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This Vegan Nicoise Salad is a delightful twist on the classic French favorite, bursting with vibrant colors and bold plant-based flavors. Made with a delicious homemade tangy niçoise dressing, this hearty veggie dish is the perfect light lunch, side dish, or satisfying dinner.

overhead of vegan nicoise salad in large serving bowl

This recipe was written on March 1, 2021. It was updated with additional recipe information on May 6, 2024.

This vegan salad nicoise proves that any recipe can be made plant-based and taste amazing! Traditional salad niçoise originated in Nice, France, and is made with tuna, hard-boiled eggs, olives, potatoes, and lots of greens. This recipe is a fresher, more colorful take on the classic.

It is a feast for your eyes and your taste buds, loaded with enough color, texture, and flavor to make eating your vegetables fun! 

This hearty vegetarian nicoise salad features: marinated artichokes instead of tuna, chickpeas instead of eggs, roasted potatoes, grilled asparagus, juicy tomatoes, briny olives, zesty capers, and a medley of herbs all atop a bed of fresh Romaine lettuce and radicchio leaves which is drizzled with a homemade nicoise salad dressing recipe.

Enjoy this vibrant dish for lunch, as a side dish, or impress dinner guests with its picturesque presentation! For more salad recipes with cooked veggies, try my cauliflower samosa salad, winter kale salad, or maple mustard tempeh salad bowl.

vegan nicoise salad ingredients

Ingredients

Red Potatoes: Small red potatoes provide a hearty base for the salad. Alternatively, you can use fingerling or Yukon Gold potatoes. 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Adds richness and flavor to the roasted potatoes, grilled asparagus, and salad dressing. Alternatively, you can use avocado oil or another neutral-tasting oil. 

Spices: A combination of dried oregano, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt are used to season the roasted potatoes.  

Asparagus: Choose fresh asparagus with sturdy stalks and bright green color, and trim the woody ends before cooking. Alternatively, you can use green beans or snap peas. 

Romaine Lettuce: Serves as the base of the salad and adds a refreshing crunch. Alternatively, you can use another green such as butter lettuce, spinach, kale, or mixed greens.

Radicchio Leaves: These vibrant crisp leaves add a tasty bitter flavor and beautiful purple hue to the salad. Alternatively, you can use red leaf lettuce for a color similar bitter taste, additional romaine, baby kale, or watercress. 

Cherry Tomatoes: Sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes add color and freshness. You can also use grape tomatoes or regular diced tomatoes. 

Artichoke Hearts: Adds a tasty briny and tangy flavor to the salad. Use jarred artichoke hearts or frozen hearts and defrost them before cutting them into quarters. 

Chickpeas: Provide protein and fiber, making this salad more filling. Rinse and drain canned chickpeas before adding them. Alternatively, you can use white beans, black beans, green or black lentils, edamame, or another legume.

Olives: Olives add a salty and savory punch. Be sure to pit the olives before adding them. I like using green olives or kalamata olives as a substitute for niçoise olives.

Capers: Enhances the overall salad taste with a tangy flavor. Drain them well before using. 

Fresh Herbs: A mixture of fresh parsley, mint, basil, and fennel sprigs adds a burst of freshness and flavor as a garnish. Feel free to use your favorite combination of fresh herbs. 

Red Wine Vinegar: Gives the homemade salad dressing an acidic and tangy flavor. If you prefer, you can use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. 

Shallot: Minced shallots provide the dressing with a robust savory flavor. You can also substitute minced red or yellow onion. 

Garlic: A fresh garlic clove adds a bold and aromatic flavor to the dressing. Alternatively, you can use pre-minced store-bought garlic. 

Dijon Mustard: Serves as an emulsifier for the dressing and adds depth of tangy flavor. If desired, use whole-grain mustard for added texture.

Maple Syrup: Provides a touch of sweetness to balance the acidic flavors in the salad dressing. Agave nectar can also add sweetness while keeping this salad plant-based.

Dried Thyme: This herb adds an earthy and herbaceous flavor to the dressing. For a different flavor profile, you can use other dried herbs like oregano, basil, or rosemary. 

How to Make Vegan Nicoise Salad

  • Roast Potatoes. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Toss the potatoes with 1 tbsp of oil, then season with salt, oregano, garlic powder, and black pepper. Spread the potatoes evenly onto a prepared large-rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes or until tender.
  • Grill Asparagus. Toss the asparagus with 1/2 tablespoon of oil and season with a pinch of salt if desired. Grill the asparagus over medium heat on an indoor grill pan or an outdoor grill for 5-7 minutes, or until bright green and tender. 
  • Toss Salad. Divide the romaine and radicchio leaves between 2-4 plates. Top the salad with equal amounts of roasted potatoes, grilled asparagus, halved tomatoes, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, olives, and capers.
  • Prepare Dressing. Combine the salad dressing ingredients in a large jar. Top with a lid and shake vigorously until emulsified and creamy. Or combine the dressing ingredients, except the oil, in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Then slowly drizzle in the oil while continuously whisking the dressing until smooth and emulsified.
  • Garnish. Drizzle the dressing between the salad plates. Garnish each plate with chopped fresh herbs and serve!

Recipe Pro-Tips

  • Properly Prepare Potatoes. Thoroughly scrub the red potatoes and rinse them under cool running water to remove dirt and debris, then pat them dry. Cut into halves or quarters to ensure all pieces cook evenly. 
  • Uniform Roasting. For the crispiest roasted potatoes, spread the seasoned potatoes evenly on the baking sheet so they are not overcrowded. Toss the potatoes halfway through for even roasting. 
  • Roast Asparagus. To make preparation easier, you can roast the asparagus in the oven with the potatoes for 20 minutes instead of grilling them. 
  • Emulsify Dressing. Proper emulsification, or completely integrating the ingredients so there is no separation of oil and vinegar, is essential for a smooth and creamy texture. If whisking the dressing, very slowly pour the olive oil in as you consistently whisk with the other ingredients.
  • Double the Recipe. This recipe makes 2-4 servings depending on the desired portion size. Double or triple the ingredients for easy meal prep or to serve a larger group! 
  • Serve immediately. For the best vegan salad experience, serve right after assembling so the vegetables remain crisp and the flavors are most vibrant.

Serving Suggestions for Vegan Nicoise Salad

This versatile salad can be served chilled or at room temperature as a main lunch or light dinner dish. It can also be enjoyed as a side dish paired with other recipes for a backyard get-together or family meal, like some of our favorites below. 

Storage Directions

Leftover salad ingredients should be stored separately from the salad dressing in individual airtight containers in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can roast the potatoes, grill the asparagus, and prepare the other ingredients and salad dressing in advance. Store the ingredients in separate containers in the refrigerator and assemble the salad when ready to serve for the best texture and flavor.

Can I add additional protein?

Yes. You can include other protein sources in this recipe, such as grilled tofu, tempeh, roasted mushrooms, or additional beans or legumes.

How long will dressed salad last in the refrigerator?

Once dressed, the salad is best enjoyed immediately to prevent the greens from wilting and the flavors from becoming muted. However, you can store dressed salad leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

More Vegan Salad Recipe

5 from 6 votes

Vegan Nicoise Salad

By: Jenné
Enjoy this vibrant, hearty Vegan Nicoise Salad inspired by the classic French dish. Loaded with flavorful plant-based ingredients and a homemade tangy dressing, it makes the perfect main dish for lunch or dinner or a colorful side dish.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2 -4

Ingredients 

Vegan Nicoise Salad

  • 1/2 lb small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 6 romaine leaves
  • 6 radicchio leaves, or 6 more romaine leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup quartered artichoke hearts, jarred or frozen; drain if from a jar and defrost if frozen
  • 1 14 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup Niçoise or kalamata olives, pitted and cut in half
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained
  • chopped fresh herbs, parsley, mint, basil, and/or fennel sprigs to garnish

Vegan Nicoise Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp minced shallots, or minced red onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Toss the potatoes with 1 tbsp of oil, then season with salt, oregano, garlic powder, and black pepper. Spread evenly onto a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes or until tender.
  • Toss the asparagus with 1/2 tablespoon of oil and season with a pinch of salt if desired. Grill the asparagus over medium heat on an indoor grill pan or an outdoor grill for 5-7 minutes, or until bright green and tender. If desired, you can also roast the asparagus in the oven alongside the potatoes for 20 minutes.
  • Divide the romaine and radicchio leaves between four plates. Top the salad with equal amounts of roasted potatoes, grilled asparagus, halved tomatoes, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, olives, and capers.
  • Combine the salad dressing ingredients in a jar. Top with a lid and shake vigorously until emulsified and creamy. If you don't have a jar, combine the dressing ingredients, except for the oil, in a bowl and whisk. Whisk the dressing continuously as you slowly drizzle in the oil until smooth and emulsified.
  • Divide the dressing between the four plates of salad. Garnish each plate with chopped fresh herbs and serve!

Notes

Storage Directions
Leftover salad ingredients should be stored separately from the salad dressing in individual airtight containers in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Recipe Pro-Tips
  • Properly Prepare Potatoes. Thoroughly scrub the red potatoes and rinse them under cool running water to remove dirt and debris, then pat them dry. Cut into halves or quarters to ensure all pieces cook evenly. 
  • Uniform Roasting. For the crispiest roasted potatoes, spread the seasoned potatoes evenly on the baking sheet so they are not overcrowded. Toss the potatoes halfway through for even roasting. 
  • Roast Asparagus. To make preparation easier, you can roast the asparagus in the oven with the potatoes for 20 minutes instead of grilling them. 
  • Emulsify Dressing. Proper emulsification, or completely integrating the ingredients so there is no separation of oil and vinegar, is essential for a smooth and creamy texture. If whisking the dressing, very slowly pour the olive oil in as you consistently whisk with the other ingredients.
  • Double the Recipe. This recipe makes 2-4 servings depending on the desired portion size. Double or triple the ingredients for easy meal prep or to serve a larger group! 
  • Serve immediately. For the best vegan salad experience, serve right after assembling so the vegetables remain crisp and the flavors are most vibrant. 
  •  
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Jenne

I’m a Georgia Peach living in Los Angeles (by way of NYC), with an insatiable love of sweet potatoes, travel, animals, and cooking. On Sweet Potato Soul you’ll discover hundreds of delicious and easy-to-make vegan recipes.

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