Simple Yet Refined Tuna Sandwich Recipe

You might be thinking, "Do I really need a recipe for a tuna sandwich?" But trust us, this isn't your ordinary sandwich; it's an elevated, sophisticated take on an old favorite. We've all been there — staring into our lunch box or fridge on a weekday, feeling uninspired by the same old sandwich lineup. If you're tired of the usual lunch, this recipe is here to refresh your midday meal game, infusing excitement and flair into a dish often viewed as plain and ordinary.

Equally perfect for a quick and nourishing weekday lunch, or for impressing guests at a weekend gathering, this refined tuna sandwich goes beyond just the basics. It's about treating each component with thoughtfulness, choosing quality ingredients, and assembling them with care, resulting in a sandwich that is both simple and remarkable. With an infusion of fresh herbs, spicy arugula, and top-notch sourdough bread, recipe developer Taylor Murray brings us a casual but fancy lunch that can mix up even the most boring mid-week slump.

Gather the ingredients for the refined tuna sandwich

Tuna salad sandwiches are a common sight in lunchrooms and cafeterias across the country. To make one that's a bit more refined, upgrade each ingredient. Choosing the wrong kind of tuna is a common mistake when it comes to sandwiches, as the quality and flavor of the product can vary wildly. As such, make sure to choose solid white albacore in water. This type of canned tuna is one of the best as a solid piece of flesh with no bits from the bloodline, which can have a bad taste.

Choose a high-quality mayonnaise (or make your own) and a nice Dijon mustard, stone ground if you can. Some freshly squeezed lemon juice will give us a much-needed hit of acidity, and a few teaspoons of chopped herbs inject the mix with flavor and freshness. For this recipe, we are using a mix of dill, parsley, and chives. Get the best sourdough bread you can get your hands on (or make it yourself if you have the knack), and look for slices that are about 1/2 inch thick. Along with salt and pepper, the final ingredient is a handful of peppery arugula to balance the acidity and fat. 

Mix the tuna salad

Add the tuna, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, and herbs to a medium bowl. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper (a pinch of each should be plenty). 

"I like to be careful not to overmix the salad because I prefer the larger chunks of tuna," says Murray. If you prefer a more blended mix, simply keep stirring to break up the chunks. 

Toast the bread

Give the bread a quick toast. "It's the small details like this that can really elevate a dish," says Murray. 

You're going for a bit of crisp on the edges, but still soft in the middle. If you over-toast the bread, it's going to make the sandwich difficult to eat. The timing may vary depending on the exact type of bread that you use.

Build the sandwich

Divide the arugula evenly over two slices of bread. "If you want to keep the arugula from falling all over the place, lightly crush it your hand before putting it on the bread," says Murray, "I learned that trick at my first ever restaurant job as a sandwich cook, and it's a trick I use to this day."

Top with tuna

Divide the tuna salad over the two slices of bread with arugula. Top with remaining slices of bread, slice in half, and serve. "If you're in the mood for a tuna melt, this is a great recipe to use. I would go with a nice sharp cheddar," says Murray.

The tuna salad will keep in the refrigerator, sealed, for up to 3 days. Toast the bread and assemble the sandwich just before serving. 

Simple Yet Refined Tuna Sandwich Recipe
5 from 62 ratings
Perfect for a quick and nourishing lunch, this refined tuna sandwich goes beyond the basics with an infusion of herbs, arugula, and top-notch sourdough bread
Prep Time
Cook Time
Tuna salad sandwich
Total time: 10 minutes
  • 1 (5-ounce) can solid white albacore in water, drained
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dill
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 4 slices whole wheat sourdough bread
  • 1 cup arugula
  1. Mix together the tuna, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, and herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Toast the bread.
  3. Add the arugula between two slices of bread.
  4. Divide the tuna salad between the two slices of bread with arugula.
  5. Top each with remaining slices of bread. Cut in half to serve.
Calories per Serving 941
Total Fat 18.4 g
Saturated Fat 3.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 33.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 145.8 g
Dietary Fiber 6.7 g
Total Sugars 13.2 g
Sodium 1,819.6 mg
Protein 47.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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