Piyaz (Turkish Bean Salad) is a healthy and nutritious side dish and a perfect accompaniment to your meals. It is made of beans, onions, tomatoes, and parsley then dressed with tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil. This cold Turkish salad is very easy to make and is ready in 15 minutes.
This simple yet delicious salad is originally from the Antalya province of Turkey where it is considered the main dish. The rest of the country typically serves it as a side dish with traditional Turkish recipes such as Inegol Kofte, Grilled Lamb Kofta (Izgara Kofte) or Baked Prawns (Karides Guvec).
Why This Recipe Works?
- It is a very easy recipe to follow made with fresh & healthy ingredients.
- You can turn it into a vegan meal without the eggs and with some crusty bread and Bulgur Pilaf.
- This salad is also gluten-free and low-carb, ideal for most special diets.
- It is ready in just 15 minutes which makes it a perfect dish for weekday meals.
- It's an easy and tasty side dish that pairs nicely with many Mediterranean flavors.
Ingredients and Substitutes
- White beans - The main ingredient for piyaz are the beans and you can use either tinned, already cooked ones or dried ones. The best options are Cannellini beans, butter beans or navy beans but any type of white beans can be used for that dish.
- Tahini - It is a paste made from sesame seeds. Always make sure to use good quality tahini and give it a good stir before using it as the oil accumulates on top of the sesame paste in time. You can buy tahini from large supermarkets, Middle Eastern shops or buy them online from .
- Red onions - I prefer red onions for the colour and strong flavour but you can use any onions you like. Slice them thinly to add a bit of crunch to the salad.
- Parsley - Parsley is one of my favourite herbs that add flavor and brightness to salads. It is very popular to use this aromatic herb in many Turkish salad recipes including Piyaz.
- Lemon juice - I always use lemon juice squeezed from fresh lemons instead of bottled lemon juice for a fresher and delicious taste.
- Olive oil - I use good quality extra virgin olive oil for my salad dressings as it makes a huge difference in taste.
- Vinegar - Although the original piyaz recipe recalls grape vinegar, you can also use white wine or cider vinegar.
- Tomatoes - You can use any tomatoes to garnish your salad. If you want to add them to your salad, use firm tomatoes with not much seed.
- Spices - I use flaked chillies, paprika and freshly ground black pepper for this salad. You can add cumin, cayenne or any other spices you like to this salad.
Making this healthy Turkish Bean Salad is quite simple. However, to achieve the best results, you need to follow a few simple tips:
- Soak and cook the dried beans if not using tinned beans - If using dried beans, soak 1 cup of them in plenty of water overnight. Drain and place them in a pan with plenty of freshwaters. Cook for about 1 hour or until they are soft but not mushy. The cooking time depends on the type of beans you are using. Let the beans cool down in the cooking water and then drain before using.
- Prepare the dressing - To prepare the dressing, take 3 tablespoon of white beans in a bowl and turn it into a paste with a fork. Add the lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, vinegar and salt then whisk. Add water if the sauce is too thick, check the seasoning and set aside. Alternatively, you can use a food processor for a smoother finish. Simply put all the sauce ingredients in the food processor bowl and blitz until smooth.
- Assemble and garnish - Finely slice the onions and place them in a bowl along with the beans. Finely chop some parsley and add to the beans along with the chilli flakes, paprika, freshly ground black pepper and salt. Add the sauce to the salad and give it a gentle stir just enough to combine.
Place the salad in a large serving bowl or individual bowls. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and boiled eggs.
For other great salad recipes why not try:
You can keep this salad refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Top Tip From the Chef
If you want to use dried white beans for piyaz, make sure you soak them overnight. Cook them for about an hour or until they are soft, almost mushy, and let them cool down before making the salad.
I hope you enjoy the process of making this healthy Turkish bean salad as much as you enjoy eating it! 🙂
Bon appétit! / Afiyet Olsun!
Piyaz (Turkish Bean Salad)
For the Sauce
- 50 g white beans (reserved from the beans for piyaz)
- 50 g tahini (2 tbsp)
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
- 25 ml extra virgin olive oil (2 tbsp)
- 25 ml lemon juice (2 tbsp)
- 25 ml cold water (2 tbsp)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 600 g white beans such as navy or cannellini (ready cooked beans, drained)
- 1 small red onion (finely sliced) (or 4 spring onions, sliced)
- ½ cup parsley (chopped)
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- salt (to taste)
- 2 hard boiled eggs (cut in quarters)
- 1 diced tomato (or 4 cherry tomatoes cut in quarter)
Preparing the Sauce
- Peel 50 grams of cooked beans and turn them into a paste with a fork.
- Add tahini, vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt then whisk.
- Add water if the sauce is too thick, check the seasoning and add more salt if needed.
Assembling the Piyaz
- In a bowl, put the rest of the beans, sliced onions, parsley, chili flakes if using, paprika, freshly ground black pepper, and salt.
- Add the sauce to the salad and give it a gentle stir just enough to combine.
- Put in a serving bowl or individual bowls, garnish with hard-boiled eggs and chopped tomatoes.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
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