Cannellini Bean Salad

This super simple cannellini bean salad combines loads of flavorful ingredients that all work together beautifully. Cannellini beans get a quick marinade with tapenade, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil before being combined with roasted vines of baby tomatoes. What are you waiting for?

A white plate with a mound of cannellini bean salad and a bunch of grape tomatoes on the vine.

Tomatoes grow on bushes, not vines, yet we call tomatoes sold on the stem “vine tomatoes,” probably because they look vaguely like a bunch of grapes. Roasted on their stems, they keep that just-picked look on the plate.–Alastair Hendy

LC Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts Note

This recipe is ridiculously greater than the sum of its parts. The tapenade element in the vinaigrette is one we’ll remember and try again, perhaps with steamed green beans, boiled new potatoes, tuna canned in olive oil, and a deconstructed salad of feta, tomatoes, and red onion. That’s just for starters. Got an idea for how else to use it? Let us know in a comment below.

Cannellini Bean Salad

A white plate with a mound of cannellini bean salad and a bunch of grape tomatoes on the vine.
This cannellini bean salad is so full of flavor that you'll make it over and over–the dressing alone can be used in multiple ways. Roasted on-the-vine tomatoes are a perfect match to the garlicky, tangy, briney white beans.
Alastair Hendy

Prep 30 mins
Cook 25 mins
Total 55 mins
6 servings
55 kcal
5 from 1 vote
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  • Two (14-ounce) cans cannellini beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium red onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley or torn basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons jarred olive tapenade
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for brushing and dressing
  • 6 vines baby tomatoes about 6 fruit each (may substitute 12 roma tomatoes or 2 pints grape tomatoes)
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • Place the beans, onion, garlic, parsley, and tapenade in a large bowl and stir gently. Dissolve the sugar in the lemon juice and add to the beans. Stir in about 2 tablespoons olive oil and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, arrange the tomato “vines” (or the smaller tomatoes) in a single layer on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until the tomato skins are lightly blistered, 6 to 8 minutes. Let stand at room temperature.
  • To serve, spread the bean salad over serving plates, add a “vine” of tomatoes to each plate, and spoon over any remaining bean dressing and tomato roasting juices. Dress liberally with more olive oil.
Print RecipeBuy the Cooking for Friends cookbook

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Cannellini Bean Salad Variation

Main Course Cannellini Bean Salad With Roasted Tomatoes And Fish
Make this side dish into a more substantial something by placing chunks of blackened salmon, roasted cod, sautéed mullet, grilled monkfish, or the like alongside or atop the bean salad.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 55kcal (3%)Carbohydrates: 3g (1%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 5g (8%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 58mg (2%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 179IU (4%)Vitamin C: 10mg (12%)Calcium: 11mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This recipe is tasty and easy to make. The baby vine tomatoes make a beautiful presentation, but the dish would be just as tasty—and less expensive—with grape or cherry tomatoes. I made this for my mom, sister, and daughter. My sister liked the lemony fresh taste. My daughter thought it was really good, but would have liked a bit more tapenade in the mix. She thought it was also better with the tomatoes mashed and mixed into the salad. I’ll definitely make this again—and add a little more tapenade.

Originally published April 11, 2010


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