This dense white bean salad is loaded with cannellini & garbanzo beans, roasted chicken, fresh herbs, and classic Moroccan flavors. Inspired by Violet Witchel’s Tiktok series, this recipe makes a wonderful meal prep option, with leftovers that keep great in the fridge for days. 

A bowl of Moroccan dense bean salad.

If you’re anything like me, your social media feed is full of food.

Whether it’s trendy food hacks or classic recipes, I’m always overwhelmed by how many talented creators there are out there. And when I found Violet Witchel’s Tiktok, I was totally hooked.

Her recipes have that perfect balance of nutritious and totally mouth watering, especially when it comes to her salads.

She recently started sharing a series coined ‘Dense Bean Salads’ or ‘DBS’, a concept that combines canned beans with lots of fresh herbs and some other form of protein. The result is the heartiest, most satisfying salad I think I’ve ever had.

While the recipe that inspired mine was built around chimmichurri steak flavors, I decided to lean into my love of Moroccan cuisine for my take on the DBS trend.

This dense white bean salad combines my go-to ras el hanout chicken thighs with canned cannellini beans, garbanzo beans, roasted red peppers, fresh herbs, and feta cheese. All of this gets tossed together and coated with a lemony harissa dressing.

It’s so good and so filling, it feels almost wrong to call it a salad.

Bowls of beans, feta, chicken and more.

What You’ll Need

For the Salad:

  • ras el hanout roasted chicken thighs (can also be substituted for rotisserie chicken), diced into cubes
  • shallot, diced
  • cilantro, minced
  • parsley, minced
  • roasted red peppers, drained & diced
  • garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
  • cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • Optional: feta cheese, crumbled

For the Dressing:

  • harissa
  • garlic clove, grated
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil

Find the full ingredient list with exact quantities in the recipe card below.

How to Make This White Bean Salad

Tip: Make sure to use a sharp knife when prepping the salad as there’s lots of chopping and mincing involved!

A bowl with feta, garbanzos, shallots, and more.

A Great Meal Prep Recipe

One of my favorite ways to use this salad, as per Violet’s direction, is as a meal prep! Because of the dense nature of the recipe, it keeps exceptionally well when stored in the fridge for several days.

If you’re a meal prep fan, or looking to get back on the meal prep train (hello, it’s me!), her recipes are a great place for inspiration.

They take a lot of the guesswork out of meals for the week, whether you use them for lunches, dinners, or even just a quick, high protein snack. They’re some of the best leftovers I’ve ever had.

A bowl of Moroccan dense bean salad.

Mix Up Your DBS

The beauty of Violet’s dense bean salad concept is how versatile it is. You can take the base of canned beans, some other form of protein and fresh herbs, and go in any direction of flavors you’d like.

Here are some ideas:

  • Make it vegetarian/vegan: Feel free to skip the chicken and feta entirely to make this a vegan/vegetarian friendly salad.
  • Switch up the protein: If you don’t like garbanzo beans or prefer great northern beans to cannellini beans, feel free to switch them up. You can also use steak or rotisserie chicken instead of the ras el hanout chicken I call for in this recipe.
  • Play with the spices: I’m leaning heavily on my favorite Moroccan flavors here, but you can easily take the ingredients here in another direction. Try using a different spice blend on the chicken and use your favorite fresh herbs!

Quick Substitutes

I also want to note that some of the Moroccan ingredients listed (harissa, ras el hanout seasoning) in my recipe may not be accessible to you, so feel free to substitute as needed!

Here are my go-to substitutes for these staple ingredients:

A bowl of Moroccan dense bean salad.

More Hearty Salads

Thanks for being here,

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A bowl of Moroccan dense bean salad.

Dense White Bean Salad

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  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish, Entree
  • Method: Tossed, Roasted
  • Cuisine: Moroccan, American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This dense white bean salad is loaded with cannellini & garbanzo beans, roasted chicken, fresh herbs, and classic Moroccan flavors. Inspired by Violet Witchel’s Tiktok series, this recipe makes a wonderful meal prep option, with leftovers that keep great in the fridge for days. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Salad:

  • 4 ras el hanout roasted chicken thighs (can also be substituted for rotisserie chicken), diced into cubes
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 cup parsley, minced
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, drained & diced
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can of cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • Optional: 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup harissa
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Roast the chicken. Follow the steps in this recipe to roast your chicken. Continue to prep the salad while the chicken cooks. If using rotisserie chicken, dice into cubes.
  2. Mince all of veggies & herbs. Mince the cilantro, parsley, dice the shallot & roasted red peppers. Dice the chicken into cubes when it’s ready too.
  3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients. In a large bowl, combine harissa, garlic, lemon juice, and oil. Whisk together until evenly combined.
  4. Add everything to the bowl. To the large bowl with the dressing add the chicken, cilantro, parsley, shallot, roasted red peppers, garbanzo, cannellini beans, and feta (if using). Toss together with the dressing and enjoy!

Notes

Feel free to skip the chicken and feta entirely to make this a vegan/vegetarian friendly salad.