This hearty vegan niçoise salad has fresh, crisp ingredients, and a delicious champagne vinaigrette dressing. This wholesome salad is the perfect side for a weeknight dinner or a healthy lunch.
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💭 Why you'll love this recipe
- Plant-based twist. Skip tuna and eggs in the traditional nicoise salad without compromising on flavor or nutrition! This vegan version is all that you need for a healthy and plant-based side.
- Easy to toss together. Using fresh and raw vegetables, this salad is super easy to arrange and has a great combination of flavors and textures.
- Great with or without dressing. The creamy champagne vinaigrette dressing is tangy, sweet, and a great complement to the salad, but you can also make it with just salt and pepper for something simpler.
📋 Ingredients and notes
To make vegan nicoise salad, you'll need large romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, radish, canned chickpeas, black olives, capers, fresh parsley, fresh basil, sea salt, and black pepper.
To make champagne vinaigrette, you'll need champagne vinegar, dijon mustard, honey or maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
Notes and variations
- Olives. I used black olives for this recipe, but you can also use kalamata olives, niçoise olives, green olives, and other briny olives.
- Champagne vinegar. I used champagne vinegar for the dressing but you can substitute it with white wine vinegar.
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice for a slightly sour, tart, and refreshing flavor.
- Add a variety of vegetables. You can add fresh vegetables that are available to you such as green beans, artichoke hearts, white beans, hearts of palm, brussels sprouts, red peppers, and baby potatoes.
- Use maple syrup to keep it vegan. You can use either honey or maple syrup for the vinaigrette dressing but use maple syrup if you want to keep it vegan.
📖 How to make vegan niçoise salad
Wash and chop the lettuce if you prefer small, bite size pieces. This salad spinner is seriously one of the best investments I've made in my kitchen.
Then, in a large bowl, combine the vegetables and toss the salad until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Top with fresh parsley and basil.
Season the chopped salad with salt and black pepper to taste if you're not using the dressing.
Make champagne vinaigrette
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey or maple syrup.
Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking the mixture continuously until the
vinaigrette is emulsified and well combined.
Season the vinaigrette with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve or store extra vinaigrette in an airtight container for up to one week.
👩🏽🍳 Tips for the best vegan niçoise salad
To make the best vegan niçoise salad, make sure to follow these expert tips!
- Make the vinaigrette ahead of time before making the salad to let the flavors infuse together.
- Use extra virgin olive oil for a richer flavor on your salad. It really does make a difference in this case.
- Don't be afraid to mix and match seasonal vegetables for the freshest nicoise salad.
- Make the salad right before serving to keep the ingredients fresh ingredients, maintain the bright green colors of the greens, and have an overall vibrant salad.
- Use a blender to emulsify the dressing. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender at medium speed to fully incorporate them.
- Don't drown the salad in dressing, instead drizzle it with just enough dressing for the right amount of flavor.
👩🏽🍳 Troubleshooting FAQs
Niçoise salad originated in the old town of Nice, France in the late 19th century. Niçoise means "in the style of Nice" in French.
I do not recommend storing the salad with dressing because it will make the veggies lose freshness and texture. It will become soggy and expire quickly if you store it with the dressing.
This nicoise salad is hearty enough to eat as a meal! But you can also serve it as an appetizer and pair it with your favorite main dish entrées such as pasta and other protein. You can also pair it with bruschetta and wine!
No, this salad is best made right before serving to keep the vegetables fresh and crisp. But you can make the champagne vinaigrette in advance and store it in the refrigerator.
🍴 Serve and store vegan niçoise salad
Serve the vegan niçoise salad on a large platter. This salad is hearty enough to be served as a splendid main dish salad or as a side to your favorite meals. If you have leftovers, add a starch (like quinoa or farro) and make it a lunch bowl.
Store the salad separately from the dressing to keep it fresh for up to two days in the refrigerator. Vegan nicoise salad is best when eaten fresh but you can also freeze it for up to 2 months. However, keep in mind that the crisp texture of the salad might not be the same after thawing.
Store the dressing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Remove 15-30 minutes before serving to warm it up in case the olive oil solidifies. I don't recommend freezing this dressing as it is oil-based.
🍴 Other simple salad recipes
- Roasted beet salad with grapefruit vinaigrette
- Heirloom tomato Caprese salad
- Mango and avocado salad
- Spinach avocado salad
- Lemon garlic kale salad
- Brussels sprouts Caesar salad
- Vegan daikon salad
- Refreshing summer slaw salad
Did you make this recipe?! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Vegan Niçoise Salad (+ Champagne Vinaigrette)
Vegan Niçoise Salad
- 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup green beans, substitute haricot verts
- ½ cup radish, sliced
- ½ cup canned chickpeas, rinsed
- ¼ cup black olives
- 3 tablespoons capers, + 1 teaspoon brine
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- ½ teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, adjust to taste
- ½ tablespoon champagne vinegar
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Make vegan niçoise salad
- Wash and chop lettuce if preferred (or use a salad spinner).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the vegetables and toss the salad until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Top with fresh parsley and basil.
- Season the chopped salad with salt and black pepper to taste.
Make champagne vinaigrette
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey or maple syrup.
- Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking the mixture continuously until the vinaigrette is emulsified and well combined.
- Drizzle over salad and toss well to combine.
- Add roasted vegetables for depth. I love roasting cherry tomatoes, potatoes and green beans before adding them to the salad for a richer depth of flavor.
- If using potatoes, cook them till they're tender, but still hold the shape. You can also use celeriac as a low-carb alternative.
- Assembling for visual appeal: Arrange the ingredients artfully on a large platter or individual plates. Start with a bed of fresh lettuce, then add vegetables, olives, capers, and chickpeas. Drizzle the champagne vinaigrette over the top, and garnish with fresh herbs and a sprinkle of black salt for an authentic egg-like flavor.