Italian-Inspired Tuna & Bean Salad

ingredients for tuna and bean salad

The other day we were in a little grocery store here in New Zealand, looking for some quick supplies to make lunch in our campervan. Michael scanned their modest cheese section hoping to find something beyond the standard Cheddar and Edam options, to add a bit of interest to our sandwiches. He found Gruyere, an Adamo family favourite, but missed the small print. What he actually bought was ‘Gruyere-Style’ cheese—and a very bland rendition at that, with not much more than a name in common with the original. I’m pretty sure the Swiss would not approve.

Michael and I had a good laugh. We know better than to trust anything bearing the ‘-style’ suffix. ‘Italian-style’, ‘Greek-style’, ‘Gruyere-style…run a mile. But now I find myself wanting to share a recipe we have created based on the Italian classic, Tonno & Faggioli. It would be wrong to label our version Italian, but I couldn’t possibly add style to the title of this post.

Here’s our version of a dish that we love to eat in Italy. We have no clue if this is how the Italians make it, but it’s certainly been influenced by their recipe. So we’re going with Italian-inspired. Ha!

Whatever you call it, it’s the easiest, quickest, and tastiest meal in our camper van repertoire. It has become one of the kids’ favourite and a weekly staple. It is especially handy while camping as there is no cooking required, and most of the ingredients are ones you can keep in your cupboard. It literally takes less than 10 minutes to make, and my kids gobble it up just as quickly. Here’s the recipe:

chopping tomatos for tuna salad

chopping parsley


  •  2 cans of Cannellini Beans
  •  1 large tin of tuna (preferably sustainably line-caught in olive oil)
  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 small spring onions
  • 1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper

Drain the cans of beans and tuna and empty into a bowl. Chop tomatoes and spring onions and add to the bean and tuna mix. Chop the flat-leaf parsley and sprinkle into the bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Italian tuna and bean salad

We usually serve with some good Italian ciabatta bread, but we had a difficult time finding that when it came time to snap some photos of our meal – so pita bread it was. Not very Italian, but this is camping-style fare!

Buon appetito!


p.s. This simple tomato pasta and this tuna pasta are other favourite camping meals.


Comments (9)

February 19, 2016

What do you mean? It is a well known fact that Michael is a big fan of Cheez Whiz!!! 😉

Courtney in London
February 19, 2016

Hahahaha!!! xxx

ella hays
February 19, 2016

This sounds really yummy and so nutritious. Love that it’s so quick to make! What other meals are in your campervan repertoire? E xx

Courtney in London
February 19, 2016

Hi Ella,
Thanks for the comment! I just added this to the post – but thought I would send you the link as well. Here’s another SUPER easy pasta that we’re making a lot in our camper van: I’ll try to get some other recipes up soon! x

February 19, 2016

Looks yummy!

February 19, 2016

So easy! We are trying this tomorrow!

February 21, 2016

we do the “spanish inspired” version here at home, just replace the beans for chickpeas. we all love it.

July 24, 2016

My family is Italian and we too, now replace the tuna for another type of bean (or chickpeas, as above). Much kinder on the environment – especially when we have so many mouths to feed!

August 9, 2017

[…] salad and Courtney’s tuna bean salad made with the tastiest hand picked […]

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