Looking for an easy, budget friendly, make-ahead salad that is packed with nutrients? You have come to the right place. This White Bean Salad with Arugula and Roasted Peppers comes together in minutes and gets better with age!
If you like to meal prep for the week this White Bean Salad is for you. It's also an easy recipe to whip together for a summer BBQ or potluck. Same goes for my very popular Greek Chickpea Salad and this Tex-Mex Black Bean Salad.
Want to cook your own beans? Check out my post on How to Soak and Cook Dried Beans . If you are looking for more ways to use up those beans take a look at my White Bean, Sausage and Arugula Soup, Green Minestrone with Pesto and White Beans, and Greens and Beans Soup.
Here's what you will need to make this recipe. For quantities see the recipe card below.
- White kidney beans, or Cannellini beans - I love these beans for their creamy texture. They really soak up the other flavours.
- Baby arugula - adds a peppery flavour along with lots of roughage and nutrients!
- Roasted red peppers - jarred peppers are easy and convenient. Try to look for ones that aren't pickled.
- Red onions - add crunch and zing! Especially if you soak them in vinegar first. If you like the bite of raw onion you can skip that step.
- Fresh lemon juice adds brightness to the dressing.
- Red wine vinegar add more acidity.
- Fresh garlic adds more flavour. Feel free to add more or less depending on your own taste.
- Extra virgin olive oil ties everything together.
- Salt and pepper - not shown
This recipe comes together so quickly and easily you will be putting it on repeat!
Step 1 (optional) - Thinly slice red onion and place in a bowl. Cover with white vinegar and let sit for 15 minutes or while you prepare the other ingredients. Drain well before adding to the salad. This is an optional step but will take the bite out of the onions for a milder taste.
Step 2 - Drain and rinse white beans really well. Place in a large bowl lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess water.
Step 3 - Drain and rinse roasted red peppers. Pat dry, chop or slice. Remove paper towel from bowl and add peppers.
Step 4 - Mince garlic. Add to beans along with drained onions, vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, arugula and salt. Stir well and let sit for a minimum of 15 minutes before serving. This salad only gets better as it sits!
- Red Onion - white or sweet onions, shallots, or green onions would be great substitutes for red onion. You can skip the vinegar bath if using sweet or green onions.
- White vinegar for soaking onions - this is an optional step but helps soften the taste of the onion. Rice, white wine, or apple cider vinegar can be used as a substitute vinegar. You can also soak the onions in ice water to soften the taste. You may need to increase the vinegar by one or two teaspoons if using water.
- White Kidney Beans (cannellini) - Any white beans such as Navy, Great Northern, or Lima, and Butter Beans work perfectly for this salad. You can also use canned, mixed beans or chickpeas.
- Roasted Red Peppers - Fresh peppers or chopped cherry or grape tomatoes make perfect substitutes for roasted peppers.
- Baby Arugula - You can omit the greens altogether for this salad and serve on a bed of greens if you like. Baby spinach is a great substitute for arugula if adding right into the salad. If you prefer a green that stands up without wilting Kale is a great option.
- Red Wine Vinegar - I like the bold flavour of red wine vinegar for this salad but you can sub in white wine, apple cider, or rice vinegar.
How to cook dried white beans
The most economical way to enjoy beans is to buy them dried and cook them yourself. You can do a large batch and freeze them so they are ready to go anytime you need!
Soak the beans in plenty of cool water (4 x the amount of beans) on the counter overnight. Drain and add to a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover them by 2-3 inches. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to simmer. Cooking times will vary greatly depending on the size and age of the beans. Start checking them after 30 minutes but they may take up to 60-90 minutes.
Alternatively, check out this Quick Soak Method For Dried Beans.
Tuscan - Create a more Italian feel to this salad while bumping up the protein even more by adding some canned tuna.
Greek - For a Mediterranean vibe try adding some Kalamata olives and top with Feta cheese.
Avocado and Cherry Tomatoes with fresh basil make a great combo for this salad!
This salad has lasting power! It will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for one week. The arugula will wilt but still tastes delicious. Omit the arugula if you aren't a fan of the wilted greens and add before serving or on a bed of greens.
Soaking the onion in vinegar removes the harsh bite that raw onion can have. Let them soak for a minimum of 15 minutes. Soaking in ice water also has the same effect but will keep the onions crisper and won't have the pickled taste. If you want to take it a step further check out my recipe for Quick Pickled Onions.
Frequently Asked Questions
White beans pack a nutritional punch. They are high in fiber, protein and a number of other nutrients such as magnesium, folate, iron, potassium, and vitamin B6.
Navy beans are the smallest of the white beans. They have a less creamy texture due to their size. White kidney beans or cannellini beans are the largest of the white beans and have a soft, creamy texture.
The main types of white beans are Kidney (also called Cannellini), Great Northern, Navy (or Pea), and Baby Lima (also known as butter beans). Although they vary in size and texture they are interchangeable in most recipes.
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More Recipes with White Beans
- Green Minestrone with Pesto and White Beans
- Greens and Beans Soup
- White Bean, Sausage, and Arugula Soup
- Vegetarian 3 Bean Chili
Tried this recipe? I would love it if you could leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and/or a comment below. You can also follow me on social media here on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!
White Bean Salad with Arugula and Roasted Peppers
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- White vinegar to soak onions, optional
- 2 cans white kidney beans or cannellini (540 mls/19 oz each) or 4 cups cooked beans
- 1 cup roasted peppers, sliced or chopped (370 ml jar)
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- Thinly slice the red onion. Place in a separate dish and cover with white vinegar. Let sit for 15-20 minutes.
- In a colander, rinse the beans well under cold water. Place them in a large bowl lined with a paper towel to collect excess water.
- Drain and rinse roasted peppers and chop or slice. Remove the paper towel from the beans and add the peppers.
- Mince garlic and add to beans along with the drained onions, red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and arugula. Stir well and let sit for a minimum of 15 minutes before serving. This salad tastes better as it sits.
Wonderful salad! So healthy and very delicious. I will roast my own peppers next time to see how that turns out.
Super healthy! And so good. 🙂
Amanda Dexter says
Absolutely delicious. Thanks for the tip about soaking the onions in vinegar - I will use that for many salads.
I'm so happy you found that helpful. It was a game-changer for me!
I love anything w arugula & this is now a favorite, as a lunch to-go salad. So fresh & perfect for summer. Hardy AND light, & even gets better as salad marinates longer! Sooo many good recipes on this site!
Thanks so much Beverly! So happy you are enjoying the salad. Thanks for commenting!
Daniela Vukobratic says
I made this salad the night before our picnic, to let the beans really marinate. Threw spinach on top (didn’t have arugula) before we left and just mixed it up when we were setting the table. This was the favourite salad on the table. Two people asked for the recipe, so directed them to your fabulous site.
That's so awesome! I'm so happy everyone enjoyed it so much! Thanks for sharing 🤗
Jose Mut says
The salad was great. As I did not have arugula I substituted with romaine lettuce. I added it 15 minutes before we ate the salad so that it would pick up the lavour of the vinaigrette and stay crisp. Super!
Sounds like to perfect substitute! So happy you enjoyed it!