Vegan Bean Salad with Apples and Thyme Vinaigrette

By Amanda Paa – Updated July 22, 2021
5 from 1 vote
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Apple White Bean Salad infused with Thyme Vinaigrette {vegan}
Vegan Bean Salad with Apples and Thyme Vinaigrette

*This vegan bean salad recipe was created in partnership with non-gmo Opal apples. Last month I created these honey lemon poppyseed fruit jars with them as well. 

As a food photographer and stylist, the fleeting “beauty” moments of warm gooey cookies, the bright green avocado, or tall, fluffy dutch baby are the clocks by which I delicately rush. There is little forgiveness, and more work on the other side if I’m not in my groove (I don’t believe in “food magic tricks” that are used in many commercial studios, because I want what you see here to resemble what it will look like when you make it in). Oddly enough, it’s the competitor in me that’s fueled by a little bit of pressure. Challenge feels good.

But so does having more time once in awhile.
Time that equals red wine, olive oil, shallots, and thyme infusing diced apples and soft white beans. No rushing to photograph because it will look the same as it did the minute you stir it together, and for the next three days. Yes, even the apples! THEY DON’T BROWN.

And the beauty of this vegan bean salad recipe – the longer it sits, the better it tastes.

Thyme Vinaigrette Infused Apple White Bean Salad {vegan + gluten-free recipe}
Marinated Apple White Bean Salad with thyme infused olive oil & shallots
Marinated Apple White Bean Salad with thyme infused olive oil & shallots

I love this salad for a number of reasons, both in taste and versatility. Soaking the shallots in punchy, red wine vinegar softens their bite (too harsh when left raw) and olive oil adds a lovely richness. The oil, which is infused with thyme, is also the necessary fat that carries flavor into the apples and white beans. Salty sweet, and several twists of freshly ground pepper to finish. Each bite having a little crunch next to the plump legumes.

As I mentioned, the apples don’t brown, not even a speck! And this isn’t because of something strange done to them while growing. The Opal variety, which I used here, naturally resists oxidation, and is the first U.S. apple to be verified by the Non-GMO Project. Distinctively crunchy, floral, and and a sweet, tangy flavor. They’re in season November-March, and you can find them at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods nationwide.

Prep this salad early in the week when you’ve got a million things to do before a party, and you need options that need no work on the day of. Also, you can pack in mason jars for on-the-go lunching, and since it’s best served at room temperature, it actually benefits from the “wait” time in your purse.

Red Wine Vinegar + Olive Oil Apple White Bean Salad
Vegan Bean Salad with Apples and Thyme Vinaigrette

More White Bean Recipes:

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Vegan Bean Salad with Apples and Thyme Vinaigrette

A healthy vegan white bean salad with chopped apples and thyme infused vinaigrette. White beans are tender and soak up delicious flavor!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time :20 minutes
Additional Time :20 minutes
Total Time :40 minutes
Yield: 6
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 1/4 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil]
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 cup very very thinly sliced shallots
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 14.5 ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups diced Opal apples (or Gala apples are a good substitute, as they don't brown as quickly as other apples)


  • In a small saucepan, warm olive oil, 4 thyme sprigs, and salt on low heat(it should not simmer or bubble), for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, add shallots to a glass jar with lid, and pour vinegar over the top. Let sit while olive oil is warming, about 10-15 minutes.
  • In a large bowl combine black pepper, white beans, and apples.
  • When shallots are done marinating, remove thyme from olive oil, and pour this over the top of shallots. Then remove leaves from remaining two sprigs of thyme, mince, and add to jar. Shake with top on jar, to combine. Pour over apples and beans, and stir thoroughly to combine. Let sit at room temperature for a minimum of twenty minutes, and serve, or you can refrigerate, and eat whenever you’re ready, giving it time for the flavors to mingle.
  • Once refrigerated, it will need about 10 minutes at room temperature before you eat it, for the olive oil to warm into liquid again. (If your olive oil does not harden in the refrigerator, that is a sign you are using a fake olive oil.) Can be made 2 days ahead, and will last for 4 days in refrigerator.

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February 17, 2017


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  1. Stephanie Parkhurst-Haight

    I’d love to make this for a refreshing summer salad! What kind of apples would you substitute for the Opals, since they’re not available this time of year?

    • Amanda Paa

      Hello! Gala or Cameo apples would be a good substitute, as they are available at this time of year, and brown slowly. Opals are amazing because they don’t brown at all, but the apples I just mentioned are your best bet for summer!

      • Stephanie

        5 stars
        I ended up making this with Gala apples….and it was delicious! I did pour the vinaigrette over the apples as soon as they were chopped, in an effort to coat them & keep them from browning…and they held up beautifully for the next couple days. Thanks for a refreshing, different recipe!

        • Amanda Paa

          yay! thanks for letting me know. so glad you liked the salad. and i’m going to add this apple choice in the recipe card to help others, too!

  2. Judi

    Oh, my gosh, AMANDA…out of the ball park you hit this one…..who would have thought except you apples and beans…the thyme….just incredible…..not only going on the repeat list of side dishes… worst problem with this…YOU said to let it sit for 20 minutes after all mixed…well, well, I, kinda taste tested it at 10 minutes and I have a confession….I ate half and made something else for a side for dinner….YES, I did not share at all with my family that first time….but the three times since I have!!! We all love it and I confessed to my family and now, I am watched at dinner time prep!! thank you…you are the best!!!

    • amandapaa

      Hooray! I’m so glad you liked the recipe Judi. And I know what you mean – that it’s quite tasty right after stirred together. No shame in eating half of it before serving! :)

  3. Lily | Kale & Caramel

    This salad is gorgeous, Amanda! I’ve never had an Opal apple, but I clearly need to add them to my shopping list. Apples drizzled in thyme-infused oil, plus all the other goodies in here? Yes, please!

  4. Sara @ Cake Over Steak

    Yummmm I love bean salads for quick packed lunches and this one sounds perfect.

  5. rebecca | DisplacedHousewife

    Beautiful salad Amanda!!! xo

    • amandapaa

      thank you rebecca! making it again today. :)

  6. Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek

    I love the idea of this salad! Cannot wait to try lady! xoxo

    • amandapaa

      Thanks for stopping by, Kelsey! xo

  7. Aimee \ Wallflower Kitchen

    Beautiful dish! Wish I had a bowl of it in front of me right now

    • amandapaa

      it was a great lunch to have on hand throughout the week! xo

  8. Karlie

    This looks amazing so creative!

    • amandapaa

      thanks for stopping by, Karlie!