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Nicoise Salad Recipe

Poor Man’s Nicoise Salad Recipe

  • Author: Mark Feldman
  • Total Time: 1 Hour
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This delicious Nicoise Salad recipe uses basic ingredients found at most grocery stores to create a gorgeous, colorful, and protein-packed main dish. 


Units Scale

  • 1 can of good quality tuna packed in olive oil (we used Genova Yellow Fin Tuna)
  • 2 C baby romaine lettuce leaves, green and red
  • 2 C baby arugula leaves
  • 3/4 pound small red potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1/4 C red onion, minced
  • 1/4 C Kalamata olives, pitted (use Niçoise if available), optional*
  • 1/4 C French green beans (haricot verts are typically found packaged in the herbs section of the produce dept.)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved


  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 T red onion, minced
  • 3/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • Fresh lemon slice


  1. Start by making the dressing. Place the olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, minced garlic, mustard and minced onion into a medium-sized bowl and whisk together until emulsified. Finish the dressing with a squeeze of lemon. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Before adding more salt, beware that the tuna and olives are very salty!
  2. Place the whole potatoes in a medium pan and cover with cold water. Boil until fork-tender, drain, and set aside to cool.
  3. Place the green beans in a small saucepan, cover with cold water and boil for 3-4 minutes. Immediately rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside to rest.
  4. Combine the salad greens and arugula and toss with 2 T. of dressing.
  5. Dress the green beans with 1 t. of dressing.
  6. Cut the potatoes in half and dress with 2 T. of dressing.
  7. Assemble the salad: Divide the lettuce and arugula in half on two plates, creating a bed of greens for the other ingredients. In a circle around each plate, place the green beans, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, potatoes, and pitted Kalamata olives in separate piles. Divide the tuna in half and mound each half onto the center of each plate (see photograph). 
  8. Serve and enjoy!


Note: This recipe is easily doubled.

You will have leftover salad dressing to serve on the side or for other dishes.

*If you prefer using water-packed tuna, you will want to drizzle a bit of salad dressing on top of the plate before serving or serve the dressing on the side.

*Kalamata olives are quite salty — substitute lower salt olives or omit if you are avoiding salt in your diet.

  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: nicoise salad recipe, nicoise salad dressing, nicoise salad ingredients, nicoise salad, tuna salad