White Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad

White bean and cherry tomato salad with a dressing of rosemary infused olive oil, garlic, Parmesan, anchovies, and lemon.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

If you’ve ever grown cherry or plum tomatoes in your garden, you know how wonderfully prolific they can be in summer months. We found this salad recipe years ago in Fine Cooking magazine (probably my favorite cooking magazine of all time).

The salad beautifully combines the sweetness of summer cherry tomatoes with white beans and parsley.

White Bean Tomato Salad

The secret sauce is the dressing, which includes garlic and rosemary infused olive oil, and a paste made of garlic, lemon, Parmesan and anchovies.

If you want a vegetarian option, omit the anchovies, if not, by all means include them. Or, if you don’t have access to anchovies, add a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce.

White Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8


  • 1 15-ounce cans of white beans, such as Great Northern or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pint cherry or plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped parsley

Dressing ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 3-inch sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 3 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped (omit for vegetarian option)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice


1 Start by making the dressing. Place the garlic and sprig of rosemary in the olive oil in a small saucepan. Heat the oil on medium until the rosemary begins to sizzle.

Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 20 minutes, allowing the rosemary and garlic to infuse in the oil.

2 Remove rosemary sprig from the oil, discard. Remove the garlic from the oil, reserving the oil.

Add the garlic, anchovies (omit for vegetarian option), Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a food processor or mini chopper. Pulse until smooth.

3 In a medium bowl, gently mix the garlic Parmesan lemon mixture in with the beans until the beans are well coated.

Let the beans sit for a few minutes so they absorb some of the dressing.

Gently mix in the reserved olive oil, tomatoes, and parsley.

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Showing 4 of 33 Comments

  • Eloise

    Perfect for summer’s night. I added sautéed zucchini and fresh arugula from garden. Highly recommend.

  • Mbeth

    So delightful! I loved this so much the first time I wanted to make it into a main dish. I sauteed some bell pepper, ham, and the beans very lightly in the rosemary oil, then added the tomatoes and some baby spinach before tossing with the dressing. Wonderful and hearty!

  • April

    I tried this recipe last night with fresh tomatoes and parsley from my garden. I’m sad to say it was very blah, and no one liked it in my house. I couldn’t understand from the recipe if you blended the oil in with the garlic, parm, lemon zest/juice and anchovies in the food processor? Or if you just added it to the salad at the end? The food processor mix was a thick paste when I mixed it into the beans. I thought maybe I didn’t read the recipe right and should have added the oil to the processed ingredients as well? In any case, I love every single ingredient in this recipe but it tasted really bad. I would never make it again.

    Hi April, correction to my earlier response, you did it right. The garlic is made first into a paste with the anchovies. The oil is added at the end. ~Elise

  • Tina

    This salad is DELICIOUS! I make it exactly as the recipe says, and it gets rave reviews every single time. My boyfriend – who is a very picky eater from Europe who of course complains all the time about American food – absolutely LOVES this salad. It’s very fresh-tasting, and has a nice, almost sharp (but not overwhelming) flavor. I have to double it every time I make it, as the entire thing gets eaten.

  • Esther

    This is fantastic with cannelini beans (Italian white beans). The rosemary/garlic infused olive oil in the dressing has a very nice touch.

    Great summer salad.


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White Bean Tomato SaladWhite Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad