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Pancetta Bean Salad

Posted on Monday, April 22, 2024
by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
Pancetta Bean Salad

Welcome to our savory salad series where we explore a variety of enjoyable salad recipes! Last week we featured a yummy recipe for grilled romaine salad wedges. (Internal link needed) This week, enjoy our tasty pancetta bean salad. This dish is great to take along to picnics, BBQs, or to enjoy as a side dish along with grilled meats or veggies. Not a fan of pancetta? Swap it out for cooked bacon. Not a lover of meat? Omit it entirely and add some crushed rosemary at the recipe’s end.

Pancetta Bean Salad

Serves 6


  • 8 oz. pancetta, cut into ½” pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 2 (15 ½ oz. each) cans navy beans, thoroughly rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 Tablespoons high-quality olive oil, divided
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper



Place pancetta in a non-stick sauté pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Over medium-low heat, sauté the pancetta cubes in the olive oil for about two to three minutes per side, stirring frequently until slightly crispy but taking care not to burn. When cooked, remove the pancetta from the non-stick pan and place it on a paper towel to drain fat. To the hot pan, add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and the chopped onion. Sauté the onions on medium-low heat until lightly softened, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, about 7 minutes. When slightly softened, remove the onions from the non-stick pan and set them aside. To the hot pan, add 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Throw in the garlic and briefly sauté it on medium-low heat for up to a minute just to cook off the rawness. Continually stir the garlic with a wooden spoon until fragrant. Take care not to burn the garlic or it will become bitter. Do slightly reduce the heat if necessary to prevent browning. Once the garlic is fragrant, immediately remove it from the pan and set garlic aside. Transfer the cooked contents to include the pancetta, onions, and garlic to a large mixing bowl. To the bowl, add the beans, parsley, salt, the remaining 3 Tablespoons olive oil, red wine vinegar, and cracked black pepper. Gently fold ingredients until mixed and serve immediately.


Important recipe notes:

Alternatively, this recipe can be prepared slightly in advance, covered & refrigerated, and served cold. When substituting pancetta with crispy cooked bacon, wait to add bacon until ready to serve. This bean recipe may be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days. Recipe may be doubled to feed a crowd.


Spilling the beans on beans…

  • Per com, canned beans are safe to eat straight from the can because they are already cooked. However, because they come in a super-salty liquid, it is recommended that they be thoroughly rinsed and drained before use in most recipes. In doing so, one may eliminate an average of 41% of the can’s sodium content. Additionally, rinsing beans improves flavor and texture.


  • Note that unlike canned cooked beans, fresh or dried beans contain toxins and need to be adequately washed, checked, and thoroughly cooked. Health expert WebMD cautions that using a slow cooker to cook fresh or dried beans from the start may not heat them sufficiently to destroy toxins. Therefore, do follow safe instructions for cooking raw beans.


  • Should you have concerns over consuming beans straight from the can, consider heating them up and cooling them down before use. Additionally, for questions and information about the safety of consuming beans, or to understand the food’s health benefits, talk to your doctor.


  • Per Healthline, as an important safety precaution, never eat from cans that are bulging, dented, cracked, or leaking. This compromises the safety of the product.


  • We hope you enjoy this tasty recipe for pancetta bean salad.

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