Tuna Salad Bites

Friday, June 22, 2012


A short time ago we bought some sandwiches for lunch, and I got one with tuna salad. When my husband saw it, he asked, "why did you order tuna salad?" I explained to him that a good tuna salad sandwich can be quite tasty, if made properly and if fresh. It happened that this particular deli made the salad on the spot and together with freshly baked bread and crisp iceberg lettuce made a refreshing combination on a hot day. He proceeded to explain that when he was small, his father would make him a tuna salad sandwich for lunch with nothing but mayonnaise and salt and pepper, and at the time he thought it was just too bland (I apologize in advance to any family members reading this that might be displeased with this statement, even though it isn't mine. As I learned in my line of work, every story has plural versions).

I, on the other hand, shared memories of sloppy, fishy school lunches served on stale kaiser rolls. And how too often delis have a tub of tuna salad behind the glass display with a somewhat winded look (at times you can see where they scooped out the stuff to serve some unfortunate soul and there is a difference between the bottom, which still looks fairly moist, and the top, which has crusted over and turned brown). Too often the salad sits next to its old friend, the egg salad, in an unfortunately similar condition. So instead, here is a recipe for tuna salad that is certain to please.


The mayonnaise is replaced with sour cream for lower fat content. Scallions add a requisite bit of kick without the misfortune of a reminder to yourself and others that you had an old curmudgeon of an onion for lunch. Bell pepper adds a needed crunch to an otherwise soft texture, and a more flavorful alternative to celery. Finally, the salad is complemented by a small amount of freshly squeezed lemon juice. You can serve it as an appetizer on quartered bread slices, or use the same ingredients and amounts to make two tuna salad sandwiches.


Tuna Salad Bites
(Makes about 16 appetizers or 2 sandwiches)

You will need
4 bread slices, toasted
10 oz (290 g) canned tuna, drained
1/2 medium bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped scallion
1 tbsp chopped parsley
3 tbsp sour cream
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
green sprouts, for garnish (optional)

In a mixing bowl, combine tuna, bell pepper, scallion, parsley, sour cream and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. For appetizers, remove the crust from the bread slices, and cut them into quarters; right before serving place a small amount of the tuna salad on each piece and top with a few sprouts. Or use the salad and green sprouts as toppings for two sandwiches.


  1. Open-faced sandwiches like this are one of my favorite lunches! I like them best on Scandinavian cracker breads. And of course tuna salad can be delicious--especially with a selection of your favorite vegetables chopped finely and added to it. :)

  2. Shall make this tomorrow.... thanks!!!!!!

  3. Mmmmm...OM NOM NOM NOM!

    Heh heh.

    As always, a wonderful recipe and beautifully written! :-)

  4. I crave tuna from time to time but always hate the fact that with tuna typically comes mayo. I'm a big fan of subbing light sour cream but just never thought to do it with tuna. Must try.

  5. Hah - I am all-too familiar with those low-quality, sitting-out-too-long deli tuna salads. I LOVE a good fresh one, though! I make mine all the time with a bit of greek yogurt, or an avocado, to replace the mayo. I like the idea of using bell pepper instead of celery, though - tuna salad definitely needs a crunch!

  6. I have always loved tuna sandwiches - we're lucky enough to live near the ocean so most seafood restaurants we go to make their own salad from fresh tuna. But, I've never tried sour cream in tuna salad - it sounds like an inspired choice to me!

  7. I used to not be a fan of tuna, but the first time I had it was in a sandwich and I LOVED it. Which means I'll be making this for lunch this week. ;)

  8. These look so good! I have never had a really good tuna fish sandwich or tuna salad so I have always been hesitant to try it. This recipe looks good though!



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