Salade Nicoise Recipe

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Salade Nicoise is one of the traditional French salads, composed rather than tossed, and featuring fresh vegetables, tiny salty black olives, and tuna.

Salade Nicoise Recipe | Good Cheap Eats

If you travel to France, chances are you will have the opportunity to eat in a restaurant or cafe. I hope so! Some of the best meals I ever ate were in France.

After a few French menu readings, you’ll see a theme. Often the same recipes appear throughout the country, perhaps with a few local tweaks. The French have their every day classics just as we do. Ours may be the patty melt, meatloaf, mac and cheese, or spaghetti and meatballs. Theirs may be the Quiche, Roast Chicken, or the Croque Monsieur.

Or the Salade Nicoise.

A little background for you, a dish prepared a la Nicoise, means it’s made the way they do it in Nice. Typically, this includes tomatoes, black olives, garlic, and anchovies. A salade nicoise has these elements as well as green beans, onions, tuna, hardcooked egg, and herbs.

I’ve done my best to recreate it here in a way that suits the American palate and grocery bill. The garlic is the seasoning to the green beans. The herbs are mixed in the dressing. The olives are Kalamata instead of true Nicoise because they are easier to find here. And I left out the anchovy and onion because 1. anchovy is fairly foreign to most Americans and can be expensive, and 2. I forgot to put the onion on before I photographed the picture. Oops!

I’ve also taken the liberty of adding cooked red potato because that’s how I was served it in France one day years ago when I dined out with my friend Lucile. She told me that some put rice in the salad instead of potato and that it’s a small bone of contention.

While I wish I were eating this in Collioure or Paris, I’m pretending at home with my own delicious Salade Nicoise. And now you can, too.

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Salade Nicoise Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
Salade Nicoise is one of the traditional French salads, composed rather than tossed, and featuring fresh vegetables, tiny salty black olives, and tuna.
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: French
Keyword: salad, Salade Nicoise, tuna
Servings: 4
Calories: 483 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 1 pound small red potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups green beans
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or fresh chopped garlic if you prefer)
  • 6 ounces baby greens
  • 14 ounces can tuna drained
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped
  • 4 hardcooked eggs peeled and halved
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata or other black olives
  • 1 red onion sliced
  1. Cook the potatoes until fork tender. I cooked mine in the microwave because itโ€™s hot and who wants to heat the oven? Feel free to bake them in the oven or steam them in a pan. Once cooked, set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a small jar or dish, place the vinegar, Dijon, herbes de Provence, salt and pepper to taste. Blend well. Add the 1/3 cup olive oil. Blend well.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon oil in a skillet until shimmering. Add the green beans and season them with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook, tossing, until the beans are tender.
  4. In a large salad bowl, toss together the greens and enough of the dressing to coat. Divide this among four dinner plates. Slice the potatoes. Compose the other salad ingredients atop the greens, dividing them equally between the plates: sliced potatoes, green beans, tuna, tomatoes, two egg pieces, olives, and sliced red onion. Serve the salads with additional dressing on the side.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional values are approximate and are based on 1/4 of the recipe. Refrigerate leftovers promptly and use within 4 days.

Nutrition Facts
Salade Nicoise Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 483 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 222mg74%
Sodium 654mg28%
Potassium 1202mg34%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 2003IU40%
Vitamin C 41mg50%
Calcium 103mg10%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Stephanie M. says

    I love Salade Nicoise and I’ve made it for myself several times. I like the way each ingredient is set up in its own space on the plate. This makes it very appealing. I also love the variety of textures and flavors of this salad. Admittedly, I have not made it in a long time and this has now inspired me. Thanks for another great recipe.

    • This kind of salad, the salade composee, is really common in France, but you probably knew that already. It definitely changes the presentation. Salads can otherwise feel like such a mishmash.

      • Stephanie M. says

        In Germany, when you get a salad in a restaurant, it is always served with each ingredient in it’s own little “pile” on the plate. I love that look so much that when we have company, many times, depending on the dinner, I serve salad that way. I set up however many glass salad dishes I need on my kitchen table and then I start making them all like an assembly line. It really is a pretty look and always impresses because it’s different from the norm.

  2. Rebecca says

    I also love Salade Nicoise. My husband and I ate it repeatedly on our honeymoon in the south of France. In fact, other dishes from that region have made it into our regular repertoire too – pissaladiere (onion pizza with anchovies and olives) and socca (a chickpea pancake).
    Using anchovy paste in the dressing would be an easy way to get the flavour of the anchovies.

    • I have not had either of the dishes you mention, but I hope I can try the real deal next time we go. Where did you honeymoon? We honeymooned in Collioure, west of Perpignan.

  3. Shannon says

    Awwww, my mom spent her junior year in France and so I grew eating Salad Nicoise! We typically ate it with rice and usually skipped the olives. I loved reading about your travels and all the good food you feed you family!

    • Isn’t that funny how the little variations arise? I imagine it’s the same way we Americans make classic dishes differently.

  4. Erin says

    Yum! Thanks for posting this! Right now due to some health issues I’m having to eat dairy and gluten free. How nice to be reminded that instead of having to find strange substitutes I can just find real foods that don’t happen to include the things I need to avoid. Plus this has lots of great vegetables, which never hurts. I’ll probably add in some anchovies though, because they are one of my favorites.

    • Yep! I am right there with you. I haven’t come up with a plan yet, but my own health issues are suggesting similar changes. Normal food without the gluten is my goal. ๐Ÿ™‚

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