Easy Italian Grinder Bean Salad

A flavorful high protein + high fiber salad perfect for meal prep! This Italian Grinder Bean Salad is loaded with favorite Italian sub ingredients all packed into a satisfying bean salad.

A wooden serving bowl filled with Italian grinder bean salad topped with fresh basil and cracked black pepper

There’s been a lot of trends going around social media lately, but the viral Grinder Bean Salad definitely caught my eye. Imagine a salad made with all your favorite Italian sub ingredients like salami, cheese and pickled veggies mixed with a base of fiber-packed beans tossed in a simple yet ridiculously flavorful Italian vinaigrette. Can you say delicious?!

Bean salads have been a go-to of mine lately, but this Italian white bean salad is a true favorite! It’s loaded with flavor, comes together quickly and keeps well in the refrigerator making it perfect for a healthy meal prep!

Ingredients used to make an Italian grinder bean salad
Ingredients used to make a vinaigrette for an Italian grinder bean salad

Ingredients You’ll Need

Garbanzo beans: Also known as chickpeas.

White beans: We use cannelloni beans for ours. (Think of them as a white kidney bean.)

Salami: Use pre-sliced salami and cut it into thin strips for the best results.

Bell pepper: I’d suggest using red or yellow bell peppers. (They’re not as bitter tasting as green bell pepper.)

Pepperoncini: Use pre-sliced pepperoncini for ease. There’s no extra cutting involved!

Red onion: Red onion works the best for this recipe. (It’s more mild in flavor than white or yellow onion and won’t overpower the other salad ingredients.)

Mozzarella: I love using fresh mozzarella pearls for this salad! They’re the perfect size and shape and add an irresistible creaminess.

Fresh basil: Adding fresh herbs is a great way to elevate any salad! We’re sticking to the Italian theme by using fresh basil – you can use as little or as much as you want!

Olive oil: Used as the base for the vinaigrette. I always recommend using Extra Light Tasting Olive Oil for salad dressings and vinaigrettes. It’s not as thick or as potent as extra virgin olive oil so it won’t muddle the other flavors.

Red wine vinegar: This zippy ingredient adds flavor and richness to your vinaigrette. Feel free to use your favorite brand of red wine vinegar!

Garlic: An essential ingredient to any Italian-style vinaigrette! You’ll need to mince 1-2 garlic cloves, depending on their size.

Spices: Dried oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and cracked black pepper are needed to season the vinaigrette. (I personally love using fresh cracked black pepper – it’s more potent than store bought ground pepper and enhances the flavors in the vinaigrette.)

A small white bowl filled with homemade Italian vinaigrette used for a bean salad
A large clear mixing bowl filled with a bean salad made up of garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, salami, red bell pepper, pepperoncini, red onion, mozzarella and fresh basil

How To Make An Italian Grinder Bean Salad

1. Make the vinaigrette. Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together in a small measuring glass or salad dressing bottle. Cover and keep it stored in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the salad.

2. Prep the salad ingredients. Drain and rinse the beans, slice the salami, dice the bell peppers and pepperoncini and finely sliced the red onion and fresh basil.

3. Toss! Add the prepped salad ingredients and mozzarella pearls to a large bowl and pour your desired amount of vinaigrette over the top. Toss until the salad is coated to your liking. (Taste and adjust the salt and black pepper is needed.)

4. Serve. Serve immediately or cover the salad let it chill for 30 minutes before serving.

A large clear mixing bowl filled with freshly made Italian grinder bean salad

Variations

This Italian bean salad is so simple yet so delicious! But the best part? It’s incredibly versatile too! You can easily switch out ingredients for what you have on hand or add a few extra goodies to make it even more nutrient dense. Here are a few ideas we love to help get you started:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Diced cucumbers (Persian cucumbers work the best!)
  • Banana peppers
  • Switch out the cheese! Cheddar cheese or provolone would be delicious replacements. Adding a sprinkle of shredded parmesan to the finished salad is a great option too!
  • Try different fresh herbs! Replace basil with fresh parsley or add a mix of the two!
  • Add some greens! Try a handful spinach or arugula for even more nutrients!
A close up photo of an Italian grinder bean salad topped with fresh basil and cracked black pepper

Why you’ll love this Italian bean salad recipe!

  • Easy & versatile! There’s minimal prep work required & you can mix & match all your favorite ingredients!
  • A protein-packed salad! 2 types of beans loaded with protein & fiber + a variety of veggies – this salad is one flavorful nutrient-dense meal!
  • A go-to meal prep idea! It keeps well in the refrigerator making this dish perfect for lunches during the week or even served as a high protein snack!

[Made one of my recipes? Tag my Instagram @kalefornia_kravings & leave a review in the comments – I love seeing what you create!]

Easy Italian Grinder Bean Salad

A flavorful high-protein + high fiber salad that's perfect for meal prep! This Italian Grinder Bean Salad is loaded with favorite Italian sub ingredients packed into a delightfully nourishing salad.
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bean salad recipes, grinder bean salad, Italian bean salad, meal prep recipes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Caitlin

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1 (15oz.) canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained & rinsed
  • 1 (15oz.) canned white beans (We use cannellini beans)
  • 4 oz. sliced salami, cut into thin strips
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup sliced pepperoncini, chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 6 oz. mozzarella pearls

For the vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Make the vinaigrette. Whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes together in small measuring glass or salad dressing bottle. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. (I'm very generous with the amount of salt.)
    Cover and keep it stored in the refrigerator.
  • Toss. Add the salad ingredients to a large bowl and pour your desired amount of vinaigrette over the top. Toss until the salad is coated to your liking. (Taste and adjust the salt and pepper, if needed.)
  • Serve. Serve immediately or cover the salad let it chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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