• Yield: Makes 2 sandwiches

This vegetarian play on tuna salad relies on white beans as the base. The beans become so creamy when smashed that only a touch of mayonnaise is needed to bring it together, and celery seed and tangy lemon juice intensify the flavor. It’s ultra versatile: slather it on thick bread slices as a sandwich, mound it on top of salad greens, or spread it on a croissant for an impressive brunch. In the summer, we add chopped basil, chives, or tarragon for an herby kick. It’s unassumingly tasty, and we make it for quick lunches or dinner in a pinch.


  • 1 stalk celery

  • 3 small green onions

  • 1 15-ounce can navy or cannellini beans

  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (1/2 lemon)

  • 3/4 teaspoon celery seed

  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 slices bread or 2 croissants

  • 2 radishes

  • 2 leaves lettuce

A Couple Cooks - Pretty Simple Cooking by Sonja and Alex Overhiser


Thinly slice the celery and green onions. Drain and lightly rinse the navy beans.

In a medium bowl, roughly smash the beans with a fork, leaving about a third of them whole. Stir in the celery, green onions, mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery seed, garlic powder, kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Taste and continue adding kosher salt a few pinches at a time until the flavor pops but is not too salty; the exact amount of salt will vary based on the brand of beans.

Toast the bread. Thinly slice the radishes. Place lettuce on one slice of bread, then spread the bean salad. Top with sliced radishes and the remaining slice of bread.


  • Storage: Store white bean salad refrigerated until serving.

  • For gluten-free, use gluten-free bread.

  • For vegan, use vegan mayonnaise.

Excerpted from A Couple Cooks | Pretty Simple Cooking: 100 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes to Make You Fall in Love with Real Food by Sonja and Alex Overhiser. Copyright © 2018. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.