White Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad

Jump to Recipe

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.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to White Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad on Simply Recipes. Thank you!


If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Showing 4 of 33 Comments

  • Eloise

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

  • Angela

    This looks wonderful!! We’re going camping and I think I’ll make this as a side dish one night. I’m thinking I would like to make the dressing at home and refrigerate it. Do you think that would work?
    Thanks so much. I really do enjoy this site!!

  • Vanessa

    Facinating! I usually don’t saute and infuse herbs for my dressings. Elise, do you think that the heat makes a difference or would the results be wildly different if you just chopped up some fresh rosemary and skipped the saute step?

  • Elise

    Hi Angela – because this recipe serves so many, I actually made a full recipe of the dressing and only used half. I refrigerated the other half and had it the next day with another batch of beans and tomatoes. So, as long as you can refrigerate the dressing I think you’re fine.

    Hi Vanessa – rosemary is strong and can overwhelm other flavors if you take a bite into a piece. Infusing the rosemary allows for a gentle rosemary flavoring.

  • beth

    I’ll second infusing the flavors into the olive oil. I recently started making “roasted” garlic by putting the peeled cloved in a small pan, covering with olive oil, and simmering until the garlic is golden brown. Cool, and *save the olive oil* for cooking. Wonderful two-for-one, plus you get oodles of roasted garlic ready to be devoured.

View More Comments / Leave a Comment
White Bean Tomato SaladWhite Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad