Made with simple, whole ingredients and topped with a bright homemade Dijon dressing, this Mediterranean White Bean and Sardine Salad is a quick and delicious meal in 15 minutes! Serve it with crusty bread for a satisfying meal any day.
An easy sardine salad
Canned sardines may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when you're thinking about lunch or dinner, but they're a tasty little fish that is high protein, vitamins, and minerals, and with lower mercury levels than other fish. And for this busy mamma, I appreciate that you can turn sardines into a quick meal in 15 minutes!
This Mediterranean sardine salad with white beans, tomatoes, green onions, and fresh herbs is a prime example of how you can put a couple cans of sardines to good use on short notice. It is a simple combination of powerful flavors, pulled together with an easy Dijon dressing and Mediterranean favorites like sumac and Aleppo pepper (but you can change seasonings up to your liking).
And between the sardines and white beans, this salad is a satisfying dish that makes a great lunch or light dinner with your favorite crusty bread.
What to look for when buying canned sardines?
Canned sardines do come in different options--some packed whole or chopped, and the canning liquid will differ from water to olive oil, or sauce. Generally, canned sardines are accessible and relatively affordable, but this is one case where I would advice to pay a little bit more for quality, wild-caught sardines for better flavor and less preservatives (always compare labels).
I prefer whole canned sardines that are packed in olive oil. I have used Wild Planet sardines which are caught using sustainable methods and well-cleaned and scale-free. And I like their smokey taste. King Oscar sources smaller sardines that are caught near the Norwegian shore, they have a milder taste and good texture as well. There are many other great options, those two are just what I have used.
What you'll need to make this sardine salad recipe
This salad is made with simple ingredients - sardines, white beans, a few vegetables, and seasonings - that create a fresh, flavorful dish! Here is a quick list of ingredients:
- White beans - You can use cannellini beans or any other variety of white beans. Drain and rinse before adding to the salad.
- Sardines - Look for quality cans of sardine packed in olive oil
- Tomatoes - I used red and yellow cherry tomatoes.
- Onions - I used green onions for this recipe but you can also use a finely sliced red onions for a different flavor.
- Jalapenos - If you're not a fan of heat, just remove the seeds before chopping.
- Fresh parsley - Adds a burst of flavor and bright green color to this sardine salad.
- For the dressing - The dressing is simply made with Dijon mustard, lime juice, and extra virgin olive oil with garlic and Aleppo pepper and sumac.
How to make this sardine salad
These easy white bean salad comes together with just a few minutes prep!
- Make the dressing. Combine the mustard, lime juice, garlic, kosher salt, sumac and Aleppo pepper in a bowl. Season to your liking with salt and black pepper. Whisk and drizzle in the olive oil until emulsified.
- Assemble the salad. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Serve. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Adjust the seasoning to your liking. Serve and enjoy.
If you want to make this recipe with a little twist, go for it! Here are a few ideas and suggestions to get you started:
- Add salad greens. Looking for a big, green salad? Spinach, kale, or arugula will work well in this recipe. I recommend making the sardine and bean mixture separately and spooning it over a bed of greens.
- Substitute the sardines. If you're not a fan of sardines, you can easily make this salad with canned tuna, shredded chicken, or even salmon (check out this salmon salad for an idea on how to cook salmon for this salad). You may want to adjust or increase the seasonings to ensure the dish is just as flavorful.
- Other vegetable possibilities. Use up other veggies you have on hand like chopped red bell peppers or carrots.
- Add other favorites! Canned artichoke hearts, capers, or olives are also great to add in this white bean and sardine salad recipe.
Tips for the best white bean and sardine salad
For perfectly flavored sardine salad, keep these few key tips in mind.
- Use quality wild-caught sardines. I shared more on this above, but paying a little bit more for tastier sardines will make a difference. You can find boneless, skinless sardines for picky eaters who need a milder option.
- Season generously. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings to your liking. If you need a bit more zing, add more lime juice and mustard.
- Let the salad sit for a few minutes. This is a quick and easy salad to whip up any time and can be enjoyed immediately, but if possible give it just a few minutes for the flavors to meld together
Mediterranean sardine salad works as an appetizer or main entree and makes a particularly easy and healthy lunch. Serve with your favorite crusty bread - day old bread is great here - to soak up every last minute of dressing. Simple and satisfying!
How to store leftovers
Any leftover white bean and sardine salad should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last for up to 3 days. If serving with greens, I recommend storing the greens separately.
More salad recipes:
- Easy Nicoise Salad (French Salad with Tuna)
- Healthy Chicken Salad (No Mayo)
- Quick & Healthy Greek Salmon Salad
- Mediterranean-Style Shrimp Avocado Salad
Mediterranean White Bean and Sardine Salad
For the Salad
- 1 can white beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2 cans sardines (4.5 oz cans in olive oil, roughly chopped in large chunks)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 2 green onions (chopped)
- 1 to 2 jalapenos (chopped, seeds removed if you don't want the heat)
- 1 cup fresh Italian parsley (chopped)
For the Dressing
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 lime (zested and juiced)
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- 1 to 2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes
- To make the dressing, combine the mustard, lime zest and juice, garlic, sumac, and Aleppo, and a good dash of kosher salt and black pepper in a small mixing bowl. Whisk, and while whisking vigorously, drizzle in ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, until emulsified.
- In a large bowl, combine the beans, sardines, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and parsley. Toss gently to combine.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
- This recipe will serve 4 people for lunch with your favorite crusty bread. It can serve more as an appetizer or side.
- For best flavor, use quality, wild-caught sardines packed in olive oil. I shared more about this above, but a couple options I have used are Wild Planet and King Oscar.
- Visit Our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and spices.