White Bean Salad with Cheddar, Bacon & Walnuts

White Bean Salad with Cheddar, Bacon & Walnuts

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From: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2015

Roasted garlic adds rich flavor to the dressing, and red bell pepper adds color in this healthy bean salad recipe. Serve at your next potluck or as a savory side to grilled chicken, steak or salmon.

Ingredients 10 servings

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Original recipe yields 10 servings
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  • 2 whole heads garlic
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil plus ⅓ cup, divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 15-ounce cans navy or great northern beans (see Tip), rinsed
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 medium orange bell pepper, finely diced
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese


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  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Remove excess papery skin from garlic heads without separating the cloves. Slice the tips off, exposing the cloves. Place the heads on a piece of foil, drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil and wrap into a package. Roast until the garlic is very soft and starting to brown, 55 to 65 minutes. Carefully unwrap and let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Squeeze the garlic cloves into a food processor or blender. Add the remaining ⅓ cup oil, vinegar, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.
  4. Combine beans, bacon, bell pepper, celery, walnuts and parsley in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Add cheese and gently stir to combine. Serve at room temperature or cold.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  • Try homemade beans instead of canned. Start with 1 pound of any type of dry beans and rinse well. Place in a large bowl and cover with 2 inches of cold water. Let soak at least 8 hours or overnight. (If you're in a hurry, put the beans in a pot and cover with 2 inches of water; bring to boil, boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 1 hour.) Drain the beans, transfer to a large pot and cover with 3 inches cold water. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 30 minutes to 2 hours. (Cooking time varies depending on the type and age of the bean; start checking tenderness at 30 minutes.) Wait until the beans are almost tender to add salt; adding it too early can prevent beans from softening. (Use about 1 teaspoon salt per pound of beans.) Refrigerate beans in their cooking liquid for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. One pound dry beans makes 5 to 6 cups

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about ⅔ cup
  • Per serving: 264 calories; 16 g fat(3 g sat); 8 g fiber; 22 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 17 mcg folate; 9 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 362 IU vitamin A; 28 mg vitamin C; 64 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 312 mg sodium; 132 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (47% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 lean meat, 2½ fat

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