Tunisian salad, also called Salad Tunisienne or Slata Tounsiya, is a traditional chopped salad from Northwest Africa’s Mediterranean coast. With canned tuna, hard boiled eggs, olives, fresh herbs, and loads of fruits and vegetables, this refreshing salad is a satisfying and nutritious dinner for a hot day.

overhead photo of Slata Tounsiya Tunisian Salad in a serving bowl surrounded by lemon halves, mint, salt, pepper, olive oil, sliced bread, and bowls of green olives, kalamata olives, tuna and sliced hard boiled eggs.
Photo Credits: Andrea Gralow

Tunisian salad is a classic summery salad that mixes very finely chopped vegetables at the peak of their ripeness when they are bursting with flavor.

This salad always contains four essential Mediterranean staples: Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and onions. In addition to such classic Mediterranean ingredients (also found in recipes like Greek salad or Shopska Salata), this salad also surprises you with diced green apple. The apple’s juicy, tart sweetness balances out the sour, citrusy tones of the lemon-based dressing.

The wonderful thing about this salad to me is its versatility. As one of the most well known meals in Tunisian cuisine, this salad is enjoyed daily in any setting, home or restaurant alike. In its most basic version, it’s an easy appetizer or side salad with an irrevocable place on feast tables. May favorite way to enjoy it, though, is to top with olives, tuna and hard-boiled eggs, and serve as a well-rounded lunch or dinner.

Every family has their own version, as is quite common with popular national dishes. My recipe was inspired by the dish I grew to love during my many years of living and studying in Tunis, Tunisia's capital city.

Table of Contents
  1. Tunisian Salad Ingredients 
    1. The Basics
    2. Optional Additions
  2. How to Make Tunisian Salad 
  3. Can You Make this Salad Ahead of Time? 
  4. Ways to Enjoy Slata Tounsiya
  5. You’ll Also Like: Classic Mediterranean Salad Recipes
  6. Slata Tounsiya (Tunisian Salad) Recipe
ingredients for slata tounsiya tunisian salad including mint, parsley, tomatoes, green peppers, cucumber, red onion, a granny smith apple, eggs, kalamata olives, green olives, tuna, olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon, salt and pepper.

Tunisian Salad Ingredients 

Like the many passionate arguments sparked regarding what belongs and doesn't belong in a Salade Niçoise, there is some debate on whether apple belongs in a Tunisian salad. I recommend you give it a try—I bet you become one of its many modern day defenders!

I also prefer to use fresh mint over the somewhat more typical dried herb version to flavor the salad. Feel free to use fresh or dried—whatever you have on hand. Regardless of what you choose to include or not include, the ingredients for Tunisian salad are simple, easy-to-find produce and pantry staples. Here’s what you need: 

The Basics

  • Roma tomatoes: Small Roma tomatoes are firm and juicy. You can use other firm tomato varieties instead (heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes, for example).
  • English cucumbers: Skip the possibly bitter slicing cucumber if you can. Or, if that’s all you can find, peel off the waxy skin before dicing.
  • Green peppers: Most typically bell peppers. If you like a bit of heat you can use or add mildly spicy varieties like jalapeños or Anaheims.
  • Onions: Red, yellow or even white, you can use any you have on hand. Start with only half and add more to taste so that the flavor doesn’t overwhelm everything else.
  • Mint: Either fresh or dried mint works. Chop it very finely if using fresh, or use only 1 tablespoon if using dried.
  • Olive oil: I prefer to use a small batch, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil for my salad dressings. Use any of the high quality extra virgin varieties from our shop.
  • Lemon juice: Start with the juice of half a lemon and add more if you prefer more zing.
  • Flat-leaf parsley: Finely chopped to blend in and add freshness to the flavor of the dressing. 

Optional Additions

  • Green apple: You can omit this if you prefer but I highly recommend you give it a try first. You wouldn’t find it in the very traditional, basic versions, but it is a common and delicious addition nowadays.
  • Eggs: Hard boil them ahead of time and chill a bit before peeling. Check out our how to boil eggs guide for tips, along with storage advice.
  • Tuna: I always keep oil-packed canned tuna on hand for a quick shot of healthy protein. I like to use about a quarter can per serving to top the salad.
  • Olives: Some like only black, some go with just green, I love to add both for more variety.
close up of a serving of Slata Tounsiya Tunisian Salad on a plate with slices of crusty bread in front of a serving bowl of the entire tunisian salad.

How to Make Tunisian Salad 

To keep things traditional, serve Slata Tounsiya in a large ornamental bowl. Place the toppings in a visually interesting pattern to mark each portion. Use slices of fresh, crusty baguette as a delicious side. You can even use the bread in place of the fork to bring the delicious bites into your mouth!

  • Boil the eggs. If you don't have boiled eggs on hand, boil them to your liking according to this guide. Peel and quarter them.
  • Prepare the dressing. Just add 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, and the juice of ½ of a lemon to a screw top jar. Season with ¾ teaspoons each of salt and pepper, seal, and vigorously shake until emulsified. You can also just put the ingredients in a bowl or dish and whisk. Add more lemon juice to taste if needed.dressing for Slata Tounsiya Tunisian Salad in a small pitcher.
  • Prepare your vegetables, fruit and herbs. Slice 8 tomatoes and 2 English cucumbers in half and use a metal spoon to scrape out the seeds, then finely dice. Finely dice 3 green bell peppers. Peel and finely dice 1 Granny Smith Apple. Finely chop a big handful of fresh mint leaves. Finely dice 1 red onion and keep it in a separate bowl for now. 4 bowls containing chopped tomato, chopped cucumber, chopped green pepper and chopped red onion.
  • Time to chop and mix! Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, apple, and mint to a large serving bowl. Stir in the salad dressing. chopped vegetables for Slata Tounsiya Tunisian Salad separated in a serving bowl.
  • Add the onion to taste. Mix in half of the onion, taste, and add more onion to your liking. I usually end up using all of it but it really depends on personal taste. Remember that its tanginess will be tamed by the lemon juice and olive oil in the dressing.chopped vegetables for Slata Tounsiya Tunisian Salad mixed together in a serving bowl.
  • Decorate the salad. Just before serving, top with peeled and quartered hard boiled egg or two, ½ cup each of black and green olives, and a drained and flaked can of tuna. Serve the remaining hard boiled eggs on the side.
close up of Slata Tounsiya Tunisian Salad in a serving bowl.

Can You Make this Salad Ahead of Time? 

Tunisian salad does great in the fridge for up to 3 days, dressing and olives included. Just top it with tuna and egg at the last minute before serving it to your guests.

To keep the salad extra fresh, remove the egg and tuna before putting away leftovers. Store the salad, tuna, and eggs in separate containers.

a close up of Slata Tounsiya Tunisian Salad in a serving bowl surrounded by various ingredients.

Ways to Enjoy Slata Tounsiya

Slata Tounsiya can be enjoyed as well as a simple vegetable salad. Serve alongside a main like Lablabi for a filling and nutritious meal (leave off the tuna to make it fully vegetarian). The way it’s so finely chopped means it can also serve great as a juicy garnish for tuna or other sandwiches.

My favorite way to enjoy Tunisian salad is as a complete lunch or dinner unto itself. Serve with some fresh baguette to sop up all the delicious juice that gets left over in the dish. 

Either way, I recommend you enjoy it with a nice glass of chilled white wine or rosé. Finish with some fresh mint tea to leave you feeling refreshed and satisfied. You can even happily reward yourself with a nice bite of syrupy baklava at the end of this healthy meal.

You’ll Also Like: Classic Mediterranean Salad Recipes

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5 from 7 votes

Slata Tounsiya (Tunisian Salad)

photo of photographer and author andrea gralow.Andrea Gralow
Slata Tounsiya Tunisian Salad in a serving bowl surrounded by lemon halves, mint, salt, pepper, olive oil, sliced bread, and bowls of green olives, kalamata olives, tuna and sliced hard boiled eggs.
Tunisian salad, also called Salad Tunisienne or Slata Tounsiya, is a traditional chopped salad from Northwest Africa’s Mediterranean coast. The fresh chopped salad is traditionally served in a large ornamental bowl with the toppings placed in a visually interesting pattern to mark individual portions. This simple salad a big hit at a summer gathering, but it's just as popular family dinner. Serve with crusty bread for a refreshing, nutritious meal.
Prep – 20 minutes
Total – 20 minutes
Cuisine:
Tunisian
Serves – 6
Course:
Appetizer, Entree, Salad

Ingredients
  

For the Dressing

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of ½ - 1 lemon

For the Salad

  • 8 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 English cucumbers
  • 3 green bell peppers, finely diced
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely diced
  • A big handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (or subsitute with 1 tablespoon dried mint)
  • ½ - 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 5 hard boiled eggs, quartered
  • ½ cup whole black olives (like Niçoise, Kalamata, or oil-cured black olives)
  • ½ cup whole green olives (like Castelvetrano)
  • 1 (5 ounce) can oil-packed tuna, drained and flaked
  • Crusty baguette (optional), for serving

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the dressing. Add the olive oil, vinegar, parsley, salt, pepper, and the juice of ½ of a lemon to a screw top jar. Seal and vigorously shake until emulsified. You can also just whisk this together in a bowl. Add more lemon juice to taste if needed.
  • Prepare your vegetables, fruit and herbs. Slice the tomatoes and cucumbers in half and use a metal spoon to scrape out the seeds. Then finely dice.
  • Mix and dress. In a large serving bowl, mix the finely diced tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, apple, and mint. Stir in the dressing.
  • Add onion to taste. Mix in half the onion, taste, and add more onion to your liking. I usually end up using all of it but it really depends on personal taste. Remember that its tanginess will be tamed by the lemon juice and olive oil in the dressing.
  • Finish the salad. Before enjoying, transfer the salad to a large serving bowl and top it with 6 wedges of hard boiled eggs, olives and tuna. You can use as much as you like of any of these depending on your taste preference and hunger level. Serve the remaining egg quarters on the side.
  • Serve. Serve with a side of fresh crusty baguette slices, which can even be used as a vessel instead of the fork.

Video

Notes

  • Removing the seeds from the tomatoes and cucumbers prevents the salad from becoming watery. If you don’t want to discard the juicy seeds, they make a nice addition to a soup, like our gazpacho or a green drink, like our green juice.
  • Chopping is Tunisia's national sport. Dice everything very finely, in as similar sized cubes as possible. It will take some time but it’s important so that the flavors can combine in every bite. To finely chop everything, use a freshly sharpened knife and start with the tomatoes, working the onions last so you don't have to wash the knife in between the veggies.
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams, and spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 298.6kcalCarbohydrates: 16.2gProtein: 15.8gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 3.7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2.8gMonounsaturated Fat: 11.9gCholesterol: 160.5mgSodium: 820.7mgPotassium: 622.1mgFiber: 4.2gSugar: 9.4gVitamin A: 1414.8IUVitamin C: 64.9mgCalcium: 72.9mgIron: 1.9mg
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5 from 7 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Christine says:

    5 stars
    This salad is delicious and I’ll be making this again ! Thank you !

    1. TMD Team says:

      Yay! Thank so much, Christine!

  2. Rob Bate says:

    5 stars
    Enjoying exploring and trying lots of the recipes here and loving it. Put this salad together the other night, just yum!! and was also a big hit with the family, I did change out the tuna for smoked Trout. Was even better for lunch the next day.

    1. Devin Fuller says:

      Hi Rob, Devin here from the Mediterranean Dish team. So happy to hear you're loving our recipes! Smoked trout sounds FANTASTIC with this dish. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Stacie says:

    I bet this would be good with garbanzo beans. Have you ever tried that?

    1. TMD Team says:

      We haven't, but I agree!

  4. Michael says:

    5 stars
    My wife's comment was " I could eat this every night for dinner". You have to love cutting and chopping for this recipe. The results are outstanding.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Hi, Michael! So glad you and your wife are enjoying this recipe. It does require some time at the cutting board but glad to know it was worth it!

  5. KJL says:

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight. I only had one green bell pepper, so I subbed in some red and orange ones. I used half an onion, but I think next time I will add more. It was very tasty and it was nice light supper! My husband and I really enjoyed it and we will make it again. I left part of it without the tuna and olives and I will use it for our lunches tomorrow. Added in radishes.

  6. Judy H. says:

    5 stars
    Delicious and refreshing. I used pitted olives instead of whole olives. I also added a yellow pepper for additional color. This salad is perfect for a hot summer day!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks, Judy!