This Nicoise mason jar salad combines fresh veggies, canned tuna, potatoes and hard boiled egg with a lemon vinaigrette. It’s flavorful, loaded with protein and is perfect for meal prep!
If you’ve been following EBF for a while I’m sure you know how much of a salad lover I am! I love all types of salads from protein salads and meal-sized salads to breakfast salads and side salads. I especially love when I can meal prep salads for the week ahead so I have a quick lunch ready to go. Cue mason jar salads!
Mason jar salads are a breeze to whip up and make for such a convenient, portable meal option. Even if you work from home like me having salads already prepped for lunch saves so much time. This Nicoise mason jar salad is one of my favorites! It screams spring and summer to me. The veggies are so refreshing and the tuna gives it plenty of protein but still keeps it nice and light.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This salad is the perfect meal prep recipe – just layer all of the ingredients into a mason jar for a healthy, portable lunch!
It feels like you’re eating a fancy salad, but it’s actually super simple to whip up.
It’s totally customizable – feel free to make this salad your own!
What is a Nicoise Salad?
Salad Niçoise originates in the south of France town of Nice. Niçoise actually translates to “in the style of Nice (France).” It is essentially the French version of an American Cobb salad but is made with potatoes, green beans, olives and tuna or anchovies served over a bed of lettuce.
potatoes – either small gold or red potatoes are great options for this salad.
green beans – I used haricot vert green beans (also known as French green beans), but regular green beans will also work.
cherry tomatoes – I prefer to use cherry tomatoes, but grape or any variety of tomatoes will work.
canned tuna – I typically buy Albacore tuna because you get bigger chunks of meat that aren’t mushy. I really like the Wild Planet brand.
hard boiled eggs– a staple ingredient for Nicoise salad! Follow my simple tutorial to make perfect hard boiled eggs.
kalamata olives – the olives add a nice saltiness and some healthy fats. I prefer kalamata olives, but green olives are also delicious. While not traditional to the classic nicoise salad recipe, capers would be a good substitute for olives.
fresh parsley – I love adding fresh herbs to my salads! It takes them to the next level. I prefer fresh parsley, but fresh basil, fresh dill or fresh thyme would all be delicious alternatives.
arugula – the perfect, zesty green to add to this salad. Feel free to use your favorite green if you aren’t a fan of arugula or don’t have any on hand. Spinach or green lettuce would be my second choice for this salad.
lemon vinaigrette dressing – a super simple dressing made with apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice, dijon mustard, maple syrup, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.
How to Make
Steam veggies – Add potatoes to a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 10-15 minutes or until fork tender. Once cooked through, remove potatoes from the boiling water and rinse in cold water. Add green beans to the boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes (or until desired level of tenderness). Drain and run under cold water or place in an ice water bath.
Make dressing – Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or glass jar and set aside.
Prep salads – Take four wide-mouth 32 oz mason jars and layer salad ingredients. Start with 3 Tablespoons of dressing in each jar and then divide the remaining salad ingredients into quarters and start layering in this order: potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, tuna, hard boiled egg, olives, parsley and arugula. Place lid on jars and keep in fridge until ready to serve.
Mason Jar Salad Tips
Use wide-mouth jars. It’s much easier to get the ingredients in and out of the jars with a wide mouth. I like the wide-mouth quart Ball jars for meal-sized salads, but the wide-mouth pint Ball jars work for smaller side salads.
Leave a little room at the top of the jar so you can shake it up right before serving. It helps make sure all parts of the salad have some dressing.
Pour the salad out into a bowl or onto a plate for serving. You can totally eat the salad out of the jar, but they are a little deep for forks so I find pouring the salad into a dish is much easier.
Make sure you add your dressing to the bottom of the jar first. The ingredients you add next will be touching/soaking in the dressing so they should be hearty veggies that will do well marinating.
Store your mason jar salads upright in the fridge. If they’re stored on their side or tipped over, the dressing will leak up to the top and may cause your greens to get soggy.
Serving and Storing
To make it in advance: You can keep this Nicoise mason jar salad in the fridge until you’re ready to enjoy. Most salads will keep for about 4-5 days.
Serving: The fun part comes when you’re ready to eat because you get to shake the jar to distribute the dressing. I don’t know why, but this is my favorite part! Once shaken, pour the salad into a big plate or bowl and enjoy. If for some reason you find yourself without a serving dish you can eat the salad straight from the jar but unless you have an extra-long fork, it’s kind of difficult. I speak from experience, haha!
Add potatoes to a pot and cover with cold water by at least 2 inches. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil potatoes for 10-15 minutes or until fork tender. Once cooked through, remove potatoes from the boiling water with a slotted spoon and rinse in cold water.
Add green beans to the boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes (or until desired level of tenderness). Drain and run under cold water or place in an ice water bath.
Let all the veggies cool and once potatoes are cool enough to handle, chop in halves or quarters.
Make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients in a small bowl or glass jar.
For the mason jars: Line up 4 32 ounce wide-mouth mason jars. Add 3 Tablespoons of dressing into each jar then start layering ingredients in this order: ½ cup potatoes, ½ cup green beans, ¼ cup tomatoes, 4 ounces tuna, 1 hard boiled egg, olives, parsley and arugula. Place lid on jars and keep in fridge until ready to serve.
When ready to enjoy, shake jar and pour into a serving bowl.