Make Ahead

My Italian Tuna Salad

October  4, 2022
3 Ratings
  • Makes 2 sandwiches for an average person, one hero for me
Author Notes

Years ago I worked in a tenant office building where there was this little snack shop who made basic food items. Taylor Ham, Egg and Cheese sandwiches in the AM and this tuna salad at lunch time. I had never eaten tuna prepared this way, in our family, tuna was the Bumble Bee brand packed in water. My Mom, being a nutritionist, back then thought this type of tuna was better for you. It is amazing how far tuna has not gone in 40 years. I became so addicted to this recipe, to this day, it is the only way I will eat a tuna sandwich. - Stockout —Stockout

Test Kitchen Notes

This is a fun, flavorful twist to get you out of a standard tuna salad rut. Stockout just may have converted me forever to using tuna packed in oil, rather than water, as its texture and flavor are both fuller and softer than regular canned. This salad has a nice play between the zesty garlic and onion, sweet roasted pepper, tang of the vinegar, and kick of the black pepper. Bundling it all up in a big soft semolina roll made for a delicious, hearty lunch. - fiveandspice —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 can Tonno (Italian Tuna packed in olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, good quality please
  • 1 tablespoon reserved oil from can
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic, no jar here
  • 1/4 roasted red pepper, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • Lots of freshly ground pepper
  • salt to taste, and please taste it first
  1. Open can and strain over a bowl, reserving oil.
  2. In small bowl, break tuna into 1/2" chuncks, do not mash, you want the full chunks.
  3. Mix all the other ingredients with the tuna, taste for salt, pile high on a good Portuguese roll or sliced semolina.
  4. Enjoy.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • iuzzini
  • dymnyno

2 Reviews

iuzzini October 15, 2010
This sounds delicious! I am oil packed tuna all the way- In some of the Italian markets in Brooklyn you can get it packed in oil in little jars and it's like a whole different food than water packed canned tuna. I make a tartine using a salad like yours and put narrow strips of roasted peppers on top with a shmear of olive tapenade on the bread.
dymnyno October 14, 2010
Congratulations on being an editor's pick...all the tuna sandwich recipes, whatever they were called, sound delicious. I don't have a clue how they chose just one!