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The 5 BEST Dressings for Nicoise Salad

Are you ready to add something special to your Nicoise salad? Look no further than the five best dressings for it.

From creamy lemon and caper béarnaise sauce to classic French vinaigrette, there’s a tasty dressing that will take your salad game to a whole new level.

With this guide, you’ll be able to make the most of every ingredient and whip up something delicious in no time.

From simple oil and vinegar based recipes to salad dressings with unexpected ingredients, this article provides all the information required on how to enhance the flavor of your Nicoise salad.

Dive in and find out what dressing works best for your next plateful.

Why Dressings are Important for Nicoise Salad?

The right dressing can make a Nicoise salad stand out.

The dressing enhances the contrasting flavors of an already familiar combination of vegetables and proteins, blending together to taste like one harmonious entrée.

In this guide, we’ll discuss what makes a great Nicoise salad dressing and provide five recipes to help you prepare the perfect Nicoise salad.

A Nicoise salad is traditionally comprised of tuna, eggs, potatoes, olives, and other vegetables, dressed in a light vinaigrette or an anchor-based sauce.

While simple oil-and-vinegar dressings can work well with many other kinds of salads, deeper flavorings are essential when composing a salad Niçoise.

The robust flavors in this classic French dish require bolder seasoning that will work with the various textures and tastes.

For a proper Niçoise salad experience all its elements should have dedicated dressings: the potatoes need one type; the eggs another type; the tuna still another.

Each component enhances each other as well as contributing its own distinct flavor for balanced harmony in every bite.

With each ingredient using its own kind of dressing you’ll have perfectly complementary components that make up your Niçoise masterpiece.

Below we provide five outstanding recipes to help make your next Nicoise salad even more impressive than before.

Criteria for Choosing the Best Dressings

Many recipes for Nicoise salad call for a tomato-based vinaigrette to be used as a dressing.

While this combination of tomatoes, vinegar, and olive oil provides a classic flavor, there are plenty of other types of dressings that can bring out the best in this popular French dish.

Here are the top criteria for choosing dressings for Nicoise salad:

  • Taste: Choose dressings that will accentuate the flavors in your recipe. Any prominent flavors should complement the tuna, green beans, boiled eggs and potatoes that are usually found in Nicoise salads.
  • Texture: Look for smooth or creamy dressings to enhance the crunch of the vegetables used in a Nicoise salad. A watery consistency isn’t ideal since it won’t stick to the ingredients as well.
  • Color: Consider adding a splash of color with bright citrus vinaigrettes that are sure to make your Nicoise salad a showstopper.
  • Ingredients: If you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions, select dressings based on ingredients that fit your needs. You may need to avoid eggs and dairy if lactose intolerant or vegan; look for vegan or gluten free options if necessary.
  • Health Benefits: To ensure you’re including healthy fats and antioxidants, opt for extra virgin olive oil or nut/seed based dressings such as walnut oil or flaxseed varieties.

The 5 BEST Dressings for Nicoise Salad

Nicoise salad is a French dish made traditionally with potatoes, green beans, hard-cooked eggs, tomatoes, olives, tuna or anchovies and an assortment of other seasonal ingredients.

Popular dressings for this colorful salad include the classic vinaigrette and other variations such as mustard-truffle oil or honey-lemon.

Here are five of the best dressings to pair with Nicoise salad.

1. Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

Nicoise salad is a classic French dish, with tomatoes, potatoes, olives, and green beans making up the base.

While this colorful mix of veggies has plenty of flavor on its own, it’s also amazing with a zippy vinaigrette.

Dijon mustard is the star of this dressing.

Tangy and highly seasoned, it offers a great piquancy that perfectly complements Nicoise salad ingredients.

To make the vinaigrette: whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard and 1 clove of minced garlic in a small bowl until completely combined.

Season to taste with fresh cracked pepper and sea salt.

Serve this dressing on your Nicoise salad for an easy but sophisticated meal.

2. Lemon Garlic Dressing

Lemon garlic dressing is a classic French-inspired recipe that is perfect for topping off a Nicoise Salad.

This simple recipe features fresh lemon juice, minced garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper for flavor.

It comes together quickly in just five minutes and can be stored in the refrigerator to have on hand when you need it.

The flavor of this dressing will enhance all the components of a Nicoise salad while also providing a light, acidic element that helps cut through the richness of the liquids.

To make this dressing, mix together equal parts lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar.

Add in minced garlic to taste followed by salt and pepper to finish it off.

Then whisk everything together until it’s nice and smooth before drizzling it over your salad.

3. Classic Nicoise Dressing

The classic Nicoise salad dressing is made with a combination of ingredients such as garlic, anchovy paste, mustard (preferably Dijon-style), olive oil and lemon juice.

Its flavor is quite seasoned and works well with other seasonings or herbs such as parsley, basil or chives.

This dressing should be made fresh each time it’s needed for best results — but it can also be stored in an air-tight container for up to five days in the refrigerator.

To use any leftovers, just whisk together the dressing ingredients again before using.

To make the classic Nicoise salad dressing:

  • In a medium bowl combine 1 minced clove of garlic, 1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 3 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
  • Whisk all ingredients together until you have a creamy consistency.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Green Goddess Dressing

This classic dressing is a twist on the original made with mayonnaise, and has been enriched for an extra burst of flavor.

The green goddess dressing combines mayonnaise, anchovies, garlic, chives, tarragon and fresh herbs such as parsley and basil.

For an even greater flavor punch, some versions also add sour cream or yogurt for a slightly thicker consistency.

This rich dressing adds a delicious combination of flavors to your Nicoise Salad that you won’t want to miss.

5. Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Honey lemon vinaigrette is a tangy, sweet and creamy dressing that pairs perfectly with classic Nicoise salad.

This light and creamy dressing is best made with freshly squeezed lemon juice, which gives the dressing an exquisite bright flavor.

Feel free to add a dash of honey or Dijon mustard to this refreshing vinaigrette for added complexity.

Be sure to whisk constantly to ensure proper emulsification and let it sit for a few minutes before serving for optimal flavor.

Enjoy this traditional French favorite in your next Nicoise salad.


No matter how you choose to prepare your Nicoise salad, the dressing is the key to making it a success.

The five dressings we’ve highlighted here offer a range of flavor combinations that perfectly complement the fresh ingredients and unique texture of this traditional Mediterranean dish.

A light vinaigrette with citrus and herbs makes a great choice for summer salads, while a creamy garlic base can help dinner salads stand out from the crowd.

Choose whichever dressing suits your mood and meal – having different dressings on hand also offers more flexibility when it comes to creating exciting new flavor combinations.

Whether enjoyed as a light lunch or shared as part of an evening meal, nothing beats the simplicity and satisfaction of a Nicoise salad in season.

Don’t forget to experiment with different dressings so you can find your perfect taste combination.

The 5 BEST Dressings for Nicoise Salad

Add flair to your Nicoise salad with our carefully chosen 5 best dressings. From traditional vinaigrettes to innovative creamy options, these dressings will enhance the flavors of your salad.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette
  • Lemon Garlic Dressing
  • Classic Nicoise Dressing
  • Green Goddess Dressing
  • Honey Lemon Vinaigrette


  • Choose your favorite dressing from the comprehensive selection provided in this article.
  • Gather all of the essential ingredients required for the recipe.
  • Prepare a delectable salad with your selected dressing in under 30 minutes, following the provided instructions.
Keyword Dressings for Nicoise Salad
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