Monday, September 12, 2011

Butter Bean Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Feta, and Basil Vinaigrette (Gluten-Free, Meatless)

This Butter Bean Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Feta, and Basil Vinaigrette is perfect for summer parties or to take to work.

Butter Bean Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Feta, and Basil Vinaigrette found on

When it's September and garden tomatoes and basil are are still plentiful, something you'll always find in my fridge is Basil Vinaigrette.  This combination of chopped basil and vinaigrette dressing is my favorite thing for drizzling over sliced tomatoes.  The basil vinaigrette has endless uses, and this time a touch of it was the perfect flavor to add some pizazz to this Butter Bean Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Feta, and Basil Vinaigrette.

Whether you use it as a side salad with something cooked on the grill or pack it in a plastic container to take for lunch, this unique bean salad has all the flavors of summer (just in case you'd like to keep them around a bit longer!) And you can make the flavorful vinaigrette with frozen chopped basil, just in case it's not fresh basil season any more.

This is the basil vinaigrette.  I confess I often make this with bottled vinaigrette, and one of my favorites is Le Parisien Vinaigrette which you probably can't get outside of Utah, but any type of homemade or bottled vinaigrette that has a good flavor will work.

Drain the canned butter beans into a colander and rinse with cold water, let them drain, then blot dry with paper towel.

When the beans are dried, mix in about half the basil vinaigrette and let the beans marinate in it while you prep the other ingredients.

I used my favorite sun-dried tomatoes, drained them to get rid of the oil, then chopped them just a little.

I measured out 1/2 cup of Kalamata olives and cut them in half.

I cut the Feta cheese into little cubes, which I thought would hold together in the salad.

Mix together the marinated beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives, and then blend in the rest of the dressing, or as much as you need to moisten all the ingredients.

Then gently mix in the feta cubes.

I added several tablespoons more chopped basil, because you can never have too much basil, can you? (This is purely optional if you don't have a garden that's producing lots of basil.)

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Butter Bean Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Feta, and Basil Vinaigrette
(Makes about 4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn)

2 cans (15 oz.) butter beans or any type of white bean
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half
1/2 cup Feta cubes (about 1/2 inch square)
1/3 cup Basil Vinaigrette
2 -3 T chopped fresh basil (optional)

Drain beans into a colander placed in the sink, rinse well with cold water (until no more foam appears) and then let drain a minute or two.  Then blot dry with paper towels and put the beans in a medium-sized salad bowl.  Add about half the Basil Vinaigrette and mix into beans, then let them marinate while you prep other ingredients.

Drain sun-dried tomatoes to remove the oil, then coarsely chop them.  (The ones I had were julienne-sliced so I only chopped the ones that were quite large.)   Cut Kalamata olives in half.  Cut feta in cubes 1/2 inch square.

Mix together the marinated beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and kalamata olives.  Add the rest of the dressing, or as much as you need to moisten the ingredients.  Then gently mix in the feta cubes and the additional chopped basil if using.  The salad can be served right away or marinated in the fridge for a few hours.  The salad will keep in the fridge for several days, but you might want to mix in a little extra dressing to refresh the flavors.

South Beach Suggestions:
Every ingredient in this salad would be approved for all phases of the South Beach Diet.  However, remember that even though dried beans are a low-glycemic ingredient, they're limited to 1/3 to 1/2 cup serving for Phase One.  Of course, the salad has other ingredients besides the beans, but use portion control if you're eating this for phase one.

Ten More Salads with Basil or Basil Vinaigrette
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Summer Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese, Basil Vinaigrette, and Fresh Herbs from Kalyn's Kitchen

Hearts of Palm Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, and Fetacounter customizable free hit from Kalyn's Kitchen

Tomato, Olive, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Basil Vinaigrette from Kalyn's Kitchen

Grilled Sweet Potato Salad with Green Onion, Basil, Thyme, and Feta from Kalyn's Kitchen

Chickpea Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Basil, and Parsley from Kalyn's Kitchen

Quinoa Salad with Yellow Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Basil, and Mint from Gluten Free Goddess

Farro Salad with Mushrooms, Tomatoes, and Basil from David Lebovitz

Asparagus Basil Salad from Elana's Pantry

Peach, Basil, and Red Onion Salad from Pink of Perfection

Chickpea and Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil from Green Lite Bites

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit
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  1. I have some very flavorful slow-roasted tomatoes that I just made, and though I don't have butter beans, I always have cannellini beans in the pantry. I love the combination of flavors here, and I'm going to try this with a few substitutions of what I have on hand.

  2. You have managed to combine three of my absolute favorite foods on the planet! I love the salty bite of olives paired with the tangy taste of the sundried tomatoes. This is definitely on my upcoming weekend menu. Thanks so much for the inspiration, Kalyn!

  3. Lydia and Kelly, so glad you like it!

  4. I'm wishing I had everything on hand so I could make this today! It looks fantastic.

  5. This salad looks and sounds delicious,Kalyn!Great meatless lunch idea. Thanks for sharing!

  6. wonderful post!

    sounds really fast and easy... great idea for side dish to brag on (but only a few ingredients if using the bottled dressing. LOVE this post

  7. You definitely know how to make a salad, Kalyn. The colors and flavors make this so inviting.

  8. I love that you love feta as much as me! This salad looks delicious!!

  9. Erica, that's what I thought too; glad you like it.

    Thanks Dave. I am all about easy!

    Dara, thanks. I did really like the combination.

  10. Thanks Kelley. Just put a little Feta in anything and I'll eat it!

  11. Oooh, now that's what I'm talkin' about! Everything I like in one bowl!

  12. Beth, so glad you like it! (My favorite flavors too!)

  13. I love the idea of keeping a dressing like that in the fridge. I like to make my own dressing, but usually only do it for one salad :/

    I grew up eating butter beans and haven't had them in quite a while. The ingredients you've put together for this are wonderful. Quick & Easy meal!

  14. Kelly, in August and September I eat the basil vinaigrette on everything! Glad you like the salad.

  15. I've never had butter beans before but I'm going to try them now thanks to this recipe!

  16. Natalie, they're good. And you can definitely use cannellini beans if you can't find butter beans.

  17. That basil vinaigrette seems like the perfect way to keep summer alive! I love the mediterranean feel to this salad.

  18. This sounds so delicious! I love finding new types of salads to make; the possibilities are never-ending! Thanks :)

  19. Joanne, I am crazy about the basil vinaigrette!

    David, thanks. I love coming up with salads like this with lots of complementary flavors.

  20. I've never tried butter beans, but I'll have to look for them. They look a bit like lupini beans. I'm trying to buy up as much basil as possible before the season ends - will have to try your vinaigrette too.

  21. Jeanette, I think cannellini beans would be good too. I am hoping to get at least 2 more clippings from my basil, fingers crossed!

  22. I LOVE this salad! I often use butter beans in the Greek dish gigantes, but I've never though to use them in a salad. Fantastic idea, and love all the ingredients in it.

  23. Thanks Elly. I've had that Greek dish too and loved it. So glad you like the salad.

  24. All of my favorite ingredients! Well.... I'd use fresh tomatoes and as my garden is still on tomato over-drive..... Fortunately, so is the basil!

  25. I love making bean salads for work lunch. Do you prefer the butter beans because of the size and texture?

  26. Katie, definitely some of my favorite ingredients too.

    Tres Delicious, thanks!

    TW, no special reason I used the butter beans except maybe they reminded me of the Greek Gigantes beans? I think Cannellini beans would be good in this too.

  27. I've had this page sitting open teasing me for the past two days.

    I swear we have almost the exact same taste in food. The only way this salad could be more perfect would be if you showed up at our front gate holding a nice big bowl of it. ;)

    So glad to hear your basil is flourishing!

  28. Thanks Susan, and I have also noticed that we like so many of the same things!

  29. This salad looks so hearty and perfect for a side dish or as you said it's probably fabulous for lunch. The colors are really popping and presentation makes the salad very inviting. love it.
    Laura @ A Healthy Jalapeño

  30. This looks amazing. Sun-dried tomatoes are one of those things I always have on hand, and I just purchased a giant jar of olives. I guess that's a sign that this will soon be in my life.

  31. Thanks Laura, glad you like it.

    Shaina, I think it was meant to be!

  32. My grandpa was the first to introduce me to butter beans - he used to grow them on his farm - so this salad definitely brings up fond memories. :-)

  33. Kathy, what a fun memory. I've never had fresh butter beans, would love to try them!

  34. What a perfect concoction!!!!

  35. Could this look any better? Yum!


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