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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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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33 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Eloise

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

  2. Felice

    I just made this for lunch at work and it was amazing!! I didn’t even have fresh herbs but it still turned out great. Next time, next time… I tried adding mushrooms to the oil from the beginning and it turned out quite nice. Thanks so much!


  3. Penny

    Delicious! Really satisfying and it is in rotation. I thought that it could also work with less oil, but I’m not complaining, as the dressing was great.


  4. RH

    Just made this sans anchovies, because I need a vegan dish. So, I skipped the food processor. After letting the garlic cloves sit in the oil, I mashed them in a press, removed the rosemary, then added all the other dressing ingredients to the skillet. Saved the food processor cleanup. Anyway, it smells great. Hope it goes over well at the picnic.

  5. sharon

    Tomato season! I needed some veggies today and saw this salad. Added fresh Illinois corn, basil and pasta and yum-mie! And it was just the right amount of dressing–the lemon makes it fresh! I love that really good recipes are just an outline and jumping board for other things! thanks again for your site!

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White Bean Tomato SaladWhite Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad