Niçoise Tuna Salad With Dijon Dressing

Salad Nicoise on a platter

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
811 Calories
42g Fat
60g Carbs
53g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 811
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 42g 53%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 242mg 81%
Sodium 452mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 60g 22%
Dietary Fiber 12g 42%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 53g
Vitamin C 52mg 259%
Calcium 362mg 28%
Iron 12mg 68%
Potassium 2642mg 56%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The beauty of a Niçoise salad is in the combination of its ingredients. It's simple, but as with most simple things, the quality of the ingredients is paramount. For this basic salade Niçoise, use good quality fresh tuna and don't overcook.

Tuna steaks are used in this recipe, and they're great for grilling because tuna can dry out very quickly. It takes well to a quick sear over high heat, which often leaves the middle medium-rare. It sounds paradoxical, but it's true: It's easy to overcook tuna but not hard to get it right if you're paying close attention.

The flavors of the Dijon dressing, chopped olives, and lightly grilled tuna combined with the potatoes, eggs, and green beans make this a perfect dinner salad, especially for summer. It's also great for brunch. The hard-boiled eggs in this recipe can be cooked several days in advance and kept in the refrigerator until you're ready to assemble the salad.


  • 16 ounces fresh tuna fillets, or tuna steaks

  • 4 to 6 small new potatoes

  • 6 ounces whole green beans, trimmed

  • 4 cups spinach leaves

  • 4 hard-cooked eggs, sliced

  • 1 red onion, sliced

  • Handful olives, chopped

  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges, for garnish


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Nicoise salad ingredients

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. Grill tuna on a grill or stovetop grill pan, or broil for just 3 to 4 minutes on each side. The tuna should be rare to medium-rare for best flavor.

    Tuna steaks on grill pan

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  3. Cook new potatoes in boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and then slice.

    Cooked potatoes on cutting board cut in half

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  4. Cook green beans in boiling salted water until just tender but still vibrant green, about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

    Blanched green beans in bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  5. Arrange spinach leaves, hard-cooked eggs, and potato slices on salad plates. Layer sliced grilled tuna, green beans, red onion, and chopped olives, repeating layers until ingredients are used. Garnish plate with tomato wedges.

    Nicoise salad arranged on platter

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  6. Combine dressing ingredients in a blender or screw-top jar and use processor or shake until well blended.

    dressing ingredients in jar combined

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  7. Serve salad drizzled with dressing or offer it on the side.

    Nicoise salad with dressing on side on table

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack


  • For tuna, cook until the temperature reads 130 F to 140 F on an instant-read thermometer. Serve immediately.
  • If you can't find thin-skinned new potatoes, so named for their early-season arrival, you can substitute fingerling or baby potatoes instead. They're worth seeking out, however, for their sweetness and thin skins, which will absorb the flavors of this dressing well.

How to Store Niçoise Tuna Salad

Most salads are best the day they are made. However, leftovers of this salad should keep covered in the refrigerator for a couple of days because the ingredients are fairly sturdy—with the exception of the spinach. You can always freshen this up to serve again with fresh spinach and a little more dressing if need be.