Make healthy and light Vegan Nicoise Salad with baked tofu, potatoes, olives, green beans and crunchy fresh lettuce.
A few years ago I traveled to Nice in southern France. I wasn't following a plant-based diet then, so I ate dozens of Nicoise salads. I've always loved the combination of crunchy greens, fresh vegetables and a hearty protein on top. So now, instead of topping my Nicoiuse with hard-boiled eggs or tuna, I use savory baked tofu.
This vegan twist on Nicoise is just as satisfying, healthy and flavorful. Plus, it's easy to whip up for a work-from-home lunch or weeknight dinner.
If you love loaded salads like this recipe, be sure to try Vegan Cobb Salad and Asian Quinoa Power Salad next!
How to Make Vegan Nicoise Salad
This salad has all of the makings of a classic Nicoise, with tofu instead of tuna and no eggs to keep it vegan.
To build the salad base, you'll need:
- Chopped greens. Feel free to use your favorite fresh crunchy greens as the base for your Nicoise.
- Green beans. This is a classic addition to Nicoise. Be sure not to overcook them, as they will quickly turn from bright, vibrant green to mushy and brown.
- Tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes, if they're in season, make a sweet and colorful addition to your salad.
- Dried herbs. Don't hold back with the herby flavors in this salad! I love oregano, thyme and parsley or basil. You can also use fresh herbs.
- Kalamata olives. For a nice salty, briny flavor.
- Potatoes. These round out the salad into a complete meal with healthy protein, greens, fiber and carbs.
How to Make the Best Baked Tofu
To mimic the meatiness of seared tuna with a plant-based replacement, this salad is topped with a baked tofu steak. Make sure to use extra-frim tofu for the best texture. Before roasting, slice the tofu block into even “steaks.”
They get a quick seasoning of olive oil, dried herbs, salt, and pepper before roasting to golden perfection.
This baked tofu is one of my favorite plant-based protein options. It gets crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and has this soft, almost pillowy texture to it. It absorbs flavors like nothing else and each bite kind of oozes with dressing.
Plus, you can easily meal prep a batch of baked tofu steaks and use them to top salads all week long. They also work great in vegan sandwiches for a quick workday lunch.
Dressing for Vegan Nicoise Salad
Classic Nicoise has an herby and delicious salad dressing. I replicated these flavors with a creamy twist from tahini to make a silky smooth Lemon Herb Tahini Dressing.
If you're looking to play with the favors in your Nicoise salad dressing, you can try another favorite tahini dressing recipe. Here are four that I love to get you started.
If you try this Vegan Nicoise Salad with Baked Tofu, be sure to let me know with a rating and comment below. And follow along on Instagram for more tasty healthy recipes.
More Delicious Salad Recipes to try:
- Apple + Pecan Arugula Salad with Herbed Cashew Cheese
- Vegan “Chicken” Salad Bowls
- Arugula Fig Salad with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Creamy Kale Salad with Smoky Tempeh Croutons
Vegan Nicoise Salad with Tofu
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley/basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 - 8 cups chopped greens
- 2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups green beans lightly steaming is optional
- 1 cup chopped kalamata olives
- 1 batch Lemon Herb Tahini Dressing
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
- Slice the tofu into four equal steaks. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle half the hers on top and rub this mixture over the tofu to evenly coat. Flip and repeat with remaining oil and spices.
- Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, flipping halfway through until tofu is golden brown and crispy. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Assemble the salad by separating the remaining ingredients equally across four bowls. Slice each piece of tofu into strips and arrange on top. Drizzle with dressing and enjoy!
Check out what else we've shared for #SALADWEEK!
New to cooking quinoa? Grab your FREE Quinoa Starter Guide!
Become part of the Simply Quinoa community and receive weekly emails with exclusive content that I only share in email, as well as my in-depth guide to starting your quinoa journey.
Want more healthy salad recipes?
Follow my board on Pinterest!