Tuna Nicoise Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

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Our Tuna Nicoise Salad recipe combines tender potatoes, crisp green beans, jammy boiled eggs, and albacore tuna. This protein-rich French salad is easy to whip up for lunch. If you want to try other delicious tuna recipes, try our Loaded Tuna Salad, Mixed Herb Pesto Pasta with Albacore Tuna, and Seared Ahi Tuna with Toasted Sesame Dressing next.

Tuna Nicoise Salad

What is Nicoise Salad?

Nicoise salad is a traditional French salad that originated in Nice, France, hence its name, which translates to “from Nice.”

While the ingredients of this Mediterranean-inspired salad are heavily debated, it typically includes tomatoes, olives, beans, boiled eggs, and fish (like tuna or anchovies). However, some versions use only raw ingredients.

In this recipe, we stick to the traditional components but add our own twist with soft-boiled eggs, peppery radishes, and a zesty herb mustard vinaigrette.

What ingredients do you need for this Tuna Nicoise Salad recipe?

Herb Mustard Vinaigrette

Dijon mustard: This is the main ingredient. It also emulsifies the dressing, giving the vinaigrette a thicker consistency so it clings to the other ingredients.

Freshly squeezed lemon juice: The acidity of the fruit balances the richness of the olive oil and tuna.

Dried Herbs: We love using dried herbs for this because I’ll always have the items in my pantry. Use dried parsley, dried oregano, and dried basil for a fragrant, earthy aroma.

Garlic Clove: Minced garlic adds a pungent, spicy note that complements the herbs and mustard.

Seasoning: Use kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to enhance the other ingredients.

Extra-virgin olive oil: This enriches the vinaigrette with a smooth texture and help emulsify the dressing.

a small dish filled with Herb Mustard Vinaigrette

Tuna Nicoise Salad

Eggs: We love the jammy centers of a soft-boiled eggs, and it add creaminess to the salad. These eggs are cooked just a few minutes more than a soft boiled eggs, so it’s still a creamy yolk, but a tad more set. You can opt to use hard boiled eggs here as well.

Baby potatoes: Halve them so they’re easier to eat. Fork-tender potatoes add a hearty, satisfying element to the salad.

Fresh Veggies: Green beans add a crisp, fresh bite; radishes contribute a peppery crunch; and tomatoes bring juiciness and sweetness.

Albacore tuna: You can use either albacore tuna packed in olive oil, or tuna packed in water. Whatever you use, remember to drain and flake the tuna into bite-sized chunks before adding it to the salad.

Lettuce: This is optional but you can use little gems or butter lettuce for a fresh, crisp base.

Assorted herbs: For a burst of even more brightness, add dill, tarragon, and chives.

plated Tuna Nicoise Salad

How to Make Nicoise Salad

Make your Herb Mustard Vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, or in a medium-sized deli container, add your mustard, lemon juice, parsley, oregano, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine.

Slowly stream in your olive oil while whisking constantly to emulsify. If using a deli container, cover tightly, and shake until emulsified. Set aside.

Boil Eggs: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, once boiling, add in your eggs, and set a timer for 7 minutes for a more jammy egg, and 9 to 10 minutes for a more hard-boiled egg. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon or spider and rinse until cool water immediately.

Boil Potatoes: Leave the large pot boiling, salt generously, and add in your potatoes to cook until fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Blanch Green Beans: At the last 4 to 5 minutes, add in your green beans to blanch until they turn a vibrant green, softened a tad, but still with a nice bite to it. Drain the potatoes and green beans and rinse under cold water.

Assemble Your Tuna Nicoise Salad: On a large platter, layer your ingredients with the lettuce first, then on top add your green beans, potatoes, eggs, radish, tomato, tuna, and herbs. Do a big drizzle of your vinaigrette, serving any extra on the side.

Tuna Nicoise Salad

Tips, Tricks and Substitutions

How can I prepare Tuna Nicoise Salad in advance?

This dish is super easy to meal prep. To save on prep time, you can prepare the vinaigrette, boil the eggs, cook the potatoes, and blanch the green beans a day ahead. Store them separately in the refrigerator and assemble the salad just before serving.

How do I prevent the potatoes and green beans from becoming mushy?

Cook the potatoes until just fork-tender and blanch the green beans until vibrant green. Rinse both under cold water immediately after cooking to stop the cooking process and retain their texture.

What other vegetables can I add to this salad?

Try adding red onion, artichoke hearts, or cucumbers.

What can you serve with nicoise salad?

Nicoise salad pairs well with crusty French bread or Focaccia Bread to soak up the delicious vinaigrette. You can also serve it alongside a chilled glass of white wine or rosé for a complete meal. And for another option, consider adding a soup, such as a classic French Onion.

Check out more French recipes!

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Tuna Nicoise Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Our Tuna Nicoise Salad recipe combines tender potatoes, crisp green beans, jammy boiled eggs, and flaked albacore tuna. This protein-rich French salad is easy to whip up for a nutritious summer lunch. If you want to try other delicious tuna recipes, try our Loaded Tuna Salad, Mixed Herb Pesto Pasta with Albacore Tuna, and Seared Ahi Tuna with Toasted Sesame Dressing next.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

Herb Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Tuna Nicoise Salad

  • 4 soft-boiled eggs
  • 1 pound baby potatoes, halved
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cleaned
  • 8 to 10 medium-sized radishes, thinly sliced
  • 6 to 8 medium-sized tomatoes, quartered
  • 10 ounces of albacore tuna, drained and flaked into bite-sized chunks
  • 4 little gems, or 2 heads of butter lettuce, optional
  • 1 cup assorted herbs, such as dill, tarragon, chives

Instructions 

  • Make your Herb Mustard Vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, or in a medium-sized deli container, add your mustard, lemon juice, parsley, oregano, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine. Slowly stream in your olive oil while whisking constantly to emulsify. If using a deli container, cover tightly, and shake until emulsified. Set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, once boiling, add in your eggs, and set a timer for 7 minutes for a more jammy egg, and 9 to 10 minutes for a more hard-boiled egg. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon or spider and rinse until cool water immediately.
  • Leave the large pot boiling, salt generously, and add in your potatoes to cook until fork tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • At the last 4 to 5 minutes, add in your green beans to blanch until they turn a vibrant green, softened a tad, but still with a nice bite to it. Drain the potatoes and green beans and rinse under cold water.
  • On a large platter, layer your ingredients with the lettuce first, then on top add your green beans, potatoes, eggs, radish, tomato, tuna, and herbs. Do a big drizzle of your vinaigrette, serving any extra on the side.

Nutrition

Calories: 547kcal, Carbohydrates: 57g, Protein: 36g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 0.003g, Cholesterol: 216mg, Sodium: 590mg, Potassium: 2332mg, Fiber: 17g, Sugar: 22g, Vitamin A: 6594IU, Vitamin C: 115mg, Calcium: 261mg, Iron: 8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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