This next Hungry Lady Salad I have for you is a total crowd pleaser. It’s beautiful and very flavorful from the basil pesto, garlic croutons, and balsamic glaze. This salad is a real lesson on the benefit of seasoning each component of a composed salad well. We are building lots of flavor here.
If you’ve never made your own croutons, and are intimidated by the idea, this recipe shows you just how easy and rewarding it is to do. Once I started making my own croutons, I never bought them again. I also never threw out a piece of stale bread again, because with this easy technique you’ll see bread you used to throw out in a whole new way.
This Pesto White Bean Salad with Garlic Croutons is a special salad.
- Have I mentioned the croutons?! They are crunchy, salty, and do so much for the texture and flavor of this salad.
- White beans are an excellent plant based protein option, leaving you satisfied for the rest of your day.
- The pesto white beans are a great meal prep option to have in the fridge, for this salad or spooned onto toast for a vegetarian lunch.
what else can i use?
- I like to make batches of pesto, especially in the summer when basil is abundant and freeze in these portioned containers to use throughout the winter. However, you can use your favorite store bought pesto, and a vegan one to make this salad vegan.
- I suggest balsamic glaze to top this salad, but it is totally optional. If you do want to make it, simply boil balsamic vinegar until it’s syrupy and reduced to your liking to concentrate the flavors.
- Mixed greens can be used in place of the arugula as the base of the salad.
- I use a quality sourdough, or my homemade gluten-free bread for the croutons. Use any hearty loaf you have, just be sure not to use bread that is just baked as you want the bread to absorb the seasoning and dry out well in the oven.
This Pesto White Bean Salad with Garlic Croutons is a great recipe for meal prep because:
The croutons can be made ahead and will stay crunchy for up to a week in the refrigerator
The pesto white beans will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator
Pesto White Bean Salad with Garlic Croutons (Vegetarian)
- Large rimmed baking sheet
Pesto White Bean Salad:
- 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup Basil Pesto homemade or store bought
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 10 oz arugula
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/8 tsp Kosher salt
- A few cracks of black pepper
- 2 cups Garlic croutons recipe below
- 2 tbsp Balsamic Glaze homemade or store bought (optional)
- 4 pieces of bread, a few days old
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 Degrees F.
- To make the croutons, cut stale bread into 1 inch cubes and add to a large baking sheet.
- Using clean hands, toss bread with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper making sure they are well coated.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through, until golden on all sides. Set aside to cool.
- In a small mixing bowl, toss white beans with pesto.
- Arrange arugula and tomatoes on a large platter and toss with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Top with pesto white beans and garlic croutons.
- Drizzle with balsamic glaze, if using, and serve.