It is no secret that I am a big fan of quick and easy seafood dinners such as my beloved Sesame Crusted Salmon Bowls. Today, we are diving into another seafood classic: the Salmon Nicoise Salad (aka Niswa Salad). It’s a testament to the simple yet flavorful ways to enjoy seafood, inviting you to explore more with each bite.

I love to serve this easy salmon salad warm, right from the oven, but it also makes a beautiful cold spring and summer salad. All you need is a chilled glass of white wine, and you’ll feel like you’re in the countryside of France! Bon Appetit!

A bowl of Salmon Nicoise salad recipe from the top view

Niswa Salad Ingredients

The ingredients for the Salmon Nicoise recipe comes in 3 parts:

Ingredients for the dressing recipe photographed from the top view.

For the dressing

To make the Salmon Nicoise Salad dressing, you will need:

  • Olive Oil: Fruity, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is best for any and all salad dressings.
  • Dijon Mustard: Either regular or Country Dijon mustard work.
  • Fresh lemon juice: Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor. You will need 1 lemon for the salad dressing recipe (plus 1 more for the salmon, but more on that later).
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper: Season according to the recipe, then taste and adjust accordingly. Remember, the dressing will be tossed with the remaining ingredients, so make sure to taste by dipping it with a green bean or two.
  • Garlic cloves (optional): While the traditional Nicoise dressing doesn’t use garlic, you can certainly add a few minced garlic into the dressing.
  • Anchovy fillets (optional): If you are a fan of anchovies, you can mince a few fillets and add them to the dressing. If you decide to do so, be sure to adjust the amount of salt accordingly.
Nicoise (Nissua) salad ingredients photographed from the top view.

For The Nicoise Salad

  • Baby Potatoes: Baby Yukon Gold or a mix of Baby New Potatoes work wonders. If you find some of your potatoes are much larger than others, simply slice them in half so they all cook evenly.
  • Large Eggs: My preferred method is Barefoot Contessa’s Hard Boiled Eggs (which I use to make my Avocado Deviled Eggs) since it works every time. However, if you want a runny yolk, follow Budget Byte’s 6-Minute Egg for a soft, golden center. If you go the soft-boiled egg route, omit topping onto the salad and add on the side when ready to serve. If you toss it all together, you will lose half the yolk to the remaining salad ingredients.
  • Green Beans: Trim the ends of the fresh green beans and cut them in half for a more elegant presentation. Here is a great guide on How to Boil and Blanch Green Beans, if you need some help. If you want to go all-out French, use Haricot Verts. These are thinner, French green beans that are a bit more tender. Shorten the cooking time to 2 minutes to avoid overcooking.
  • Persian Cucumber: Small but crisp and fresh, it adds a subtle, crunchy bite to the Nicoise salad.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: I don’t know what it is about cherry tomatoes, but they always seem to be bright red and beautiful, even in the middle of winter. Cut in half to release their juices.
  • Kalamata Olives: Since Nicoise olives can be hard to find, the more popular Kalamata olives are the perfect substitute. Purchase pitted Kalamatas and roughly chop at home.
  • Avocado: Another untraditional ingredient, but one I think brings so much creamy, luscious flavor. It is optional, but you get all the benefits of those healthy fats, too!
  • Capers: Salty, briny and bursting with flavor, capers add that extra special touch. You can omit them, of course, but trust me when I say, they bring so much flavor to this salad!
  • Parsley
  • Salad greens (optional): The traditional Nicoise doesn’t use salad greens, but you can easily up the nutritional value of this salmon niçoise salad by adding some spring mix or butter lettuce leaves into the mix.
Learn how to cook salmon in the oven for a delicious salad recipe - fish photographed from the top view before it goes into the oven.
  • Center-Cut, Skin-On Salmon Fillets: If you can’t get your hands on Sockeye Salmon, I recommend purchasing the highest quality that you can get from your local fish market. When you have salmon fillets that are of exceptional quality, you don’t have to worry about undercooking them by a few minutes. We will talk more about how to cook salmon in a bit!
  • Olive Oil: Use the same Extra Virgin Olive Oil you used to make the dressing.
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper: Season according to the recipe. You can always add more salt and pepper at the very end if needed.
  • Lemon: The lemon adds an aromatic flavor and acts as a bed for our salmon fillets. Thinly slice about ½ inch thick and place the fillets right on top. The lemon juice naturally soaks into the salmon as it cooks – yum!

How to Make Nicoise Salad with Salmon?

The Dressing

Make the traditional Nicoise salad dressing for salad nicoise by placing all the salad dressing ingredients in a small mason jar and giving it a good shake. Set it aside until ready to use. You will need to shake up the salmon salad dressing once more before tossing, as the lemon juice and oil will separate.

The Salad Nicoise

The Niçoise salad ingredients can be prepared in 3 folds.

First, prepare the potatoes by placing them in a medium pot. Cover with enough cold water by an inch, stir in 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to medium-low heat and cook the potatoes until knife tender, 20-25 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the pot with a slotted spoon, dress with half the salad dressing and do not discard the water.

Second, turn the heat back up to medium-high and place the green beans in the hot potato water for 3 minutes (2 minutes for haricot verts). Drain and set aside.

Third, prepare the eggs by placing them in a small saucepot. Add enough cold water to cover. Bring the water to a boil and immediately turn off the heat. Let the eggs sit in the pot for 12-15 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl with a slotted spoon and cool slightly. Crack each egg on all sides, peel, and set aside.

How to Cook Salmon For Salad

The best salmon salad can be made by following the low and slow cooking method. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the lemon slices in two sections on the baking sheet where the fillets will go.

Pat the entire surface of the salmon fillets with paper towels (this soaks up any excess moisture and creates a better exterior), brush lightly with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake 13-15 minutes, or until the thickest part of the salmon registers 125 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. The time will vary depending on the thickness.

Alternatively, if you have a whole fillet, you can follow my Baked Sockeye Salmon or Grilled Sockeye Salmon recipes for the perfectly cooked salmon for this Nicoise salad recipe. And finally, if you have an air fryer, try this Salmon in the Air Fryer recipe.

Salmon Niswa Salad recipe photographed from the front view.

How to Assemble

A French Nicoise salad is technically a composed salad, where each individual ingredient is placed on the plate in its own section. However, I feel this takes away from the texture and flavors you get when you mix it all together.

To assemble, drizzle half of the dressing over the potatoes while they are still warm (this helps them to absorb more flavor). Then, mix in the green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, avocado, and capers. Use two forks to break apart the cooked salmon into smaller, bite-sized pieces and place on top of the salad.

Slice the eggs, add them to the bowl, drizzle with the remaining salad dressing, garnish with parsley and enjoy!

What to Serve with Salad Nicoise?

Since it is a complete meal all on it’s own, all this salmon Nicoise salad needs is a chilled glass of white wine to wash it all down. However, if you want to turn it into a full meal, here are a few recipes I suggest:

Salmon Niswa Salad photographed from the top view.

How To Make Ahead & Store Leftovers

  • Make-Ahead Instructions: Make the salad dressing a day ahead. You can also prepare all the salad ingredients a day in advance. The only thing I would recommend doing on the day of is to roast the salmon. I find that this salad nicoise with salmon tastes better when the salmon is cooked right before serving.
  • To store leftovers: The leftovers can be placed in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for one more day.
  • Freezing: Since there are so many different components, I would not recommend freezing this salad.

Expert Tips

There are a number of tips and tricks to take this traditional Nicoise salad up a notch:

  • Serve a warm salmon Nicoise salad during the fall and winter months for a comforting meal. Or treat yourself to Grilled salmon Nicoise salad during the summer months.
  • Follow Gordon Ramsey’s method and make a warm salmon salad with crispy potatoes by lightly sauteeing the boiled potatoes and green beans in 1 Tablespoon olive oil before tossing them with the remaining ingredients. To do so, place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil, add potatoes and cook turning until they are lightly brown and crispy. Right before you are done, add in the green beans and saute until they are lightly browned, 30-45 seconds. Add in all the other ingredients for an out-of-this-world niçoise salad.
  • Alternatively, follow Jamie Oliver and serve it as a cold salmon salad with vinaigrette by placing it in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving during the spring and summer.
  • For even more flavor-punch (and to follow the traditional method), add 1 teaspoon of minced anchovies to the salmon Nicoise salad dressing.
  • Want a creamy Nicoise salad dressing? Add 1-2 Tablespoons creme fraiche to the salad dressing for a silky, tangy bite.
  • During the spring and summer, add even more fresh produce, such as sliced sweet bell peppers, blanched green peas, basil, and tarragon.


What Does Nicoise Mean?

The Nicoise definition is the French word for “in the style of Nice.” In other words, it is any dish that is made in the cooking style of Nice, which are recipes that predominantly feature black olives, tomatoes, and anchovies.

What is Nicoise Salad?

Nicoise salad (sometimes spelled nissua or niswa) is a dish that originated from Nice, France. It is traditionally made with tomatoes, Nicoise olives, anchovies and dressed with olive oil. Today, we are making the Nicoise salad with a bit of our own personal touch.

How Many Calories in a Nicoise Salad?

The Nicoise salad calories are somewhat low (for such a gorgeous meal), coming in at only 406 calories per serving. I’d say that’s a light and wonderful weeknight meal.

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If you try this Salmon Nicoise Salad recipe or any other recipe on Foolproof Living, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.

Salmon Nicoise Salad Recipe

5 from 6 votes
Yields6 servings
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
This Salmon Nicoise salad recipe is a main-dish salad that is perfect for a weeknight meal. Packed with crispy vegetables, briny olives, and homemade mustard olive oil vinaigrette, it is not only delicious but also visually pleasing.


For The Dressing:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

For The Nicoise Salad:

  • 1 pound baby potatoes, rinsed
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ pound green beans, ends removed cut in half
  • 1 Persian cucumber, peeled and cut into cubes
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 avocado, sliced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, optional
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

For the Salmon:

  • 2 center-cut and skin-on salmon fillets –, ~9-10 oz. each
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon sliced, ½-inch thick


  • Start by making the dressing: To do so, place all dressing ingredients in a jar, put the lid on, and give it a vigorous shake. Set it aside.
  • To cook the potatoes: Place them in a medium-sized pot and add in water just enough to cover them by an inch. Stir in 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Then turn down the heat to medium-low and cook until a knife inserted into a potato comes in and out easily 20-25 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the pot with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl. Do not discard the water just yet. We will cook the green beans in it. 
  • To par-cook the green beans place them in the hot potato water and cook for 3 minutes until they are softened but still crunchy.  Drain and set them aside.
  • Cook the eggs while potatoes are cooking: To do so, bring 1-inch water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. When it comes to a boil, add in the eggs (right out of the fridge is fine). Put the lid on and cook for exactly 7 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath by filling up a bowl with cold water and ice. After 7 minutes are completed remove eggs from the pot and place them into the ice bath to stop cooking. When they are cool enough to handle (5-7 minutes later), peel them and set aside. 
  • To roast the salmon*: Preheat the oven to 275 F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Using a sheet of paper towel, pat-dry the salmon fillets. Brush them lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on each side. Place fillets onto the baking sheet skin side down. Arrange two slices of lemon underneath each salmon fillet (as shown in the photos.) Bake for 14-16 minutes in the oven or until it registers 125 degrees when the thickest part of the fish is inserted with an instant thermometer.
  • To assemble the salad: Drizzle half of the dressing over the potatoes while they are still hot so that they can absorb some of it. Add in reserved green beans, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, sliced avocados, and capers into the bowl. 
  • Using two forks, gently break apart the now-cooked salmon into smaller (bite-sized) pieces. Place it on top of the salad.
  • Slice the eggs and add them to the bowl.
  • Drizzle the salad with the rest of the salad dressing. Garnish with parsley and serve.


  • Make Ahead Instructions: Make the salad dressing a day ahead. You can also prepare all the salad ingredients a day in advance. The only thing I would recommend doing it on the day of is to roast the salmon. I find that this salad nicoise with salmon tastes better when the salmon is cooked right before serving.
  • To store leftovers: The leftovers can be placed in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for one more day.
  • Freezing: Since there are so many different components, I would not recommend freezing this salad.
  • Cooking salmon: It is no secret that salmon can be cooked in several ways. While I used a low and slow cooking method in this recipe, if I can get my hands on Sockeye Salmon during its season (May through July), I usually bake or grill it, especially if I am using a whole fillet. For more information, check out my Grilled Sockeye Salmon and Baked Sockeye Salmon recipe.
  • Short on time? While it is not traditional, if I am short on time or don’t have fresh salmon, I use packaged smoked salmon in this recipe. The smoky fish adds another (welcome) layer of flavor into the whole salad.


Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 1093mg | Potassium: 927mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 606IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: French
Tried this recipe?Mention @foolproofliving or tag #foolproofeats!

About Aysegul Sanford

Hello Friend! I'm Aysegul but you can call me “Ice." I’m the cook/recipe-tester/photographer behind this site.

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5 from 6 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Wow, this looks amazing! I loved that you cooked the salmon in the oven. I agree, after everything was put together, it ended up being a meal in itself. SO GOOD.