Tuna Niçoise Pasta Salad

5 from 5 votes
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Tuna Nicoise Pasta Salad, inspired by the classic French Salade Niçoise, is an elevated tuna pasta salad that’s sure to become a family favorite. The perfect combination of hearty ingredients and bright, bracing flavor, this salad can be enjoyed as an entree or side. Tuna pasta salad on a platter with tomatoes, eggs, and green beans

Why You’ll Love this Tuna Nicoise Pasta Salad:

Nicoise Salad – or in French, Salade Nicoise – is a classic salad originating from the city of Nice in Provence, France. As with many beloved traditional recipes, there are some steadfast arguments over what goes into a proper nicoise salad.

However the generally agreed inclusions include boiled eggs, tomatoes, olives, and some kind of salted preserved fish. And while many nicoise salads include potatoes or beans, this version leans on whole-wheat pasta to create a hearty, satiating salad. 

This tuna pasta salad is truly unlike any other pasta salad recipe I have tried. The combination of fresh vegetables, briny olives, and bold, bracing dressing make it infinitely more dimensional than your classic mayo-laden tuna salad. Plus, it can be made in advance, and enjoyed on repeat for days after. 

While this salad is plenty hearty enough to enjoy as a stand-alone meal, it’s also a versatile side dish. Pair it with anything hot off the grill (burgers, salmon, chicken, etc.), a sandwich, or bowl of soup.

Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:Recipe ingredients laid out on a board with blue labels

  • DeLallo Organic Whole-Wheat Pasta: DeLallo pasta comes from where pasta was born, which is a region near Naples at the beginning of the Amalfi Coast. They use traditional pasta-making methods with an exclusive blend of the highest quality durum wheat, creating a product with supreme taste, texture, and aroma. For this salad, I used their casarecce, which is named for its “homemade” appearance—short, wide noodles that twist and curl.
  • Tuna: This salad is definitely worth splurging on the gourmet jarred tuna (specifically Tonnino) over the canned stuff. The jarred tuna contains bigger, firmer pieces of fish, which are perfect for breaking up into the salad.
  • Green Beans: If you can find French green beans (also called Haricots Verts), which are slightly longer and skinnier than regular green beans, go for them. Otherwise, classic green beans do the job just fine. 
  • Olives: Classic nicoise salads call for Niçoise olives, which have an intensely savory flavor. If you can find them, great! Otherwise, I suggest Castelvantrano olives.
  • Tomatoes: You can’t beat the juicy bite of cherry (or grape) tomatoes.
  • Eggs: Hard-boiled eggs are a staple in tuna nicoise salads. You can either quarter the eggs, or thinly slice/chop them. 
  • Dressing: A combination of olive oil, vinegar, grainy mustard, garlic, and shallots create a bright, dimensional dressing. 

Niçoise Pasta Salad with olive oil and olive jar in the background

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare Dressing

In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, shallots, anchovies, garlic, salt, and pepper; whisk to combine. Set aside.Dressing being mixed together in a glass jar

Step 2: Cook Pasta and Blanch Green Beans

Cook DeLallo Organic Whole-Wheat Pasta according to package instructions in a large pot of salted water until al dente. During the final 45 to 60 seconds, add green beans. Drain pasta and green beans, and give them a quick rinse with cold water. Transfer to a large bowl or serving platter, and toss with half of the dressing.Cooked pasta noodles and green beans draining in a colander

Step 3: Assemble Salad

To the bowl or platter with pasta and green beans, add tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, olives, and tuna. Pour remaining dressing overtop, and garnish with fresh herbs, capers, and lemon wedges. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.Assembled tuna noodle salad with dressing drizzled overtop

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips:

  • Make-Ahead: The dressing can be made up to 2 days ahead. Just note the garlic and onion-y flavor will intensify the longer it sits. If you’re a garlic lover, this is a VERY good thing. Otherwise, I suggest making it fresh.
  • Storage: This tuna pasta salad will last up to 3 days refrigerated. After that, the egg and tuna scent can become a little overpowering. The salad will also dry out a bit after being refrigerated, so I suggest mixing in extra olive oil before serving.

What to Serve with Tuna Nicoise Pasta Salad:

There are many options here! This salad goes with most any main dish you’d find at a classic BBQ. A few suggestions:

You also can enjoy it as we do: all on its own as a healthy, all-in-one meal.DeLallo pasta bag next to a platter of Niçoise Pasta Salad

More Pasta Salad Recipes to Try:

Healthy Creamy Pasta Salad

Chopped Greek Pasta Salad

Lemon Artichoke Orzo Salad

If you give this recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.

5 from 5 votes

Tuna Niçoise Pasta Salad

Inspired by the classic French Salade Niçoise, this elevated tuna pasta salad that's sure to become a family favorite. The perfect combination of hearty ingredients and bright, bracing flavor, this salad can be enjoyed as an entree or side. 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings: 8

Equipment

  • Large Stock Pot or Dutch Oven
  • Mixing bowls

Ingredients  

  • 12 oz. Casarecce Pasta
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 oil-packed anchovies, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced shallots
  • 2 tsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. each kosher salt and black pepper
  • 6 oz. haricots verts (or green beans), trimmed and halved
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, quartered or thinly sliced
  • 6 oz. oil-packed tuna, broken into pieces (such as Tonnino brand)
  • 1/4 cup Pitted Calamata or Castelvetrano olives, halved
  • capers and fresh chopped dill for garnish
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Instructions 

  • Cook DeLallo Organic Whole-Wheat Pasta according to package instructions in a large pot of salted water until al dente. During final 45 to 60 seconds, add green beans. Drain pasta and green beans, and give them a quick rinse with cold water. Transfer to a large bowl or serving platter.
    While pasta boils, prepare dressing by combining olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, shallots, anchovies, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl; whisk to combine. Pour half the dressing over cooked pasta and green beans; toss to combine.
    Add tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, olives, and tuna. Pour remaining dressing overtop, and garnish with capers and fresh dill. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

Notes

Make-Ahead: The dressing can be made up to 2 days ahead. Just note the garlic and onion-y flavor will intensify the longer it sits. If you're a garlic lover, this is a VERY good thing. Otherwise, I suggest making it fresh.
Storage: This tuna pasta salad will last up to 3 days refrigerated. After that, the egg and tuna scent can become a little overpowering. The salad will also dry out a bit after being refrigerated, so I suggest mixing in extra olive oil before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 1.5g | Sodium: 500mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1.5g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

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6 Comments

  1. Sarah S says:

    5 stars
    This dressing is amazing!! I love this recipe as a fun texturally diverse meal! The addition of pasta for added satiety is perfect. I’ll be making this again alll year long!!

  2. Suzanne says:

    5 stars
    This was the best tuna nicoise I’ve ever had. Delicious!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Suzanne!! Thank you for leaving a review!

  3. Dana says:

    5 stars
    This salad is so refreshing on a hot day. Easy to make and so delicious!

  4. Kyle says:

    5 stars
    What a great dish to eat as it starts to warm up. It’s so refreshing and I just can’t eat enough. Thank you for this dish.

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      So glad you enjoyed this one!!