Sicilian tuna salad sandwich is a family friendly recipe that is great for a party or a picnic.  Learn how to make this gourmet healthy sandwich in minutes.  Packed with protein, roasted red peppers, arugula, and olive tapenade this stunning lunch idea has no mayo.  Try this Mediterranean twist on an American classic.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Sicilian tuna salad sandwich with chips and Coke
45 Minutes or Less, Sandwiches

Sicilian Tuna Salad Sandwich

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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.

holding a slice of Sicilian tuna salad sandwich

Why is it called Sicilian tuna salad sandwich?

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.

putting bamboo skewers into Sicilian tuna salad sandwich

What ingredients are in a Sicilian tuna salad sandwich?

  • Crusty, hearty bread
  • Olive oil
  • Olive tapenade
  • Tuna salad with no mayo
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Arugula

Sicilian tuna salad sandwich on a plate

Can you make this tuna salad sandwich 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 sandwich tastes best if it is eaten before 24 hours.

Sicilian tuna salad sandwich with tomatoes, chips, and Coke

What do you serve with Sicilian tuna salad sandwiches?

  • Tomatoes: slices, wedges
  • Hard boiled eggs: peeled, sliced or in wedges
  • Fruit: sliced apples or grapes
  • Potato chips: kettle chips

holding a Sicilian tuna salad sandwich

How to Make Sicilian Tuna Salad Sandwich

Gather all the ingredients: olive tapenade, Sicilian tuna salad, arugula, roasted red peppers, olive oil, and 100% whole wheat 5 grain bread.

ingredients for Sicilian tuna salad sandwich

Start by cutting off both ends of the bread, then slice in half horizontally.

slicing a loaf of bread in half lengthwise

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.

pulling out extra bread from the inside of a loaf

Brush the hollowed out bread with olive oil.  I used 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil.

brushing two pieces of bread with olive oil

Spread the olive tapenade on the hollowed part of the bread with the back of a spoon.

spreading olive tapenade on two pieces of bread

Pile on the homemade Sicilian tuna salad–about 4 cups.  Go for height and be generous.  My Sicilian tuna salad is made with albacore tuna, capers, sun dried tomatoes, marinated artichokes, celery, red onions, and green olives.

spreading tuna salad on Sicilian tuna salad sandwich

Place the roasted red peppers in rows on top of the Sicilian tuna salad.  Press a paper towel on top to absorb some of the extra liquid from the peppers.

adding roasted red peppers to Sicilian tuna salad sandwich

Next, pile on the arugula.  This will give the sandwich extra color and some crunch.

loaf of bread topped with olive tapenade, tuna salad, and veggies

Carefully place the top piece of bread on the sandwich.  You’ll notice the incredible height and might wonder, “How I’m I going to get my mouth around this?”

assembled Sicilian tuna salad sandwich

Gently press down on the sandwich with both hands to compress it a little.

pressing down the sandwich

Place bamboo skewers every 1 1/2 to 2 inches to help the sandwich stay in place.  This really helps when it’s time to slice it.

Slice the sandwich 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 sandwich tastes best when eaten within 24 hours.

Sicilian tuna salad sandwich on a cutting board

Pro Tips for Sicilian Tuna Salad Sandwich

  • Need other sandwich 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.

Our Go-To Kitchen Tools for Sicilian Tuna Salad Sandwich

This Sicilian tuna salad sandwich is a refreshing change from the classic American tuna sandwich.  Try it and you’ll love the Mediterranean flavors.

Looking for other yummy sandwich recipes?  You’ll want to check out these ones.

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The pleasure of a 5-star review for this Sicilian tuna salad sandwich would be greatly appreciated.

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Sicilian tuna salad sandwich with chips and Coke

Sicilian Tuna Salad Sandwich


  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices 1x

Description

Sicilian tuna salad sandwich is a family friendly recipe that is great for a party or a picnic.  Learn how to make this gourmet healthy sandwich in minutes.  Packed with protein, roasted red peppers, arugula, and olive tapenade this stunning lunch idea has no mayo.  Try this Mediterranean twist on an American classic.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound loaf 100% whole wheat five grain bread (453g)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (45 ml)
  • 1 cup olive tapenade
  • 4 cups Sicilian tuna salad
  • 1 1/2 cups arugula (32g)
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers
  • 8 bamboo skewers, optional

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Brush both halves of the bread with olive oil, then spread the pieces evenly with olive tapenade.
  3. Add a generous amount of Sicilian tuna salad to the bottom half of the sandwich.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 1/2 to 2 inches.
  6. Serve immediately or cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. 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.

Notes

  • The pleasure of a 5-star review for this Sicilian tuna salad sandwich recipe would be greatly appreciated.
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Chopped
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: tuna sandwich without mayo, Sicilian tuna salad sandwich

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