Spicy Cannellini Bean Salad with Tuna, Peperoncini, and Parsley

This slightly-spicy take on white bean and tuna salad is perfect to take to work for a tasty lunch and this delicious salad is gluten-free, dairy-free, and South Beach Diet friendly.

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Spicy Cannellini Bean Salad with Tuna, Peperoncini, and Parsley found on KalynsKitchen.com

I made this Spicy Cannellini Bean Salad with Tuna, Peperoncini, and Parsley over and over this summer, after I got infatuated with peperoncini, those slightly hot and spicy peppers that come in a jar with brine. It’s definitely a variation of my White Bean Salad with Tuna and Parsley, and the first few times I made this, it was just for lunch, with no thought of blogging the recipe.

Then when I realized I’d made it for the third time, I decided the the addition of peperoncini added such a kick to this salad that maybe some other peperoncini-lovers out there would like to try it. If you’re a South Beach dieter who’s looking for things you can make ahead and take to work for your lunch, this salad would be a perfect option for that too.

Spicy Cannellini Bean Salad with Tuna, Peperoncini, and Parsley found on KalynsKitchen.comWhile the beans are draining, whisk together lemon juice, peperoncini juice, olive oil, and a bit of salt and fresh ground black pepper to make the dressing.

Spicy Cannellini Bean Salad with Tuna, Peperoncini, and Parsley found on KalynsKitchen.comThen mix the drained beans with a few tablespoons of dressing so the beans can marinate while you prep the other ingredients.

Spicy Cannellini Bean Salad with Tuna, Peperoncini, and Parsley found on KalynsKitchen.comI used about 2 T of chopped peperoncini and 4 T chopped parsley, but you can use more of either one if you prefer.

Spicy Cannellini Bean Salad with Tuna, Peperoncini, and Parsley found on KalynsKitchen.comGently combine the marinated beans, drained tuna, chopped parsley and chopped peperoncini.

Spicy Cannellini Bean Salad with Tuna, Peperoncini, and Parsley found on KalynsKitchen.comDecide whether the salad seems too dry, and stir in a bit more dressing if desired. (I used about 3/4 of the dressing and saved the rest for a green salad later.) Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Spicy Cannellini Bean Salad with Tuna, Peperoncini, and Parsley found on KalynsKitchen.com

Spicy Cannellini Bean Salad with Tuna, Peperoncini, and Parsley
(Makes 2-4 servings, depending on what else you eat with it, recipe created by Kalyn as a variation of White Bean Salad with Tuna and Parsley, a summer lunch favorite for years.)

2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 T peperoncini juice (brine from the jar of peperoncini)
5 T extra-virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 can (15.5 oz.) Cannellini beans (or use any type of white beans)
1 can (5 oz.) tuna packed in olive oil, drained (I love Tonno Genova Tuna in Olive Oil.)
4 large peperoncini peppers, drained, seeded, and chopped (about 2 T chopped peperoncini)
1/2 cup chopped parsley (or more)


Put the beans into a colander placed in the sink, rinse well with cold water (until no more foam appears) then let beans drain (or blot dry with paper towels if you’re in a hurry!)

Whisk together the lemon juice, peperoncini juice, and olive oil, then add salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. (I used a generous amount of pepper, but not much salt.) Combine the drained beans with 2 T of dressing and let marinate while you prep the other ingredients.

Drain olive oil from the tuna and discard. Wash parsley, spin dry or dry with paper towels, then finely chop. Drain peperoncini, remove seeds, and finely chop.

Mix the drained tuna, chopped parsley, and chopped peperoncini into the marinating beans and gently combine. Add additional dressing until the salad seems wet enough to you (I used about 3/4 of the dressing.) Season to taste with additional salt and fresh ground black pepper if desired, and serve.

This can be served room temperature or chilled. This salad will stay good in the refrigerator for a day or two, and would be great to take to work for a lunch salad.

I can think of a lot of other things you could add to this salad including diced red onion, chopped kalamata olives, chopped red bell pepper, or chopped cucumber. If anyone tries some of those variations, I’d love to hear how you liked them.

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South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This is a perfect lunch salad or side dish salad for any phase of the South Beach Diet, or any type of low-glycemic eating plan. The salad isn’t low in fat, but olive oil is a “good fat” for the South Beach Diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:

Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?

I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn’t have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

More Recipe Ideas for Peperoncini Lovers:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)

Peperoncini Chopped Salad with Romaine, Red Bell Pepper, and Feta from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Simple Smoked Mackerel Salad from The Leftover Queen

Spicy Pinto Bean and Tuna Salad with Peperoncini, Tomatoes, and Parsley from Kalyn’s Kitchen

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:

Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn’s Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

Spicy Cannellini Bean Salad with Tuna, Peperoncini, and Parsley found on KalynsKitchen.com

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38 comments on “Spicy Cannellini Bean Salad with Tuna, Peperoncini, and Parsley”

  1. I've been making a tuna and chickpea or white bean salad all summer long and the addition of pepperoncinis sounds delicious! I love those little hot, pickled peppers. Can't wait to try this recipe.

  2. I was just thinking this morning about making a tuna and white been salad this week. Now you've got me thinking I need to find some of these peperoncini!

  3. Kerri and TW, it's so good with that extra spicy touch from the peperoncini!

  4. Yum I love peperoncinis! I'll have to give this a shot since it's still warm here.

  5. I love the sounded of hte added punch from the pepperoncini!

  6. Once I bought one of those big bottles of peperoncini, I was putting them in everything! Hope you enjoy it.

  7. It sounds as good as it looks! And so easy.

    But. Don't throw away the tuna oil, especially if it's olive oil. Use it to make a dressing for something else (something that would like that oceanic twang.)


  8. CC, thanks, and good idea to save the oil.

  9. I love cannelini bean salads. (I just love those beans just about any way you can make them.)

    With tuna, parsley, lemon and pepperocinis- divine!

    This recipe really makes the ingredients shine.

  10. CJ, thanks. I'm also a big fan of Cannellini beans. Love them in soup or salads.

  11. This looks scrumptious – perfect for summer and so good for you too!

  12. I'm always up for adding a little spice to whatever I'm eating! This sounds so delicious and fresh-flavored.

  13. this looks like a vibrant and delicious salad. yum!

  14. I make a variation of this with watercress instead of parsley, and I use capers in the dressing in place of the pepperoncinis. I do put red onions in, as well. Delicious! I will try this one, too.

  15. I added chopped fresh mint to this yummy salad.

  16. Healy, thanks! Better make it again myself before summer is over!

    Joanne, I'm with you on adding a little more spice to everything.

    LimeCake, thank you!

    BarbieKay, I love the sound of your salad with watercress and capers! Brilliant combination.

    Enid, I think mint would be a fantastic addition to this.

  17. I've been wondering about those peperoncini every time I pick up my husband's bread and butter pickles at the store. Are they really hot or just a little bit hot? I usually use sweet red bell peppers in my hummus, but I've been thinking about something like the peperoncini to spice things up a bit.

    This white bean salad looks delicious. I'm going to try it for lunch today. Thanks!

  18. Jessica, the peperoncini are just slightly spicy, not really that hot. They're very flavorful from the vinegary brine.

  19. How do I incorporate this dish into a meal? Not all of us are SB. Would this be a side dish? thanks

  20. This can be a side dish or a main dish. I'd eat it for lunch as a main course, but for dinner I might use it as a side dish.

  21. I just bought some dried cannellini beans and I can't wait to try this salad!

  22. Pei Lin, I think it would be even better with dried Cannellini beans, but I have a hard time finding them here.

  23. Love your web site! Love that pepperoncini addition to tuna bean salad, and can't wait to try it! I make one similar, with tuna packed in olive oil, but, like Cookie Crumb says, I save the oil from the tuna for the dressing. You won't believe how much flavor it adds to the dish. I hope you try it.

    Love your recipes and photos! So delish!

  24. Brenda, it sounds like I better try making the dressing with the oil
    from the tuna. It does sound flavorful!

  25. Delicious – I'm eating it right now. I sprinkled a *little* feta on top and I think it's a nice addition. I think tomatoes would be good in it too. Kalyn, I love your blog, it has helped me so much. Whenever I have ingredients and need inspiration, I turn to your blog. I've shared many of your recipes with others.

  26. Heidi, feta sounds like a great addition to me. And so happy you are enjoying the recipes; thanks for letting me know.

  27. Hi Kalyn, I made these for a dinner party last night and it was well received! I used 2 bird's eye chili instead.

  28. So glad you liked it, and great idea to use fresh chiles instead of the peperoncini.

  29. I like the use of the peperoncini peppers and their juice in this salad! The feta would be a nice addition.

  30. Interesting post. Thank you!

  31. I just tried this recipe for dinner tonight and it was super delicious! Might be my new favorite tuna salad variation. I ate it wrapped up in long romaine lettuce leaves like your more recent tuna salad post suggested and it was a perfect phase one meal.

  32. Shelby, so glad you enjoyed it Great idea to eat this in a lettuce wrap.

  33. I am new to south beach but planning my meals to give it a go in 2 weeks time. Can you sub tinned salmon for tuna? PS I love your site and found it years ago just looking for great recipes!

  34. I haven't tried salmon, but I bet it would be good.

  35. Just made this for lunch with banana peppers by mistake. I'm thinking the pepperocinis would be better, but this isn't bad, especially for someone who wants a milder salad. I poured the extra dressing on some tomatoes on the side. Yummy!

  36. We made this with the addition of some red onion and loved it. I didn't drain the tuna so didn't need to use any separate olive oil. Maybe next time I'll throw in some chopped walnuts to add even more crunch. Thanks for the recipe!

  37. Glad you liked it; I like the sound of red onion in this!

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