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oval platter filled with tuna and white bean salad with crostini, a lemon and olive oil on the side

Grilled Tuna and White Bean Salad

Grilled Tuna and White Bean Salad, the perfect easy to make summer meal that's light and refreshing yet filling! This easy one dish meal packs lots of flavor and protein with both grilled tuna and white beans.
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine Italian
Keyword grilled tuna and white bean salad
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting time 30 minutes
Servings 2 servings as a main dish
Calories 720kcal


  • 1 tuna steak about 350 grams

For the dressing

  • 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon zest of 1/2 lemon (1 1/2 tsp) and juice of entire lemon (3 tbsp.)
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt or more as needed
  • black pepper to taste

For the salad

  • 19 ounce can of white beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 red onion cut into slivers
  • handful black olives


Prepare the dressing

  • In a small bowl combine olive oil; lemon zest and juice; freshly chopped parsley; finely minced garlic clove and salt and pepper.

Grill the tuna

  • Transfer 2 tbsp of the dressing to a separate bowl and brush it on both sides of the tuna. Let the tuna sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Reserve the remaining dressing for the salad.
  • Preheat you grill. After the 30 minute resting period, grill the tuna for 4-5 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. This may vary according to the thickness of your tuna steak. When ready, let the tuna sit for 5-10 minutes before cutting into bite sized pieces.

Assemble the salad

  • In a large bowl combine the white beans; halved cherry tomatoes; red onion; black olives and tuna. Add the prepared dressing, reserving about 2 tbsp. for drizzling over the top, and toss to coat. Adjust seasoning, as needed.
  • Drizzle reserved dressing over the salad. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate until ready to serve with crostini.


Which type of white beans can be used in this salad?

  • There are several types of canned white beans including navy; great northern or cannellini beans. Each of these beans may be used interchangeably in this salad.

Can this salad be made ahead?

  • The salad is ready to serve right away. However, it may be prepared several hours in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve. I actually prefer it after it has rested for a few hours. This allows the flavors to mingle. 
  • Leftovers keep well refrigerated until the following day.

What else can I add to Grilled Tuna and White Bean Salad?

I have made this salad countless times and varied the ingredients according to what I have on hand. Here are a few possibilities: 
  • If you're in a hurry replace the grilled tuna with two cans of tuna of your choice.
  • Replace white beans with a can of chickpeas
  • Add chopped green onions or chives instead of red onion
  • If you don't have black olives (my favorite!) on hand add green olives or omit them completely if you're not a fan of olives
  • Toss in a tablespoon of capers
  • Add a handful or two or mixed greens; arugula; or baby spinach
Please note that the nutritional information provided is approximate and may vary according to exact ingredients used and portion size.


Calories: 720kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 34g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 1512mg | Potassium: 1232mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3036IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 153mg | Iron: 7mg