Quick-Marinated White Bean Salad and Feta Lettuce Cups Recipe

Matthew and Emily Clifton

Why It Works

  • Adding mustard to the vinaigrette helps emulsify the dressing (which also acts as a marinade for the beans).
  • Letting the shallots marinate in the acidic dressing reduces their oniony bite.
  • Using lettuce cups helps cut down on cleanup, especially useful if you're taking this salad out for a picnic or potluck.

A bean salad doesn't have to be boring. The creamy white cannellini beans in this easy salad absorb the bright flavor of a vinaigrette in just a few minutes. Paired with briny olives, fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta cheese, and served in lettuce cups, they make a quick and substantial dinner.

Recipe Facts



Active: 20 mins
Total: 20 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • For the Dressing:
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated on a Microplane or minced 
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) fresh juice from about 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) honey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Salad:
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes (7 ounces; 200g), halved 
  • 3 Persian cucumbers (or 1/2 English cucumber), seeded and diced
  • 2/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
  • Handful fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 5 ounces (140g) feta cheese, preferably French or Greek, drained and crumbled
  • 1 head Boston lettuce, washed, leaves separated (optional)


  1. For the Dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and honey. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. For the Salad: Add beans and shallot to dressing and toss well. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. (To save time, you can prep the rest of the salad ingredients while you wait.)

  3. Stir tomatoes, cucumber, olives, herbs, and cheese into bean/shallot mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Spoon salad into individual bowls or lettuce-leaf cups (if using) and serve.

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