High Protein White Bean Salad with Olives Recipe

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Sometimes, your body needs a good mid-day protein boost to recharge. However, if you don’t want a heavy meal or you don’t eat meat, you may find your options limited. 

It may feel easiest to just grab fast food or a bagel sandwich to fill you quickly. The drawback to these options is that their caloric, carbohydrate, and sugar content may leave you feeling sluggish and heavy.

You may wonder, “What are my best options? What vegetables can replace meat for protein?”

The great news is the options for a quick, simple protein-filled recipe are endless. For example, a high protein bean salad can provide you with a healthy meal that won’t leave you dragging or feeling hunger pangs two hours later.  

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What is the healthiest vegetable protein?

When you’re looking for a healthy meat-alternative for protein, it’s important to know which vegetables are considered your healthiest options. Although moderate meat consumption certainly has benefits, reliance on plant proteins can bring you a plethora of health advantages. 

Plant whole foods all contain protein, but the greatest sources are legumes (beans, soy, and lentils), seeds, and nuts. Plant-based diets also give you an excellent source of fiber. The average adult doesn’t consume enough fiber to meet suggested daily requirements, yet fiber is vital to overall wellness. 

Vegan protein sources such as chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp, and walnuts also provide omega-3 fatty acids which are important in reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, a plant-based diet contains less saturated fats than a meat-based diet which means less LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol. Plants also provide necessary health-promoting nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.

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High protein white bean salad is an easy, healthy meal option

This white bean salad is one of my favorites — I love the versatility it allows: You can add cannellini, garbanzo, or navy white beans and still feel satisfied and energized. 

The best part of this healthy meal option? The high protein, fiber rich bean salad only takes 10 minutes to make!

I’d suggest adding your favorite fresh herbs and olives to enrich the flavor of the dish. For the recipe I’m sharing with you, I used cilantro and kalamata olives, which created a delicious flavor profile.

33g of protein per serving 

Not only is this white bean salad delicious, it contains a heaping 33 grams of protein. In comparison, a 3 ounce serving of chicken or turkey contains 26 grams of protein, red meat dishes contain 7 grams per ounce, and healthy fish choices average about 6 grams per ounce.  

The high protein salad is great served chilled after a workout or as an energizing lunch. It’s also a delicious, healthy meal when served warm for dinner.

My white bean salad recipe contains simple ingredients, quick prep time, and easy steps to follow. Feel free to substitute your favorite herbs and salad dressings, or even add in extra vegetables to suit your personal taste. When available, choose organic ingredient options from your grocery store or local farmer’s market! 

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White Bean Salad with Olives and Fresh Herbs

  • Author: Chef Serena Poon


Servings: 4-6

Prep time: 10 min (if using canned/jarred beans)

33g protein


3 ¾ C of white beans, soaked and cooked OR 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans (drained well and rinsed)

3 cloves garlic (minced)

1 red onion (minced)

½ C fresh parsley (chopped) OR fresh cilantro

2 TB olive oil

2 large tomatoes (diced)

¼ C kalamata olives (chopped)

2 TB red wine vinegar

1 TB fresh lemon juice

Himalayan Pink Salt (to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


  1. Over low heat, combine beans, garlic, onion, and half of the parsley (or cilantro) in olive oil. Heat for 60-90 seconds, or until fragrant. (You don’t want to actually cook the ingredients, just warm them enough to bring out the essence and flavors).
  2. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl.
  3. Add the tomatoes, olives, vinegar, lemon juice, the remaining parsley (or cilantro) and gently toss to combine well. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve your white bean salad warm or you can also chill before serving.

Are white beans a superfood? 

Foods are considered superfoods when the density of their nutrients is higher than their calories. That means they’re more efficient and “super.” So you’re getting more bang for your buck because your body doesn’t have to do as much work to break them down while still getting a ton of helpful vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

Although all beans are considered a great source of protein, white beans specifically fall into the definition of superfood. White beans include micronutrients such as vitamin B6, folate, and magnesium, along with plenty of fiber and protein. 

A daily cup of white beans covers 16% of the calcium, 21% of potassium, and 36% of the iron your body needs. White beans are also low on the glycemic index, which makes them a great option for diabetics.

I chose white beans for my salad recipe because they’re a great recovery food and can re-energize you after an intense workout or long day. Protein is a vital component of muscle building and strengthening, and 33 grams of protein per serving provides you with a vital energy source. White beans are 100% vegan, which makes them a perfect option for any diet or lifestyle.

The white bean salad adds other awesome nutritional benefits via the herbs, garlic, lemon juice, onions, and tomatoes. 

Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean expensive ingredients and intricate, time-consuming recipes. You also don’t have to chew on a flavorless, sugar-filled protein bar to transform your eating habits. If you’re looking for a great, easy recipe to add as a staple to a health-conscious diet, this high-protein bean salad is a phenomenal option.



I’m passionate about guiding others on the transformative path of health and wellness. I would love to connect with and encourage you!

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This content is strictly the opinion of Chef Serena Poon and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Serena nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

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