Classic niçoise salad

4.8 of 24 votes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
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Here’s my version of a classic Niçoise salad with tuna, hard-boiled eggs, potatoes and green beans. Perfect for a healthy, complete summer meal!

Zoom in on a large plate of Niçoise salad.

A little history…

Salade niçoise is a classic of French cuisine, originating in Nice, a beautiful city along the Côte d’Azur (south of France).

The traditional Niçoise salad consisted of tomatoes, anchovies and olive oil. Tuna was only introduced in the 19th century, as it was a very expensive delicacy.

The contemporary recipe as we know it, with green beans and potatoes, was created by the famous Parisian chef Auguste Escoffier and has become a classic in French bistro cuisine. He made this salad popular, but he also stirred up controversy among Nice purists!

Zoom in on a large plate of Niçoise salad.


Here are the main ingredients needed to make this Niçoise salad recipe.

Ingredients to make a classic nicoise salad
  • Salad: Some salad leaves to serve as a base.
  • Green beans: I used fresh green beans. You can also use frozen beans.
  • Tuna: I use quality canned tuna. For a special occasion, you can use fresh tuna steaks that you quickly sear in a skillet.
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Black olives: I use small black olives from Nice for their intense flavor. If you can’t find them in your grocery store, you can opt for Kalamata olives.
  • Tomatoes: I generally use cherry tomatoes because they are naturally sweet.
  • Capers: A personal touch that makes all the difference, as they add a touch of acidity.
  • Red onions : Red because I think it looks better on the plate.
  • Potatoes: Instead of boiling them as in some recipes, I prefer to use small potatoes that I bake in the oven, as in my Oven Rosemary potatoes recipe. They can be served cold or warm.
  • Vinaigrette : I usually serve this salad with a simple Dijon mustard vinaigrette.

You’ll find the exact quantities in the recipe card.

Zoom in on a large plate of classic Niçoise salad.


Here are the recipe steps in a nutshell. You’ll find more explanations in the recipe card.

  1. I bake my potatoes in the oven.
  2. Meanwhile, I cook the green beans (5-7 minutes is enough) and run them through ice water to keep their green color.
  3. I cook my hard-boiled eggs in the same water as the beans to save on washing-up.
  4. I’m preparing my vinaigrette. See all my tips here.
  5. I assemble everything on a beautiful plate and pour on the vinaigrette at the last moment.

Note: For added flavor, toss the salad leaves, green beans and tomatoes with the dressing separately before plating. Finish with a sprinkling of parsley for decoration.

Zoom in on a large plate of classic Niçoise salad.

Ideas for variations

Here are a few tips to improve your classic French Nicoise salad recipe:

  • Tuna: Although the classic recipe uses tuna as the main protein, you can add grilled chicken or smoked salmon in place of tuna.
  • Seasonal vegetables : You can add other vegetables such as artichoke hearts, green asparagus, radishes, beet or peppers, etc.
  • Vinaigrette: Vary the vinaigrette and try a lemon-chive vinaigrette, a cream vinaigrette or a balsamic vinegar vinaigrette.

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Recipe card

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Classic Niçoise Salad

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4.8 of 24 votes
Here’s my version of a classic Niçoise salad with tuna, hard-boiled eggs, potatoes and green beans. Perfect for a healthy, complete summer meal!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine French
Servings 4
Calories 494 kcal


  • 1 lb baby potatoes , (500 g) cut in two
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb green beans , (500 g) fresh
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 lettuce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes , cut in two
  • 2 red onion , sliced
  • 1/2 cup black olives
  • 4 tbsp capers
  • 200 g canned tuna
  • Salt and black pepper

Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ cove of garlic
  • Salt and pepper


  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the potatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake them in a preheated oven at 390°F (200°C) for about 25-30 minutes.
  • Trim the green beans. Cook them in boiling salted water for 7 minutes, then rinse them with cold water and let them cool in a bowl of ice water for 5 to 10 minutes. Then drain them.
  • Boil the eggs in boiling water for 10 minutes. Cool them under cold water, peel them, and cut them in half.
  • Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing all the ingredients in a small container, then shake to emulsify.
  • In a large serving dish, arrange all the ingredients, finishing with the drained tuna in the middle. Add some chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper. When serving, pour the vinaigrette over the salad.



For extra flavor, mix the lettuce, green beans, and tomatoes separately with the dressing before plating. Finish with a sprinkle of parsley for decoration.


Calories: 494kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 22gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 182mgSodium: 975mgPotassium: 1274mgFiber: 10gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 1921IUVitamin C: 61mgCalcium: 149mgIron: 5mg
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