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Not-quite-old-fashioned tuna salad sandwich

What's better than a tuna sandwich on toast? This tuna sandwich, for grown-ups. [ThePerfectPantry.com]

For an entire semester during college, my BFF Joyce and I subsisted on tuna salad sandwiches (canned tuna mashed with Miracle Whip), washed down with diet soda (Fresca for me, Tab for her). You would think after months of this, that I'd never want to see another tuna sandwich. You would be wrong.

These days, I love to kick up my tuna in lots of ways. This variation calls for fresh, not canned, tuna; lemon zest and dill, for summery flavor; a few hot red pepper flakes, for zing; and celery for crunch. I don't love capers, but if you do, toss a few into the mix. You can broil a piece of tuna days ahead of time, and let it sit in the fridge until the tuna salad craving strikes. (PS: I'm trying hard to break that Fresca addiction I've had since college days. A glass of water makes a great substitute.)

A tuna sandwich on toast, for grown-ups. [ThePerfectPantry.com]

Not-quite-old-fashioned tuna salad sandwich

From the pantry, you'll need: mayonnaise, lemon, mild red pepper flakes, dill weed, kosher salt, fresh black pepper.

Serves 2; can be multiplied.


1/2 lb fresh tuna steak
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp fresh dill weed, roughly chopped
Pinch of mild red pepper flakes, or more to taste
Zest of 1/2 large lemon, or more to taste
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

4 slices of bread, any type
4 pieces of iceberg lettuce


Season the tuna with salt and pepper, and cook under the broiler until done (a general guideline is 10 minutes per inch of thickness, so the time will depend on the piece of fish). Set aside to cool, or cool completely and refrigerate until ready to use (this can be done several days ahead of time).

Chop the tuna, and place it in a mixing bowl with celery, mayonnaise, dill weed, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until it's the consistency you like; if you're a gooey tuna salad person, add more mayonnaise.

Toast the bread. Divide the tuna mixture onto two slices of bread. Top with lettuce, close up the sandwiches, grab a glass of water, and enjoy!

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More great sandwiches:
Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich with turkey and chipotle mayo, from The Perfect Pantry
Roasted shrimp po' boy with Greek yogurt cole slaw and remoulade sauce, from The Perfect Pantry
Green Goddess sandwich, from The Bojon Gourmet
Chickpea sunflower sandwich, from Minimalist Baker

Who could resist a tuna sandwich, kicked up a bit?! [ThePerfectPantry.com]

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


I do this with fresh salmon...also delicious!

Cousin, salmon would be a great substitute!

Nicely done. I usually use canned tuna (in water) and homemade mayo. I like the celery really small (I slice the stalks into four or six pieces before chopping) and add similarly small onion.

Any sort of lettuce and definitely a slice of fresh tomato in season.

I love tuna packed in olive oil, Genova brand. And capers in mine, please! I love all the flavors you have here.

Dave, if you like tuna, try this sandwich with fresh tuna. I think you'll like that, too.

Kalyn, I like the Italian oil-packed tuna also. But I cannot resist fresh fish when I can get it!

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