The Instant Pot is taking all of the work out of the famous Nicoise Salad. This is one happy plate of summer vegetables with the added protein of hard-boiled eggs and tuna, all dressed in a Lemon Vinaigrette to make it shine with bright, tangy flavor.
Have you experienced this incredible salad yet?
I'm sure I've seen it somewhere before but it wasn't until a cold winter day when I saw Katie Lee making her version of it on The Kitchen that I really paid attention. I suppose I was feeling tired of snow and heavy comfort food and ready for something cold, crisp, and bright to hit my plate for dinner.
I immediately printed out the recipe only to find that it required boiling 3 different ingredients in 3 different steps and suddenly I lost my desire to try it (long winters can do that to you, ya know).
What's an Instant Pot lovin' girl to do in this situation? Bring on the magic of pressure cooking, that's what she do.
It took a few tries to get this baby right, but after a lot of yummy testing, I now have the cooking part of this salad combined into ONE 5-minute cooking session in the magic pot. You're going to love this trick!
Now, if you're not familiar with this salad, here's a little background.
WHAT IS NICOISE SALAD
I like to think of a Nicoise Salad as the French version of an American Cobb Salad: A big plate of vegetables and protein with textures from crunchy to creamy, all dressed in an irresistible dressing. If you're a Cobb salad fan, you're going to adore a Nicoise Salad!
The Nicoise Salad (or in French: Salade Nicoise) is a classic salad originating from the city of Nice in Provence, France. A quick internet search will reveal that there isn't necessarily a strict code for what goes into this salad, however, olives, tomatoes, boiled eggs, green beans, potatoes, and tuna seem to be the most common ingredients.
So while I'm not claiming this to be the most classic Nicoise Salad, it's my little twist, it's easy, and it's quite possibly the most scrumptious salad I've ever nibbled on. Let's make some!
WHY YOU WILL LOVE INSTANT POT NICOISE SALAD
- ONE POT PLAN: Instead of boiling the potatoes, eggs, and beans each separately, I've come up with a little Instant Pot trick to cook them all up at the same time! More on that in a sec.
- LOADED: Do you love a loaded salad like I do? Baby potatoes, green beans, butter lettuce, grape tomatoes, cucumber, olives, flaky tuna, and hard boiled eggs . . . now that's a salad.
- REFRESHING: If you get giddy while munching on a salad, this is going to be your new favorite. Crunchy, creamy, tangy, sweet, briny, salty . . . all in one big salad! If that isn't “giddy munching” I don't know what is.
- LIGHT AND SATISFYING: This is one of those “filling but not heavy” type of meals. You get your healthy, crisp veggies plus a satisfying protein boost from the tuna and eggs.
- MAKE AHEADABLE: Enjoy the salad one night, then store them individually so they can be thrown together in seconds all week long.
- LEMON VINAIGRETTE: I'd eat a pile of dirt if I could drown it in this dressing. My heavens, is it delightful.
HOW TO MAKE NICOISE IN THE PRESSURE COOKER
- Whisk up the lemon vinaigrette in a jar
- Place a steamer basket inside the Instant Pot and add the potatoes
- Place the eggs on top of the potatoes on one side and a foil packet of green beans on the other side; pressure cook
- When done, place the eggs and beans in an ice bath to stop further cooking
- Assemble the platter
- Make it pretty; devour
SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR DETAILED COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
- TRUST THE LAYERING TECHNIQUE: The way I layer the vegetables into the Instant Pot is strategic and I advise you stick to it. The potatoes go in first because they need the most cooking, then the eggs on top of the potatoes so they don't get over done, then the green beans wrapped in foil so they don't become too soft. This technique makes sure everything here is cooked properly where typically each ingredient would need a slightly different cook time. Awesome, right?!
- THE GREEN BEANS: Green beans are meant to be bright green and still have a bite in a Nicoise Salad. If you prefer your beans soft, you can skip the foil and just put them right on top of the potatoes.
- THE POTATOES: Make sure you get bite size potatoes so they are soft and creamy. Larger potatoes may still be crunchy after the 5 minute cook time. I suspect if your potatoes are bigger than bite size, you could cut them in half to cook. Also, to give the potatoes a flavor boost, I like to dress them with a little bit of the dressing and a pinch of salt right when they come out hot from the pressure cooker.
- THE PROTEIN: If I'm being honest, I can't stand tuna, but felt I needed to use it for this recipe to keep it classic. If you're also not a fan, you can substitute it with any other protein you like: chicken, steak, tofu, beans, etc.
- HOW TO SERVE: If you're making this for a crowd, the prettiest way to arrange it is to cover a platter with bibb or butter lettuce then make a pile of each individual ingredient. Dress it lightly with the vinaigrette, add a pinch of kosher salt over the entire platter, then serve extra dressing on the side. Serve with tongs so each person can create their own plate. I suggest doubling the dressing if served this way. If making individual plates of the salad, just pile it all on your plate and dig in.
- MAKE IT YOURS: This recipe is how I like to make my Nicoise, but if you have some vegetables sitting in the crisper, feel free to mix it up. Baby carrots, snap peas, artichokes, bell peppers, radishes, avocado, etc, chop them up and add them to the party.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS
Place each ingredient in a different container and place in the fridge for up to 5 days. This will keep each component fresh so that you can make a new plate any day of the week. Store dressing in a sealed mason jar for a week.
MAKE AHEAD TIPS
Whether you're making this for a party or you're just meal prepping for the week, each ingredient including the dressing can be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Tomatoes, however, tend to lose their flavor when refrigerated, so I would keep them on the countertop and half them right before serving.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH NICOISE SALAD
This tends to be a “one plate meal” kind of situation, but a side of warm bread is divine (especially dipped in the Lemon Vinaigrette). Here are a few suggestions:
- TUNA SUBSTITUTES: Swap the tuna for grilled chicken or steak or for a meat-free version, try tofu or beans.
- THE VEGETABLES: Snap peas, carrots, radishes, artichokes, bell peppers, broccoli, avocados, etc. Use what you have!
- SALAD DRESSING: Any bright, tangy dressing will do. If you have a favorite, go for it!
Are you excited for this salad? I sure hope so!
Time to grab a fork and a big plate, you've got some seriously happy munching to do!
This is the kind of salad that I love to cozy up on the back porch with – Bowl in one hand, big fork in the other, and a jar of extra dressing nearby just in case. This screams happy summer nights to me, I hope you get to enjoy this bliss very soon!
MORE INSTANT POT SALAD RECIPES
- Instant Pot Italian Pasta Salad
- Instant Pot Blackberry Poached Pear Salad
- Instant Pot Potato Salad
- Instant Pot Mexican Street Corn Salad
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT NICOISE SALADPrint
Instant Pot Nicoise Salad
Healthy, refreshing Nicoise Salad, made easy in the Instant Pot
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: French
For the Lemon Vinaigrette (double if you like a lot of dressing)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon honey
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder or small garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
For the salad
- 1 pound baby red or gold potatoes (small bite size)
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- 4 eggs
- 1 head bibb or butter lettuce, leaves separated
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup sliced or diced cucumber
- ½ cup olives (black, green, kalamata – use your favorite!)
- 1 (8 ounce) jar tuna packed in olive oil, drained
- Prepare the Lemon Vinaigrette by adding all of the ingredients to a mason jar. Shake to combine – if you own one, I like to use shaker balls to help emulsify the oil.
- Add 1 cup of water to the pressure cooker pot. Place a steamer basket inside. Place baby potatoes in the steamer basket. Set eggs on top of the potatoes on one side of the basket.
- Wrap beans in a piece of foil, leaving the top slightly open. Place on top of the potatoes, on the opposite side of the eggs. Note: If you like your beans soft, you do not need to wrap them in foil, just set them on top of the potatoes.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes.
- While the vegetables and eggs are cooking, prepare an ice bath of water and ice (this will be for the eggs and beans so make sure it’s large enough to hold both).
- When cooking is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for 3 minutes, then use a quick release – I suggest holding the valve open only part way to let the pressure release gently. I’ve noticed this helps prevent the small potatoes from bursting from the pressure change.
- Immediately place beans and eggs in the ice bath for 5 minutes, then place beans on a paper towel lined plate and dab off excess water.
- Peel and quarter eggs.
- Place potatoes in a bowl and toss them with some of the Lemon Vinaigrette and a pinch of salt.
- To Serve: For a crowd, arrange lettuce, potatoes, green beans, quartered hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and tuna on a large platter. I like to make a pile of each ingredient on the platter because it looks so pretty. Drizzle about half of the dressing over the salad and sprinkle everything with a pinch of kosher salt. Serve salad with the remaining dressing on the side for anyone who wants extra.
- For an individual serving, create a bed of lettuce then scatter remaining ingredients on top and add a drizzle of vinaigrette.
- Serve immediately.
- To make sure the potatoes are cooked through, use small bite size potatoes or use larger potatoes and cut them in half.
- The green beans are wrapped in foil to keep them crisp tender. If you prefer them soft, omit the foil and just place them right on top of the potatoes.
- Tuna is traditional for Nicoise Salad, but if you’re not a fan you can substitute with shredded chicken, artichoke hearts, or white beans.
Keywords: Nicoise Salad, Healthy Salad, Instant Pot Salad