White Bean Salad with Smoky Sunflower Dressing (vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, nut-free)

August 24, 2019

As I type up the recipe for this white bean salad (which is deceptively delicious), I am fairly distracted.

See, I had intended to post this recipe several weeks ago.

However, as any mom with kids at home knows, summertime is not the most productive! 🙃

Plenty of changes to schedules, kids going here and there, oodles of interruptions. (One interruption included the need to post those zuke fritters! – but that was a good call!)

Plus, there are those times when – well – we just simply want to enjoy the bliss of summer!

So, I’m a little late to posting this white bean corn salad, and now trying to squeeze it in while…

getting our eldest ready to leave for uni! 😲😱

Yep, wee Charlotte from this photo is beginning her university years.

Isn’t that surreal? Ok, maybe not for you! Or, maybe it is. I know many of you have been with me since the beginning. Back in the days of TEV and Vive.

For you early fans of those “homestyle chocolate chip cookieson the cover – yeah, time has flown!

Gosh, when I was writing TEV there were 2 vegan cookbooks on the market. 2!

Isn’t that something? I remember working on Vive and later ed&bv and LTEV, how ‘underground’ vegan was at the time.

In the very early days I was fringe. Not just fringe but extreme!

Yet, I always felt, in my core, that vegan would find its time. Knowing we might be 10, 15, or 20 years away. But we would get there.

white bean salad in serving bowls

And we have. Vegan has arrived!

And, I know we still have a long way to go before plant-based is mainstream. But times really are changing. Vegan is the future.

white bean salad with smoky sunflower dressing

How did I go from a white bean salad to vegan is the future?

I guess I’m feeling a little sentimental, seeing my first weegan go off to uni.

Upside to her living in residence: her uni has a full vegan menu! There is a rotating menu, so she has plenty of variety and very well-rounded meals and snacks.

See? … Vegan is the future!

Let’s get back to that white bean salad, though!

white bean salad in serving bowls

In the summer I love to make hearty bean salads. It’s the warm-weather alternative to bean-y soups for me. There are so many combinations of beans, veggies, and seasonings.

Even going into the fall and winter I love bean-filled salads. Just when it’s cold I’ll default to soups and stews.

But this salad is one that can carry you through all the seasons, with common pantry ingredients.

The dressing is the white bean salad’s blessing!

Take the 5 minutes to pull the ingredients together for this smoky sunflower dressing. Quick blitz it in the blender and you’ll thank yourself!

white bean salad in serving bowls

This dressing is lightly creamy – thanks to the addition of sunflower seeds instead of nuts. It’s tangy-sweet and a little smoky. Altogether full of flavor, and no added oil.

The ingredients are fresh and nutrient-dense, with white beans, corn (I use frozen), fresh vegetables and herbs.

white bean salad in bowl

No big instructions other than that – this is a simple, quick recipe.

Enjoy the salad… and wish me luck. If you’re a mama that’s already done it, share your experience & wisdom. x Dreena

photos credit: Angela MacNeil

white bean salad in bowls


White Bean Corn Salad with Smoky Sunflower Dressing

Course dinner, lunch, Salad
Keyword beans


  • 2 cans 14/15oz white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn kernels (can use frozen fresh, or canned
  • 1 cup small cubed precooked red or yellow potatoes can substitute a cooked grain like brown rice or quinoa
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup julienned or other fine chop fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or fresh basil


  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp raw sunflower seeds can substitute pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 dill seeds optional, don’t substitute dried dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp or more if desired chipotle powder (or more to taste, can omit and use more smoked paprika)


  • In a large bowl, add all salad ingredients. Stir to combine. Add ingredients for dressing to a blender. Puree until very smooth. Add dressing to salad and gently stir through. Taste, and add additional seasoning if desired. Serve.

The post White Bean Salad with Smoky Sunflower Dressing (vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, nut-free) appeared first on Dreena Burton.

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