The perfect combination of simple and flavorful ingredients, this classic Warm Tuna Niçoise Salad is an easy fresh lunch or dinner option for the end of summer. With crispy roasted potatoes and green beans, tomatoes, tuna, and more, it’s a satisfying and healthy meal! This sheet pan salad recipe is gluten-free, low-carb, Paleo and Whole30.
I know you’ve been getting a lot of Whole30 and Paleo recipes here these days. I have been making a conscious effort to eat more veggies and add in more protein to my breakfasts and lunches, and this simple sheet pan warm tuna Niçoise salad has become a fast favorite for lunch.
Sheet Pan Warm Tuna Niçoise Salad
It truly does come together with ingredients you most likely have in your pantry. To make it even easier for meal prep, you could have the potatoes and green beans cooked ahead and hard boil the eggs ahead of time. With a little prep work ahead of time, you could have this healthy and delicious lunch ready in 10 minutes!
Salad Niçoise (pronounced nee-suahz) originates from Nice, France. Nice is a beautiful city on the Mediterranean Sea and it happens to a part of France that is very close to my heart. I lived in Cannes, France (which is very close to Nice) as a young college student and while I lived there, this was the one dish I probably ate almost every day for lunch.
When you first look at this recipe it may look like it’s time consuming and a bit complicated, but it is really VERY easy and comes together in just 30 minutes! On your versatile sheet pan you will have perfectly roasted tomatoes, juicy cherry tomatoes and green beans that are tossed with the most delicious and simple homemade vinaigrette.
The traditional Niçoise salad is made with lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, olives, eggs, anchovies and tuna. In France it is made typically with raw veggies. You will see riffs of the salad made with even artichokes, red or green peppers, and even salmon.
Personally I really love the original version of this salad (raw or cooked veggies). The classic version will make even a fast dinner something elegant. I love how classic and simple the original version of this salad’s ingredients look when composed on the plate, making even the quickest of weeknight dinners seem like an elegant affair.
So as I mentioned, this is really the basic version of how to make this recipe, and you could make it unique to your taste. But do remember two things: Use good-quality tuna packed in olive oil, and do try out this tasty French vinaigrette.
What kind of tuna is used on a Niçoise salad?
If you want to stay close to the original version you’ll find in the South of France, stick with the canned tuna. I highly recommend that you use good-quality tuna packed in olive oil. I usually have a jar or two of tuna in a jar from Sicily. I also usually have canned tuna packed in olive oil by the Genova brand. They even have it packed in extra-virgin olive oil. But if you happen to have even a piece of leftover salmon, I would use it to make this salad the salmon version.
What dressing is used on a Niçoise salad?
You could stay very simple and do olive oil and vinegar. I always suggest a high quality extra virgin olive oil. Or you could make the flavors stand out with this super simple homemade vinaigrette. I happened to have a shallot on hand and used it, but I have made this vinaigrette also with onion. I’ve even seen vinaigrette recipes like this made with garlic. So it’s up to you, you could use what you have on hand to make your vinaigrette.
What ingredients are in a Nicoise Salad?
This is what is needed to make this delicious French inspired salad. My favorite part of the whole recipe is probably the vinaigrette! You can double the recipe and use it on so many different salads:
For the vinaigrette:
- extra-virgin olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- dijon mustard
- anchovy paste (sold in a squeezable tube, usually found next to the canned tomatoes at the grocery)
For the salad:
- baby new potatoes (or other similar small white or yellow potatoes)
- extra virgin olive oil
- fresh green beans
- cherry (or grape tomatoes)
- Niçoise Olives (can substitute Kalamata or other Black Olives)
- canned tuna fish, packed in olive oil
- hard boiled large eggs
The first step to make this healthy and flavorful salad is to gather all your ingredients. You start out first with making the delicious vinaigrette. As for the anchovy paste, I happened to have a magical jar with some anchovies that my Calabrian mother-in-law canned and gave to us last summer in Italy. You can find anchovy paste in the produce section of most markets. It does add a pop of unami to the dressing, so I do suggest using (if you like the flavor!).
When you have the vinaigrette ready, start to prep the vegetables.
The veggies are all prepped on the sheet pan. If you prefer to have more crispy green beans, simply steam them instead of roasting them.
The potatoes will take longer than the tomatoes and green beans to cook up. But once you have the veggies all cooked up, you start to arrange them on the sheet pan.
A very important part of the salad is the hard boiled eggs. You could make them ahead of time.
Some other salads to enjoy:
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To keep it simple, you could plate out from the sheet pan. The salad could also be served on a platter for lunch or dinner. This salad will serve 4 people.
Warm Tuna Niçoise Salad
- 6 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 small shallot minced
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste sold in a squeezable tube, usually found next to the canned tomatoes at the grocery
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Dash of pepper
- 12 ounces baby new potatoes or other similar small white or yellow potatoes halved or quartered (I used regular potatoes peeled and sliced into small chunks)
- ½ teaspoon salt divided
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 2 ounces fresh green beans trimmed
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes whole or halved
- 1/2 cup Niçoise Olives can substitute Kalamata or other Black Olives
- 2 4.5 ounce cans tuna fish packed in olive oil; drained and flaked
- 4 hard boiled large eggs quartered or sliced in half
- Place all of the ingredients in a jar, seal with a lid, and shake until completely combined. Set aside. You could also put all the ingredients in a food processor (I have a mini one)and combine until smooth; set aside.
- ROAST VEGETABLES
- Preheat oven to 425°F (200°C). Line a large rimmed sheet pan with foil or parchment paper; set aside.
- Place potatoes in a large zip top plastic bag. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt. Toss gently to coat all of the potatoes evenly with the oil.
- Spread potatoes onto prepared baking sheet (save the plastic bag so that you can use it again with the green beans and tomatoes). Roast the potatoes in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring once.
- While the potatoes are in the oven, put the beans in a steamer basket and steam over 1 inch of boiling water until crisp-tender, 4 minutes; set aside.
- A green bean option: If you prefer to have crispier green beans, steam them for a few minutes longer. And instead of roasting in the oven with the potatoes and tomatoes, just set aside the green beans when they’re steamed and crispy and wait for the potatoes and tomatoes to be ready.
- If you do choose to roast the green beans, place the green beans and the tomatoes in the large zip top plastic bag. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the bag, along with ¼ teaspoon salt. Toss gently to coat the green beans and tomatoes in the oil and salt.
- After the potatoes have been roasting for 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Use a spatula to gently flip over the potatoes to the other side. Transfer the green beans and the tomatoes onto the baking sheet with the potatoes in a single layer. Keep the green beans and tomatoes on a separate section from the potatoes.
- Return the baking sheet to the oven and roast potatoes, green beans, and tomatoes for about 10-15 more minutes (stirring halfway through), or until vegetables are tender. Keep an eye on the potatoes, because very small potatoes will be done in about 20 total minutes, while larger potatoes will need closer to 30 minutes. Roast the potatoes until they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
- If you notice the potatoes need more time and the green beans and tomatoes look ready, remove the green beans and tomatoes and place them on a serving dish and let potatoes finish roasting. You don’t want over brown green beans. They should just begin to get a little bit of color.
- Meanwhile, drain the tuna and place in a bowl. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of the dressing and toss to coat.
- When the vegetables are ready, remove from the oven and let them cool down a few minutes. I served my salad right on the sheet pan. If you prefer, you could arrange it all on a serving dish.
- Add the olives to the vegetables.
- Place the tuna in the middle of the vegetables and arrange the sliced hard boiled eggs on top. Drizzle on a little bit of the dressing and serve with the extra dressing on the side. Serve while warm.