This Italian butter bean salad is creamy and refreshing, delicious on its own with fresh bread or alongside a juicy steak, stews and grilled food.
As days grow warmer our Italian butter bean salad makes a wonderful refreshing light meal or side.
Its made with creamy butter beans, finely sliced sweet red onion and fresh parsley tossed in a tangy, garlic-y, creamy dressing.
We like to serve a butter bean salad with fresh bread or alongside steaks, stews, grilled meats and vegetables.
It only takes 10 minutes to make but we recommend making it at least an hour before serving so flavours develop fully.
You may like to know
Butter beans also known as lima beans are larger than cannellini or black beans. They are high in protein and rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Fresh butter beans can be difficult to find as the season is so short (butter bean season only lasts a few weeks in summer), so we use canned or frozen for this recipe which are easily available in supermarkets.
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The ingredients you will need:
- butter beans – also known as lima beans, canned or frozen are fine.
- red onion – (not shown) small
- fresh parsley – for fresh flavour
- olive oil – forms the base of the creamy dressing
- vinegar – white wine vinegar
- lemon juice – for tanginess
- garlic – for flavour
- seasoning – salt and freshly ground black pepper
See recipe card for quantities.
Ingredients for the dressing.
The dressing can be prepared in advance and kept in a sealed jar. It is a temporary emulsive dressing which means it will separate after resting so shake well before tossing in the salad.
Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing to make a creamy emulsion.
Pour the dressing over the beans, parsley and sliced red onion (not shown) and mix till well coated.
Tip: We recommend covering and setting the dressed salad aside in a cool area/in the fridge for at least an hour before serving for the flavours to fully develop.
These are some extra ingredients you could add:
- make it spicy – sprinkle over some chili pepper flakes for extra heat.
- seafood – mix in some tuna, garlic shrimps , smoked fish or anchovies.
- for color – add sliced roasted red peppers, a sprinkling of gremolata or capers.
Make ahead and storing
This bean salad improves in flavour after resting. For best results prepare an hour before serving.
Keep in a sealed container and keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Looking for more recipes like this? Try these:
Some of our favorite dishes to serve with Italian butter bean salad:
Did you make this? Please rate it in the recipe card below and if you are sharing a photo on social media please tag @endofthefork. Thanks!
Italian Butter Bean Salad
- 800 g canned butter beans 2 x 15.5 oz cans, or thawed from frozen
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped
- 60 ml olive oil ¼ cup
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 medium clove garlic chopped small
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Drain and rinse 800 g canned butter beans then add to a medium mixing bowl with 1 small red onion and 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, mix and set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together 60 ml olive oil, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice to make an emulsion then whisk in the 1 medium clove garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the beans and mix well till all ingredients are well coated. Ideally cover and let it rest in a cool place for an hour then stir before serving for best flavour.
Only you will see your notes and you can edit them anytime.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically and accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The information above is an estimate per serving.
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