This Niçoise salad recipe comes with a twist — consider it my take on the French classic. It has the usual ingredients of tuna and hard boiled eggs, but I like to add artichoke hearts, crunchy cucumbers, and peppery radishes.

An entire nicoise salad in a serving bowl next to a bowl of artichoke hearts and a bowl of sliced tomatoes.
Photo Credits: Andrea Gralow

Like many traditional dishes, people have adapted, reinterpreted, and reimagined the Niçoise salad over the past 100 years or so.

My version takes some liberties: along with radish, cucumber, and artichoke hearts, I use tuna and skip the anchovies for a milder flavor that lets the vegetables do most of the talking. Creamy hard-boiled eggs add an additional healthy protein source packed with vitamins and minerals.

This Salad Niçoise is hearty, pretty, healthy–maybe a little untraditional, but totally delicious. It’s an all in one meal perfect for lunch or dinner. And that’s how we like it around here!

Table of Contents
  1. What is Niçoise salad?
  2. Niçoise Salad Ingredients
  3. How to Make Niçoise Salad
  4. Can I Make this Niçoise Salad Recipe Ahead?
  5. What to Serve With Niçoise Salad
  6. More Mediterranean Salad Recipes
  7. Nocellara Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  8. Niçoise Salad with Tuna and Artichoke Hearts Recipe

What is Niçoise salad?

Niçoise salad, pronounced “nee-SWAHZ,” is a classic French composed salad, meaning it’s traditionally served with the ingredients displayed in groups rather than tossed together. There are many similar dishes throughout the Mediterranean, from traditional Greek salad with its hunks of feta cheese so proudly displayed to Tunisia's version which often adds green apple.

It’s named after the French Riviera city where it was invented, “Niçoise,” meaning “from Nice.” It’s among a handful of iconic French dishes that let summer produce speak for itself with little fuss, like the elegantly simple vegetable stew Ratatouille.

What exactly counts as a “traditional Niçoise salad” comes with some baggage. Some say the platter should be rubbed with raw garlic and dressed with only a drizzle of high quality olive oil and no vinegar. Some believe only raw ingredients are allowed. That’s right, don’t even think about putting a potato or a boiled egg on there!

For me, I used the core ingredients of fresh vegetables and fish, and made it my own. I encourage you to do the same. If artichokes aren’t your thing, then leave them off. If you want to try the salad with boiled potatoes and green beans, then go for it!

Green onions, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, artichoke hearts, canned tuna, radishes, mustard, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, eggs, olive oil and basil.

Niçoise Salad Ingredients

This Niçoise Salad recipe can be adapted according to your tastes and what you have on hand. Here’s what I love in my Niçoise:

  • Tomatoes: Choose the best quality tomatoes available, no matter the size. I used medium tomatoes, halved and sliced into wedges, but you could certainly substitute halved grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, or even larger tomatoes cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Salad greens: You could use Romaine, but I prefer a softer, sweeter lettuce like Bibb or Boston. 
  • Radishes: Radishes add a peppery texture and crunch. 
  • Cucumber: Cucumber adds a cooling quality and snappy texture. 
  • Olives: Niçoise olives are the natural choice for this recipe, but you can substitute another black olive that is more available to you. I like to use pitted olives rather than dealing with the pits.
  • Artichoke hearts: Use unseasoned quartered artichoke hearts packed in water. 
  • Hard boiled eggs: You could use slightly soft-boiled eggs if you'd prefer, but hard-boiled eggs are less messy and so delicious when you don’t over boil them. See our guide on how to boil eggs to make the creamiest hard boiled eggs every time.    
  • Tuna: Use canned tuna that’s packed in oil, as it tends to be higher quality and more flavorful. 
  • Green onions: Add a mild bite without overpowering. You can substitute with shallots or chives if you prefer.  
  • Seasoning: This salad is seasoned simply with kosher salt and black pepper to enhance the flavor. 
  • Basil: Whole basil leaves add a fresh, aromatic quality.
  • Red wine vinegar: The acid in the Dijon salad dressing. I like things to have a little zip to them, but you can always add less vinegar to taste. Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice can also be used as a substitute. 
  • Dijon mustard: Dijon mustard helps to emulsify and thicken the vinaigrette while adding a little zing and a wonderful depth of flavor. 
  • Olive oil: A smooth, high quality extra virgin olive oil is a must. I usually spring for our buttery Italian Nocellara with this recipe, but you can find our favorites from around the Mediterranean at our shop
An entire nicoise salad in a serving bowl next to a bowl of dressing.

How to Make Niçoise Salad

Aside from boiling the eggs, there is no cooking involved in this easy Niçoise salad recipe! To make Niçoise salad: 

  • Hard boil 4 eggs. To hard boil eggs, carefully place the eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Next, cover the eggs with at least one inch of cold water and add ½ teaspoon of salt. Set on the pan on high heat and bring to a rolling boil while you get an ice bath ready. Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes, then transfer to the ice bath to chill. Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel and cut them into quarters. 
  • Salt the tomatoes. Set a colander over a large mixing bowl. Slice 3-4 medium tomatoes and add to the colander, then toss with a pinch of salt. Finally, set the tomatoes aside and let them release some of their liquid into the bowl (don’t throw away the juice). sliced tomatoes sprinkled with salt in a colander.
  • Prep the veggies. To do this, first thinly slice 6 radishes, then peel a cucumber, and slice it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon and drag it down the center of the cucumber to scrape out its seeds so it stays crisp. Slice the cucumber into half moons. Thinly slice the white and green parts of 4 green onions. Finally, drain a can of artichoke hearts and a can of tuna. 
  • Arrange the salad. Spread 4 ounces of lettuce on a platter. Next, top with the radishes, cucumber, artichoke hearts, eggs, ½ cup of olives, and the drained tomatoes. You can do this as a composed salad, keeping things together, or spread the toppings evenly across the platter. Sprinkle on chunks of tuna, green onions, and tear a handful of basil leaves all over. Season with black pepper.
  • Make the dressing. In the same bowl with the juices from your tomatoes, add 2 tablespoons each of red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard. Season with a pinch of salt and whisk to combine. Continue whisking as you pour in ⅓ cup of olive oil until the dressing is emulsified. Taste and adjust salt to your liking.nicoise salad dressing in a bowl with a whisk.
  • Serve. Serve immediately, or wrap the salad in plastic and store in your fridge until you’re ready. Pour a bit of the dressing over the salad and toss very gently, or serve with the dressing on the side and allow everyone to help themselves.

Can I Make this Niçoise Salad Recipe Ahead?

You can certainly prep the components of this salad ahead of time, and store them separately in the refrigerator. Arrange the salad and cover with plastic wrap then set in your refrigerator for up to 6 hours. Just be sure to wait to add the dressing until the final moment.

  • Hard boiled eggs in their shell keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. 
  • Washed and dried lettuce will keep for up to 5 days.
  • Sliced cucumbers, radishes, and onions will retain their crispness for up to 24 hours.
  • Make the Dijon dressing and store it in the fridge in a tightly closed mason jar for up to 2 nights.
a serving of nicoise salad on a plate with a fork, next to a cup of salad dressing and an entire nicoise salad in a serving bowl.

What to Serve With Niçoise Salad

This salad is a meal in itself, and if you serve it with a side of your favorite crusty bread, homemade focaccia, or even pita wedges. Add a bottle of chilled white wine and you'd be all set. 

If you want to add something more for a soup and salad night, try a chilled cucumber soup –what a refreshing meal for a hot day! Or, use up all those tomatoes in your garden with this 10-minute tomato gazpacho recipe.

More Mediterranean Salad Recipes

Browse all Mediterranean recipes.

Visit Our Shop.

a bottle of nocellara Italian extra virgin olive oil from the mediterranean dish.

Nocellara Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Smooth and buttery with aromas of fresh tomatoes and vegetables, this high quality EVOO is a must-try!

4.77 from 21 votes

Niçoise Salad with Tuna and Artichoke Hearts

Suzy Karadsheh
An entire nicoise salad in a serving bowl next to a bowl of artichoke hearts and a bowl of sliced tomatoes.
This easy Niçoise Salad with tuna and hard-boiled eggs is bursting with flavor from fragrant basil, juicy tomatoes, crisp radishes, briny olives and a light Dijon dressing. It is a delicious meal any night of the week! This recipe makes 4 to 5 generous lunch portions with a side of your favorite crusty bread, or 6 as an appetizer.
Prep – 15 minutes
Total – 15 minutes
Cuisine:
French
Serves – 5 people
Course:
Salad

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 3 to 4 medium tomatoes, sliced into wedges
  • 4 ounces soft salad greens (like Bibb, Butter or Boston lettuce)
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced
  • ½ cup pitted black olives, Niçoise olives or other black olives
  • 1 cup quartered canned artichoke hearts, drained
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • 1 (5-ounce) can quality tuna packed in oil, drained and flaked
  • 4 green onions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 basil leaves, torn
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Salt the tomatoes. Put the tomato wedges in a large colander and place the colander over a bowl. Season the tomatoes with a generous pinch of kosher salt, toss, and set aside for 10 minutes while you prepare your ingredients. Do not discard the tomatoes’ juices, we’ll use it to make the dressing.
  • Arrange the salad. Spread the lettuce on a platter. Top with the sliced radishes, cucumber, olives, artichoke hearts, eggs, and drained tomatoes. You can do this as a composed salad, keeping like things together, or you can spread the toppings evenly across the platter. Sprinkle on chunks of tuna, green onions, and torn basil leaves all over. Season with black pepper.
  • Make the dressing. In the same bowl with the juices from your tomatoes, add the red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and a pinch of salt. Whisk to combine. While you are whisking, pour in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified. Taste and adjust salt to your liking.
  • Serve. Serve immediately, or wrap the salad in plastic and store in your fridge until you’re ready. Pour a bit of the dressing over the salad and toss very gently, or serve with the dressing on the side and allow everyone to help themselves.

Video

Notes

  • Nicoise variations: Omit the tuna and eggs for a vegan option. Replace the tuna with anchovies for a traditional variation, or cooked salmon for an untraditional twist. You can also add cooked green beans and boiled potatoes, if you prefer. 
  • Leftovers: Leftover nicoise salad does not last very long once it’s dressed. Transfer to a tight-lid glass container and save in the fridge for a few hours or no more than 1 night. 
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams, and spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 341.3kcalCarbohydrates: 8.9gProtein: 15.6gFat: 27.2gSaturated Fat: 4.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 14.7gCholesterol: 154.3mgSodium: 606.4mgPotassium: 476.8mgFiber: 3.4gSugar: 4.3gVitamin A: 2234.5IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 76.2mgIron: 2.2mg
Tried this recipe?

*This post has recently been updated with new information for readers’ benefit.

Share it with the world

I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
Learn More

Get our best recipes and all Things Mediterranean delivered to your inbox.
4.77 from 21 votes (11 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. Chana says:

    Question, in the past when I have eaten a nicoise salad there are potatoes and string beans. Why did you decide not to use these items?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Chana! Great question and the answer is there is no reason. I just wrote the recipe according to how I was feeling that day and the ingredients I had on hand. The salad is equally good with potatoes and beans.

  2. Sharon R says:

    5 stars
    I have never had nicoise salad before. This was really good and such a nice variety of vegetables. Will definitely be making this again.

  3. Jill says:

    5 stars
    Gave this the happy clap while eating for dinner last night! The dressing was fantastic-nice and tangy. So cool using the salted tomato juices in the dressing - will be using that technique again.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe, Jill!

  4. acthony c piciulo says:

    5 stars
    Havent tried yet. But definetly will.

  5. Michael says:

    5 stars
    Way, way, way better than the classic Nicoise salad since it is much lighter with radishes, artichokes, and cucumber. I added the olives and served it with homemade socca. Wonderful take on a classic. A+

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks, Michael!

  6. Patti B says:

    5 stars
    OH my Gosh! So delish. I made your cold cucumber soup and we had that first followed my this salad about an hour later . Both were beyond amazing. This will be in our rotation thru the hot summer evenings! Thank You!

    1. Suzy says:

      Awesome! Thanks, Patti!

  7. K L says:

    5 stars
    Are this last night, with the addition of green beans and small boiled gold potatoes. Delicious and prepped it all first thing in the morning, making for a super quick dinner. Thank you!

    1. Suzy says:

      My pleasure! So glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Jo Morris Bingham says:

    After anticipating this for many days my husband and I made this exactly as posted, except we used canned salmon.
    I found the dressing a little tart, personal preference, but I added a tad bit of the salmon juice and it made it perfect;. salty and subdued. I personalized each plate - no egg whites for me, no olives for him, and we absolutely loved it! This salad is exremely tasty with all the different ingridents. We live in France and I have yet to have a salade Ncoise. Look forward to making another one next week! Thank you for all your delicious recipes,

    1. Suzy says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!! 🙂

  9. Christine says:

    4 stars
    I made this for tonight dinner which my husband loves it. The dressing is a little bit tart due to the red wine vinegar but I added some sugar to soften a little bit. I also used grilled shrimp instead of tuna and it’s so good!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks for sharing Christine!

  10. Emilie says:

    5 stars
    I made this salad for dinner last night because, even though we live in Minnesota, it's going to be 90+ degrees for the next few days! YIKES! My husband liked it and he's a real "where's the MEAT" kind of guy. I came across your website a few months ago and have really enjoyed the recipes I have tried (Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs, lazy 3-ingredient salad, Baked white fish to name a few). I will be making your Grilled Shrimp with Roasted Garlic Cilantro Sauce very soon!! Thank you for the simple and delicious recipes you offer and the new spices you have introduced me to. 🙂

  11. Emilie says:

    I made this salad for dinner last night because, even though we live in Minnesota, it's going to be 90+ degrees this week. YIKES!! My husband liked it too and he's a real "Where's the MEAT" man. I even had some of the leftovers for breakfast! Thank You for your Fabulous and simple recipes. I've made several of them so far (Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs is soooooo good) and so glad I ran across your channel and few months ago. I'm really enjoying the new spices you've introduced me to. 👍 YUM!!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thank you so much, Emilie! Glad you're loving the recipes and new spices :).

  12. Anita Trenner says:

    4 stars
    I've never heard of Salade Nicoise with radishes, lettuce, or artichoke hearts; nor have I ever heard of it without potatoes and green beans. The rest of it is just right, and the dressing sounds fantastic. I'll make this tomorrow for supper, when we hit 90 degrees! I'm also wondering why cholesterol content is never mentioned in your recipes?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Anita! Looks like you found the cholesterol count on this one. We use a very basic calculator in order to get our nutrional information, and sometimes it leaves off certain components. I'm sorry about that. We're trying to find a more workable solution. I hope you enjoyed my version of the salad! As you can probably tell with my other recipes, I love putting my own personal twists on things :).

  13. Robin says:

    Tried this today for lunch. I used some leftover smoked salmon in place of the tuna. It was fantastic!!

    1. Suzy says:

      Ooo! That's a fun idea! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Neera says:

    Hi. I am allergic to fish. Could I use chicken in this? Are there any alterations you would make to the recipie?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Neera! Sure, that should work! Just cook the chicken whichever way you prefer (bake, grill, pan fry, etc.) and add in place of the tuna.

  15. Cindy says:

    5 stars
    I was so excited to see your e-mail about this recipe! it is exactly what I would expect of a Nicose salad. Delicious and fresh, and nothing extra added! thank you!

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks, Cindy!