Tuna, Tomato, Bean and Basil Salad

by Dorothy Reinhold on July 11, 2017

Print This Post Print This Post Tuna, Tomato, Bean and Basil Salad uses summer's freshest produce in an easy, no-cook lunch or dinner. | ShockinglyDelicious.com

There are four good reasons to make this easy summer salad tonight:

  1.  It tastes FABULOUS!
  2. It takes about 15 minutes from start to finish, so dinner is on the table nearly as soon as you think of making it.
  3. If the summer heat is wilting you, a simple, well-crafted salad like this needs no cooking, no stove, no oven, no fuss.
  4. Summer tomatoes, and summer basil, right from the garden (or farmer’s market). ‘Nuf said. 

Tuna Tomato Bean and Basil Salad on ShockinglyDelicious.comThis is a classic, simple salad of tuna, tomatoes, cooked beans and basil, and it is simply delicious, meant to be eaten at room temperature. Use garden-fresh tomatoes and basil, either from your own back yard plot or the farmers’ market, and canned beans and tuna. No need to get overheated about it.

You don’t really need a recipe for this salad, but I’ll give you one below as guidance. Feel free to tweak it as you like – subbing in cannellini beans for the small white beans, flavored tuna (Jalapeno tuna anyone?), garnishing with toasted pine nuts, or how about adding some fresh mango chunks in here for a pop of sweet? Once you make it and understand the general idea, ignore the recipe and wing it the next time.

But for now, follow it and you’ll have the perfect proportions.

Tuna, Tomato, Bean and Basil Salad | ShockinglyDelicious.com

Recipe: Tuna, Tomato, Bean and Basil Salad

Tuna, Tomato, Bean and Basil Salad | ShockinglyDelicious.comSummary: A classic, simple salad that shows off succulent summer tomatoes and herbaceous basil in cahoots with nutritious tuna and beans. Use a mixture of various colored heirloom tomatoes for the prettiest salad.


  • 4 large heirloom tomatoes, seeded and diced (1 tomato per person) *see note below about how to seed
  • 2 (5- or 6-ounce) cans tuna in olive oil
  • 1 (15- to 19-ounce) can small white beans, rinsed and well drained
  • 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion (optional)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup torn or chopped fresh basil


  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon thick, old, expensive, fancy balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cheaper, bulk balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or crushed
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • A few grinds black pepper


  1. Arrange tomatoes, tuna and beans on serving plates. Sprinkle onion and basil over all. (Alternatively, you may combine everything in a large bowl and mix gently before plating.)
  2. Make dressing: In a small jar, add olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper, and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Drizzle dressing over each salad.
  3. Serve at room temperature. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
  4. Serves 4.

*How to seed a tomato

How to seed a tomato on Shockingly DeliciousThe easiest way to seed tomatoes is to cut them in half at the equator, which opens all the seed pockets. Then simply hold the half-tomato over the sink and use a finger to scoop out the seeds into the garbage disposal or trash.


If you don’t have old, expensive, syrupy balsamic, use an average balsamic and a pinch of sugar in place of it.

Recipe source

Dorothy Reinhold |Shockingly Delicious. I published a version of this recipe in July 2010 and I have updated it here today.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Diet type: Pescatarian
Diet tags: High protein, Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 4
Culinary tradition: Italian
My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 

areyoupinningPin the image below for Tuna, Tomato, Bean and Basil Salad to your Pinterest board to save this recipe

Tuna Tomato Bean salad in a white bowl with a fork alongside, and a red and orange tomato with a knife on a cutting board

Tuna Tomato Bean Basil summer salad on ShockinglyDelicious.com

And check out my leafy basil plant from the window sill!

Basil in pot on Shockingly Delicious






{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda July 22, 2020 at 5:08 pm

This looks so delicious and healthy!


Cookin Canuck July 15, 2017 at 10:44 am

I adore simple salads like this, where the best ingredients shine through!


Alyssa | EverydayMaven July 14, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Those tomatoes are so perfect! I want this for lunch


Dee July 13, 2017 at 11:02 pm

This is my ideal summer dinner. Love the flavors here!


Krista July 13, 2017 at 9:44 pm

This dish sounds perfect for me!


Amy @ Little Dairy on the Prairie July 13, 2017 at 8:52 pm

I love how simple this is! It looks amazing too!


Karen July 13, 2017 at 1:38 pm

This is so easy and summery!!! I can see adding some shaved zucchini in there too! So perfect for summer.


Dorothy Reinhold July 13, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Great idea!


Lora @savoringitaly July 13, 2017 at 3:49 am

My basil has been growing like crazy in the garden. Perfect way to use it in a fresh summer salad like this!


Ginny McMeans July 12, 2017 at 7:53 pm

Love fresh salads like this and those tomatoes are gorgeous!


Erin @ The Speckled Palate July 12, 2017 at 6:37 pm

I love summertime dishes are that are so easy to make and so flavorful! Adding this to our meal plan soon!


Jen July 12, 2017 at 4:22 pm

I love simple salads like this highlight each wonderful ingredient!


Dorothy Reinhold July 12, 2017 at 4:23 pm

You are exactly right about this one!


Cynthia A Blaese July 12, 2017 at 9:18 am

It is gorgeous and sounds like the perfect dish on a hot day. It’s great for lunch or dinner! Thanks!


sylvie January 29, 2015 at 8:57 am

Yes olive oil and balsamic vinegar, that’s what I enjoy as salad dressing : )
The display of ingredients in plate remember me a French Provencal dish called “aïoli”. Do you know it?


Dorothy Reinhold January 30, 2015 at 4:51 pm

I know of aioli as a garlic-infused mayonnaise. Hmmm…is there something else?


Bea June 20, 2014 at 8:53 am

Dorothy – your dinner salad spells perfection. It is gorgeous and sounds like the perfect dish on a hot day….Yum


Dorothy Reinhold June 20, 2014 at 1:11 pm

How kind of you!


Liz June 19, 2014 at 3:34 am

SO simple, so delicious! And your dressing sounds perfect…love that good, aged balsamic!


Liz June 19, 2014 at 3:35 am

Yikes…I’ve already commented. Time for more caffeine! Here to add your link to my post 🙂


Dorothy Reinhold June 19, 2014 at 6:24 am

Aged balsamic = nirvana!


Tammi @ Momma's Meals June 17, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Loving this nice and easy fresh recipe for any night of the week!


Dorothy Reinhold June 18, 2014 at 8:07 am

Thanks! It’s great for lunch or dinner!


Liz June 17, 2014 at 8:34 am

Colorful, healthy and delicious! Count me in as another fan!


Dorothy Reinhold June 17, 2014 at 11:11 am

Thanks Liz!


Renee June 17, 2014 at 4:33 am

I don’t think I can wait to have this gorgeous salad for supper, I’ll be having it for lunch. YUM!


Dorothy Reinhold June 17, 2014 at 6:02 am

My favorite recipes can be lunch or dinner, and sometimes even breakfast!


Dorothy Reinhold June 17, 2014 at 11:13 am

Thanks Village Girl! And it doesn’t get much easier than this.


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: