How many carbs are in a Nicoise salad?

Quick Answer

A traditional Nicoise salad contains around 15-20g net carbs per serving. The exact carb count will vary depending on the specific ingredients used. The main sources of carbs are the potatoes and green beans. Going easy on the potato and dressing can help reduce the carb count.

What Is A Nicoise Salad?

A Nicoise salad is a classic French salad that originates from the city of Nice in the Provence region. It typically contains greens, tuna, green beans, eggs, olives, and potatoes, dressed with a vinaigrette dressing.

Some key ingredients in a traditional Nicoise salad are:

  • Lettuce – Usually a combination of romaine and green leaf lettuce.
  • Tuna – High quality canned tuna, preferably imported from France.
  • Green beans – Blanch quickly and shocked in ice water.
  • Eggs – Hard boiled.
  • Olives – Usually niçoise olives or kalamata olives.
  • Potatoes – Small red potatoes, boiled and sliced.
  • Tomatoes – Sliced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes.
  • Onion – Sliced red onion or shallots.
  • Dressing – A red wine vinaigrette with Dijon mustard.
  • Herbs – Chopped fresh basil, parsley, chives.

The salad is assembled with the lettuce on the bottom, then the tuna, eggs, green beans, potatoes, olives, and tomatoes artfully arranged on top. It’s finished with the vinaigrette dressing and fresh herbs.

Nicoise Salad Carb Counts

The main carb sources in a Nicoise salad are the potatoes and green beans. Other lower carb ingredients include the eggs, tuna, tomatoes, olives, and onions. The dressing can also contribute some carbs from the oil and vinegar.

Here is an estimate of the net carb counts for a typical serving of Nicoise salad:


  • 3-4 ounces of potatoes: 15-20g net carbs

The potatoes make up the bulk of the carb content. A 3-4 ounce portion of boiled red potatoes contains around 15-20g of net digestible carbs. The carb count can vary slightly depending on the potato type.

Green Beans

  • 1/2 cup green beans: 3g net carbs

Green beans are relatively low carb at around 3g net carbs per 1/2 cup serving. A Nicoise salad usually contains around 1/2 cup of green beans.


  • 2 Tbsp vinaigrette: around 2g net carbs

The vinaigrette dressing is typically made with olive oil, wine vinegar, mustard, and herbs. Two tablespoons contributes around 2g net carbs.

Eggs, Tuna, Tomatoes

  • Eggs: less than 1g net carbs each
  • 3 oz tuna: 0g net carbs
  • Tomatoes: around 3g net carbs per cup

The eggs, tuna, tomatoes, and other vegetables in the salad are very low in carbohydrates. Together they contribute just a few grams of carbs.

Olives, Onions

  • 1/4 cup olives: around 1g net carbs
  • 1/4 cup onions: 3g net carbs

Olives and onions add minimal carbs to the salad.

Total Estimate

* Potatoes: 15-20g
* Green beans: 3g
* Dressing: 2g
* Other ingredients: around 5g

Total: Around 25-30g net carbs per serving

So in total, a standard serving of Nicoise salad will contain around 15-20g of net digestible carbs depending on the portion sizes. This makes it a relatively higher carb salad.

Ways To Reduce Carbs In A Nicoise Salad

Here are some modifications you can make to reduce the carb content:

  • Use fewer potatoes – Cut the amount of potatoes in half to reduce by 10g of carbs.
  • Substitute lower carb vegetables – Instead of potatoes, use cauliflower or parsnips.
  • Skip the beans – Removing the green beans will save around 3g of carbs.
  • Go easy on the dressing – Stick to around 1 Tbsp of vinaigrette to save carbs.
  • Increase protein – Add more tuna or chicken to balance the carbs.

Making these simple swaps can help reduce the total carb count to around 10-15g net carbs per serving.

Sample Lower Carb Nicoise Salad

Here is one example of a lower carb Nicoise salad:


  • 3 cups romaine lettuce
  • 2 oz canned tuna
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, quartered
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup niçoise olives
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt, pepper, and herbs to taste


  1. Steam cauliflower florets until just tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Make vinaigrette by whisking oil, vinegar, mustard, and herbs.
  3. Toss romaine with vinaigrette.
  4. Top with cauliflower, tuna, eggs, tomatoes, and olives.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.


  • Total carbs: around 12g
  • Net carbs: around 10g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Fat: 16g
  • Calories: 250

This modified version reduces the net carbs to around 10g per serving, while keeping it just as delicious. The cauliflower swap cuts down the carbs significantly compared to potatoes.

Nicoise Salad Carb Count With Different Dressings

The dressing can also impact the carb count in a Nicoise salad. Here’s how some popular low carb dressing options compare:


  • 2 Tbsp vinaigrette: around 2g net carbs

The classic French vinaigrette adds minimal carbs – around 2g per serving.

Lemon Olive Oil Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp lemon olive oil dressing: under 1g net carb

A simple lemon juice and olive oil dressing is extremely low carb. Use a ratio of 2 parts olive oil to 1 part fresh lemon juice.

Tahini Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp tahini dressing: 2-3g net carbs

Sesame tahini paste has a small amount of carbs that get diluted when mixed into dressing. Around 2-3g net carbs per serving.

Blue Cheese Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp blue cheese dressing: around 1g net carb

Store-bought blue cheese dressing is usually very low in carbs if you avoid sweetened varieties. Check labels and calculate net carbs.

Ranch Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp ranch dressing: around 2g net carbs

As with blue cheese dressing, bottled ranch is typically low carb. Confirm by checking labels.

Storing Leftover Nicoise Salad

Like most salads, a Nicoise salad tastes best fresh. But you can safely store leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days. Here are some tips:

  • Keep the dressing on the side until ready to eat to prevent sogginess.
  • Store potatoes and beans separately from the greens.
  • Place tuna and eggs on top to prevent them from getting lost in the salad.
  • Wrap tightly or place in an airtight container.
  • The potatoes and green beans will lose their crunch over time.

Reheat the salad components separately to serve if desired. The potatoes can be warmed in the oven or microwave and the greens tossed into a hot skillet to revive their texture.

Fresh is still best, so aim to eat Nicoise salad leftovers within a couple of days. The veggies will start to lose their appeal after more than 3 days in the fridge.

Nicoise Salad Carb Count On Keto

Here’s how the carb count of a Nicoise salad fits into a keto low carb high fat diet:

  • Standard keto carb limit: 20-50g net carbs per day
  • Typical Nicoise salad: around 15-20g net carbs

A standard serving of Nicoise salad takes up a large share of the daily carb budget on keto. Modifying the salad by reducing potatoes and beans allows it to better fit keto macros.

Aim for around 10g net carbs per serving for keto by:

  • Cutting out the green beans
  • Reducing potatoes to 1-2 oz
  • Using keto-friendly dressing
  • Increasing protein like tuna, chicken, or salmon

This will create a satisfying low carb Nicoise salad for keto. Enjoy it alongside other low carb veggies and protein.

Nicoise Salad Carb Count On Paleo

Here is how a Nicoise salad fits into the Paleo diet:

  • Paleo focuses on whole, unprocessed foods
  • Potatoes are avoided on Paleo as a starchy vegetable
  • Beans are also excluded from Paleo as a legume

To make a Paleo Nicoise salad:

  • Omit the potatoes completely
  • Swap green beans for cauliflower, broccoli, or spinach
  • Use Paleo dressing like olive oil and lemon
  • Increase Paleo proteins like tuna, salmon, chicken

This modifies the salad to align with Paleo diet principles. Without the potatoes and beans, the carb count comes down to under 10g net carbs per serving.

Low Carb Nicoise Salad Recipe

This keto and Paleo-friendly Nicoise salad omits the potatoes and green beans for a low carb salad with plenty of flavor.


  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 1 can tuna (3 oz), drained
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup niçoise olives
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • Chopped fresh herbs like parsley, basil, tarragon (optional)


  1. Steam cauliflower florets until just tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Make dressing by whisking olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  3. Toss greens with half the dressing.
  4. Top with cauliflower, tuna, eggs, tomatoes, olives, and red onion.
  5. Drizzle remaining dressing over top.
  6. Garnish with fresh herbs before serving if desired.


  • Total carbs: 9g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Net carbs: 7g
  • Protein: 17g
  • Fat: 16g
  • Calories: 230

This makes a delicious low carb Nicoise salad that works for keto, Paleo, or any low carb diet. Enjoy as a light nutritious meal.

Nicoise Salad vs. Chef Salad Carbs

How does a Nicoise salad compare to a chef salad in terms of carb count?

Nicoise Salad

  • Around 15-20g net carbs per serving
  • Carbs mainly from potatoes and beans

Chef Salad

  • Around 10-15g net carbs per serving
  • Carbs come from dressing, cheese, and crutons

A chef salad typically has fewer carbs than Nicoise, since it lacks the potatoes and green beans. But a Nicoise can be modified lower carb by:

  • Omitting potatoes
  • Skipping green beans
  • Limiting dressing

Overall both are higher carb salads due to veggies and dressing. Modify portions or swap ingredients to reduce carbs.


What’s the lowest carb option for dressing on a Nicoise salad?

The lowest carb dressing option is a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and herbs. A lemon juice olive oil blend is also very low carb. Avoid sweet, creamy dressings.

Can I make a keto Nicoise salad?

Yes, you can make a keto Nicoise salad by eliminating the potatoes, using just a small portion of green beans, increasing the protein like tuna and eggs, and using a keto-friendly dressing. This reduces net carbs to around 10g.

What’s a good low carb substitute for potatoes in a Nicoise?

Great lower carb alternatives to potatoes are cauliflower florets, jicama, radish, turnips, rutabaga, or parsnips. Celery root or fennel bulb also work well.

Do I need to avoid tomatoes on a low carb diet?

Tomatoes can be enjoyed in moderation on a low carb diet, since they contain about 3-5g net carbs per cup. Cherry tomatoes add nice color and flavor to salads without spiking carbs.

Can I use canned tuna in a Nicoise salad?

Yes, high quality canned tuna works perfectly in a Nicoise salad. Look for tuna canned in olive oil for best flavor. Drain before adding to the salad.

The Bottom Line

A traditional Nicoise salad contains around 15-20g net carbs per serving, with potatoes and green beans as the main sources. Opting for lower carb vegetables and fewer starchy components can reduce the carb count to 10g for a keto or Paleo diet. Pay attention to dressings and enjoy thisclassic French salad modified to suit your diet needs.

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