This easy recipe for tuna nicoise salad is going to add all kinds of elegance to your table. Tuna, eggs and veggies in a light dressing make it filling and delicious, and using really good jarred tuna makes it all kinds of easy to make!
My love for this tuna nicoise salad knows no bounds, because it lets me take a humble jar (yes, jar, and more on that later) of tuna and turn it into a veritable plate of elegance in as much time as it takes to boil up a few potatoes, eggs and green beans. Honestly, the vast majority of time it takes me to make this dish is spent on arranging the beans and egg wedges and potatoes as if they were about to get their picture taken for the cover of Vogue.
If that wasn’t a factor (and I do this even when I’m not taking any pictures because I am an obsessive food stylist), this would be going from walk-in-the-door to supper plate in about 20 minutes. And more like 5 if I have been super organized and cooked the veggies and eggs in advance which you can absolutely do with this dish. Lightening-fast elegance for supper, that’s my motto!
So let’s have a heart to heart about tuna. I used to be a whatever-was-on-sale canned tuna girl, and I avoided tuna packed in oil like the plague. Then for reasons that I honestly don’t remember, I tried the pricier tuna packed in oil in a jar. Yep, a complete tuna turnaround. And hand on my heart, it was like I had never really tasted tuna before. It had a rich, deep, delicious taste and texture that made me look back wistfully at all the years I spent eating lesser tuna.
It’s definitely pricier, but when you are making something like this salad where tuna is the main event, it is SO worth it. I would spend what I am spending on tuna and more if this was a steak or even a chicken salad, and the taste is like night and day compared to the cheaper stuff. Look for the words “tuna fillets” to get the nice big chunks you see in the picture. I like the Tonnino tuna packed in olive oil, but I hear the Wild Planet tuna fillets are pretty great too. (And neither company has ever heard of me, so this is my own opinion talking here!)
So here’s the drill: you want one hard boiled egg per serving, and if you need a refresher on hard-boiled eggs just click here. I always have a bowl of them in my fridge, since they are my go-to healthy snack, but if you don’t this is the one thing you want to do in advance of making the recipe so you aren’t trying to cut piping hot eggs into pretty quarters.
Boil up a some baby potatoes, and add a handful of green beans to the potato pot a few minutes before the potatoes are done. Efficiency reigns! When the veggies are done, run them under cold water until they are cool enough to handle.
Now all that is left is the assembly! I like to make a pretty bed of green beans, and top them with the quartered eggs, the potatoes (which I also usually cut into halves or quarters), and big chunks of tuna. I scatter a generous handful of capers on top, and if you are an olive lover (which I am NOT – sorry, olives) you can use those in addition to or instead of the capers.
Now drizzle the the oil from the tuna jar over the whole thing, and grind on a little pepper. And just like that, you have a fancy plate of deliciousness. Bon appetit!Print
- 6–8 small red or yellow potatoes, scrubbed
- 2 cups green beans, stem ends snapped off
- 2 hardboiled eggs, peeled
- 1–2 jars tuna filets in olive oil (1 jar can be split between 2 people for a light meal, otherwise use one jar per person)
- 2 tablespoons capers and/or olives
- Fresh ground pepper
- Put the potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are just turning tender (check by piercing with a paring knife). Add green beans and cook for another 2 minutes. Drain and run under cool water.
- Cut the potatoes in halves or quarters.
- Divide green beans among 2 plates. Top with potatoes, egg quarters, tuna pieces, capers and/or olives.
- Drizzle the oil from the tuna jar over the salad. Grind some fresh pepper on top and serve.
Make the eggs, potatoes and green beans in advance to make this dish even easier and speedier to put together!
Hi there! I’m Kate, and I’m a recipe writer, food photographer and devoted bacon lover. I started Framed Cooks in 2009, and my mission is to create and share family-friendly recipes that make cooking both easy and fun…yes, I said FUN! My kitchen is my happy place, and I want yours to be that place too. Let’s cook together!