Niçoise Salad

$10.64 recipe / $1.77 serving
by Jess - Budget Bytes
5 from 5 votes
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Springtime is salad season, and boy, do I have the perfect hearty salad for you! Niçoise salad is protein-packed, crunchy, and oh-so-satisfying. It’s perfect for meal prep and will keep you full all week long. I love the mixture of textures and flavors in this salad, and while it takes a bit of work to make, it is so worth it! The hard-boiled eggs, protein-packed tuna, crispy green beans and creamy potatoes are the defining ingredients of this salad, in my opinion. The unique-yet-familiar ingredients are what make this salad a classic– and for good reason! This is one of the recipes I always whip out whenever I have a friend who could use a little meal prep TLC when they are super busy. Trust me, it’s a winner!

close-up overhead view of nicoise salad in a white bowl.

What is Niçoise Salad?

Niçoise salad is a filling and flavorful salad that traces its origins to Nice, France. The term “Niçoise” literally means, “in the style of Nice”. This tasty salad is chock full of tomatoes, onions, hard-boiled eggs, tuna, green beans, and roasted potatoes and is tossed in a light dressing. It makes a great meal prep lunch for the long week ahead! It’s a classic!

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make Niçoise salad:

  • Romaine Lettuce: This classic crunchy lettuce is the perfect base for our salad. Buy whole heads rather than pre-chopped bagged lettuce to save some dough! Whole heads of romaine will keep longer in the fridge, too.
  • Grape Tomatoes: Add a pop of juicy acidity to this salad.
  • Red Onion: Adds a bit of bite to the recipe and a wonderful crunchy texture.
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs: Have a creamy, mild flavor and add a boost of protein! Check out our fool-proof process to make your hard-boiled eggs perfect every time.
  • Chunk Light Tuna: The main protein in this dish. Using canned is a great budget-saving tip! I prefer to use tuna packed in water.
  • Green Beans: Add a vegetal flavor, a pop of color, and delightful crunch.
  • Baby Potatoes: Add creaminess and richness to the salad. Thanks to the potatoes, this salad will keep you feeling full! You can use any variety of mini potatoes. I used fingerling for this recipe. Our air fryer potatoes are done in no time.
  • Olive Oil: Helps the seasonings stick to the potatoes and adds a subtle Mediterranean flavor to the dish.
  • Cucumber: Gives this salad crisp, hydrating, and aromatic characteristics.
  • Radishes: Add a little spicy kick to every bite and add beautiful color. After all, we eat with our eyes!
  • Olives: Any olives you love will do, but the briny and easy-to-find kalamata always does the trick!
  • Seasonings: Garlic powder, onion powder, and dried dill along with salt and pepper make the hearty potatoes so flavorful!

What Kind of Dressing Should I Use?

Niçoise salad is pretty flavorful on its own, so I recommend a light dressing like a lemon vinaigrette that helps cut the richness and elevates the flavors. For something a little creamier, try our favorite lemon dill tahini dressing! Our honey mustard sauce pairs well, too!

What Else Can I Add?

Niçoise salad is a great vehicle to use up those veggies taking up space in the fridge (or pantry!). I like to add:

  • Kalamata olives
  • Halved radishes
  • Chopped cucumbers
  • Capers
  • Artichoke hearts

How to Store Leftovers

I recommend storing the salad separately from the dressing for the best results. The components will keep in separate air-tight containers for up to 3 days in the refrigerator and can be tossed together before serving. If you’re meal prepping, add a bit of everything to your airtight containers and keep the dressing on the side. Then, just grab and go!

servings of nicoise salad in white bowls.
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Niçoise Salad

5 from 5 votes
Niçoise salad is protein-packed, crunchy, and oh-so-satisfying– perfect for meal prep to keep you full all week long.
nicoise salad in a white bowl.
Servings 6 (about 2 cups salad)
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Total 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • salad dressing* (see note)
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.09)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill ($0.07)
  • 1/2 lb. baby potatoes, quartered ($1.08)
  • 1 cup green beans, stems removed ($1.50)
  • 4 cups water ($0.00)
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, halved ($0.76)
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped ($2.25)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved ($2.29)
  • 1/2 red onion, julienned ($0.40)
  • 7 radishes, halved or sliced ($0.69)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped ($0.64)
  • 1/4 cup olives, strained ($1.04)
  • 2 5oz. cans chunk light tuna ($2.00)
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste ($0.10)

Instructions 

  • Choose your favorite salad dressing. (see note)
  • Combine olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder and dried dill in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Quarter the baby potatoes and toss them in the olive oil spice blend.
  • Air fry quartered potatoes at 400°F for 15 minutes, shaking halfway through (OR roast the potatoes at 400°F until golden and tender, about 30 minutes.)
  • Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil in a medium pot or large saucepan.
  • Remove any stems from green beens. Blanch the green beans by tossing them into the boiling water and then turning off the heat. Allow them to sit in the hot water for a very brief period of time, about 3 minutes, until they are bright green. Quickly, transfer them to an ice bath to stop them from cooking any further. Set aside.
  • Hard boil, peel, and halve the eggs. Chop the romaine lettuce, halve the grape tomatoes, julienne the onion, halve or quarter radishes, peel and chop cucumber, and strain olives.
  • Strain the canned tuna and break it apart with a fork.
  • Toss all ingredients together and lightly dress your salad. Finish with a crank of freshly ground pepper and sea salt.

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Notes

*I recommend something light like a lemon vinaigrette (or try our lemon dill tahini dressing or honey mustard sauce) that won’t compete with all of the bold flavors in this salad.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 231kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 17gFat: 10gSodium: 368mgFiber: 6g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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nicoise salad in a white bowl with wooden salad spoons.

how to make Niçoise Salad – step by step photos

yellow dressing in a white bowl.

Choose your favorite salad dressing.

seasoned halved baby potatoes in a white bowl.

Combine 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder and 1/2 tsp dried dill in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Quarter the 1/2 lb baby potatoes, toss in the olive oil and herbs.

roasted halved baby potatoes in a white bowl.

Air fry 1/2 lb quartered potatoes at 400°F for 15 minutes, shaking halfway through (OR roast the potatoes at 400°F until golden and tender, about 30 minutes.)

blanched green beans being transferred to ice water.

Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil in a medium pot or large saucepan. Remove any stems from green beens. Blanch 1 cup green beans by tossing them into the boiling water and then turning off the heat. Allow them to sit in the hot water for a very brief period of time, about 3 minutes, until they are bright green. Quickly, transfer them to an ice bath to stop them from cooking any further. Set aside.

overhead view of prepped ingredients for nicoise salad on a cutting board.

Hard boil, peel, and halve 4 eggs. Chop 2 heads of romaine lettuce, halve 1 cup of grape tomatoes, julienne 1/2 a red onion, halve or quarter 7 radishes, peel and chop 1 cucumber, and strain 1/4 cup of olives.

drained tuna in a white bowl.

Strain the 2 cans of tuna and break it apart with a fork.

nicoise salad in a white bowl.

Toss all ingredients together and lightly dress your salad. Finish with a crank of freshly ground pepper and sea salt.

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  1. I’d never heard of this salad before and I was a little skeptical that all the flavors would come together nicely. Tuna and green beans? Seems like a recipe that time traveled from the 1970’s!

    I am pleased to report that it’s absolutely delicious! Happy to have it as my weekly meal prep this week and I’m excited to have it again in the future.

    Budget Bytes recipes are quick, nutritious, easy to follow, and affordable, as always.

  2. I love this! It has many flavors and color. It is the perfect light and healthy meal!
    Thank you!

  3. When you have a recipe that has two numbers, it’s easier on the reader to spell out one number and use the number: Two 5-ounce cans of tuna.

  4. For those looking for a vegetarian option I like to smash together chickpeas and avocado with salt, pepper, and a little lemon juice to use in place of tuna.

  5. This is an excellent version. I first tasted this salad in France about 50 years ago, and, as well as ordering it often when I’ve been in western Europe, have been making it at home ever since. I usually add a small amount of mashed anchovies or anchovy paste and garlic to the dressing, a light vinaigrette–much like a light Caesar dressing. Julia Child’s version didn’t use either, although she added anchovies to the salad. I always cook my green beans until tender but still brightly colored, maybe 5-6 minutes in salted water with no lid on the pan. I also briefly pickle the onions–as they were served on my first salad all those years ago. I like bit less cucumber than is included in this recipe, less lettuce, and tend to include more potato, and also capers. But as always for these sorts of things, it’s important to use what you like in the proportions you like. It’s a delicious summer entree!!!

    1. I also love adding capers! I chose tuna to appeal to more folks who may be scared of anchovies, but I also love using lightly seasoned cooked salmon on my Niçoise salads! That’s what I did for Easter this year and it was a big hit. Thanks for sharing your experience, Jan. I would love to go back to France soon. I have only ever been to Paris. Thanks again for your feedback.

      1. Love your recipes, Jess. They are simple and flexible, always what I’m looking for! I’m loving Marsha’s contributions, too.