This is the Tuna White Bean Salad of my dreams. Easy to make, and packed with flaky tuna, creamy white beans, crunchy celery and red onion, and tossed a light dressing made with just enough low-fat mayo, lemon juice, and acidic white wine vinegar. Pair with hearty whole-grain bread and serve with crisp romaine lettuce and sliced tomatoes.
Tuna White Bean Salad
Well, I’d say the recipe for this Tuna While Bean Salad couldn’t come at a better time. With everyone self-quarantining, hoarding toilet paper, and stocking up on canned goods, it only makes sense to share a recipe that utilizes two of the most commonly well-stocked pantry items — tuna and white beans.
I don’t know what you’re going to do with all that toilet paper, that one’s on you.
I hadn’t intended to share this recipe as a way to put a healthy, delicious lunch on your table (also derived from things you can keep on hand for weeks on end) during a time of “social distancing,” but here we are.
This Tuna White Bean Salad is THE tuna white bean salad you’ve been waiting for. At least it’s what I was waiting for.
I was unequivocally obsessed with the tuna white bean salad sandwich at Dean and Deluca, so when they closed down a little over a year ago here in Kanas City, I was understandably disappointed and vowed to replicate it at home.
My version, is about as close as we’re going to get to the real deal. It’s packed with tuna (duh), light mayo, hearty white beans, a kick of acid from lemons and white wine vinegar, and plenty of crunchy veggies. I like to serve it simply with extra textured whole-grain bread, a few crisp romaine lettuce leaves, and a few slices of seasoned tomatoes, but you dress it up any way you want.
Ingredients in Tuna White Bean Salad
Mayo. Because I want to make this a healthy tuna salad, we are not going to drench it with tons of mayo. However, you do need a little bit to keep it moist. I like to use light mayo to keep the calories down even more and I think that it tastes the exact same as full-fat mayo, but under no circumstances should you use non-fat mayo.
Lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice please!
White wine vinegar. This is the secret ingredient in our recipe for tuna white bean salad. White wine vinegar adds the most perfect acidic touch, and I think what mimics the Dean and Deluca tuna salad the best.
Veggies. Chopped celery, red onion, and carrot are the veggies of choice here.
White Beans. Whole white or cannellini beans will work. I like to smash a few of them to add to the creaminess of the tuna salad without adding more mayo.
Tuna. Any canned or packaged tuna will work here! I’ve even used tuna packed in olive oil, which works great.
Guys, as you’d imagine, there’s isn’t much to making this tuna white bean salad. Add the mayo, veggies, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and salt to the bottom of a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
Use a fork to smash a few of the white beans, then add them along with the tuna to the mayo and veggie mixture. Gently toss everything together. Season with salt and pepper.
If you want to make the tuna white bean salad a sandwich, I’d recommend serving it on a hearty piece of whole-grain bread, or do as Dean and Deluca does and serve it on two toasted slices of kalamata olive bread. I always serve mine with a crisp piece of romaine or butter lettuce and a few sliced tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper.
Can I make Tuna White Bean Salad ahead of time?
Yes! In fact, tuna white bean salad just gets better the longer it sits. I’ll make it at the beginning of the week, and eat it throughout the week. I’d estimate it to last about a week, but mine never makes it that long.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- Season to taste as you go!
- While the celery isn’t something I’d recommend swapping out, you could swap out the red onion for green onions or yellow onions.
- Don’t have lemons? Add a little bit more white wine vinegar.
- I love a tuna salad with egg, if you do too, hard-boil a few eggs, and then chop them up and add them to the ingredients before mixing.
- If you want to make this tuna white bean salad extra healthy, make this tuna salad with greek yogurt. Just swap out the mayo for the Greek yogurt.
What to serve with Tuna White Bean Salad
I don’t know about you guys, but to me, there’s no better combination than a soup and sandwich, so here’s a few of our favorite soups to pair with this tuna salad sandwich!
- This Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup is one of our favorite tex-mex soups. Packed with shredded chicken, black beans, and cheesy tortellini. So good.
- Creamy Mushroom Soup is the ultimate comfort food, and so simple. One of our favorite creamy soups!
- Creamy Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup is a classic, for good reason! Our version is slightly creamy, full of veggies, and served with dumpling-like noodles.
- Another simple soup is this Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Manchego Soup. Light, but so flavorful.
- 1/4 cup light mayo
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 3/4 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 10 oz canned tuna, drained
- 1 cup white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 tbsp chopped red onion
- 2 tbsp chopped carrot (optional)
- 1 large green onion, sliced
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- Mixing bowl
- Add mayo, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, mustard and salt to a medium bowl. Smash a few tablespoons of the white beans. Add the white beans, tuna, celery, red onion, carrot, green onion, and parsley to the mayo. Gently stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve with bread, lettuce, and tomato.