This easy White Bean Tuna Salad is deliciously packed with protein! It’s a no-mayo, fresh, and light salad that doesn’t skimp on flavor and makes a great lunch or dinner!

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two plates of salad with a fresh lemon on the counter

Why We Love White Bean Tuna Salad

With spring finally here, that means more daylight! And less wanting to spend time cooped up inside the house. It’s time to put away those hearty soups of winter and opt for a much lighter fare. But don’t worry, this tuna salad is still filling!

With cannellini beans, fresh arugula, tangy capers, rich feta cheese, and juicy cherry tomatoes, you’ll love the blend of Mediterranean flavors. The drizzle of fresh lemon juice really brightens it all up. 

This no-mayo tuna salad comes together in minutes. Full of fresh ingredients and protein-packed tuna and beans, it’s a great recipe for lunch on the patio while soaking up some sunshine or it can take center stage for dinner. Serve with a glass of iced tea or white wine.

salad ingredients in a bowl and woman drizzling oil over them

Ingredients for Easy White Bean Tuna Salad

A light dish packed with plenty of flavor!

  • cannellini beans – You can use any that you like, but I find Bush’s Beans have the best flavor. Don’t forget to drain and rinse the beans. 
  • canned tuna – Using canned tuna over fresh is what will really make this recipe so much less time-consuming. Leftover salmon would be a great replacement for the tuna or leftover or canned chicken could be substituted if you aren’t a fan of seafood. 
  • arugula – Nothing beats those leafy greens during the Spring and Summer months. Arugula can be substituted for baby spinach if you prefer. 
  • red onion – Red onions have a strong flavor that perfectly balances the softer ingredients in this salad recipe. 
  • capers – A blend of lemon, salt, and olive come together to produce a beautiful flavor for capers. Don’t forget to rinse to wash off any excess salt and let their delicate flavor shine. 
  • olive oil – It wouldn’t be a Mediterranean-inspired dish without olive oil! Rich extra virgin olive oil is best for flavor. 
  • lemon juice -Use fresh lemon juice rather than bottled. It has a much brighter flavor and makes all the difference!
  • kosher salt and cracked pepper – Just a sprinkle of each for your taste. 
  • cherry tomatoes – Slice these juicy tomatoes in half to add a sweet and vibrant flavor to the dish. 
  • feta cheese – Crumbly, rich, biting flavor – I can’t get enough!
  • parsley –  Fresh is best. There’s more flavor in fresh, chopped parsley than in the dried version. 

close up of salad in a glass bowl with lemons on the counter

How To Make Easy White Bean Tuna Salad

Keep this quick and easy salad recipe in your back pocket this summer. It definitely comes in handy! 

(full printable recipe at the end of this post)

Whip up the easiest healthy lunch or dinner dish, Mediterranean-inspired tuna salad: 

Step One: In a medium mixing bowl, combine cannellini beans, tuna, fresh arugula, thinly sliced red onion, and capers. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Toss to combine and coat. Then, gently fold in the cherry tomatoes. Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste. If your salad seems a little dry, simply add more olive oil and lemon juice. 

Step Two: Generously top with crumbled feta. Top your salad off with some freshly chopped parsley. 

Step Three: Serve immediately, and enjoy!

close up of salad on a white plate


White Bean Tuna Salad Tips

Light tuna vs white tuna: Albacore tuna is the only tuna that can be labeled as “white” and is less flavorful than “light” tuna. Light tuna is a little darker and more flavorful.  Much like the differences in chicken breast and chicken thighs. Albacore is usually what I reach for, it’s higher in heart-healthy omega-3 fats, but either will work.

This recipe requires only a few ingredients. While the canned beans and tuna can be saved and used any time, I suggest making this dish when the rest of the ingredients are at their freshest for the best quality of taste.

Don’t be afraid to add other Mediterranean-inspired flavors to this salad! Cucumbers, Artichoke hearts, pitted Kalmata olives, sun-dried tomatoes over the cherry ones, green or red peppers or even fire-roasted red peppers…. would all work wonderfully in this favorite salad recipe.

I suggest serving this salad the same day you make it. However, it can be stored in an airtight container for two days in the refrigerator. You can always opt for combining all your ingredients but holding off on the olive oil and lemon juice until you’re ready to indulge in your salad, too! After all, no one wants a soggy salad.

Tuck this salad into a whole wheat pita or wrap it in a tortilla and make it a sandwich

Try different variations of beans (or a combination) if cannellini beans aren’t your preference. Garbanzo beans, Navy, or Great Northern beans could also work wonderfully in this recipe. 

two plates of salad with tuna

Is There Another Name For Cannellini Beans?

Cannellini beans are also called white kidney beans.  You can use Cannellini beans or Great Northern Beans in this white bean tuna salad recipe.

Cannellini Beans are the largest white beans and have a traditional kidney bean shape, with an earthy nutty flavor to them.  While Great Northern Beans are a little smaller and firmer. They have a delicate nutty flavor and tend to take on the flavor of whatever they are cooked with, like the smoked sausage in white bean soup.

Even though the different varieties have slightly different flavors and sizes, they’re often used interchangeably in recipes. Use your personal favorite or simply what you have on hand. 

 salad in a glass bowl

More Deliciously Fresh Springtime Salads

Summer Pasta Salad – This Summer Pasta Salad is loaded with fresh garden vegetables of the season and tossed in a flavorful herb-infused sweet tea vinaigrette dressing. Great for potlucks, BBQs, or summer gatherings. Serve it as a side dish or add protein for a main dish.

Grilled Corn and Zucchini Salad – Grilled Corn and Zucchini Salad is a fresh summer side that pairs well with anything off the grill. Full of flavor and lots of crunch make this summer salad a nice change from the classics like bean salad, slaw, and potato salad. So simple yet so perfect it will become your new summer go-to dish.

Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad – This Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad features a medley of chopped veggies, juicy chicken, and corkscrew pasta packed with flavor and covered in a sweet Italian dressing. The PERFECT dish to bring to a potluck, picnic, or a quick weeknight dinner for the family!

Feta, Peach & Prosciutto Salad – Sweet, salty, cheesy with a hint of lemon and mint. This salad is like summer on a fork! and blows any ol’ garden salad out of the water.

Like This White Bean Tuna Salad Recipe? Pin It!


close up of salad on a plate

This easy dish can be whipped up in no time. 

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Originally posted in May 2011. UPDATED in March 2021. We spiffed up this post with more info and better pictures! No changes to the original recipe.

two plates of salad with a fresh lemon on the counter

White Bean Tuna Salad

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 11 minutes

This easy White Bean Tuna Salad is deliciously packed with protein! It’s a no-mayo, fresh, and light salad that doesn’t skimp on flavor and makes a great lunch or dinner!


  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (I prefer Bush’s Beans)
  • 1 (12 ounce) can tuna in water, drained
  • 2 cups fresh arugula (or baby spinach)
  • 1/4 cup very thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and pat dry
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • kosher salt and cracked pepper, to taste
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped


  1. In a medium bowl, mix beans, tuna, arugula, red onion and capers. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and toss to combine. Gently fold in cherry tomatoes. Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste. If salad is a little dry use more olive oil and lemon juice.
  2. Top with feta and parsley.
  3. Serve immediately.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 612Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 1412mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 12gSugar: 22gProtein: 40g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.

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salad with tuna and beans on a plate