The Best Tunafish Salad Sandwich. One of my fave take-to-work lunches is a tunafish salad sandwich. Flaked canned tuna mixed with mayonnaise, minced sweet onion, shredded Parmesan (or Swiss) cheese (!!!) and a bit of cracked black pepper on whole grain bread is my choice. The addition of the shredded cheese adds some richness to this sandwich filling.
Yes, I know that cheese and fish aren’t supposed to go together except on a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Sandwich. (Gosh, I haven’t eaten one of those in years!) The Filet-O-Fish was introduced by a Cincinnati franchisee so that meat-abstaining Catholics could have an option for their Friday meals at McDonald’s.
Now back to my recipe…. Although it might sound colloquial, I like to refer to this sandwich’s filling as “tunafish salad” rather than “tuna salad” because that’s how I heard it spoken in my youth in California. I didn’t eat a lot of tuna sandwiches when I was a kid. Oscar Mayer bologna sandwiches with American cheese slices and Miracle Whip were more the rage at my house. My friends’ parents would usually make their tunafish salad with canned tuna and just a bit of Hellmann’s or Best Foods mayonnaise and serve it as a filling for white bread.
My favorite two brands of water-packed canned tuna are Kirkland and Whole Foods 365 Brand. These canned tunas are consistent in quality and don’t taste “fishy.” You could substitute canned wild salmon for the canned tuna in this recipe if you are concerned about the health effects of possible overconsumption of mercury.
How to make The Best Tunafish Salad Sandwich? Just mix together some flaked (use a fork to flake into smaller pieces) canned tuna, mayonnaise, minced sweet onion (ok, leave it out if you hate onions), and shredded Parmesan or Swiss cheese (gives the filling a tangy taste) in a bowl until combined. Season with cracked black pepper. Spread on your favorite bread. I use whole grain sandwich bread, usually Dave’s Killer Bread. Top with lettuce and tomato and another piece of bread, cut in half, and serve with chips or a bowl of soup.
Instead of the onion and shredded Parmesan, my husband will ask me to mix in some sweet relish in his tunafish sandwich filling before assembling his sandwich. Sometimes I’ll use store-bought relish or I will make my easy bread and butter pickles and then chop them up into a relish. I like the sweet relish, but not with lettuce and tomato, too. My husband also likes Hampton Creek’s Just Awesome Sauce which is a blend of their vegan mayo and pickle relish and tastes a bit like tartar sauce. It’s good mixed in with the tuna in place of the mayo in this recipe.
Oddly enough, I don’t use celery in my tunafish salad. Instead, I prefer celery in The Food Lover’s Favorite Chicken Salad Sandwich!
From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….
The Best Tunafish Salad Sandwich
1 can (7 oz.) white albacore or light tuna, packed in water
1/3 c mayonnaise (or more if you like a creamier tunafish salad)
1 T finely minced sweet white onion or shallot
2 T shredded Parmesan or Swiss cheese
Couple twists freshly cracked black pepper
4 slices whole grain bread (I like Dave’s Killer Breads)
4 whole lettuce leaves
4 tomato slices
1. Open the can of tuna and drain the liquid from the tuna.
2. Put the drained tuna into a non-metallic bowl.
3. Flake the tuna with a fork to break it into small pieces.
4. Add the mayo, onion, and cheese and mix together until well blended.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
6. For each sandwich, spread the tunafish filling onto one slice of the whole grain bread.
7. Top the filling with two tomato slices and two lettuce leaves.
8. Top the tomato and lettuce with a slice of bread.
9. Flip the sandwich over and cut in half.
10. Repeat for the second sandwich.
11. And serve!
Makes two tunafish sandwiches. Serve with a cup of my Tomato Basil Soup and some potato chips or carrot and celery sticks on the side.
Variations: Substitute canned wild salmon for the canned tuna. Mix in your favorite additions. Sometimes I make this sandwich with just tuna and mayo and I toast the bread. If I’m taking the sandwich to work, I pack the tomato slices separately as they can make the sandwich soggy. When I was in college in Pennsylvania, it was popular to crumble crunchy potato chips onto the tunafish filling while assembling the sandwich. To lighten this recipe, you could use a small amount of olive oil instead of the mayo and also omit the cheese. Serve open face on one slice of bread for fewer carbs. Additionally, you can use this tunafish salad filling in hollowed out garden tomatoes and serve over salad greens for a light lunch.
Order some Kirkland brand canned tuna and Dave’s Killer Bread from Amazon.com:
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