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Is it picnic time yet? Or at least lunch time?

Tuscan Tuna Sandwich | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Either way…I’m ready! I mean, these sandwiches are pretty much the ultimate picnic meal, but obviously they are delicious for any occasion…aka lunch today!! I have to be honest, I don’t use canned tuna enough. It’s seriously so good and it makes for some of the easiest weekday meals. I only like to buy the tuna that comes packed in oil, I think the ones packed in water taste kind of bland and dry. Ok, and also because I’m kind of a brat when it comes to food, I only like the BEST stuff.

Along those same lines… you know, using the BEST stuff. I know this is totally random (and actually has nothing to do with this recipe) but it’s still super important. Always, always splurge on GOOD cheese! This is something that I’ve learned since taking over the cooking. In my “growing up years” my family would buy pre-shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese in giant bags from the grocery store. Parmesan cheese also came in grated form, this time in large plastic containers from Costco. I knew nothing else and I loved it.

All that has changed SO very much. I am now a complete cheese snob. I’m all about shredding it yourself and buying it at the cheese counter. I know, it’s kind of pricey, but good cheese is worth it. AND most importantly, I’ve found that you’re able to use less cheese when you buy the good stuff, since it generally has more flavor. Okay…moving on, cheese rant over.

Let’s talk about these Tuscan tuna sandwiches!!

Tuscan Tuna Sandwich | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest Tuscan Tuna Sandwich | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest Tuscan Tuna Sandwich | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Tuscan Tuna Sandwich | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

First things first, I gotta lay everything out on the table. My love of sandwiches started as kid. Mom would make me cream cheese bagels for my school lunches. As I got older, I switched from cream cheese to turkey on some super healthy whole grain bread. Mom made, umm the BEST, whole grain bread, salted turkey and munster cheese sandwich (aka monster cheese to Asher and I 🙂 ). Then as the years went on and I got into cooking, I started making some KILLER turkey sandwiches myself. Plus melts and all kinds of delicious things on bread.

Long story short, I have always loved a good sandwich (and yes, I still love a good cream cheese bagel!).

For me, I have so much fun just throwing things on bread, usually it’s whatever I have leftover in my fridge. My combos are known to be pretty out there, but yet, they all seem to turn out pretty good. Usually its the cheese, I always, always add plenty of cheese. Oddly, these Tuscan tuna sandwiches have very little cheese, just a small bit of feta. And while the feta is delish, it’s honestly not a must have for everyone… but its definitely a must have for me, duh.

ANYWAY. These sandwiches are very different from most that I make. For one, the tuna. Like I said, it’s not something I cook with very often, but when I do I alway love it. These sandwiches are very similar to a tuna salad, except that they are on soft delicious, crusty ciabatta bread. Oh, and there is NO mayo. I am just not a mayo person. Instead I like to use a combo of tahini and greek yogurt. Much healthier and in my opinion, so much better too!

Tuscan Tuna Sandwich | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Thinking we should break this down layer by layer. Here we go…

…layer one: ciabatta with a generous smear of basil “mayo”

…layer two: oil packed tuna with sun-dried tomatoes + kalamata olives

…layer three: sliced avocado

…layer four: sliced cucumber

…layer five: hard-boiled egg

…layer six: fresh arugula and a little purple cabbage

…layer seven: feta

…layer eight: ciabatta with a generous smear of basil “mayo”

I know, a lot of layers, but you just kind of smoosh them all in there! And then… EAT!

Tuscan Tuna Sandwich | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

These sandwiches come together really quick. Nothing needs to be cooked, so you’re literally just throwing everything together on some bread and calling it a day. They’re great to pack for work lunches, and would be equally great on a picnic, since the longer they sit and hang out, the better! The ciabatta just kind of gets marinated in all the flavors of the sandwich, which is amazing!!

Also, can we talk about how delicious ciabatta is? The holes, the crust, the flavor… just the best!

And that’s all for today… take that Wednesday! ?

Tuscan Tuna Sandwich | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Tuscan Tuna Sandwich.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings: 4 Sandwiches
Calories Per Serving: 794 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup tahini (alternately you can use mayo but I don't love mayo)
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • zest + juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 (5 ounce) cans oil packed tuna, oil drained
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes chopped
  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread halved lengthwise
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 2 Persian cucumbers sliced
  • 4 hard boiled eggs sliced or quartered
  • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 4-6 ounces feta cheese crumbled

Instructions

  • In a food processor or blender, combine the tahini, greek yogurt, zest + juice of 2 lemons and the olive oil until smooth and combined. If needed thin with just a little water. Add the basil + a pinch of salt and pepper and the crushed red pepper flakes to the blender or food processor and pulse once more to combine.
  • In a medium bowl, gently combine the drained tuna with the olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Cut the loaf of ciabatta in half lengthwise and then generously spread both halves with the basil tahini yogurt sauce. Now spread the tuna mixture over the bottom half of the ciabatta. Layer the following ingredients in a single layer: avocado, cucumber, hard boiled eggs, cabbage and arugula. Crumble the feta over the arugula and season with pepper. Add the top half of the ciabatta and gently push down on the sandwich to help it stick together.
  • From here, you can either wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for up to 1 day OR you can serve.
  • To serve, slice into 4 equal sandwiches and EAT!
View Recipe Comments

Tuscan Tuna Sandwich | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Yes, this sandwich is bigger than my whole hand…and face, but its SOOO GOOD. 🙂

Tuscan Tuna Sandwich | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

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Comments

  1. I don’t eat sandwiches but this may change my mind. It would be great as a salad as well. Your work is always amazing.

  2. I never thought to mix tuna with the olives and sun dried tomatoes but rest assured I will be making this very soon. Love the tahini/yogurt spread too! Win win here Tieghan!

  3. That recipe surely elevates the the old favorite tuna salad sandwich. The size of this recipe almost looks large enough to qualify as dinner.

  4. girrrl YES! obsessed with the sun-dried tomato tuna + avo + eggs, this looks heavenly!!! dying for a bite right now

  5. I never thought a tuna sandwich could look so gorgeous Tieghan, but this one does for sure! I love that you substituted the mayo with the tahini and Greek yogurt. And love the ciabatta bread!

  6. You have got my attention !!! These look more than awesome. Guess what I will be having for lunch tomorrow….

  7. There is NOTHING wrong with being a cheese snob! There is no other way in my opinion. I also totally agree about tuna (packed in oil is ridiculously better than water), and I don’t use it nearly enough. Such a healthy, nutritious easy lunch or meal.

  8. Wow, some people are harshing on your artistic rendering of somethings as simple as a sandwich. I can clearly see what makes this sandwich “Tuscan”. I can also see that you aren’t claiming it as some Italian grandmothers authentic recipe.
    Someone visits a country and suddenly they’re the authority! HA!
    It looks like something I would make, and it elevates the typical tuna sandwich to something really special.

    1. Great comment Cassandra. ‘Beauty in the eye of the beholder’.
      Can’t wait to try this..and as Nancyabc says..MAYO for sure to be added and maybe even Tarter sauce.
      Thank you for another winner of recipe.

  9. Love the picture showing the eggs but I would have to have the mayo on my sandwich.
    I go to Frisch’s just to have their tartar sauce on my sandwich–ugh.
    But I do agree good cheese is so worth the price.

  10. I just returned from Tuscany and there is nothing really Tuscan about this meal. You can’t just call it that because you think that’s what Tuscan food is like. Why do you always give your food ethnic/country descriptors which don’t fit?

    1. So called Tuscan food is one of the most incorrectly marketed cuisine in America…think Olive Garden. It’s kind of laughable when they don’t realize what that cuisine really entails. This recipe more closely aligns with a Pan Bagnat from France.
      (And they are a delicious picnic item).

    2. Actually, as this is her blog, she can call her recipes whatever she wants. Good bread, olive oil, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, fish… sounds Tuscan-inspired enough to me for the title. The real question is why you bother to follow a blog that only makes you feel you need to be judgemental of the blogger’s recipe-name choices. You could always make suggestions if you feel the recipe does not match the region closely enough — though she would be under no duress to change things — rather than being snooty and contentious. You can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.

      1. Thank you very well stated, Kate. I tried to convey in my post..but you did it so much better.
        Now back to that Tuna Sandwich…can’t wait to try it soon.

      2. Of course, she can call her recipes whatever she wants. I see that my comment may have come across as condescending but my intention was actually to ask her why she frequently assigns her recipes cultural/ethnic descriptors that are not truly reflective of said culture/ethnic cuisine? I was truly curious as to her reasoning but unfortunately she didn’t offer a response. I think most of her recipes are very creative and visually appealing and certainly look delicious. Case in point, this sandwich looks wonderful. However, in now way are tahini, greek yogurt, kalamata olives, avocado etc reflective of Tuscan cuisine. My point is that I’ve seen her do this many times with calling a recipe “Indian” or “Middle Eastern” etc and it just makes her seem much less credible. Just my opinion and again, I think her recipes look delicious.

        1. It is called “Tuscany Her Way”. Love love love your recipes Tieghan, they are works of art! And so yummy. It’s (insert cultural/ethnic descriptors here) home food at its best!

  11. I feel like I will have to make this for lunch today! We are also such cheese snobs by the way, couldn’t agree more!

    1. That is so what I’m say’n Miranda (although I love sandwiches). Tieghan, takes these incredible photos (plus incredible recipes) … and that’s how I made her triple layer choc cake! I don’t even really like choc.