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White Bean and Tuna Salad Recipe-14854

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


This is a lovely, light summer dinner that is as nourishing to eat as it is speedy to make.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Cooking time: 10 Minutes


  • ¼ cup prepared pesto or ¼ cup olive oil plus ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) white cannellini beans or chick-peas
  • 3 cans (7 ounces each)  tuna
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch watercress


1. If you don’t have prepared pesto on hand, first mix the olive oil with the basil in a blender or food processor. Drain and rinse the beans. Drain the tuna.

2. Combine the lemon juice with the pesto in a mixing bowl, then add the beans and tuna.

3. Quarter the tomatoes, spoon out the seeds, and finely chop the flesh. Add the tomatoes to the bowl. Toss the ingredients together and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Rinse the watercress. Chop the watercress leaves into the salad or serve the salad over sprigs of watercress.


My friend Dana Jacobi, food writer, consultant, and connoisseur, suggested a delicious combination of white beans with smoked tuna fish. With the few changes outlined below, the above salad accommodates the smoked fish rather nicely.

Omit the pesto. Finely mince 1 shallot, 2 scallions (green onions), or a bunch of fresh chives. Also mince ½ cup fresh parsley leaves. Dice 1 pound smoked tuna. Combine ¼ cup olive oil and ¼ cup lemon juice and add the minced shallot, scallions or chives, and parsley. Add the drained beans, smoked tuna, and tomatoes. Toss well, season, and serve over watercress.


Salad Sandwich Stuffers

I’ve said earlier on that leftover dressed salads are good as sandwich stuffers. In addition to pita pockets lots of other types of bread are delicious carriers. Pumpernickel and rye breads are terrific with bean, grain, meat and fish salads. Whole wheat, multi-grain, and oat breads are wonderful with vegetable and fish salads, and crusty French, Italian, or sourdoughs go with absolutely every salad imaginable.

© 1991, 1995 by Michele Urvater

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 6 servings, includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving, and uses olive oil and basil instead of store-bought pesto.

385kcal (19%)
156mg (16%)
25mg (41%)
88mcg RAE (3%)
30mg (10%)
647mg (27%)
2g (8%)
10g (16%)
6mg (35%)

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