This easy White Bean Salad is brightened up with a simple lemon vinaigrette and topped with crumbled bacon, fresh basil, and tangy gouda cheese cubes. It’s the perfect healthy meal and an easy meal prep recipe!
White Bean Salad with Bacon and Gouda
This salad is perfect for when you want to eat a light salad but still feel full and satisfied at the end! You can use whichever salad greens you prefer, making this an easy, delicious, low-effort recipe, perfect for a busy night or meal prep day.
Ingredients can be chopped ahead of time and stored in the fridge so that this is a quick “dump and serve” meal. Canned beans and leftover cooked bacon make this super convenient and easy for beginner cooks, too.
This is the perfect salad to take for lunch as the marinated beans get better and better while they sit! It’s a great dorm room dinner, too — Just cook the bacon in the microwave, and no other appliances are needed!
White Bean Salad Ingredients
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need. For exact measurements and instructions, keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card.
- Greens – You can use your favorite lettuce or salad mix for this! Kale, spinach, romaine, arugula, or a delicious combination will provide the nutritious base.
- Toppings – White beans, diced red onions, chopped fresh Italian parsley, cooked and crumbled bacon, and cubed gouda cheese
- Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing – Olive oil, lemon juice, honey, Dijon mustard, and a bit of salt and pepper
How to make a lemon vinaigrette
A vinaigrette is the perfect dressing for a simple, light salad! I used fresh-squeezed lemon juice to add some acidity and flavor to a vinaigrette made with olive oil, honey, some Dijon mustard, and a touch of salt and pepper.
Instead of topping our salad greens with this dressing, I marinated the white beans in it. This way the beans are made more flavorful, and the dressing gets more easily distributed when the beans are tossed into the salad.
While the beans are marinating in the vinaigrette, split your salad greens between four dinner bowls. Top with the bacon crumbles, gouda cheese cubes, chopped red onion, and fresh parsley. Finally, top each bowl with about 1/3rd cup of marinated white beans, then toss.
What is a good substitute for parsley?
Parsley adds a great depth and “herby” flavor to this salad! It’s fairly mild in taste, but you can swap it out with other herbs or leave it out entirely if necessary. Here are some ways to substitute:
- Basil – Much stronger in flavor, but it’ll give more of an Italian flavor. You might choose to reduce the amount to 2-3 tablespoons since it’s flavor is bolder than parsley.
- Arugula – Peppery and bold in flavor, but it would complement the creamy white beans and lemony vinaigrette well. If you’re not a big pepper fan, you could reduce this to 2-3 tablespoons of chopped arugula instead of parsley.
- Chives – Fresh, chopped chives will provide herby freshness while also boosting a flavor of onion and garlic!
Is salad good for meal prepping?
Yes, salads that are stored properly are perfect for a healthy meal prep routine! When stored correctly, salad greens can stay fresh for about five days, so the key is to keep it dry and airtight.
My favorite way to meal prep this salad is by using the jar salad method. This means you put the marinating white beans in the bottom of the jar, followed by the red onions, gouda cheese, and crumbled bacon. Finally, add the parsley and salad greens (washed and patted dry) to the jar.
As long as your jar is kept upright, the greens never touch the wet ingredients, keeping everything fresh and delicious! When you’re ready, just shake the jar to distribute the dressing, dump it out into a bowl, and eat!
How to store White Bean Salad
To keep your salad fresh for several days, be sure to store the wet ingredients separate from your dry ingredients. The salad greens, parsley, bacon, and cheese will be their best for several days if kept dry in an airtight container. The marinade, white beans, and red onions can be kept in a bowl together up to five days in the fridge.
Once the salad has been tossed with the marinated beans, it should be eaten that same day. Otherwise, the greens and bacon with become soggy.
What to serve with Bacon & Gouda Salad
White Bean Salad
- 1 can (15 ounces) white beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 ounces salad greens (romaine, kale, spinach, or your favorite mix)
- 6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1/2 cup gouda cheese, cubed
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mix up the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or jar and stir until it's well-combined. Taste the dressing and add more lemon or honey based on your preferences.
- Pour the vinaigrette over a bowl of drained and rinsed white beans. Chill in the fridge at least 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- In one large serving bowl or in four individual dinner bowls, place the greens and top with cheese, bacon, red onion, and parsley. Finally, add the marinated white beans, toss the salad, and serve with lemon wedges (optional).
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: About 1 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 398Total Fat: 25gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 450mgCarbohydrates: 30gNet Carbohydrates: 21gFiber: 9gSugar: 2.9gProtein: 16g