus Salad with Mixed Beans, Lemon & Herbs or my recipe for Mediterranean Bean Salad.
Mediterranean Bean Salad
A quick, easy and flavourful bean salad packed with Mediterranean flavours. Perfect for summer picnics, BBQs or a bring to work lunch. For a vegan version, skip the feta.
For the salad:
- 1 x 400 g can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 x 400 g can organic white beans, cannellini, drained and rinsed
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 200 g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 pointed red pepper, diced
- 2 mini cucumber, sliced in half moons (or 1/2 of an English cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced)
- half a 280 g jar roasted red peppers, drained, chopped
- handful kalamata olives, pitted and halved (about 10 olives)
- 1 tablespoon capers (in brine), drained
- generous handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (about 4 tablespoons)
- handful of fresh mint, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
- 50 g crumbled feta cheese (optional)
For the dressing:
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1,5 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 tablespoon za'atar (alternatively 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- pinch red pepper flakes
In a large serving bowl add the chickpeas, white beans, red onion, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, cucumber, roasted red peppers, olives, capers, fresh herbs and feta (if using).
In a small bowl add the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, maple syrup and za'atar. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes; whisk together until combined. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat.
Serve on its own, over your favourite salad greens, or with some warm pita bread and some hummus or tzatziki. Enjoy!
- You can also make this salad ahead of time and let it stand for 20-30 minutes to deepen the flavour. Store it in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to serve. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge covered with a tight lidded container for 2 days
- For the roasted red peppers, I buy mine from my local organic food store which sells a mix of red and yellow roasted peppers in a glass. They are delicious. But of course if you have the time you can also roast your own peppers for this Mediterranean Bean Salad recipe.
- Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice that adds depth to any dish. It’s a combination of sumac, thyme, marjoram, oregano, roasted sesame seeds, and sea salt. Look for it in specialty shops or online.
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