White Bean Tabbouleh Salad is all the herby freshness of Tabbouleh, with the bulgur switched for white beans to make a more substantial salad. It’s a fresh, lemony, herby bean salad that’s totally delicious and good for you.
An excellent starch + veg side dish, or light meal for warm days. Plus it’s alot more interesting than the run-of-the-mill bean salads around!
White Bean Tabbouleh Salad
I don’t know if you have people in your life like me who don’t exactly jump up and down at the mention of a bean salad.
But throw the word “Tabbouleh” in there, and suddenly, it sounds a whole lot more interesting. Visions of lots of fresh parsley, hint of mint, dotted with tomato and cucumber, and that distinct lemony freshness.
Don’t worry. I didn’t just throw the word “Tabbouleh” into the name. I actually threw all the flavours of Tabbouleh in there too!!
Ingredients in white bean salad
The ingredients in this bean salad are literally everything that you find in Tabbouleh, except I’ve switched the bulgur for white beans:
Parsley – the key ingredient in this dish, the reason why tabbouleh is the first thing most people think of when the parsley is growing wild in the garden!
Mint – an essential part of a truly great fresh Tabbouleh! It’s a subtle background flavour, some people can’t actually pick that it’s in the salad. But without it, you’re missing a hint of freshness;
Tomatoes and cucumber – though in real Tabbouleh, these are a secondary ingredient, here in this bean salad version, I scale the quantities up to increase the fresh / juicy factor;
Beans – I’ve used cannellini beans here, simply because it’s the canned beans I always, always have in the pantry. But any beans will work a treat here – white or any other colour, fresh or cooked dried! (Notes in the recipe for cooking dried beans)
Remember that beans are good for you??
One of the most underrated foods in the world! Said to be the world’s best source of plant based protein, beans provide dietary fibre, Vitamin B, and other important vitamins and minerals. Research shows that they can help to reduce blood sugar and improve cholesterol levels. Plus, it’s a low glycemic food (“GI”) which means it will keep you full for longer.
We should all eat more beans!!
Lemon Dressing for White Bean Tabbouleh Salad
Ordinarily, Tabbouleh is soaked in lemon juice then a touch of olive oil is later added to take the sharp edge off the lemon.
But for this recipe, I’m making a proper Lemon Dressing for this recipe because I want the dressing to be thicker so it clings to the white beans. In order to achieve this, the Dressing needs to be properly thickened by shaking it vigorously in a jar, plus I also add a touch of Dijon Mustard which thickens it even more.
How to make White Bean Tabbouleh Salad
Shake up the Dressing in a jar, lots of chopping and toss, toss, toss!
What to serve with Tabbouleh White Bean Salad
This would be a great side dish OR stuffed into wraps for Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes that traditionally include or are perfectly paired with Tabbouleh, such as Greek Chicken Gyros. Here are some more suggestions:
But there’s no need to stop there! While this Bean Salad will go with any protein, I think the freshness makes it ideal to pair with white meats (chicken, turkey, lean pork) or any seafood. Try it with a grilled marinated chicken breast or a piece of Grilled Salmon. Garlic Prawns or CRISPY Grilled Prawns or some Lemon Garlic Marinated Pork Chops.
For a quick meal, gently fold through some chunks of tuna (preferably in oil, not spring water), top with slices of the juiciest ever Poached Chicken Breast or hard boiled egg (quartered or sliced).
Watch how to make it
Tabbouleh White Bean Salad
- 800g / 24 oz (2 cans) white beans (like cannellini, navy/haricot, butter beans) , drained (Note 1 & 3)
- 4 tomatoes , cut into 1.25cm / 1/2" pieces
- 3 cucumbers (or 1 1/2 long English/Telegraph cucumbers), cut into 1.25cm / 1/2" pieces
- 1/2 red onion , finely chopped
- 1 cup parsley , roughly chopped (1 large bunch)
- 1/3 cup mint , roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove , small, minced using garlic press
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (Note 2)
- 1/2 tsp salt , kosher/cooking salt (1/4 tsp table salt)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Place Dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine.
- Place Salad ingredients in a big bowl. Drizzle over most of the Dressing, toss well.
- Transfer to serving bowl. Serve!
- 1 can = 1 3/4 cups beans once drained
- Recipe calls for 2 cans = 3 1/2 cups beans
- 1 cup dried beans = 2 3/4 cups cooked
- So you will need approx 1 1/4 cups dried beans (1.25 x 2.75 = ~3.5 cups cooked beans)
Life of Dozer
Don’t think for a second that he’s taking a pause in his hectic schedule to stop and smell the roses. Nope. I just made a subtle gesture that indicated there might be something tasty in that vicinity, and he shoved his nose right in there to check.
He came up empty. 😂