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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!
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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. Okay, I’ll apologize in advance for my probably confusing comment.
    So I made an interpretation of this sandwich for lunch today, and it was delicious, so thanks a lot for the recipe!

    First of, I used something we in Denmark call “rugbrød”, which is kind of a denser version of sourdough bread(not stone dense), made with rye flour and seeds.
    I didn’t have any lemons, so I used lemon juice from one of those squeeze things(not a fan of those, but that was the only “lemon” we had at home).
    We didn’t have any olives at home, so I just used some extra tomatoes. Next time I would probably try adding capers to sub the saltiness from the olives. surprisingly we have capers but not olives?! o.o
    Also, we didn’t have avocado, cabbage or feta. It sounds like I almost had non of the ingredients…

    So, I made an open-faced sandwich, because I was craving poach eggs. I started with toasted “rugbrød”, then the “mayo”, cucumber( to ensure they stayed on the sandwich), tomato tuna, arugula, poach egg and then salt and peber.

    Again, thank you so much for the recipe. It didn’t disappoint, although I didn’t make exactly that sandwich.

    1. Patricia, I loved your post. The end result really did sound good. I of course live in the states but 200 miles from a big store to shop so I have to make substitutions all the time when cooking.
      So glad you shared your combinations with all of us here.

      1. I’m really glad that you like my comment, Leslie. I didn’t think anyone, expect Tieghan, would read my comment.
        Now, I don’t know how much 200 miles is in km, but it sounds like a long distance, and even though I live about 10 min. from a grocery store I don’t always feel like going out if it is windy or cold.
        I’m glad you liked my interpretation of Teighan’s recipe. If you do like to try “rugbrød”, I will gladly translate af recipe for you, although, you can probably already find a recipe in English.

        1. That would be lovely, Patricia. I make bread often and we love sturdy sour dough bread.
          I have forgotten the km and miles ratio. Time wise about 2.5 Hours.
          thank you so very much.

          1. Woow,
            Five hours of driving just to go grocery shopping. That must be some big shopping trips? ?

        2. Patricia saw your “Rugbrod Bread” recipe, looked it up – looks absolutely scrumptious. I love bread with all of the nuts and seeds in it. And I just happen to have some Rye flour (thinks) I am going to try it. Although the recipe I saw says you have to have a sourdough starter?

          1. Reni, I’m so happy to hear that you are considering trying the Rugbrød 🙂 Rugbrød is kind of like sourdough bread, but with seeds, and the ratio of rye flour to all purpose flour is more rye flour than all purpose in the rugbrød, which, from my understanding, is the opposite for sourdough bread?

            regarding the sourdough starter, the leavening agent in rugbrød is the sourdough starter, although some use a bit of yeast to be on the safe side, and you therefore have to have this. It is also the starter that gives the bread its iconic fermented kind of taste.
            I hope my explanation helps, and I would love to see the result, if you don’t mind sharing it with me?

  2. I just discovered you, and I love your blog and recipes! Everything just looks so fresh and colorful! I just made a slightly thinner version of this sandwich (forgot to buy cucumber and avocado..) and it was super yummy! Only used regular mayo but it was so fresh and slightly sweet from the basil..! You have a new follower!

  3. I made these yesterday & i gotta say “Wow!” It was amazing! It was like every bite hit you with a different flavor. I’m with you on the mayo, not a huge fan myself, the yogurt & tahini w/ seasoning…wow!!! looks like it’d make a great sandwich to take on a trip or picnic, gonna have to try the pre-make & plastic wrap it next, & bring to an outing.
    good stuff!
    ..and i like the names of all your dishes, & being this is definitely Tuscan “inspired”, i think it actually took me to Tuscany while i was eating it.
    Grazie!

  4. Yum, thank you! Also, my mom totally made bagels and cream cheese for my lunches too! I was into the mini ones when in elementary school 🙂

  5. I made this last evening for dinner. Truly delish. Of course I had to improvise a tad..no store unless i went for a for 3 H drive. . No Feta..so used a nice Tillamook Vintage White Cheddar. No arugula so used baby spinach and added a a little minced Jalapeno for a ‘bite’. And the Tuna was caught and canned by a Friend at the Coast so very special Sandwich it did make. Thank you so much Tuscan Tune is a winner!

  6. I’m so dying for a picnic and this sandwich! And with all my heart, thank you for not using mayo ;).

  7. Fellow cheese snob here. I have become a huge fan of sun-dried tomatoes lately. This takes the tuna sandwich to a different level. I may even try it with chicken.

  8. Tuna sandwiches were NOT my favorite in the past. I didn’t like the texture! However, I always love tuna and I think that canned tuna tastes much better than how I thought a few years ago! This is the perfect alternative–and tell your mother I would love that whole grain sandwich recipe 😉

  9. Wow, can you come over to my house and pack sandwiches for me? This looks AMAZING Tieghan… so inspiring.

  10. Kudos to the sandwich construction! It is important how those layers go together so the whole thing doesn’t ‘smoosh’ out both ends when you take a bite! Regular mayo is not my thing either; however it is “food glue” on a sandwich. I love your take on it with the tahini and greek yogurt. Especially bc Veganaise has gotten very pricey and I cringe every time I buy another jar.
    Did you know pre-shredded cheese is treated with anit-mold and anti-caking agents?
    Yuck! Hurray for cheese snobs. Arugula is totally one of my fave salad greens and I’m eating it right now on my raw “Italian” chia seed crackers with avo, too. YUM!

  11. You are BRILLIANT! Seriously, I love tuna so much but could pretty much do without the mayo. It kind of grosses me out most of the time. This takes tuna and adds all of the flavors that I LOVE. Cannot wait to try this. Killer job, Tieghan 🙂

  12. Love your idea for a mayo sub here! I don’t hate mayo, but I’m always looking for healthier options! And you’re so right about not skimping on quality cheese…Three years of living in Napa taught me that lesson 😛 Can’t wait to try these! (Minus the olives, cuz those are most def not my thing, but everything else looks amazing.)

  13. I need to up my sandwich game! This sounds delicious although I would totally have to go with mayo (love tuna mayo). I’m a cheese snob as well and always have at least four different kinds in the fridge 🙂

  14. I’m a cheese snob too and totally get where you’re coming from haha.
    And those sandwiches look so good! Tuna sandwiches are a favorite of mine and I”m sure your version is amazing. 🙂

  15. Such gorgeous looking sandwiches!! Since weather starts to get better here in Denver, I have been dreaming to go for a picnic with all sorts of picnic stuff and these sandwiches look so yumm!!