Tuna and White Bean Salad


This easy pasta salad has got it all: soft cannellini beans, crunchy celery, salty Castelvetrano olives, and meaty tuna. Each bite has a slick of delicious, Caesar-like dressing, thanks to a clever (and quick) combination of beans, mayonnaise, vinegar, and Worcestershire. Don’t skip the celery leaves; they bring bitter balance to each bite. Shopping tip: It’s worth splurging on the nicest sustainable tuna you can buy. The flavor will do this recipe wonders. Serve with a medium-bodied white wine that can stand up to the rich flavors of this dish.

Tuna and White Bean Salad Recipe
Photo: Jennifer Causey
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
8 serves


  • 1 pound uncooked penne

  • ½ cup olive oil, plus more for serving

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar

  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 15-oz. can low-sodium cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, divided

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more for water

  • 1 cup thinly sliced celery plus 1 chopped leaves, plus more leaves for serving

  • 1 cup roughly chopped pitted Castelvetrano olives

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving

  • 1 7-oz. jar tuna fillets in olive oil, drained


  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain; transfer to a large bowl.

  2. While pasta cooks, place oil, mayonnaise, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, about half of beans, and ¾ teaspoon salt in a blender. Process until smooth, about 10 seconds.

  3. Stir three-fourths of mayonnaise dressing (about 1 cup) into hot pasta in bowl. Let pasta mixture cool, tossing occasionally, until room temperature, about 30 minutes.

  4. Add remaining dressing to pasta mixture. Stir in sliced celery, olives, sage, pepper, remaining beans, and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Fold in celery leaves and tuna, taking care not to break up tuna too much. Transfer to a platter. Drizzle with oil and top with celery leaves and several grinds of pepper.

Chef's Notes

Blended beans are the secret (healthy!) ingredient in this creamy, Caesar-ish dressing.

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