The Absolute Best Type Of Bread For Tuna Salad

The combination of meat, cheese, and veggies between two slices of bread is a quintessential lunch for many. And fortunately for those looking to mix up their mid-day meal, there are endless culinary options within this realm — including the classic tuna salad sandwich.

Today, people have serious opinions on the right and wrong way to make tuna salad, but back in the 19th century, Americans were far less concerned with the details. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the "salad" sandwich filling was born out of frugality: families would combine leftover meat and other ingredients (like celery or olives) with mayonnaise for next-day meals. Eventually, lunch counters began spreading these salads between slices of bread for portability, and — after the advent of canned tuna — the tuna salad sandwich was born.

Sandwich architecture (a phrase once used by Ted Allen on an episode of Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate") emphasizes the importance of balance in each layer of a sandwich. If there's too much tuna salad in a sandwich, the bread might become soggy and collapse (especially if too much mayonnaise was mixed in). On the flip side, if not enough tuna salad is used the bread will become the tasting focal point. So making sure your ratio of tuna salad to bread, as well as any veggies you may be adding, is structurally balanced is of great importance.

Now onto the bread itself ...

You'll want a sturdy bread for tuna salad

Our top bread choice for a tuna salad is multigrain, mainly because it's hearty enough to hold an ample amount of tuna salad in place. Multigrain bread, as noted by Delighted Cooking, is usually made with grains like oats, barley, and flax. It's also nutrient-dense and high in fiber so it amps up the nutritional content of the classic tuna salad sandwich.

According to Gold Medal Bakery, multigrain bread is fairly mild with a touch of sweetness, which is enhanced by the nutty flavor of the incorporated grains. Its light tasting profile won't overpower the flavor of the tuna, unlike some of its other bread counterparts like sourdough or rye. It can also provide a nice textural balance if you choose a more rustic loaf, which will help to offset the softness of the tuna.

When many people think of a classic tuna salad sandwich, sliced white bread likely comes to mind. Though it's not an entirely bad choice (especially due to its nostalgic factor and toasting capabilities) it just doesn't have the same level of nutrition or flavor profile compared to multigrain. And most importantly, multigrain bread offers a sturdy base to hold any kind of tuna salad, even if you end up piling too much on after all.