This easy, traditional Italian bean salad recipe includes garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, and kidney beans with a few more tasty surprises! Tomatoes, bell pepper, sweet onion, feta, kalamata olives, and fresh parsley make this beautiful summer salad even more delicious and impressive! It also takes less than 30 minutes to make!
Italian Bean Salad
This vegetable protein-packed salad is made with a simple 2-ingredient Italian dressing of red wine vinegar and olive oil. That’s it! No need to add any more herbs and spices to this Mediterranean-inspired side dish. It’s full of elegant, fresh flavors and delightful textures.
I served this salad at my summer barbecue this year, and it was a show-stopper! It was such a bright, colorful companion to the rest of my menu. I served it with side dishes that included flavors from around the world, but it would pair perfectly with other Mediterranian-inspired recipes like Tuscan Pasta, Farro with Pesto and Zucchini, or Lamb meatballs with Tzatziki.
The recipe calls for ½ cup of feta, but if you’re a cheese-lover, feel free to double the amount! It also looks beautiful with a little sprinkled on top with fresh parsley.
The Beauty of This Salad is in the Slicing!
This is an eye-popping salad, and that’s because of how each ingredient is sliced. You’ll chop nice, tiny pieces of bell pepper, pretty, thin slices of onion, and big, luscious slices of cherry tomatoes.
I even like to save a few tomatoes to strategically place on top before serving so they don’t get lost in the mix, and look extra pretty!
The Simple Process
- First, we’ll wash the beans and set them aside.
- Next, we’ll thinly slice onion, chop olives, dice bell pepper, chop parsley, and slice cherry tomatoes.
- Then, we’ll mix it all together with feta and a simple dressing of red wine vinegar and olive oil.
kalamata olives – make double sure to choose pitted kalamata olives at the grocery store.
cherry tomatoes – If you can find a mix of colors, that’s highly recommended. It helps to make the salad look like a big bowl of candy!
bell pepper – I love a yellow bell pepper for this recipe because it makes the salad so colorful, but you can use green or red as well.
chickpeas, kidney beans, and cannellini beans – These are beans traditionally used in Italian bean salads, but feel free to substitute with black beans, lima beans, butter beans, fava beans, navy beans, great northern, or cranberry beans.
red wine vinegar – You can also substitute with white balsamic vinegar. Just don’t use dark balsamic vinegar or it won’t look as pretty.
parsley – You can also substitute with fresh basil.
How to Make This Recipe Step by Step
1. Pour 15 oz. cans of garbanzo beans, kidney beans and cannellini beans into a strainer or colander and strain and rinse under water. Set aside.
2. Thinly slice ½ red onion.
3. Slice ½ cup kalamata olives into halves or thirds.
4. Dice 1 yellow bell pepper into tiny pieces.
5. Finely chop 2 tbsp. parsley.
6. Slice 1 cup cherry tomatoes in half.
7. Gently stir all ingredients in a mixing bowl with ½ cup feta, 2 oz. red wine vinegar and 1 oz. olive oil. Optionally set aside a little bit of chopped parsley and feta for garnish on top.
8. Pour into a serving bowl, garnish with parsley and feta. Serve cold.
Bean salad will last for up to a week in the fridge, when placed in a sealed container. You may want to give it a toss in the vinegar and olive oil before serving once it’s been sitting in the fridge for a while.
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Mediterranean Recipes to Pair with This Salad
Italian Bean Salad
- 1 mesh strainer or colander
- 1 cutting board and knife
- 1 mixing bowl
- 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
- 15 oz. can cannellini beans
- 15 oz. can kidney beans
- ½ cup red onion – thinly sliced
- ½ cup kalamata olives – sliced In halves and thirds
- 1 yellow bell pepper – diced
- 2 tbsp parsley – finely chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes – sliced in half
- ½ cup crumbled feta
- 2 oz. red wine vinegar
- 1 oz. olive oil
- Pour 15 oz. cans of garbanzo beans, kidney beans and cannellini beans into a strainer or colander and rinse under water. Set aside.
- Thinly slice ½ red onion. Slice ½ cup kalamata olives into halves or thirds. Dice 1 yellow bell pepper into tiny pieces. Finely chop 2 tbsp. parsley. Slice 1 cup cherry tomatoes in half.
- Gently stir all ingredients in a mixing bowl with ½ cup feta, 2 oz. red wine vinegar and 1 oz. olive oil. Optionally top with a little chopped parsley and feta for garnish. Serve cold.