Made in about 10 minutes using simple ingredients, this pesto tuna salad with beans is incredibly easy to prepare and so delicious! It’s satisfying for a quick lunch and great for meal prep (and who doesn’t love that?). This canned tuna recipe is definitely a tasty one to add to your lunch repertoire!
If you’re looking to stretch that can of tuna sitting in your pantry, then this pesto tuna salad recipe is just the thing!
The tuna is paired with cannellini beans (or white kidney beans), some pesto, mayonnaise, veggies, lemon juice and seasoning. Simple? Yes. Delicious? You bet!
It has those classic tuna salad vibes with a twist. It’s a little more subtle in tuna flavour than a traditional tuna salad but just as delicious if you ask me.
Fan of canned tuna recipes? Check out these tuna quesadillas!
- Canned tuna: For this pesto tuna salad recipe, I prefer to use canned tuna in water as the pesto is oily enough. Make sure it’s well drained before using.
- White kidney beans: Also known as cannellini beans. These are slightly firm, nutty and delicious (they’re also pretty budget-friendly … I can typically purchase a tin of them for not much more than a buck). You’ll want to make sure they’re rinsed and drained well before using, so you don’t add unnecessary moisture to your tuna salad.
- Pesto: I used a store-bought pesto (your standard run-of-the-mill traditional basil pesto).
- Mayonnaise: Adds the classic creamy flavour you would typically find in tuna salad.
- Veggies: Red bell pepper and green onion not only add colour to the tuna salad but extra flavour and some texture.
- Lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice really brightens the tuna mixture.
- Seasoning: Crushed red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper are used.
How To Make It
Add all the pesto tuna salad ingredients to a mixing bowl, then stir to combine. That’s it!
Can I Make It Ahead of Time?
Most definitely! You can make this pesto tuna salad recipe, then properly store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator to enjoy within 3 to 4 days.
How To Serve It
My favourite way to serve the pesto tuna salad is on a slice of toasted bread. I like to spread the toast with a little mayo, top with some baby spinach or baby arugula, then generously pile on the pesto tuna salad. This open-faced sandwich is a go-to for lunch on busy days! Alternatively, you can serve the tuna salad between two slices of bread for a full sandwich.
Other delicious options are to serve it on a tortilla as a wrap, with crackers or on lettuce leaves (like Boston or Butter lettuce). Or, nix all that and serve it as is!
This pesto tuna salad with beans is what I would consider a snack or light lunch, but you could totally make it more substantial if you pair it with something else, such as a green salad or bowl of tomato basil soup.
Tips and Variations
- If you like your pesto tuna cannellini bean salad a little creamier, you can mash some of the beans. This will give the tuna salad a creamier consistency without adding more mayonnaise
- Feel free to substitute some (or all) of the mayonnaise with plain Greek yogurt.
- Once the pesto tuna salad is served on toast or crackers (or whatever you are using), for extra richness, drizzle with some olive oil (plain or flavoured, like lemon, chili or garlic).
- You can mix up the veggies. For example, use chives instead of green onion and celery instead of bell pepper.
- As mentioned, I used a standard store-bought basil pesto. You can substitute with a homemade version if you wish or even try arugula pesto for something a little different.
More Tasty Canned Tuna Recipes
If you make this pesto tuna salad with beans, be sure to leave a comment below!
Pesto Tuna Salad With Beans
- 1 (6-ounce or 170-gram) can tuna in water, drained well
- 1 (19-ounce) can white kidney (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup pesto
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
- ¼ cup sliced green onion
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and black pepper, if desired. Serve on toasted bread, or with crackers or lettuce leaves. Enjoy!
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
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Tried this recipe?
If you do make this recipe, thank you!! It would mean so much if you could leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed it, and it helps other readers too!