Vegan Nicoise Salad (30 minutes!)

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Big serving of our Easy Vegan Nicoise Salad with a side of Shallot and Dijon Vinaigrette

I’m 12 days away from turning 30.
I despise public speaking, but sometimes, I do it anyway.
Summer is my favorite.
My hair is short, but I wish it were long.
Life is still good.
My husband is the best.
I wake up every morning in our new house pinching myself over how beautiful it is.
I miss my mom and my dad.
Watermelon is my favorite.
Farmers markets are life.
This salad? Also life. Shall we?

Stirring together chickpeas, sunflower seeds, and dill to make a vegan whole meal salad

You guys know that turning dishes plant-based is my jam, so this salad has been a long time coming.

This salad was inspired by one I had a while back when we were in France. We’d stopped at a cafe in Nimes and I ordered a Nicoise salad that was quite possibly the best I’d ever had – and probably ever will have – in my life. Nicoise salads are named for the Nicoise olives that adorn them, which can be found at most grocery stores (check the olive bar). Truth be told, any quality olive will do – especially green and kalamata.

Mason jar with ingredients for making quick and easy Shallot and Dijon Vinaigrette

Simple perks? You betcha. Just 30 minutes required with a little fancy pants multi-tasking.

Blanch green beans while boiling potatoes. Mash chickpeas then make dressing. A little of this, a little of that.

Before you know it, you have a delicious plant-based powerhouse on your hands with more than 16 grams of protein and fiber each per serving. That’s a lot of plant power.

Big Vegan Nicoise Salad with lettuce, shredded beets, olives, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, chickpeas, and dressing

I hope you guys love this salad. It’s my new favorite. It’s:

Hearty
Fresh
A mix of flavors and textures
Savory
Easy to make
& Delicious

This would make the perfect lunchtime salad or one to enjoy as dinner when you’re craving something on the lighter side that still satisfies.

If you try it, let us know! We love your comments, ratings, and especially your #minimalistbaker hashtags on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Close up shot showing the healthy vegetables on our gluten-free Vegan Nicoise Salad

Vegan Nicoise Salad (30 minutes!)

A plant-based version of classic Nicoise Salad with smashed chickpea salad in place of tuna. Fresh, satisfying, and ready in 30 minutes.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Big plate of Vegan Nicoise Salad with a measuring cup of dressing on the side
4.94 from 15 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Course Entree
Cuisine French-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2 Days

Ingredients

SALAD

  • 6 small red or yellow potatoes
  • 1 cup green beans or haricot verts (trimmed)
  • 1 head lettuce (chopped // such as butter, green or romaine)
  • 1/2 cup pitted Nicoise, green, or kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup sliced tomato
  • 1/2 medium red beet (optional // finely grated or sliced)

CHICKPEAS

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (1 15-ounce can equals ~1 1/4 cups cooked beans)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (or stevia to taste)
  • 1 tsp dried dill (or sub 2 tsp fresh dill per 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp roasted unsalted sunflower seeds

DRESSING

  • 3 Tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 heaping tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or sub 1/2 tsp dried thyme per 1 tsp fresh)
  • 1/3 cup white or red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

  • Add potatoes to a small saucepan and add warm water until just covered. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat slightly to medium / medium-high until the water is at a low boil. Cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes, or until completely tender and when picked up with a knife they slide off easily. Then drain thoroughly and let cool on a cutting board. Once slightly cooled, slice into 1/4-inch slices. Set aside.
  • While potatoes are cooking, fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Then add green beans or haricot verts and boil for 2-4 minutes, or until bright green in color and only slightly tender - they should still have slight crunch when bitten. While they're cooking, fill a large mixing bowl with ice water. Once the green beans are done cooking, drain thoroughly and immediately add to the ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and pat dry - set aside.
  • Add drained, rinsed chickpeas to a small mixing bowl, along with sea salt, mustard, maple syrup, dill, and sunflower seeds. Stir to combine and mash a few chickpeas to create texture. Set aside.
  • Add dressing ingredients to a mason jar (or whisk in a small mixing bowl) and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside.
  • To serve, divide lettuce between two large serving bowls (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) or plates and top with chickpeas, green beans, potatoes, olives, tomato and beets (optional). Serve with dressing. Best when fresh, though leftovers pack/keep well up to 2 days when the dressing is stored separately. Store extra dressing (well-sealed) at room temperature in a dark place up to 2-3 days.

Notes

*Salad + dressing adapted from Food Network. Chickpea mash inspired by my Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 713 Carbohydrates: 88.8 g Protein: 16.2 g Fat: 35.8 g Saturated Fat: 4.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 628 mg Fiber: 16.1 g Sugar: 13.9 g

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  1. Mary Zalewski says

    Oh to the MY! This salad is a flavor bomb! My husband and I have it at least once or twice a week – the flavor combinations are amazeballs!
    If you prep all the needed veggies all at once you can make this salad in a matter of minutes. The dressing makes the dish as does the fresh dill in the chickpeas. YUM!
    If you are looking to taking your vegan eating to the yummy level, you will want to add this recipe to the mix for sure.

    Thank you, Dana – this is now a staple salad in the Z household!
    xoxo
    Mary Z

  2. Trina says

    Even though it is the end of October, it has been in the 90’s here in sunny California. I got my produce box from a local organic farm today, low and behold I had everything to make this salad. It was wonderful. Doubled it so as to have enough for lunches tomorrow.
    Thank you for another successful dinner.
    Trina

  3. sonja says

    I’ve made this recipe so many times now. I love it so much. My husband and I meal prep and it lasts for 4 days no problem. Thank you!

  4. Sonja says

    I’ve made this recipe so many times now. I love it so much. My husband and I meal prep and it lasts for 4 days no problem. Often I’ll use spinach and arugula for the lettuce. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing, Sonja! Next time would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. xoxo!

  5. Daryl says

    I made this last weekend and have been bringing it to lunch for work — and loving it! Instead of the potatoes — which probably would have made it even more delicious, but I’ve been working my way through a huge bag of potatoes and needed a potato-free meal or two — I roasted Brussels sprouts. Sadly, my doctor just told me that I’m allergic to yeast, which means that I need to avoid vinegar. I also can’t have citrus, so not sure how I’m going to replace the acid in the amazing dressing. Sigh. But for everyone else out there who can eat this salad, you won’t regret making it, because I’ll surely be dreaming about it for years to come. If anyone has any thoughts on citrus and vinegar-free acid, please give a yell.

    • Annie says

      Hi Daryl,
      I haven’t read all the comments, and maybe someone has already made the suggestion, but have you tried pineapple juice to replace vinegar and citrus? This might make the dressing a bit sweeter than the original, but it could still work, I think.

  6. Susan says

    To make this wonderful recipe oil free, I used aquafaba from the chickpeas instead of olive oil for the dressing. I also used a cooked beet and added sliced radish and thinly sliced red onion. The chickpeas were wonderful! My favorite part of the salad. I did add a little minced red onion to the beans. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  7. Rodica C. says

    This was the best Niçoise salad I have ever made. So easy. Love the compartmentalized instructions for garbanzo and dressing. The dressing was amazing! Great cooking tips overall. It was fun assembling and then eating it! It was like a firework of tasty things. Thanks so much!

  8. Alex says

    Love this recipe! I’ve made it a few times and it’s so satisfying. I like to add capers to the chickpeas, and chunks of avocado sprinkled with kala namak (black salt). It’s a really nice replacement for hard-boiled eggs!

  9. Laura says

    This was great! Made this tonight- added some cooked pearl barley to make it a heartier main dish, and it was very tasty. I will keep this recipe to make again!

  10. Pernilla Hindsberg says

    I love your recipes! As many other recipes, this one was easy to make and it tasted like made by a professional :D <3
    You make me a happy vegan!

  11. Tova says

    I have to say, I loveee nicoise salad and did miss it when I turned vegetarian some years ago.
    I love this recipe. I think I have made it close to 5 times now. I am a big fan of the maple mustard dill chickpeas.

    Would definitely recommend. Sadly made it for a friend that hates olives and tomatoes so it was probably lost on her :)

  12. Frenchman says

    I had salade nicoise lots of times, mainly with fish and egg in it, one time my mother made a salade nicoise with chickpeas added to it, it was great. In a vegan dish the chickpeas replace the egg and they give added protein, which is good and good for the planet. The shallot dressing makes it special, it’s French I suppose, because Frenchmen often add shallots to their cooking, even to a boeuf stroganoff. I think I’ll try making this dish in that God-forsaken facility I live in, to feed the crowd who need good food, because no one else cooks fancy there, nor can they, and the shallot vinaigrette is certainly fancy.

  13. Angelica says

    I’m 38! Although, may be showing wrinkles, cellulite, grays and definitely more hair loss than I’d like, I still feel awesome and look forward to turning 40. Despite the superficial changes, I’m still the fittest and youngest-looking gal in the bunch (pardon, the confidence;). Our exteriors will change but let’s hope our interiors change too…for the better, for ourselves and those around us. PS., sometimes I wish you’d time stamp your posts because I’m not sure when your birthday may have been.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! Do you have any other oils on hand? I haven’t experimented with other oil substitutes on this one but if you do, let me know how it goes!

  14. Jessica says

    Made this tonight for my family and it was a big hit. My boys aren’t great fans of salad but they loved this. Thank you!

  15. Saffron says

    I love this salad! I’ve made it at least half a dozen times now and it does not disappoint! It makes for a very hearty lunch and the mix veggies reassures me that I am getting a dose of goodness. I prep my shredded beets with their own dressing: lots of lemon, a generous dose of salt and some olive oil (a great way to eat them on their own, too).

  16. Emma says

    I love Salad Nicoise and am so excited to try a vegan version! Thank you for sharing.

    I also wanted to comment on your hair. Looking at your Instagram the other day, I saw your short hair and my first thought was “her hair looks amazing! I want to cut mine like that!” It sounds like the length isn’t the only thing getting you down but in case this helps, I think your current haircut really suits you :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks Emma! That’s so thoughtful! Mostly it’s that I’ve been dealing with hair loss and have cut my hair short because it’s quite thin now…I just miss my longer, thicker hair!!

  17. Kay says

    I made this salad tonight and it is sooo delicious! I love all the flavours together. My only complaint is that it took me about 55 minutes, and I even had pre-sliced beets. Usually your recipe times are pretty accurate for me, but not today :(

  18. Benita W. Gibbs says

    I, too, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Nicoise Salad. Usually, I make herb crusted salmon to go with it. but we are trying to transition to a primarily plant-based diet. Can’t wait to try your take on the salad…although, I will probably incorporate seaweed to get that delicious, briny flavor. As a former Vegan Baker/Vegetable Engineer in a Vegan Prep kitchen, I’ve come to love and appreciate beautifully prepared plant-based dishes. Slowly, but surely, my husband and son are starting to love them too! Thanks for sharing your inspiring recipes!

  19. Jacquie says

    Made this for dinner last night. We licked our plates :) I even got my husband to eat the pickled beets. We’ll be making this many more times. It did take me longer than 30 min’s though. I’m not an accomplished chef :)

  20. Linda says

    Lovely food and absolutely GORGEOUS photography! And if you want to grow your hair long again, make sure that you FEED you hair with protein, zinc, vitamin C and silica! This salad is a great start!

  21. Jen says

    Dana, I listened to your podcast interview and want to thank you for sharing your personal struggle with hair loss. I started loosing my hair 8 years ago. The past year has been especially difficult as I’ve now lost at least 50% or more of my hair. No doctor has ever been able to help and I have felt so alone in figuring it out. I just bought The Modern Rapunzel you’ve talked so highly about and am hoping it will provide some answers. So much more I could write, but just wanted you to know I understand how scary it can be and how as a woman we can struggle to not let it define our beauty or value. At least for me, anyway. If you’d be open to sharing more of your journey on your blog, I’m sure it could be an encouragement and also educational to so many of us. I found you through Joshua Beckers Uncluttered course and find your blog to be an absolute delight! Thank you for sharing your beautiful self with all of us!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So sorry, Jen. Losing your hair is rough! And the tough part is that it can be for any number of reasons! I hope you find the solution soon!! xoxo

  22. Debbie says

    Dana, I made this tonight and it was delicious! I had to tweak the dressing, I subbed red onion/garlic for shallot , but it was soo good. The potatoes soaked up the red vinegar -yum. Quite filling on a hot day here in the southeast! Thanks for the recipe! I did add beets, but I cooked them.

  23. Megan @ A Continual Feast says

    Looks like a great summer lunch! Off to check out that chickpea sunflower sandwich recipe now :)

  24. Lise says

    When I red that receipe I knew I had to do It for supper tonight! It was “tout simplement délicieux”! ??
    Thank you for all the good receipes that you share with us.

  25. Shayna says

    This looks DIVINE! Can’t wait to try it – especially the chickpea mash. I totally understand the feeling of wanting short hair to be long again – my hair was TRASHED in a “free makeover” a couple of years ago and I ended up needing 2 haircuts to fix it! It ended up about your length, actually and I wore it in a similar way (love the waves!), but I was SO not prepared for the change and would have preferred to donate the 12+ inches of hair I lost rather than just see it go to waste. LOVE the look on you though – you totally rock it! <3

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sad day! Free makeovers are always risky. Lessons learned. Hope you love this recipe, Shayna!

  26. Shilpa says

    The salad looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it out. What dis you use to shred/cut the beets so thin and even?

  27. Amy @ Pressure Cook Recipes says

    Hi Dana!

    Wanted to wish you an early Happy Birthday!
    All the best to your upcoming public speaking opportunities and an amazing year ahead! :)

    Amy

  28. Morgan says

    This was SO good! Forgot to buy chick peas but I had tuan so I used that and it wor med out great. Plus, I’m so full!! Thank you xx

  29. Kim says

    Hi there. I rarely comment on these recipes, because they are just so goo! However, I am making an exception today so I can make a suggestion I think you will find workable. It isn’t nicoise unless it has anchovies, garlic, and capers. I get around the anchovies by snipping with scissors a little of a sheet of kelp snack in, and just cutting the salt to compensate. The flavor of the sea arrives, without the fish. Brava on the rest!

  30. sasha says

    What can I use for the thyme in the dressing? I think rosemary would be too strong. Can you suggest another herb?

    Thanks

  31. Sonya says

    This is my kind of salad! Wish I could get my husband to like beets. :) By the way, your hair is absolutely GORGEOUS short.

  32. Annaliese says

    Oooh nice!!!!! The salad and your upcoming birthday. I think as a culture, we fear aging. But really, I think as long as we are gracious about it and realize that when we treat our bodies and minds well, the rest will fall into place. I say bring it on! You’re an amazing person, and a constant source of inspiration. I doubt that will change with any number that quantifies how long you’ve dwelled on this earth.

  33. Cassie says

    Congratulations! I don’t know what it’s like to be thirty just yet, but I hope you have a wonderful birthday when the time comes! This nicoise salad looks wonderful! The beets and chickpeas just pop out so beautifully!

  34. Laura Plumb says

    Girl, You are making me hungry! Can’t wait thirty minutes. Can I eat the photo? Thanks for inspiration, beauty, and deliciousness, always!

  35. Mindy says

    This is CRAZY! The salad looks amazing, and I was coming to your page to post about a possible recipe like this (full of a variety of veggies). Thanks!!

  36. Timaree says

    I am over twice your age! And I don’t mind usually! My hair was extremely short but I figured if I ever wanted it long, I’d best get to it – that age thing again lol. So I am growing my hair out.

    Now, as to the salad it sounds great to me but my son is the vegan and he absolutely hates mustard! Doesn’t even want it on the table he’s eating at as he doesn’t even like the smell! So, what is a good alternative to use in place of it in this salad and dressing? Anyone have any ideas?

  37. Celeste | The Whole Serving says

    I’ve been eating salads everyday and I will have to add this one to the list. I love all of these flavors and my favorite add to any salad, chickpeas.

  38. Louise says

    You are great :) I enjoyed reading your list of thoughts. Salad Nicoise was a very memorable meal for me when I was in Lyon, France in 2004 – eek! Wasn’t vegan then but I am very vegan now and really appreciate this recipe! I wish my hair were long again too. If you can grow it and it looks goddess like (not like in the dressing), than do it. I am 52 now and have not been able to grow it past my shoulders since my 30s and it never looks good – so I caved in and went very short. I change it up. I miss not needing it cut it regularly, and miss my long curly locks. But I do like the sassy short cut too. Do something wonderfully lovely and memorable for your 30th. It’s sweet how much you appreciate your husband, and your home. I miss my folks too.

  39. Julia @ S says

    Yum! This makes me so excited because I constantly encounter this salad on menus at restaurants but have never seen a veggie version! It looks incredible and I can’t wait to try. I’ve included you in my list of 9 Inspirational Blogs to Bookmark on my site today, by the way! I’ve been a long time reader of yours, and really look up to your incredible food photography and your authentic voice that comes through in your posts. In fact, you were huge influence in inspiring me to start my own food blog. I’m so excited to get your site in front of my readers, who I know will love it as much as I do :)

  40. Emily @ Robust Recipes says

    Yaaay! Happy birthday, soon! I am turning 30 this month too!!! Crazy!!! This salad looks amazing! :)

  41. Laura ~ Raise Your Garden says

    As much as I love this salad……was curious that you said your hair was short but in you pic it is long!!! My hair is dark brown and medium but I’m going through a 1/3 life crisis and may go blonde?!? And yes, watermelon is the best. We eat one everyday, but they do make you pee all night long so you have to be careful. And yes, you are are getting me to eat chickpeas again so thank you!!!