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White Bean and Quinoa Salad

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Need a quick, filling dish that’s perfect for busy weeknights or last minute cookouts? You’ll love my white bean and quinoa salad. It’s packed with protein-rich quinoa and white beans, crunchy veggies, and a tangy tahini dressing. The best part is you only need 15 minutes of prep time, so it’s great for an easy lunch or side dish.

White bean and quinoa salad

This white bean quinoa salad isn’t just good for you – it’s delicious too. The quinoa and white beans keep you full with fiber and plant-based protein, while the broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers add loads of nutrients and a nice crunch. And that dressing? With shallots, mustard, and red wine vinegar, it has so much flavor and it really brings everything together.

One thing I really like about this salad is how flexible it is. You can serve it cold or at room temperature, so it’s great for picnics or potlucks. It also keeps well in the fridge, perfect for grabbing quick lunches throughout the week. I often make a big batch on Sundays to have easy meals ready to go.

My favorite part of this great salad recipe is how easy it is to mix things up. Not into bell peppers? Throw in some cherry tomatoes instead. Want some extra crunch? Add a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds. You can really make it your own with whatever fresh ingredients you have on hand. 

Recipe highlights

White bean and quinoa salad
  • This white bean and quinoa salad is naturally vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free, so it’s great to cater to anyone with dietary restrictions.
  • Packed with protein from quinoa and cannellini beans, and fiber from veggies, this salad will keep you satisfied for hours.
  • The tahini-based dressing adds a creamy texture and nutty flavor without any actual nuts.
  • It’s incredibly versatile – enjoy it as a main dish, side, or even stuffed into a wrap for lunch on-the-go.
  • This is another recipe that is perfect for meal prep. The flavors actually improve as it sits in the fridge.

Ingredients needed

The full list of measurements for each ingredient is in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post. 

  • Quinoa – I use this as the base for its nutty flavor and protein content. Try cooking it in vegetable broth for extra flavor.
  • White beans – These add creaminess and more protein. I usually use cannellini, but great northern beans work well too.
  • Broccoli – I chop this pretty small so it’s easy to eat. Don’t toss those stems – they’re delicious when finely chopped!
  • Carrot – I like to shred the carrots for even distribution throughout the salad.
  • Red bell pepper – This adds a pop of color and sweet crunch. Yellow or orange peppers would be great too.
  • Shallot – I prefer shallot for its milder flavor, but red onion works in a pinch.
  • Mustard – Dijon is my go-to, but whole grain mustard adds nice texture.
  • Red wine vinegar – This gives the dressing its tang. Apple cider vinegar is a good substitute if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Olive oil – Use a good quality oil here as it’s a key flavor in the dressing.
  • Tahini – This adds creaminess and a subtle nutty flavor. Make sure to give it a good stir before measuring.
  • Coriander – I love the lemony notes this brings. If you’re not a fan, try cumin instead.

How to Make The Best White Bean and Quinoa Salad

How to make white bean and quinoa salad

Cook the quinoa – I like to do this first so it has time to cool. You can also spread it out on a baking sheet for quicker cooling.

Prep the veggies – While the quinoa cools, chop your broccoli, shred the carrot, and slice the bell pepper.

Make the dressing – Whisk together all the dressing ingredients until smooth. 

Assemble the salad – In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled quinoa, white beans, and all your prepped veggies. Pour over the dressing and toss well to coat everything.

Let it rest – This healthy salad tastes even better after the flavors have had time to mingle. I recommend letting it sit for at least 30 minutes before serving, but longer is even better.

Storage and serving

White bean and quinoa salad

This White Bean and Quinoa Salad is a meal-prepper’s dream. The fully assembled salad will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The flavors actually improve over time!

If you want to prep further in advance, keep the dressing separate from the salad components. They’ll stay fresh for up to 5 days this way. Just toss the cannellini bean salad ingredients together when you’re ready to eat.

I love serving this salad as a light main dish for lunch or dinner. It pairs wonderfully with a side of fresh fruit. For a heartier meal, try it alongside some grilled vegetables or a bowl of gazpacho.

If you’re taking this to work or a picnic, pack it in a leak-proof container. I like to top it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh herbs just before eating to really makes the flavors pop!

Recipe FAQs and Tips

White bean and quinoa salad
  • For the best texture, make sure to chop the broccoli into very small pieces. Nobody wants to wrestle with huge chunks of raw broccoli in a salad!
  • Don’t skip the resting time. Those 30 minutes make a big difference in flavor development.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving. Sometimes I add an extra pinch of salt or a drizzle of vinegar to brighten things up.

Can I use canned beans instead of cooking my own?

Absolutely! Just make sure to rinse and drain them well to remove any excess sodium.

What other ingredients can I add to this white bean salad?

The sky’s the limit! Some of my favorite add-ins include diced cucumbers, fresh tomatoes (or sun-dried tomatoes!), green beans, black olives, artichoke hearts, and fresh basil or fresh parsley. 

Can I use a different grain instead of quinoa?

Definitely. Couscous, bulgur, or even brown rice would work well here. Just adjust cooking times accordingly.

How can I add more protein to this salad?

Try adding some crumbled tempeh, cubed tofu, or your favorite vegan chicken alternative.

This white bean and quinoa salad has become a regular in my meal rotation, and for good reason. It’s nutritious, easy to make, and adaptable to what I have on hand. Whether you’re looking for a quick lunch option, a reliable dish for your next potluck, or just a tasty way to eat more veggies, give this recipe a try. It might just become your new favorite salad too. 

Other delicious quinoa recipes to try

If you love protein-packed quinoa as much as I do, you’ll want to try one of these other recipes for your next meal!

White Bean and Quinoa Salad

White bean and quinoa salad
This white bean and quinoa salad can be served warm or cold. It's great for a quick lunch or bringing to cookouts.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Serving Size 4

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup white beans cooked and drained
  • 1 broccoli crown chopped small
  • 1 carrot peeled and shredded
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced

Dressing

  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. tahini
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander

Instructions

  • Cook the quinoa and allow to cool completely.
  • Chop the broccoli into very small pieces, florets and stems separately so that the stems don’t end up too big.
  • Peel and shred the carrot. Cut the bell pepper into thin strips.

Make the dressing

  • Mince the shallot very finely.
  • Combine all the dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl or glass and whisk until smooth.

Assemble the salad

  • Combine the finely chopped broccoli, quinoa, beans, carrot, and bell pepper in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle on the dressing and toss to coat.
  • Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. This lets the flavors develop. Store for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 520mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 3mg

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