This Tuna Nicoise Salad gets a little bit of spice from the parsley and mustard dressing for a delicious, flavorful, and healthy take on a classic recipe!
This tuna nicoise salad has been one of my lunch favorites for a while now!
It’s easy to prep and take with me wherever I go, and the slightly spicy parsley and mustard dressing really brings out some incredible flavors. Plus I love that I can eat a huge bowl, which will keep me full for hours, without getting too many calories!
In my opinion, this is one of the tastiest and prettiest salads you can make. It looks like a fancy restaurant meal without even trying.
You’d never guess this healthy salad is so easy to make!
How to make tuna nicoise salad
This recipe comes together in a few simple steps. Just cook the ingredients, add everything to the salad, then top with your vinaigrette!
Step 1: Boil the egg, then set it aside to cool.
Step 2: Steam broccoli and beans, then set aside. 2-3 minutes in the microwave with a little water or 3 minutes in a pot of boiling water does the trick.
Step 3: Heat a little oil in a pan over high heat. Season the tuna with pepper on all sides, then place in the pan and cook for about 2 minutes on each side.
Step 4: Add the spinach to your salad bowl or plate.
Step 5: Cut the bell pepper, cucumber, and egg into bite-sized pieces. Add on top of the spinach.
Step 6: Cut the radish into slices and mix together with the broccoli, beans, and olives. Add on top of the spinach salad.
Step 7: Slice the tuna and add to the salad.
Step 8: Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper.
Step 9: Chop the parsley and add it to the vinaigrette.
Step 10: Use a spoon to drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad.
You could also use the vinaigrette for dipping if you prefer!
Making the parsley and mustard vinaigrette
A classic salad nicoise features a simple vinaigrette, but spicing up the dressing just a little bit adds a completely new level of tastiness to the salad!
The vinaigrette in this recipe is my favorite to serve with salad nicoise. It’s very easy to make and bursting with flavor.
The parsley soaks up so much of the oil and vinegar that the vinaigrette gets a thick, almost creamy consistency that sticks to the tuna and salad. In my opinion, it really makes the salad.
Cooking the tuna
As always when you eat tuna (or any other fish that is served partially raw), remember to buy high-quality fish that is suitable for sushi.
Tuna is probably the safest fish to eat raw, but you still want to make sure it has been treated right and is fresh.
The trick to cooking a tuna steak is to get your pan really hot before adding the tuna. You want to sear the tuna steak for just 2-3 minutes on each side (depending on how well done you like it).
I personally don’t enjoy tuna that has been fully cooked. I like my tuna very rare, or even completely raw like you find in Ahi Tuna Poke.
Choosing nicoise salad ingredients
The great thing about this salad is that you can add (almost) whatever veggies you like to make it fit your meal plan.
Most salad nicoise recipes include potatoes, but I left them out to reduce the carbs. As a result, this huge salad only has 400 calories and 18.5 grams of carbs. It also packs a whopping 39 grams of protein. That’s perfect for a healthy meal!
You can use almost any leafy salad if you want to swap out the spinach. The only salad types I would avoid are the bitter ones like arugula or radicchio, which would overpower the more subtle tuna and parsley flavors.
Don’t have tuna on hand? I have also used chicken or beef strips instead. They’re a delicious variation on this recipe.
The only thing I never leave out is the boiled egg. You just have to have egg in a salad nicoise!
Because the tuna in this salad is still pretty rare, I only recommend storing leftovers for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
If you want to prep any of the steps in advance, you can always hard boil your egg ahead of time. The rest of the ingredients are best prepped right before you plan to serve them.
More healthy salad recipes
Is there anything better than a delicious, healthy, and filling salad? There are just so many ways to enjoy them! Here are a few of my favorites:
Looking for even more salad inspiration? Check out my roundup of the best diabetic salad recipes!
When you’ve tried this dish, please don’t forget to let me know how you liked it and rate the recipe in the comments below!
Tuna Nicoise Salad
- 4 oz. ahi tuna steak
- 1 whole egg
- 3 oz. baby spinach (2 cups)
- 2 oz. green beans
- 1½ oz. broccoli
- ½ red bell pepper
- 3½ oz. cucumber
- 1 radish
- 3 large black olives
- Handful of parsley
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp. pepper
- Boil the egg, then set it aside to cool.
- Steam broccoli and beans, then set aside. 2-3 minutes in the microwave with a little water or 3 minutes in a pot of boiling water does the trick.
- Heat a little oil in a pan over high heat. Season the tuna with pepper on all sides, then place in the pan and cook for about 2 minutes on each side.
- Add the spinach to your salad bowl or plate.
- Cut the bell pepper, cucumber, and egg into bite-sized pieces. Add on top of the spinach.
- Cut the radish into slices and mix together with the broccoli, beans, and olives. Add on top of the spinach salad.
- Slice the tuna and add to the salad.
- Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper.
- Chop the parsley and add it to the vinaigrette.
- Use a spoon to drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad.
Nutrition Info Per Serving