This delicious White Bean Salad with Arugula is one of my go-to recipes when we have company over. It’s full of flavor, unique and insanely good. If you need a tasty side dish idea that is ready in just minutes, keep reading!
I was sent a pr pitch about a recipe by Ellie Krieger for the Saturday Evening Post. The ingredients sounded interesting and so I gave it a try.
So while this isn’t my recipe and you can find it elsewhere on the web, I couldn’t find a printable recipe card so I created my own. I changed up the recipe slightly but I give thanks to Ellie Krieger every time I make it!
Why This Recipe Works
The ingredients for this Arugula White Bean Salad are simple, mostly shelf-stable and the salad, as a whole, is entirely uncomplicated. That’s my kind of recipe.
Ellie Krieger’s Tri-Color Salad recipe calls for radicchio and endive but I generally just stick with the bagged arugula to keep things super simple.
You guys, I love arugula. And it comes in a bag, ready to go, with no extra prep. If I am going to eat something healthy for lunch, it has to be easy. And this salad is EASY!
The salty parmesan cheese and tangy balsamic vinegar pair so well with the peppery arugula. The white beans (sometimes called cannellini beans) are creamy and a great way to add a little protein to a salad.
It’s just different. It’s not your run-of-the-mill green salad. And it pairs well with just about any main course. Although I like to add chicken and make it my main course.
- White Beans (you can also use cannellini beans or Great Northern beans)
- Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Parmesan cheese
Scroll down for the full ingredient amounts and a printable recipe card. The amounts will depend on if you are making just one salad at a time or a large portion for a party.
This recipe is nearly foolproof so you can guesstimate and use your stomach as a guide.
How to Make a White Bean Salad with Arugula
In a large bowl, add the arugula. You can measure or just add handfuls.
Rinse and drain the white beans then add the desired amounts.
Grate a handful of fresh parmesan cheese and add to the salad bowl.
In a small bowl, mix the extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
My son is a VERY picky eater (although this Black Bean Salsa is a favorite!). And he LOVES this salad. I think it has everything to do with the balsamic being so sweet and the fact that he is a fiend for parmesan. The first time he tried it, he tried to maneuver around the beans.
I don’t blame him, white beans are the only beans I’ll eat because of the mild flavor. But now he eats all of it.
Save time | If you want to cut out a step, you can simply drizzle about 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top of the salad, then sprinkle some Maldon sea salt to finish.
Make more | It’s super easy to turn this recipe that serves about 3 into a salad for a crowd. Simply double or triple the recipe. Pick up a few bags of arugula, buy a few cans of white beans and grate the whole piece of parmesan. SO easy!
Money-saving | Don’t want to spend a ton on great quality parmesan? You can use a different type of cheese that is less expensive. The Black Pepper Toscano Cheese from Trader Joe’s is really good in this salad, or you can use another hard salty cheese that is more affordable.
Quality | The key to this Arugula White Bean Salad recipe is using good quality ingredients. Because the recipe is simple, the flavors really stand out. A nice bottle of extra virgin olive oil really adds another layer. And a good balsamic can make or break a dish.
Take it with you | If you are serving this salad away from home simply prepare the salad ahead of time but don’t add the dressing until just before serving.
Make it fancy | As I mentioned above, Ellie Krieger also uses radicchio and endive. I’ve made it with these as well, and the presentation is very nice. If I am serving this for company, I consider including these two ingredients.
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe is best with White Beans. While there may be slight variations, most white beans that you will find in the canned food aisle, will work. They are sometimes called cannellini beans, Great Northern Beans and I have also seen some called White Kidney Beans. Any of these are fine.
Yes, you can add other ingredients to this White Bean Salad. A squeeze of lemon would be tasty. Some prosciutto would also be a nice touch. I love adding roasted beets to arugula salads. Toasted almonds would add a nice crunch too. If you think it would taste good, add it!
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- With crunch and berries, this Kale Salad with Prosecco Vinaigrette is one of my favorite recipes.
White Bean Salad with Arugula
- In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, radicchio, endive, beans, and Parmesan. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, and salt.
- In a large bowl, mix together the arugula, white beans and parmesan cheese.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and salt.
- Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.