Vegan Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad in a small glass jar in focus
Mains, Starter

Vegan Tuscan “Tuna” and White Bean Salad

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You guys – this Vegan Tuscan “Tuna” and White Bean Salad is next-level delicious. This recipe is another one that I brought back from my recent travels. I did not know about this dish until we traveled more to the Southern part of Tuscany. There, it is called the “Nicoise” salad of Tuscany (or simply – Tuscan tuna salad). Want to know something interesting? It is actually not tuna in the original salad but pulled pork.

Vegan Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad in a small glass jar in focus with another jar visible in the forefront

Pork you might be asking? Yes, pork. Genuinely tastes like tuna though. This is mainly due to the mayonnaise, paired with lemon juice, mustard, and olive oil which provides this slightly distinct taste. I immediately fell in love with this salad for numerous reasons. For one, it has a really great texture. The celery and tomatoes add both flavor and crunch, whereas the olives provide a slightly salty note. I also added capers in order to draw out more of the “sea” flavor. There are croutons at the bottom for an additional texture profile. I also think that it would make a great salad to bring in for lunch or back to school. Perhaps keep the croutons on top though, rather than at the bottom when prepping in advance. That way, they do not become soggy.

Vegan Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad in a small glass jar in focus, photographed from above

As I wanted to make this dish vegan, I used jackfruit instead of pulled pork. If you have not come across jackfruit before, it has a similar texture and takes on different flavors (in this case from the dressing) as well whilst being completely vegan and gluten-free. Therefore it made a great alternative to either real tuna or pulled pork. For this salad, the white beans still provide an awesome level of protein to this dish, amongst other health benefits, of course, 😉.

Vegan Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad in a small glass jar in focus with another jar visible in the background

Why is this Vegan Tuscan “Tuna” and White Bean Salad good for you?

White Beans

White beans come in many varieties. The most common ones are cannellini beans, which are also often called white kidney beans. They are harvested both in North and South America. Cannellini beans have a bit of a nutty flavor and are a great addition to stews, soups, and chillis. White beans are particularly high in several micronutrients, such as copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and calcium. Copper is awesome for supporting the making of red blood cells, and keeps both your nerve cells and immune system healthy. Iron is also involved in your red blood cells and carries oxygen throughout your body from your lungs. Potassium provides normal levels of fluid in our body.

Vegan Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad photographed up close

In addition, as said above, white beans are a great source of protein and fiber. Beans are classified as an incomplete source of protein. Whereas they are great, they do not contain all 9 essential amino acids. You can pair an incomplete protein with nuts, seeds, and/or whole grains in order to get a complete one. I have written at length about this in my post “The Benefits of Protein“. Last but not least, beans also contain a whole load of fiber. I feel like I talk about this topic every week but it bears repeating 😂. Fiber is so beneficial for our gut health. It helps to eliminate easily, but it also acts as feeding ground for our good-gut bacteria. In addition, it has been positively correlated with heart health as it lowers your “bad” cholesterol levels. I would say – not too bad for a small mighty bean – am I right?!

Vegan Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad in a small glass jar in focus with a fork stuck into it

How can I adjust this Vegan Tuscan “Tuna” and White Bean Salad to my dietary requirements?

This recipe is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free. Due to the beans used in this dish (that I do not recommend skipping), it is sadly not paleo-friendly.

Vegan Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad in a small glass jar in focus half eaten with a fork on the side

Similar Recipes on the Blog

There are so many delicious salad recipes on the blog that are nourishing, crunchy, and with great texture!! Be sure to check out the following:

Vegan Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Salad with a fork stuck into it ready to be eaten

I hope you enjoy this more than delicious, easy, nourishing, and awesomely texture-like Vegan Tuscan “Tuna” and White Bean Salad. I cannot recommend this recipe enough – make it as a starter or double the amount as a main. As always, I love to hear what you think. You can either comment below and/or rate the recipe. Enjoy and happy-salad making!!

Vegan Tuscan “Tuna” Salad with White Beans

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Ann Robejsek Course: Starter, mainCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

2

servings
Prep time

25

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes

This Vegan Tuscan “Tuna” and White Bean Salad has great taste and texture! Enjoy as a starter or an easy grab-and-go lunch.

Ingredients

  • For the Vegan Tuscan “Tuna” and White Bean Salad
  • 1 piece 1 gluten-free bread (ca. 50 gr.)

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 (120 gr.) white beans

  • 2 2 stalks celery

  • 150 gr. 150 cherry tomatoes

  • 100 gr. 100 jackfruit

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 (120 ml. water)

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 (40 gr.) kalamon olives

  • 2 tsp 2 capers

  • For the sauce
  • 2 tbsp 2 vegan mayonnaise

  • 2 tbsp 2 olive oil

  • 2 tbsp 2 lemon juice

  • 1 tsp 1 mustard

  • 3/4 tsp 3/4 salt

  • Pepper to taste

How to

  • For the Vegan Tuscan “Tuna” and White Bean Salad
  • Heat a large non-sticking pan to medium heat. Meanwhile, cut the bread into crouton-sized chunks. Add to the pan and roast until crunchy. Set aside. You can add a tiny bit of olive oil and salt onto them if you want after the roasting process, but this is not required
  • Heat the pan to high heat and add both the jackfruit and water. The jackfruit should be cooking through and tender and this is easiest achieved by simply simmering it in water. You can add a lid to the pan if wished
  • In the meantime, prepare the other ingredients – wash and finely chop both the celery and cherry tomatoes and add to a bowl. Add the kalamon olives (you can roughly chop them but do not have to) and capers. Once the jackfruit is done, let it slightly cool, and then use two forks to simply pull it apart just like you would with pulled pork. Add along to the bowl
  • For the sauce
  • Simply add the vegan mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, pepper, and salt to the bowl and mix well. Let sit in the fridge and marinate for about two hours. This one serves two as a starter or 1 as a main for lunch. Enjoy!!

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