Instant Pot Nicoise Salad is really delicious and fast to make thanks to cooking potatoes, beans, and eggs in electric pressure cooker together. Perfect salad for lunch or dinner. Great for meal prepping and batch cooking.
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It took me a while to get the nerve to write this Instant Pot Nicoise Salad recipe post. You see, Nicoise Salad is actually a very controversial topic.
I always get exasperated when I see people leaving rude comments and bashing someone else’s recipes. There are so many things in the world that are wrong that people should feel strong about, yet food is not one of them.
Different recipes work for different people. There’s a Russian expression that is roughly translated as “You can call me whatever you want, even a kettle, just don’t put me on the stove to boil” which basically means that even if I call something a Nicoise Salad and include ingredients that someone else claims aren’t part of that salad then so what? Don’t like it? Move along!
I had a long discussion (i.e. a reader accused me of ignorance) on Facebook about my Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie which “technically” is a Cottage Pie. I then had another discussion about my Instant Pot Borscht. I find it sad that people feel the need to say bad things about good food or just food that they don’t agree with.
So, it took me a while to decide if I should even post this recipe for Instant Pot Nicoise Salad or not. You see, the ingredients in my salad are controversial (sort of). There’s a lot of discussion of what should and should not go into that salad.
In North America, boiled potatoes and cooked beans are considered one of the main ingredients in Nicoise Salad. Whereas French versions do not include anything cooked and only use raw produce for the recipe.
Regardless of whether you want to call this a Nicoise Salad or maybe just a Potato Salad, despite all the controversy, it is delicious and thanks to Instant Pot also very fast and easy to make!
Ok, so now that I have this controversial part out of the way, let me talk about this incredible Instant Pot Nicoise Salad. Well, first of all, it is not authentic and I am not claiming that it is. I adapted it to suit my taste but it is actually really yummy.
It’s a combination of potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, anchovies, really good quality tuna, olives, and boiled eggs, all served over a bed of greens. Doesn’t it sound fabulous? It’s a perfect lunch or dinner salad.
Most often, Nicoise Salad is served most often as a composed salad. In case you are not familiar with this concept, most salads are tossed (or mixed) salads as they are dressed and mixed before serving. Composed salads most often have all the ingredients arranged in piles on a platter. One of the most famous composed salads is a Cobb Salad.
Since Nicoise Salad is a composed salat, it is also great for meal prepping. It is essentially already a meal prep salad by definition. It is great to batch cook and prep all the ingredients and then just assemble a container and take to work or eat for lunch when you need to.
Ingredients to make Nicoise Salad
I like all of these ingredients together but the beauty of this salad (or any kind of cooking in general) is that everything can be adapted to your specific taste. Don’t like olives? Omit them! Not a fan of anchovies? No problems, don’t use them!
I mean, if you remove tuna, anchovies, olives, and potatoes then you will obviously have a very different kind of salad so you need to be mindful of that. But removing one ingredient or adding more/less of another is something you should totally try and do when you cook and know what you like or not like.
Why use Instant Pot to make Nicoise Salad
Nicoise Salad is one of my absolutely favourite salads. It’s hearty, it’s delicious, it’s filling. There was a restaurant in the building when I used to work in an office and I always ordered this Nicoise Salad there. I loved it so much that I kept posting it on instagram.
I even tried making it once at home but never repeated it again, that is until now. You see, cooking potatoes, green beans, and eggs made it seem like a lot of effort. All three take different time to cook on the stove. All three require different pots. All three need to be watched and timed.
But now, I cook potatoes, green beans, and eggs together in my Instant Pot. Which means that I don’t have to have three pots and I don’t have to watch the water for overboiling and constantly check for doneness.
Moreover, potatoes, green beans, and eggs are done in under 10 minutes from start to finish! Yes, even with the time it takes to build and release pressure, the whole cooking process is about 8-9 minutes! Isn’t it fantastic?
How to cook potatoes, green beans, and eggs together in Instant Pot
If you are worried that all three cannot be cooked together, then you are right to question it.
I have experimented quite a few times with different timings and ways of cooking the ingredients in Instant Pot, and this variation works well for the ingredients that I use and my particular model of Instant Pot.
So, if this timing doesn’t work for you and your specific model of electric pressure cooker, then you might need to do some guess work and adjust the timing for your model and ingredients.
- Use small new potatoes. Cut or quarter them.
- Wrap green beans in foil for crunchy green beans. OR add then directly to Instant Pot without foil for softer beans.
- Do not use a rack, put potatoes directly into the inner pot and water. It’ll make them cook faster.
- Use 1/2 cup water.
- Add eggs and green beans on top of potatoes.
- Cook on High Pressure for 2 minutes. Do a quick release.
I have a sneaking suspicion that 1 minute at High Pressure could also work but I haven’t tried it myself. I personally prefer green beans without foil as I like softer vegetables.
NOTE: you really need to know your Instant Pot. I have read posts where people say that their eggs are almost raw after 5 minutes of cooking. I was hoping for my eggs to have jammy egg yolks after 2 minutes but they always come out fully cooked. So, just make sure to adjust timing based on your particular model.
More Instant Pot Egg Recipes
- Tarragon Egg Salad (with Instant Pot hack)
- Instant Pot No Peel Hard Boiled Eggs
- Fail-proof Instant Pot Poached Eggs
How to make Instant Pot Nicoise Salad
Step 1: Cook potatoes, green beans, and eggs in Instant Pot. If you like soft green beans, then add them directly on top of the potatoes. If you like crunchy green beans, then wrap them in foil.
Step 2: Make the dressing while the vegetables and eggs cook.
Step 3: Prep and measure the rest of the ingredients.
Step 4: Pour quarter of the dressing over the hot potatoes and let them stand to cool.
Step 5: Assemble the salad and enjoy!
NOTE: Of course, you do not need to cook vegetables and eggs in Instant Pot. If you don’t have an electric pressure cooker or prefer not to use it, then just cook the potatoes, beans, and eggs on the stove using the traditional cooking method.
Ingredients and variations for Instant Pot Nicoise Salad
As always, the measurements for this Instant Pot Nicoise Salad work for me but please adjust them to your tastes. Add more of what you like and less of what you don’t. The beauty of this salad is that it is totally customizable.
- Mixed Greens
- Personally, I don’t think this salad even needs any greens but I stubbornly keep adding them.
- You can use any greens you like although bitter greens and peppery greens work best.
- Most bags of small new potatoes are sold as 1.5 pound bags, so feel free to use all 1.5 pounds if you’d like.
- If you use 1.5 pounds instead of 1 pound of potatoes, there’s no need to adjust cooking timing.
- I tried cooking for 4 minutes, 3 minutes, and 2 minutes. I like 2 minutes the best as the potatoes are super tender but not breaking apart. In fact, I have a suspicion that they would cook even in 1 minute and might be even better but I haven’t tried myself.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Cherry tomatoes are an essential ingredient in all versions of Nicoise salad that I found, including the traditional French versions.
- I am actually not a big fan of tomatoes with canned fish so I prefer omitting them.
- Green beans
- Technically you are supposed to use Haricot Verts which are thin French Green Beans. They cook faster than regular green beans.
- If you are using Haricot Verts, most likely you would need to wrap them in two layers of foil, however I haven’t tried cooking them in Instant Pot so I don’t know how that would work.
- Red onion
- Not the standard ingredient and I added it just because I wanted a bit of sharp flavour and some crunch.
- You can omit it.
- I love eggs in salads, so I have to stop myself from adding even more eggs to this Instant Pot Nicoise Salad.
- I find that in standard tuna salads or rillettes, you could get away with less expensive cans of tuna because it is usually mixed in with a lot of other ingredients and served with bread. In this recipe, canned tuna is not mixed in with mayo and it is often considered to be one of the main ingredients. So, you really need to use a very good quality tuna.
- For this recipe, I buy tuna that only has tuna, olive oil, and salt as ingredients.
- You can definitely use more tuna if you’d like. I am not a big tuna fan, so I use a small can only.
- Many recipes also use fresh seared tuna.
- I went a little bit off the standard recipe for my salad. Most recipes serve anchovy filets as part of the composed salad. Whereas I chopped them up and added them to the dressing.
- Adding anchovies to the dressing still adds a lot of flavour but it is not overwhelming as a whole anchovy filet could taste.
- Feel free to omit anchovies in the dressing or add more.
- Also, feel free to add more whole filets to the salad if you are a fan. I totally am!
- Make sure that you use canned anchovies that only have anchovies, oil, and salt as the ingredients.
- This is definitely a salt-packed salad. It has canned tuna which has salt, anchovies, olives. If you are not a fan of olives, feel free to omit.
- I have also seen recipes that add capers and olives together. So, if your aren’t watching your salt-intake, try adding them as well.
- Traditional dressing for Nicoise Salad has olive oil and vinegar, so it’s most commonly known as vinaigrette. I used those as a base but I added a bit of red onion, dill (you can use your favourite fresh herbs), mustard, and anchovies.
- You could also use your vinaigrette recipe.
- I like adding a bit of the dressing over the warm potatoes as it seeps inside and flavours them nicely.
- Since both anchovies and tuna are canned in good quality olive oil, I often add both those oils to the vinaigrette. They add a lot of flavour and I don’t like throwing out food, so I feel good using them.
How to meal prep Instant Pot Nicoise Salad
As I mentioned earlier, this is the absolute perfect salad for meal prepping as it is composed and not tossed. So, you have a few options here.
Option 1: Prep all the ingredients and keep them separate in containers and just assemble (compose) a bowl as you need it. This is a great option if there are a few people in a household who don’t eat some of the ingredients. This way everyone gets to take what they like and how much they like.
Option 2: Prep all the ingredients and assemble each bowl. This option is great when everyone in a household eats the same thing so all the meal prep containers are the same. Alternatively, if each container is customized, just don’t forget to mark it.
I use these glass containers for my meal preps exclusively, both round and square/rectangular versions.
This recipe makes 4 very good dinner-sized servings, or about 6 lunch-sized servings, although I would cook 2 more eggs if you are turning this salad into 6 lunches, so that each one contains 1 egg.
More Instant Pot Potato Salad Recipes
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Instant Pot Nicoise Salad
- 1 pound small potatoes
- 1/3 pound green beans
- 4 eggs
- 4 cups mixed greens
- 1/3 pound cherry tomatoes
- 1 can tuna in olive oil
- 1/2 cup Greek olives
- 1/16 red onion
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped dill
- 8 minced anchovies
- 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- optionally, add the oil from anchovies and tuna
- salt and pepper to taste
- Halve or quarter the potatoes.
- Wrap the green beans loosely in foil if you prefer your green beans to be crunchy. Leave the without foil if you like the green beans to be soft.
- Put all the cut potatoes inside your Instant Pot. Add a bundle of green beans on top of the potatoes (either wrapped in foil for crunchy or without foil for soft). Add the eggs on top of the potatoes. Add 1/2 cup of cold water to Instant Pot.
- Close the lid of your Instant Pot and turn the valve to Sealing.
- Press Manual or Pressure Cooker button (depending on your model) and use the arrows to select 2 minutes. It will take about 3-4 minutes to come to pressure.
- Once the Instant Pot beeps that the 2 minutes of cooking are done, do a quick pressure release. This should take under 1 minute.
- Carefully remove the vegetables from Instant Pot. They will be very hot.
- Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a small jar and shaking it to combine.
- Transfer the hot potatoes to a large bowl and pour about quarter of the dressing over them. Mix. Let cool.
- Cut the green beans into thirds.
- Peel and cut the eggs in half.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
Assemble Nicoise Salad
- Spread the mixed greens on a large platter.
- Arrange piles of all the ingredients on top of the mixed greens.
- Serve with the reserved dressing.
- 2 minutes cooking time works for my Instant Pot. It may not be enough for your particular model so you may need to adjust the timing.
- You can use the same recipe even if you do not have Instant Pot. Just cook the potatoes, green beans, and eggs on the stove using the traditional method. Follow the rest of the instructions for the remainder of the recipe.
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