Easy Spanish White Bean Salad

Easy Spanish White Bean Salad

This white bean salad is vegan and comes together in five minutes. It only needs eight ingredients, and is so easy to make I debated whether I should bother doing a post on it or not. Serve as part of a selection of salads, with some crusty white bread to mop up the delicious sauce. It’s also great as a tapa on crackers or mini-toasts.

Although this only takes a few minutes to come together, be warned it is pretty much 100% obligatory that you leave it to chill in the fridge for at least one hour. Preferably overnight if at all possible. Freshly made it tastes nice, but is nothing spectacular.

The longer it chills, the more magically melded the flavours become. The sauce thickens and becomes creamy from the starch released by the beans, and the garlic and onion mellow and flavour the mix.

Is Spanish white bean salad actually Spanish?

White bean salad on a bed of greens and tomatoes

Yes and No. I have had a version of this salad a few times as a tapa in a the odd restaurant here. However bean dishes in general are not super popular in Spain, without meat added. I have also seen several recipes for ensalada de alubias blancas (white bean salad), but they tend to include fish.

How do you make this salad?

The answer? Really easily. First of all, pick your beans. If you’re a brave, intrepid and thrifty soul you can pressure cook them. Personally I rarely pressure cook white beans or kidney beans unless I’m cooking them in a sauce, as it’s so hard to get the texture right.

You can use either cannellini beans or butter beans. I use jarred beans as I don’t really have any other options in the shops here, but canned beans would be better. Canned beans tend to hold their shape better than jarred beans, which are a little mushy (still tasty though!).

Drain your beans well and add them to a container (something that will fit in your fridge easily and can be covered). Chop the onions, pepper and tomato finely and add them to the bowl. Add the crushed garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt. Mix well, being careful not to mash the beans. Place in the fridge to chill for one hour minimum.

Mixing white bean salad in a blue bowl

See? I told you it was easy!

A word to the wise – do not be tempted to add more garlic or onion. If you taste the salad when freshly made, you won’t really be able to taste the garlic, but after an hour in the fridge the flavour is much stronger. While substitution in recipes is great, do be precise with the olive oil, vinegar, and salt in this one. I have experimented with different amounts and combinations, and this is the best one.

If you want a lighter version, you can halve the oil and vinegar and keep the rest of the ingredients the same, but be warned that the flavour will be much milder. Two-thirds of my taste-testing team preferred the regular version, while one third preferred the lighter one. As it is, the regular version only contains 180 calories per serving!

If you can’t find red wine vinegar you can substitute with 2 tbsp balsamic and 3 tbsp white vinegar. It will be tasty but not the same though…. This salad makes six servings as part of a meal or as an appetizer, and will keep in the fridge for about five days.

white bean tomato and green pepper salad on mini toasts on a dark blue plate

Easy Spanish white bean salad is a regular in my household, I usually add it as a side, or in spring and summer have it as part of a salad platter. Handsome husband is partial to eating a big pile of it with soda bread . How will you eat yours? Let me know in the comments below. And if you make it, I’d love to see how it turned out! You can tag me on Instagram (@the_fiery_vegetarian).

¡Buen provecho y bon profit!

Yield: 6

Easy Spanish White Bean Salad

Easy Spanish White Bean Salad

This tasty white bean Spanish style salad is vegan, nutritious, filling, full of fibre, comes together in five minutes. It's probably the easiest dish you'll make all year. Serve it with plenty of crusty bread for dipping, and enjoy! 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 400 g white beans, drained weight
  • 1/2 onion, chopped finely
  • 1 green pepper, chopped finely
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the beans (canned is better but jarred will do.)
  2. Finely chop the onion, pepper and tomatoes, add to the beans.
  3. Pour in the oil and vinegar.
  4. Add the crushed garlic and salt. Mix well.
  5. Chill for at least one hour. Serve with other salads and/or crusty bread for a filling main dish, or on toasts for a tapa-style appetizer.
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