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This canned mackerel recipe is a twist on the classic Niçoise Salad. It features high-quality mackerel on a hearty salad with an easy homemade vinaigrette.
This canned mackerel recipe post is sponsored by King Oscar.
As I sit here — staring at my laptop screen, thinking about salad — the entire East Coast of the United States is blanketed in fresh snow.
Those of us who are a little bit farther inland missed the snow, but have been shivering and hiding indoors as Arctic winds sweep the country. In short, it’s incredibly, somewhat ridiculously cold.
And here I am, telling you to go make SALAD.
What do I have to say for myself? Well, the part of me that’s wrapped in sweaters and scarves is hoping that by the time this post goes live in two weeks, the frigid air will have moved on, and we’ll all be thawing out.
BUT even if it hasn’t warmed up yet, I’m here to tell you that this particular salad is HEARTY! This canned mackerel recipe is perfect for winter, and features warm green beans and potatoes in a delicious, healthy, and filling Niçoise salad.
What Is a Niçoise Salad?
Niçoise salad is a French salad that’s named after an olive. Yup, that’s right – technically this salad should include niçoise olives.
These olives are small, cured olives that are usually sold packed in herbs. And they can also be a little hard to find.
Use them if you’ve got them, but otherwise, you can swap them out for kalamata olives.
It’s okay, you don’t have to call it a kalamata salad. Unless you want to.
Niçoise salads usually include green beans, potatoes, boiled eggs, anchovies, and canned tuna. Today, we’re swapping out the tuna for a healthier and more eco-friendly solution: mackerel.
(I do also love making a version with seared tuna!)
Why Buy Canned Mackerel?
HEADS UP! THE LINKS BELOW ARE AN AFFILIATE LINKS VIA AMAZON, WHICH MEANS I MAKE A SMALL COMMISSION IF YOU PURCHASE THROUGH THE LINK.
What does mackerel taste like? Its flavor profile is very similar to tuna.
Canned mackerel is a fabulous seafood choice. Why? With the exception of king mackerel, mackerel is a small fish, so it’s low in mercury. It’s also sustainably sourced and DELICIOUS!
That means that choosing mackerel is a win for your health and for the planet. (Hooray! Feel free to do jazz-hands with me! Or not, it’s totally okay.)
Want more canned fish tips? Check out this Ultimate Guide to Canned Fish.
For this recipe, I used Mediterranean-Style Mackerel from King Oscar – and guys, it’s pretty! Every time I open a new type of King Oscar’s canned seafood, I get excited, because I love how carefully every can is packaged.
These fillets are wild-caught and gluten-free, and come packed in olive oil, black Mediterranean olives, red bell pepper, and herbs.
The delicate and delicious seasonings make this fish PERFECT for this no-fuss salad, because the mackerel tastes amazing STRAIGHT OUT OF THE CAN! And believe me, I ate it that way too!
Want to Try King Oscar’s seafood? Use their store finder or buy King Oscar’s mackerel online.
How to Make a Niçoise Salad
Niçoise salad has several ingredients that need to be cooked. You can cook them all the day before, and assemble the salad quickly right before serving, or do it all at once. Whatever is easiest for you works the best here.
What do you need to cook? You’ll need boiled eggs, blanched green beans, and boiled potatoes. You’ll also need to clean some soft, leafy lettuce (like a leafy green or a Boston lettuce), and of course, the canned mackerel and olives.
The anchovies are optional (but recommended), and you’ll also need to whisk together a quick vinaigrette.
Assemble everything on top of the lettuce, either in rows or sections — or be a rebel and toss these usually carefully-crafted salad ingredients all together with the dressing. It’s totally up to you.
Dig into this healthy and hearty canned mackerel recipe as you watch the snow fall, and together we’ll all wait for spring.
Want more SEAFOOD SALAD recipe ideas? Try these:
- Salmon Caesar Salad
- Crab Louie Salad with King Crab
- King Crab Recipe: Crab Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Want more CANNED FISH recipe ideas? Try these:
- Fish Wraps: An Easy, Healthy Lunch
- Albondigas de Pescado: Fish Meatballs
- Canned Sardine Recipe: Mini Sardine Fish Cakes
Canned Mackerel Recipe: Niçoise Salad
- 3 Yukon Gold potatoes (or sub 3-4 fingerling potatoes)
- ½ head leafy green or Boston lettuce
- ⅓ pound fresh green beans (or sub haricot verts– French green beans)
- 2 eggs, hard-boiled
- 10 Niçoise olives, pitted or not (or sub Kalamata olives)
- 2 anchovies, whole or diced (optional)
- 1 can mackerel packed in oil (~4oz), drained King Oscar Mediterranean Style Mackerel recommended
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅛ cup red wine OR sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- pinch sea salt
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes, and boil 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. (Time will depend on the size and age of the potatoes.)
- While potatoes boil, roughly chop the lettuce. Trim the pointed ends off the green beans. Cut boiled eggs in half.
- Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon, but do not drain the water.
- Add green beans to the boiling pot, and boil 2-3 minutes. Drain the beans, and rinse beans with icy cold water (or plunge into an ice water bath).
- Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients.
- Next, assemble the salad. Make a bed of lettuce, and then top lettuce with potatoes, green beans, eggs, olives, anchovies, and mackerel. Arrange ingredients in rows or sections for a traditional salad, or toss them all together.
- Lightly dress the salad with the vinaigrette, and serve immediately.
Dawn - Girl Heart Food
Canned fish is so underrated!! We always have our pantry stocked with varieties and particularly love them for lunch cause they’re so convenient to just grab and go. This salad looks really good, Sarah! Love that Dijon vinaigrette 🙂
Meg | Meg is Well
I’m so happy you inspired me to try other canned fish other than tuna. I still don’t like canned tuna unless it’s my grandma’s but now I have so many different options that taste amazing.
Aww thanks Meg! There’s a whole other world out there waiting for ya hehe
I love that you’ve made Nicoise Salad with mackerel! What a great twist on a classic. I adore salads like these that are good for you, but also so filling and satisfying. I’ll have to look for the King Oscar Mackerel! It looks delish.
Thanks Amanda! Definitely let me know if you get to try it out!
I used to eat Nicoise Salads all the time when I live in Italy. I miss them after seeing your recipe! I’m going to have to try it out with mackerel!
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
That is certainly a great looking salad. We love seafood but I’ve not gotten into the mackeral in a can. It does sound good with a salad. Will have to give it a go.
Once again, you are making me look at canned seafood in a whole new light! I love a good salad for dinner, especially one with hard boiled eggs, but I never would have thought about adding canned mackerel!
It’s so good! And affordable!
I have never tried mackerel, can you believe it? I think I need to! I love a good Nicoise salad; I always feel like I’m back in the south of France. Nice spin on a classic!
Oooo give it a try! It’s so delicious! (Especially this kind with the herbs and olives added- YUM)
I’ll be skipping out on the eggs (I’m egg-averse) but otherwise this looks like a hearty, quick dinner must try for me!
I love a nicoise salad, but I’ve never tried it with canned mackerel. It’s so much more economical and easy to prepare. I’m going to have to give it a try!
A traditional Nicoise is one of my favorites to order at a restaurant. Your version of an easy, at-home fix sounds great! While I’ve never used canned mackerel before I’d definitely give this a try!
I love how you commented on the mackerel looking good straight out of the can. When I think of canned fish, the appearance is always something off-putting to me, so I’m totally going to have to find this brand!!!
I know exactly what you mean! I’m always so impressed by how pretty King Oscar’s canned fish are!
I love Nicoise Salad and using the canned Mackerel is just brilliant! Such a delicious salad!
Well, after seeing the Nicoise Salad on Champagne Tastes, and since ole King Oscar Seafood sent me a tin of Mediterranean Mackerel, I just had to try it, and I’m here to tell you that it is great!
The ingredients called for blanched French Beans, but I substituted steamed asparagus since I love the stuff. Also, I used Kalamata Olives because they were all I could find and I used Andean potatoes mostly for their size and eye appeal. For the vinaigrette, I used San Saba Roasted Garlic, Olive oil, and if you have not tried it, you’re missing a treat.
Yay!! I’m so glad you liked it David!
I loved this recipe. I’ve been a long-time fan of Salad Niçoise, and this is my favorite recipe (better than Julia Child’s as it is lighter and easier to make). We also enjoy it as a side salad without the Makerel when we are having some other meat. Thanks for sharing.
Aw thank you so much Joan! I’m so glad you love it! 💕💕💕