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An Americanized take on classically French salade niçoise, this Nicoise salad is simultaneously light and hearty, filled with the Mediterranean flavors of the French Riviera. Vibrant summer vegetables, jammy boiled eggs, flaky (canned!) tuna, and a zesty Dijon dressing make it absolutely irresistible, and you can easily customize it to include your favorite ingredients.

A large oval platter of Nicoise salad with potatoes, green beans, eggs, lettuce, olives, capers, tomatoes, and tuna.

🥗 What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • On our honeymoon to Europe in 2014, we spent a few days in Nice, France, a beautiful French Riviera town my husband had visited and fallen in love with. I was no stranger to Nice myself, having been absolutely obsessed with its namesake salad for years by that point. I knew there was no way our honeymoon would be complete until I was sitting in Nice, enjoying an authentically French salade Niçoise brimming with seared tuna, boiled potatoes and haricots verts (green beans), capers, and a tangy vinaigrette. Imagine my surprise when I realized the French dish I’d been in love with all those years was actually its similar-but-very-American cousin!
  • While there’s not exactly a hard-and-fast rule as to what goes into a French salade niçoise, there are definitely differences between the two versions. The Nicoise salad I ordered (and loved!) in Nice was more simple than its American counterpart. Anchovies or tuna, but not both. And that tuna? Canned, not seared. Raw vegetables like red bell pepper, celery, and artichoke hearts, with no boiled potatoes or blanched green beans in sight. Fava beans or lima beans, not capers or pickles. The Nice salad is positively delicious, but for this recipe, we’re making the Americanized dish that stole my heart all those years ago.

👩🏼‍🍳 Chef’s Tips

  • I love the tanginess of a Dijon dressing on a vibrant, briny nicoise salad, and making that dressing could not be any easier. Make sure not to drain the oil from your cans of tuna – you’ll need it to get the dressing consistency just right. If you prefer to use tuna packed in water instead of oil, that’s totally fine. You can just replace the tuna oil in the dressing with an equal amount of olive oil. Drain all the water from the cans before adding the tuna to your salad.
  • I love using Little Gem lettuce in nicoise salad. It’s a hybrid of romaine lettuce and butter lettuce, so it has a delightfully crisp texture and the lightest bit of sweetness. If you can’t find Little Gem lettuce specifically, you can use romaine or butter lettuce instead. Spinach or green leaf lettuce will work, too.
  • When it comes to hard-boiled eggs, how long you boil them is entirely up to you. I like a jammier egg yolk, so I typically stick to 7-8 minutes. You can go all the way up to 14 minutes, though, if you prefer your eggs to be very firm. Check out my post on Easy Peel Hard- and Soft-Boiled Eggs for a by-the-minute visual guide to boiled eggs. Just a note specific to this nicoise salad recipe: since you’ll need to halve, quarter, or chop the eggs before serving, I don’t recommend soft-boiled or runny egg yolks.
A close-up of Nicoise salad with potatoes, green beans, eggs, lettuce, olives, capers, tomatoes, and tuna.

🥬 More Satisfying Salad Recipes

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
5 from 1 vote

Nicoise Salad

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 30 minutes
Simple but incredibly satisfying, this classic Salade Niçoise (or Nicoise salad) is packed with delicious flavors and hearty ingredients. Perfect as a main dish and easy to divide into grab-and-go lunches.
2 large salads


  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • small mixing bowl
  • Silicone spatula or whisk
  • vegetable scrub brush
  • 2 medium pots
  • Large wooden spoon
  • Slotted spoon
  • 2 Large bowls filled with ice water
  • timer
  • large mixing bowl
  • Paper towels
  • salad tossers
  • 2-4 Serving bowls
  • Fork


For the Dressing

  • ½-1 clove garlic peeled
  • 1 anchovy optional, approximately 4-6 grams
  • 1 small pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons oil from cans of tuna or 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Potatoes & Green Beans

  • cold water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pound small potatoes marble potatoes, fingerling potatoes, etc.
  • 2 cups green beans rinsed, trimmed, halved

For the Eggs

For the Salad

  • 4 heads Little Gem lettuce approximately 5 ounces each; see Notes
  • Nicoise olives or kalamata olives; optional, to taste
  • capers optional, to taste
  • anchovies optional, to taste
  • pickles optional, to taste
  • marinated artichoke hearts optional, to taste
  • 3 medium tomatoes plum preferred, approximately 2 ounces each, quartered
  • 2 5-ounce cans chunk light tuna in oil
  • sea salt to taste


For the Dressing

  • Place ½-1 clove garlic and 1 anchovy (optional) on cutting board and sprinkle 1 small pinch salt over. Use flat side of knife blade to mash garlic, anchovy (if using), and salt together into paste.
  • Transfer paste into small mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar to bowl with paste and stir or whisk ingredients together until incorporated.
  • Once incorporated, add 4 tablespoons oil from cans of tuna and 2 tablespoons olive oil to bowl in 1 to 2 tablespoon increments. Stir well after each addition to thoroughly incorporate oil.
  • When all oil has been added and ingredients have been combined into creamy dressing, set bowl aside until dressing is needed.

For the Potatoes & Green Beans

  • Rinse potatoes under running water and scrub away any surface dirt or impurities with vegetable brush or paper towels.
  • Fill medium pot with enough cold water to cover potatoes by 2 inches. Add 1 tablespoon salt to water and stir to incorporate, then add 1 pound small potatoes. Increase amount of water in pot if needed to cover potatoes so that waterline sits approximately 2 inches above top of potatoes.
  • Place pot on stovetop over high heat. Once water begins to boil rapidly, immediately reduce heat under pot to medium-low.
  • After reducing heat, add 2 cups green beans to pot and stir to submerge green beans. Simmer green beans 5 minutes, or until tender-crisp, then use slotted spoon to transfer green beans to one large bowl filled with ice water. Set bowl aside and let green beans cool.
  • Continue simmering potatoes 5 more minutes or until potatoes can easily be pierced with tines of fork. Once potatoes are tender, drain water from pot, then set pot aside until potatoes have cooled enough to handle.

For the Eggs

  • While boiling potatoes, fill second medium pot with enough cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. Place pot on stovetop over high heat.
  • When water begins to boil vigorously, add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar. Stir to incorporate, then bring water back to rolling boil.
  • Use slotted to spoon to quickly but carefully lower 4 large eggs into boiling water. Be careful not to crack eggs on bottom of pot.
  • Once all 4 eggs are submerged in boiling water, set timer for 7 ½ minutes then immediately start timer.
  • When timer ends, immediately and carefully transfer eggs from pot to second bowl filled with ice water. Let eggs sit in ice bath at least 5 minutes, until chilled.

For the Nicoise Salad

  • When potatoes have cooled enough to handle but are still warm, quarter potatoes or chop potatoes into bite-sized pieces.
  • Add potatoes and 1 tablespoon of prepared dressing to large mixing bowl. Toss potatoes in dressing until fully coated, then set bowl aside and let potatoes cool completely.
  • Drain cooled green beans well and gently pat green beans dry with paper towels as needed. Add green beans to bowl with potatoes.
  • Rinse 4 heads Little Gem lettuce under running water, then drain lettuce and pat dry with paper towels if needed. Quarter or chop each head of lettuce, then place lettuce in bowl with potatoes and green beans.
  • Add desired amount of Nicoise olives, capers, anchovies, picklesand/or marinated artichoke hearts to bowl with lettuce and potatoes, then add 50% to 75% of remaining dressing. Toss all ingredients until well incorporated and coated in dressing.
  • Divide lettuce mixture evenly between serving bowls.
  • Drain water and ice from bowl of boiled eggs, then shake and toss bowl vigorously until egg shells have cracked enough that no large pieces of shell remain intact. Gently peel away egg shells and discard. Note: if needed, peel eggs under running water, using force of water to help dislodge any small shell pieces.
  • Once peeled, cut boiled eggs in half vertically. Add egg halves and 3 medium tomatoes (quartered) to serving bowls with lettuce mixture.
  • Use fork to flake tuna from 2 5-ounce cans chunk light tuna in oil, dividing tuna evenly between serving bowls.
  • Top salads with remaining salad dressing and season with sea salt to taste. Serve immediately.
  • Oil from Cans of Tuna: If you prefer to use tuna packed in water, you can substitute additional olive oil for tuna oil in the dressing. Drain the tuna very well before adding it to your salad.
  • Lettuce: If you can’t find Little Gem lettuce specifically, you can use approximately 8-10 cups of chopped romaine lettuce or butter lettuce.
  • Boiled Eggs: Instead of boiling your eggs on the stovetop, try our method for air fryer hard-boiled eggs. It’s foolproof and the eggs come out super easy-to-peel every time.
  • Meal Prep: Prepare the salad as instructed, but don’t toss any components in dressing. Instead of dividing the salad between serving bowls, use airtight meal prep containers, and store portioned dressing in separate airtight containers. Keep the salads and dressing refrigerated until ready to eat. Consume within 3 days.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1 large saladCalories: 949calProtein: 59gFat: 54gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 417mgSodium: 2187mgPotassium: 2315mgTotal Carbs: 58gFiber: 12gSugar: 12gNet Carbs: 46gVitamin A: 9100IUVitamin C: 87mgCalcium: 198mgIron: 9mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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  1. Delicious! Nicoise salad is so colorful and fun. I wish I had eaten more of these while I was France. Normally I wouldn’t even consider anchovies, but they look so perfectly salty in this salad. BTW, we should totally move there…or at least go on a girls only trip someday! You know, someday when we’re rolling in the dough!

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