5 Fresh Spins on Niçoise Salad That You'll Want to Make for Dinner

We love the combination of beans, potatoes, and olives so much we've created these variations with other seafood, chicken, and even a vegetarian version.

Photo: Bryan Gardner

When you find a salad as good as a Niçoise salad, there's no doubt it will end up in your dinner repertoire. But that classic salade Niçoise with tuna that we fell in love with isn't the only way to enjoy the dish, we've created some delicious riffs to add a little variety.

To start, a traditional Niçoise salad is composed of tuna, haricot vert (or green beans), tomatoes, potatoes, olives, and hard boiled egg. Each item is dressed in a bold Dijon vinaigrette and arranged on a plate or platter. Once you get that combination down, you're ready for our favorite spins; swapping out the tuna for other seafood like halibut or salmon, for chicken, or even going vegetarian with roasted carrots, which gives the dish a whole new perspective without losing the Niçoise feel. But don't just stop at the protein, try preparing Niçoise salad with snap peas, adding in herbs like oregano, or turning it into a baguette sandwich. Read on for these super summer salad recipes.

Salmon Niçoise with Caper Dressing

Sure it's unconventional but it's a very tasty take. This salmon-topped version of Niçoise features one of our favorite omega-packed fish, corn, crispy cucumber, and the usual potatoes and green beans. A little brine and boost from capers is a lovely addition to an already well balanced dressing. And it's all easy to do, giving the potatoes, beans, and corn a quick dip in a pot of boiling water one after another is an effective method for cooking each to perfection.

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spring chicken nicoise recipe plated

Spring Chicken Niçoise

You don't have to be a seafood enthusiast to enjoy a Niçoise. Try this version with chicken, another light protein that pairs perfectly with a variety of vegetables and dressing. In addition to using chicken breast, we also swapped in crispy sugar snap peas to replace the usual haricot vert, added in oregano, and a big hunk of briny feta for an additional flavor boost. It's a crowd pleasing rendition you'll want to make on the regular.

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Bryan Gardner

Halibut Salade Niçoise

Front and center in this Niçoise salad are tender flakes of mild, sweet halibut. The key to perfectly cooking this firm white fish is to cook it gently. Our foolproof method gently poaches the fish in simmering water infused with fresh lemon, but don't keep the heat on, the key word here is gently. As soon as you add the filets, cover the pot and let it sit 8 to 10 minutes; the residual heat will cook the fish without drying it out. Then, pair the fish with potatoes, haricot vert, olives, bibb lettuce, English cucumber, and a Dijon vinaigrette.

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Salade Niçoise Sandwiches

Salade Niçoise Sandwiches

Sure we love salads, but sometimes we crave something a touch heartier; that's when we look to the Niçoise salad sandwich. Think of it as an upgrade on the tuna sandwich, without the mayo but definitely with extra vegetables. Given it's French roots, the best bread for this sandwich is a fresh baguette. It's topped with all the usual ingredients: tuna, potatoes, tomatoes, olives, and green beans. Scoop out some of the interior bread for a lower carb version or try it made with your favorite fresh sliced bread instead.

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roasted carrot niçoise
Chris Simpson

Roasted Carrot Niçoise

Hard-boiled egg is a delightful addition in Niçoise, and it earns a place front and center alongside roasted carrots in this vegetarian rendition. Roasting capers on the baking sheet alongside the carrots lends a touch of saltiness that would otherwise be lost when you swap out the usual tuna. This dish is perfect for meatless meals or when you'd like to take a Niçoise on the go, its less messy than seafood versions.

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