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White Bean Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette

Bursting with Mediterranean goodness, this summery white bean salad is studded with crispy fried capers and drizzled in a rich and sharp anchovy vinaigrette. YUM.


homemade white bean salad with anchovy vinaigrette on a plate served with crusty bread
Photography by Gayle McLeod

For Real: A White Bean Salad to Truly Love With All Your Heart

Delicious cold out of the fridge but even better at room temperature, this delicious and easy white bean salad recipe is your new go-to! It’s a super star of summer parties in particular—did we mention it’s good at room temp? Plus, it just gets more spectacularly yummy as it sits! The flavors of the vinaigrette—onion, mustard, anchovies, sharp red wine vinegar—meld and melt into the tender white beans. It’s just sooooo good and healthy, too. And it’s got so much going on! Crispy fried capers, crunchy-pickle-y onions, bursting sweet cherry tomatoes and creamy white beans all swimming beautifully together in a big bowl of YUM. It’s here to dress up your grilled steak supper or add even more fancy to your next Mediterranean feast!

ingredients for white bean salad with anchovy vinaigrette in bowls including capers, butter beans, tomatoes and parsley

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Everything You’ll Need to Make the Best White Bean Salad Recipe, Ever!

The influence in this salad is probably pretty obvious! We’re working with the classic flavors of the Mediterranean coast—capers, olive oil, tomatoes, anchovies, garlic—to dress up another classic Mediterranean ingredient: white beans! Now, you can use whatever white bean you love for this salad, but if you can track down canned Italian butter beans, you’ll be so glad you did! They’re bigger than Navy or cannellini beans, creamy on the inside and tender to bite into. They’re just heaven, and they’ll add a little extra fancy-schmancy to this otherwise simple white bean salad. Or, if you don’t mind cooking from dried beans, you could always spring for these Royal Corona beans! The cool heirloom bean suppliers at Rancho Gordo describe them as “Giant, fat, white runner beans that are creamier and more luxurious than Greek and Spanish gigandes and a little denser than traditional Italian coronas” and….we’re sold! Anyway! Other than white beans, though, you’ll just need:

  • Olive oil

  • Red wine vinegar

  • Garlic

  • Stone ground mustard

  • Anchovies

  • Salt

  • Black pepper

  • Red onion

  • Capers

  • Cherry tomatoes

  • Italian parsley

olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, mustard, anchovies, salt and pepper being whisked together in a mixing bowl
olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, mustard, anchovies, red onion, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl for anchovy vinaigrette

The Best White Bean Salad Dressing

Anchovies got a bad reputation somewhere along the way and we really would like to change that! They are easily one of our top three favorite pantry staples—as in, if we have fewer than 5 cans or jars of anchovies at any given time, we basically freak out and rush to the store whatever the hour! They make puttanesca sing, they make any pizza about a million times better (yeah, we’re those people) and they are here to make this white bean salad dressing deeply pungent and umami-laden. Salty and yes, a bit fishy, they’re a punch-packing ingredient that any food lover must love! Here’s everything you’ll need (in addition to our beloved anchovies) to make this savory, tart dressing!

olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, mustard, anchovies, red onion, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl for anchovy vinaigrette
capers being fried in vegetable oil in a skillet for white bean salad with anchovy vinaigrette

About Those Fried Capers!

You don’t have to fry the capers, but you should! A quick frizzle in some hot oil and those tart, brined buds become positively transcendent. Trust us on this one! The only thing to know is that if you’re going to make this white bean salad recipe ahead of time, leave the capers out until right before you are going to serve it so that they stay lovely and crisp—a delightful and welcome contrast to the creaminess of the white beans.

butter beans, cherry tomatoes, parsley, capers and anchovy vinaigrette with red onion in a glass bowl for white bean salad
homemade white bean salad made with butter beans, tomatoes, parsley and capers, with anchovy vinaigrette in a glass bowl

We Love This White Bean Salad Recipe Because….

  1. You can make it ahead of time! We love things that benefit from some fridge time, and this salad really does. The flavors marry over time and the beans hold up well. If you can make it a few hours before you plan to serve it, do!

  2. It’s a little bit fancy! That means it pairs easily with simple meals. Grilling in the summertime is great fun, and a lot of times the best grilled meals are the simplest. Grilled fish, steak or even chicken can be whipped up in no time with almost no prep and if you’ve got this salad sitting in the fridge, you’re ready to serve dinner as soon as the meat comes off the BBQ.

  3. But not too fancy! It’s also super approachable. It tastes like you put in some effort—and you did!—but it’s fundamentally built from familiar flavors. Briny capers, creamy beans, sweet-juicy tomatoes—everything everyone loves.

homemade white bean salad with anchovy vinaigrette made with butter beans, tomatoes, parsley, and capers on a plate

Tools You’ll Need

More White Bean Wonders!

homemade white bean salad with anchovy vinaigrette on a plate with a fork served with crusty bread

Do You Love This White Bean Salad? Tell Us All About It!

We’d love to know how crazy you are about this summery salad! Possibly as into it as we are? Hard to say! Anyway, when you make it, snap a photo and send it our way! Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

White Bean Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  30 min
  • Cook Time:  5 min
  • Calories: 400


Anchovy Vinaigrette

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated
  • 2 teaspoons stone ground mustard
  • 3-4 anchovy filets, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced

White Bean Salad

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans butter or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ½ cup Italian parsley leaves roughly chopped
  • Flaky salt for serving


  1. Make the anchovy dressing: In a medium bowl, mix together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, mustard, anchovies, salt and pepper. Add the red onions and toss to coat. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

  2. Make the crispy capers: In a small skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium high heat until glistening. Add the capers and cook, stirring every minute or so, until the capers are a bit crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to cool.

  3. Make the white bean salad: In a large bowl toss the white beans, cherry tomatoes, parsley, capers and prepared anchovy vinaigrette until fully combined. Top with flaky salt and serve.

Note: This white bean salad can be made up to a day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make and add the crispy capers right before serving.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories400
  • Protein11 g
  • Carbohydrates32 g
  • Total Fat26 g
  • Dietary Fiber9 g
  • Cholesterol3 mg
  • sodium1002 mg
  • Total Sugars4 g

White Bean Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Melissa

    Can you use anchovy paste? If so, how much would you use?

    Sure, that should be fine! Use 1 - 1.5 teaspoons of anchovy paste. Hope you enjoy Melissa!

  • Christine Wyllie

    Excellent salad (any time of year, in my opinion!). Anchovies add subtle and delicious flavor. Appreciated being able to make this ahead and leaving it at room temp. I am enjoying many of your salad recipes! Fresh and simple. Thank you so much.

    Thanks Christine, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Shelby

    I have made this recipe 3 times now and absolutely LOVE it. It feels fancy but is quick and easy to put together and so delicious!

    Thanks Shelby, so glad you love this! Isn't it great when something is so quick but feels fancy, really gives a boost to our day when that happens!

  • Jenn

    Truly Delicious! Thanks for such an easy great recipe!

    Glad you enjoyed it!