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Behold, my timeless tuna sandwich creation. Utilizing tuna packed in oil, eschewing water. A touch of zest is introduced by the juice from the pickle jar – and why not incorporate the pickles themselves! Dijon mustard imparts its distinctive flavor, dill contributes delightful herbal notes, celery provides that satisfying crispness, and green onion brings a touch of invigorating freshness. Apply this medley onto your preferred bread and relish the experience!

sandwich Tuna sandwich

Only homemade tuna sandwiches

Revealing one of my concealed culinary confessions – I happen to possess discerning taste buds. The array of items that fail to align with my preferences is, in fact, quite extensive. Hence, the responsibility of culinary creations falls upon me.

Consider, for instance, the classic tuna sandwich. The mere thought of procuring one from a food court sandwich establishment or even opting for a pre-packaged version from a gas station (termed a “servo” in the realm of non-Australians) is utterly inconceivable. The notion of limp bread and a filling drowned in a sea of mayo-induced greasiness, incorporating subpar tuna that exudes an uncomfortably potent fishiness, is enough to trigger a visceral reaction. While it’s plausible that exceptional tuna sandwiches exist beyond my realm of experience, why venture into uncertainty when the comforts of home promise a surefire delight? By infusing vibrant zest and invigorating freshness, I manage to elevate canned fish into a sandwich filling of such superior quality that it beckons to be employed as a dip for indulgent dunking purposes. (Yes, indeed, I wholeheartedly embrace such unconventional gustatory endeavors!)

What you need for Tuna Sandwich Filling

Allow me to unveil the components that constitute my tuna sandwich filling.

When aiming for a superior flavor profile, it’s worth noting that tuna packed in oil trumps its water-packed counterpart. Opting for olive oil elevates the experience even further. However, if your sole option lies within the realm of water-packed tuna, fear not, for progress can still be achieved.

The realm of canned tuna is subject to a hierarchy – as is the case with most aspects of life. Distinct tiers of quality exist, with premium and ethically sourced tuna commanding a higher price point.

In terms of mayo, the choice between whole-egg and regular varieties steers the course of flavor. The former boasts a smoother taste, while the latter often carries a more pronounced vinegary note, occasionally leaning towards an excessive sweetness that may not align with my palate. Personally, I endorse the presence of whole-egg mayo, with preferences leaning towards brands such as Hellmans and S&W. The option of Kewpie also stands as a commendable alternative.

Incorporating pickles into the mixture proves pivotal. Both the pickle itself and the infusion of its briny essence contribute tanginess and a surplus of flavors. It’s imperative to make a judicious pickle selection; I, for instance, gravitate towards standard dill pickles – dismissing the likes of sweet pickles, gherkins, cornichons, sour pickles, and their spicy variants. (Of course, with a touch of jest, I assure you that pickle preferences remain a subjective realm.)

The verdant touch of green onions injects an element of freshness into the ensemble. Should substitution be required, shallots or finely minced red onions are viable alternatives.

Celery plays a crucial role, imparting the much-needed element of crunch to prevent the filling from descending into a state of mush. Meticulous mincing ensures seamless integration.

Aromatic dill steps in to provide herbaceous freshness, harmonizing particularly well with tuna. That said, the likes of basil and parsley stand poised to serve as equally excellent substitutes.

Lastly, the choice of bread – unvarnished in honesty – holds a special place in my heart, with everyday sandwich bread reigning as a personal favorite. Lettuce, in all its verdant glory, serves a dual purpose: introducing an extra layer of vibrant freshness while also warding off the dreaded scourge of soggy bread.

Behold, the symphony of ingredients that composes my tuna sandwich filling, orchestrated with care and culinary consideration.

How to make tuna sandwiches

Prepare yourself for an exclusive entry into the “Reserved for Culinary Connoisseurs” section: Embark on a journey by amalgamating all constituents within a bowl, allowing them to converge in harmonious unity. Let not apprehension take root – I shall guide you through this culinary voyage with unwavering support, extending my assistance even further through an accompanying recipe video.

Begin with the tuna filling – commence by discarding the oil from the tuna, subsequently depositing the tuna within a receptacle alongside the ensemble of other filling elements. Employ the might of a wooden spoon to mingle the components with determination, fragmenting the tuna into a texture akin to a luscious paste. I wholeheartedly endorse the notion of gently pummeling the celery and pickles, thus tenderizing their edges and coaxing forth a modest stream of juices, which seamlessly integrate into the filling’s character.

And now, the sandwich assembly – lavish the bread with a luscious layer of butter, then crown it with a duo of lettuce slices, ultimately crowning this verdant bed with the tuna filling, generously applying as your heart desires. Seal the symphony with the other slice of bread, proceeding to engage in the delight of slicing and savoring your creation. A noteworthy detail awaits beneath the photo, elucidating the nuances of preparing this masterpiece in advance.

Matters of Tuna Sandwich

And now, a parting contemplation on the unassuming yet delightful Tuna Sandwich:

Longevity in waiting – The filling itself graciously maintains its composure for a span of 3 days, snugly ensconced within a conventional container, or stretches its embrace for 5 days when housed within the confines of an excessively hermetic receptacle. Personally, I rely on my remarkably airtight Glasslock containers that mimic the prowess of vacuum-sealing, thus extending the vitality of victuals.

Durability of the sandwich – In a valiant effort to thwart the invasion of sogginess upon our cherished bread, a judicious act of buttering the slices is executed. Furthermore, a protective layer of lettuce graces each slice, standing resolute as a stalwart barrier. On occasions, I even opt to double this protective embrace for an added layer of insurance. With this precautionary measure, your sandwich shall flourish for a day, presenting itself at the pinnacle of palatability.

Quantitative calculation – Crafting a batch as stipulated in this recipe yields an abundant sufficiency to grace 4 sandwiches, an assemblage fittingly suited for the contours of everyday sandwich bread. Should your inclination lean towards smaller bread rolls, a scope for expansion beckons.

Resizing the venture – Should the need arise to magnify or minimize the endeavor, or should alignment with the size of your tuna can be deemed prudent, a mere tap upon the “servings” parameter opens a gateway. The art of scalability rests at your fingertips.

As an appended reflection, a culinary twist transpired. JB, in a display of culinary artistry, contrived mayonnaise hewn from the very oil relinquished by the tuna. A most epicurean endeavor indeed, imparting an essence of splendid tuna essence. However, the voluminous yield of this endeavor surpasses the requisites for a solitary batch of the present recipe. The quandary arises: how best to employ the residual mayo? My musings lean toward more tuna sandwiches, inevitably beckoning the emergence of more cans of tuna and surplus oil! Ergo, for the present endeavor, the homemade tuna mayo remains a spectator. Should your curiosity demand the recipe’s unveiling, a simple commentary shall suffice. JB stands prepared to transcribe and inscribe, and thus, the lore shall find its home within the recipe card annotations.

Tuna sandwich

Behold, my timeless tuna sandwich creation. Utilizing tuna packed in oil, eschewing water. A touch of zest is introduced by the juice from the pickle jar – and why not incorporate the pickles themselves! Dijon mustard imparts its distinctive flavor, dill contributes delightful herbal notes, celery provides that satisfying crispness, and green onion brings a touch of invigorating freshness. Apply this medley onto your preferred bread and relish the experience!
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
20 mins
total time
30 mins




  • 425g/ 15 oz canned tuna in oil , drained (Note 1)

  • 3/4 cup whole egg mayonnaise or Kewpie (Note 2)

  • 3/4 cup finely diced celery (1 stalk, cut in 4 lengthways, then finely diced)

  • 5 tbsp finely chopped dill pickle (Note 3)

  • 2 tbsp liquid from pickle jar (Note 3)

  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

  • 3 tbsp finely chopped dill (or parsley or basil)

  • 1/3 cup finely sliced green onion , ~2 stems (Note 4)

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • 8 pieces butter lettuce (2 per sandwich)

  • Salted butter , for spreading

  • 8 slices bread or 4 rolls (Note 5)


Filling – Combine all the elements constituting the Tuna Filling within a bowl. Employ a wooden spoon to orchestrate a thorough amalgamation, coaxing the tuna to surrender to a state of sublime smoothness. As an ancillary effect, the pickles and celery shall also undergo a transformation, embracing a gentle mélange that intensifies their flavors – a harmonious culinary coalescence!
Sandwich – Portion out the Tuna Filling amongst four sandwiches, with allowances for variation based on the dimensions of the bread. Personally, I advocate for a judicious buttering of the bread, crowned by a duet of lettuce layers per sandwich. Delight in the savory symphony you've crafted!


The decision between tuna packed in oil and its aquatic counterpart greatly influences the resulting sandwich's delectability. However, even if the waters of tuna in cans are your only option, forge ahead with this recipe undeterred. Notably, this recipe's prowess extends harmoniously to canned salmon as well. The nuances of mayo are multifaceted. Entirely distinct from the customary variety, whole-egg mayo boasts a velvety palate, while its non-whole-egg counterpart often veers towards a more pronounced vinegary disposition, occasionally skewing into a realm of excessive sweetness – an aspect that might not align with my discerning taste. In my culinary arsenal, a stockpile of whole-egg mayo holds a cherished place, with favorites encompassing Hellmans and S&W, in addition to the lauded choice of Kewpie. A stern pickle proclamation resonates – the cast of candidates doesn't include sweet pickles, sweet gherkins, cornichons, sour pickles, nor their fiery counterparts. Instead, the mantle is claimed by the ordinary, everyday dill pickles. A pardon is extended, however, for those wishing to indulge in culinary audacity. Indeed, pickled cucumbers can also fulfill this role, albeit potentially with a touch more tenderness. (Although in jest, let it be known that the arena of pickle selection is, at its core, a playground of personal preference.) The verdant allure of green onions finds itself as an indispensable addition. Yet, in the event of a substitution beckoning, eschallots (known as shallots in the United States), or a finely minced quarter cup of red onion, stand poised to extend their embrace. Bread – the choice is yours to navigate. While my affections lean towards unadorned, quintessential white sandwich bread, should the urge to embrace artisanal extravagance ensue, the culinary realm is yours to conquer. Prolonging the feast – The filling, endowed with airtight containment, remains a stalwart companion for a span of 3 days. A gentle intermingling as it encounters moisture is recommended. As for the assembled sandwich, its zenith of flavors is attained in a freshly crafted state. However, if the pursuit of an extended shelf life is on the agenda, a prudent layer of lettuce can be employed on each slice, safeguarding against the perils of moisture. And let us not overlook the importance of butter's presence in this equation. Nutritional insights for a solitary sandwich, grounded in the premise of employing 1 tablespoon of butter on thick-cut white sandwich bread (for, is there truly any other kind?).
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