White Bean Salad With Basil Pesto Dressing

Serve this colorful and easy white bean and pesto salad at your next dinner gathering. Plus, find out other delicious ways to use pesto.
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In the midst of holiday food and cookies galore, does anyone else feel like they could use a colorful salad right about now? This easy pesto salad would even be a great dish to bring along to your next potluck party, or a pretty addition to your holiday table this year. I served it with some simple cooked sauteed white fish, and we ended up putting the seafood right on top—it was a great combo! This would be great with grilled chicken or shrimp on top, as well. Whatever it takes to make sure we get enough greens this time of year!

Other Uses for Pesto

Pesto is one of my most favorite things to eat. I used to make it with all basil but found that the flavor is almost exactly the same when it’s made with half spinach—which I always seem to have on hand. There are all sorts of ways to use the pesto from this recipe besides just on a salad, such as:

  • On crackers with sliced cheese
  • Spread on a block of cream cheese and baked (for an appetizer)
  • Used in place of tomato sauce on pizza
  • As a spread on a sandwich (cold or grilled)
  • Tossed in with fresh pasta

What’s your favorite way to use pesto?

White bean spinach salad with pesto salad dressing on 100 Days of Real Food

White bean spinach salad with pesto salad dressing

White Bean & Pesto Salad

Serve this colorful and easy white bean and pesto salad at your next dinner gathering. Plus, find out other delicious ways to use pesto.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Print Recipe
Servings: 6 people


For the pesto

For the salad

  • 5 cups fresh spinach leaves 5 or 6 cups (I used what was left in my box of spinach after making the pesto)
  • 1 15 ounce can white cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • salt and pepper
  • extra parmesan cheese shredded, for garnish


  • Combine the basil, spinach, parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor. Puree until smooth.
  • Arrange the remaining spinach, beans, and tomato on a large platter. Add dollops of the pesto, season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parmesan and serve.


We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
White Bean & Pesto Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 213 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 10mg3%
Sodium 194mg8%
Potassium 260mg7%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 3120IU62%
Vitamin C 9.5mg12%
Calcium 164mg16%
Iron 1.7mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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2 thoughts on “White Bean Salad With Basil Pesto Dressing”

  1. I lived on this in the summer, when I can get tomatoes and basil from my garden. Your idea for using spinach is brillant–it grows all winter here, whereas basil doesn’t (except for the pot I have indoors). I think I would use sun-dried tomatoes, even though I still have a few cherry tomatoes in the garden. The hot-house ones at the supermarket just aren’t worth it.
    This is a flavorful, filling meal, and it’s quick and easy to boot.

    1. I just tried a recipe for spinach pesto the other night. We stop eating basil in the fall when frost finally does in our plants. My recipe called for 2 cups of spinach with the addition of 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and the zest of 1 lemon. I think the lemon juice is key to brighten up the spinach, when no basil is present. Plus salt and pepper of course. I also use walnuts instead of pine nuts to save money and added some pasta water to thin it out as I served it on pasta.

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