Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad with Parsley Vinaigrette

I love the classic Italian combination of tuna and beans.  This delicious, traditional Italian salad can be prepared from ingredients you should always keep in your pantry – canned tuna and canned beans.  Eating well doesn’t necessarily mean spending hours in the kitchen.  Sometimes it’s good to get back to the basics and enjoy simple flavors and no-fuss preparations. This Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad with Parsley Vinaigrette fits the bill. 

The salad packs a lot of protein, not just from the beans, but also from the tuna, which is also an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids.  The slightly bitter radicchio balances out the blandness of the beans and adds color and crunch.  But use any greens you like.  Peppery arugula is another good choice.  If you use arugula, you might want to add some cherry tomatoes for color.  Different beans can be used such as borlotti or garbanzos.  Canned beans work well, but you can cook dried beans if you prefer.  Serve with some good crusty bread for a super simple, satisfying meal that is sure to become a family favorite!

Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad with Parsley Vinaigrette

An easy recipe for an Italian-inspired tuna and bean salad with radicchio, fennel, and a zesty Parsley Vinaigrette. The leftover vinaigrette is delicious spooned over fish or grilled vegetables.
Author Rosalie D’Amico



  • Radicchio or arugula or a combination of both
  • 1 can or jar of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ a small bulb of fresh fennel, quartered and thinly sliced or use 2-3 ribs of celery
  • 1-2 cans olive oil packed tuna (see notes)
  • Italian parsley leaves or celery leaves for garnish

Parsley Vinaigrette

  • 2 cups (packed) Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small shallot (or 1 Tablespoon chopped red onion)
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cayenne
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


Parsley Vinaigrette

  • Combine all ingredients in food processor (or blender) and process until well blended. Taste and adjust seasonings.


  • Cut or tear the radicchio into pieces and arrange to cover the bottom of a serving dish or individual salad plates. I often serve this in individual salad plates. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
  • Combine the beans and fennel (or celery) with some of the vinaigrette. Spoon over the radicchio. Top with tuna.
  • Spoon a little of the vinaigrette over the tuna and greens. Garnish with parsley or celery leaves.
  • Serve the extra vinaigrette on the side.


Two cups of cooked beans can be used instead of canned beans. The amount of tuna is up to you depending on how many people you are serving or if you are making one big salad or individual salads.