Are you tired of the classic mayo based tuna sandwiches? Try our Sicilian tuna salad sandwich and you'll be in for a special Mediterranean treat.
This sandwich is fancy enough to serve for a crowd at your next summer party, but so tasty you'll want to make it first to enjoy with your family in the comforts of your backyard.
This recipe is inspired by tuna salad sandwiches from Sicily, Italy. This sandwich is traditionally made ahead and packed for outdoor summer adventures.
It's the perfect fare for picnics in scenic countryside, going to the beach, hiking in a beautiful park, or lounging by the pool on a hot summer's day.
- Crusty, hearty bread
- Olive oil
- Olive tapenade
- Tuna salad with no mayo
- Roasted Red Peppers
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients: olive tapenade, Sicilian tuna salad, arugula, roasted red peppers, olive oil, and 100% whole wheat 5 grain bread.
- Start by cutting off both ends of the bread, then slice in half horizontally. Tear out some of the bread (about 100g), to make room for the fillings. You can use the leftover bread for snacks, rustic croutons, or breadcrumbs.
- Brush the hollowed out bread with olive oil. I used 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil.
3. Spread the olive tapenade on the hollowed part of the bread with the back of a spoon.
4. Pile on the homemade Sicilian tuna salad--about 4 cups. Go for height and be generous. My Sicilian tuna salad is made with albacore, capers, sun dried tomatoes, marinated artichokes, celery, red onions, and green olives.
5. Place the roasted red peppers in rows on top of the Sicilian salad. Press a paper towel on top to absorb some of the extra liquid from the peppers.
6. Next, pile on the arugula. This will give the sandwich extra color and some crunch.
7. Carefully place the top piece of bread. You'll notice the incredible height and might wonder, "How I'm I going to get my mouth around this?" Simply press down with both hands to compress it a little.
Place bamboo skewers every 1 ½ to 2 inches to help it stay in place. This really helps when it's time to slice it.
8. Slice it into 8 equal pieces, making sure each piece has a skewer. Serve at room temperature, or cover tightly in plastic wrap and chill for two hours.
This Sicilian tuna salad sandwich is a refreshing change from the classic American. Try it and you'll love the Mediterranean flavors.
- Tomatoes: slices, wedges
- Hard boiled eggs: peeled, sliced or in wedges
- Fruit: sliced apples or grapes
- Potato chips: kettle chips
Can you make this recipe ahead?
Yes, it's best to make the olive tapenade and the tuna salad the day before. Assembling this sandwich is pretty quick.
Cover tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge until ready to use then slice, insert a bamboo skewer and you're ready to eat! This tastes best if it is eaten before 24 hours.
How many calories are in one serving?
For the nutrition facts, we divided this recipe into 8 servings. For one slice, there is 414 calories and 19.2g of carbs. For more nutritional information, please scroll past the recipe card.
- Need other ingredients? Try sliced hard boiled eggs or slivers of avocado.
- Want the tuna salad spicier? Add red pepper flakes or a bit of hot sauce.
- Want a short cut? Buy the olive tapenade at grocery store's olive/salad bar.
- Want other bread ideas? Try Italian bread or Ciabatta.
- Looking for albacore tuna brands? Try StarKist, Genova, Wild Planet, or Adriatic.
Other Sandwiches You'll Love
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Sicilian Tuna Salad Sandwich
- 1 pound loaf 100% whole wheat five grain bread
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup olive tapenade, homemade or store bought
- 4 cups Sicilian tuna salad
- 1 ½ cups arugula
- 1 cup roasted red peppers
- 8 bamboo skewers, optional
- Cut the ends off of the bread, then cut in half lengthwise. Rip out some of the bread from the top and bottom slices. This will hollow out the bread a little, making more room for the fillings. Keep the ripped out bread pieces for snacks, breadcrumbs, or croutons.
- Brush both halves of the bread with olive oil, then spread the pieces evenly with olive tapenade.
- Add a generous amount of Sicilian tuna salad to the bottom half of the sandwich.
- Lay the strips of roasted red pepper in rows on top of the tuna salad. Blot the peppers with a paper towel to get rid of extra moisture, then top with the arugula.
- Carefully place the top of the bread on of the sandwich. Gently press down on the sandwich with both hands and insert bamboo skewers every 1 ½ to 2 inches.
- Serve immediately or cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, slice. This sandwich can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 hours. Eat within 24 hours for best results.
- Buy the olive tapenade at grocery store's olive/salad bar if you don't want to make your own.
- Italian bread or Ciabatta are two other bread ideas.
- Good Albacore brands to try are: StarKist, Genova, Wild Planet, or Adriatic.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.
You really have to open wide for this one! The tuna is great with the tapenade and arugula.
Tuna is nice with olives and other veggies. Thanks for your comment, Beth!