What’s In Your Tuna Sandwich?

This week’s poll is actually the slight formalization of an ongoing poll I’ve been conducting sporadically for the past eight years: what do you put in your tuna sandwich (besides tuna, of course)? This poll started my Junior year of college when Aurora and I needed a quick meal and decided to make tuna salad. I reached for the green olives; she reached for the relish; one of her roommates said we were both wrong: tuna salad ought to have apples and walnuts in it. Since then, I’ve occasionally asked people who happen to be around when the subject of tuna sandwiches rarely comes up, what do you put in your tuna sandwich? and I’ve gotten a surprisingly wide range of responses. Today, for the first time, I’m putting the question in print.

So, please register your preference by leaving a comment to this post. I’ll tabulate the results, analyze them for patterns, and report back in one week with my findings.

P.S. I’m not talking about any rare attempts to fancify from your norm, but your run of the mill, every day tuna sandwich.

Keep reading for the results from last week’s poll.

40 Responses to “What’s In Your Tuna Sandwich?”

  1. Elayne Riggs Says:

    Onions and mayo, plus ground pepper, garlic and paprika, is the quickie. If I have ‘em, I add avocado, hard-boiled eggs (instead of the mayo), cilantro and lime juice, as well as a splash of hot sauce.

  2. Mean Gene Says:

    I thought I was the only person who put green olives in their tuna salad. I’ve told people this in the past and the typical reaction is “Ewwwww!”. Savages.

  3. Cortney Says:

    Mayo, diced celery, onions, and a little salt. I’m a fan of the tuna melt and tomato slices on top of the sandwich.

  4. Kitarra Says:

    Pickles, BBQ sauce and potato chips!

  5. Aurora Says:

    For a quick, delicious, and nutritious meal, it’s gotta be tuna, mayonnaise, and lots of sweet relish.

  6. cb Says:

    * Miracle Whip (the only time I advocate its use over mayo)
    * Dijon mustard
    * Onions
    * Sweet relish

    If I’m going to be going with a tuna melt, I like to use either Edam or Jarlsberg and add some crumbled bacon.

  7. JIll Says:

    mayonnaise, dill pickles or relish, tomoatoes, onions

  8. Meg Says:

    Tuna, cider vinegar, minced onion. Maybe, if the tuna is packed in water (horrors!), I’ll drain it and mix in a little extra virgin olive oil. But I usually buy the olive-oil packed stuff anyway …

  9. Chellie Says:

    Mayo, mustard, onion, sweet relish, black pepper & tarragon.

    Apples and walnuts go in CHICKEN salad, not tuna salad!

  10. Joanna Says:

    Green onions (scallions), waterchestnuts and lemon (or lime) juice. My sister and I recently realized that what we assumed to be fairly standard was something unique to our family’s tuna sandwich-making. Oh, and a little mayo, just enough to bind it together. And NEVER a tuna melt. Cooked mayonnaise is perhaps the most vile smell and taste in the food world.

  11. cb Says:

    Oh, and I almost forgot about the smidgen of horseradish sauce!

  12. Andi Says:

    Since I’m not a big tuna fan, at a minimum it must contain Aurora’s ingredients. But if I’ve got them on hand, I also add diced celery, onion and in the past 5 years, hard-boiled egg (after I saw a co-worker do it). Occasionally, I’ll add mustard. I’ve also heard of adding diced radish. I might start eating more tuna seeing as this post has a few interesting suggestions that might be worth trying!

  13. Sean Says:

    I’ve never been a big mayo eater. I do finely minced onion or shallot, also finely minced celery or fennel; the binder is dijon mustard, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Maybe a dollop of sweet relish. Or, if I’m really lazy, Italian dressing from a jar.

  14. justin Says:

    for an on-the-go sandwich, it’s a can of water packed tuna, spoonful of mayo, spoonful of creole mustard, couple drips of hot sauce, ground pepper…and potato chips (-in- the sandwich, not next to) if i have any on hand.

    if i were to actually prepare tuna salad, with a sandwich option, i’d go with all that i just said (add potato chips later- soggy=unacceptable), plus hard boiled egg, celery, relish, green onion and, since everything i prepare has garlic in it, garlic. water chestnuts sound like a great idea too

  15. justin Says:

    the above should specify “a slightly larger spoonful of creole mustard”, relative to mayo. canned tuna is one of the very few foods out there with which i prefer mayo, another notable exception being turkey sandwiches made from leftover thanksgiving turkey. only leftover. and only thanksgiving. because i said so.

  16. derek Says:

    -Chunk Light in Water (drained)
    -Spices (Salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder)
    -(maybe a swath of mustard, yellow or brown)

    A follow up question: Chunk Light or Albacore? I’ve never been fond of the Albacore despite its far meatier existence.

  17. Merridew Says:

    Diced Gherkins (or relish in a pinch)
    Cheddar Cheese (small chunks)
    Diced Apple

  18. Betty Says:

    diced onion, celery, green olives, mayo, s&p
    (my husband likes to add some Penzey’s sandwich sprinkle)

  19. Betty Says:

    Me again. My upscale tuna sandwich: tuna, cannelini beans, minced garlic, diced plum tomato, olive oil, lemon, capers and parsley on slices of toasted crusty bread.

  20. Zil Says:

    Typically it’s just a smidge of mayo, salt & pepper because I’m hella lazy. If I have 5 extra minutes to spare, I’ll put in a bit of relish and minced onions.

  21. Jan Says:

    Mayo, grated onion. kosher salt, pepper, and LOTS OF DILL!

  22. Bjorn Says:

    Mustard, horseradish, and onions. Mmmmmm….

  23. Bjorn Says:

    The above should be creole mustard, not the worthless yellow hot dog mustard

  24. SamChevre Says:

    Well, I make 2 kinds of tuna salad sandwich.

    One I think of as “normal”; tuna, lots of mayo, pickle relish.

    The other is “Mama’s”; tuna, chopped cabbage, curry powder, mayo, and raisins

  25. Paul Says:

    I like to mix in a good glug of a simple vinaigrette (dijon, red wine vinegar, olive oil) with my tuna and top it with a few fresh lettuce leaves. Yum!

  26. Rebecca Says:

    Just surfed by randomly…. My tuna sandwiches are: Brine packed tuna, mixed with mayonnaise, with cucumber mixed in too.

  27. Boo Says:

    Capers, Chives (or green onions), salt & pepper, mayo, dijon mustard. Sometimes tomatos.
    Is tuna packed in oil really superior? I’ve never tried it.

  28. MIL Says:

    Portugese tuna in olive oil on bread…..heavenly!!

  29. jwsharrard Says:

    My standard is mayonnaise, lemon or lime juice, green olives, pepper, and perhaps a touch of salt depending on how salty the olives are. I prefer the savory with my tuna as opposed the sweet that comes with using sweet relish. I really like the idea of apples and bacon, though; and though no one actually marked that they use radish, I expect that it’s good and I think I’m going to try it.

  30. diddy Says:

    lol I’m so wack. I’m a poor ass college student. In my sandwiches I use Tuna in oil drained some(because tuna in water is so nasty), miracle whip (mayonnaise is gross), vinegar, seasoning salt, and old bay. Yup. Oh, and on toasted wheat bread. And if I’m lucky and I have some cheese, then I make a tuna melt :D

  31. Jen Says:

    Never ate tuna salad growing up, but in my days as a poor student (cuz then you have to eat tuna), I developed my own West coast fusion tuna sandwich (and this really is my standard):

    tuna (water packed)
    plain yogurt (can stand mayo)
    lime juice
    soy sauce
    sesame oil
    cracked black pepper

    I eat it on some kind of toasted wholegrain bread with cukes, tomatoes, and sprouts. Yum!

  32. Jessica Says:

    My boyfriend and I have had many disputes about this very subject. The tuna sandwich I grew up eating was StarKist brand tuna with real mayonase and sweet pickle relish this is placed on a piece of cracked wheat bread that’s been mayonaised on the pan side and grilled with a piece of chedder or provilone cheese and another piece of mayonase covered bread, my mouth watters as I write this. This sandwich may be dipped in ketchup and is often quite messey since it is best with a heaping glob of tuna salad in it. My boyfriend argues that a tuna salad should contain mayonaise, pickle relish, celery, green onions and chili powder, this should be on wheat bread and served cold with a good beer. Who is right, the gods may not even know.

  33. Killadelph Says:

    Mayo,mustard,spices with a dash of lemon or lime juice. Simple yet orgasmic.

  34. karin Says:

    I use tuna in oil, drained but not totally squished dry and I mix fish and chip/Malt vinegar into it in a bowl, add a dash of pepper.
    Then when i put the tuna on the bread i top it all over with around 10 slices of cold cucumber, which i then salt. It tastes like heaven and reminds me of when i was a child.

  35. john Says:

    Tuna canned only in water, preferably albacore. The can must be placed in the fridge overnight. Mayo, sweet relish, sweet peas, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, regular or dijon mustard and cilantro. This concoction is usually served on a large slice of potato bread, a tostada shell or just some saltines.

  36. jaymes Says:

    mayo and pickles. then eat it out of a bowl.

  37. Shaina Says:

    I just finished my tuna sandwich and it was delicious!!!

    1 can of tuna…(I’m pretty sure it has water and not oil)
    1 tbsp Mayo…(the best foods with the yellow top)
    some pepper
    a couple squirts of Spicy Brown Mustard
    a couple drops of Tapatio hot sauce
    some diced onion and pickle
    mix it together

    this mix is really good!

    when i go to subway and more ingredients are available i get…
    tuna on wheat
    american cheese
    and sometimes i get peperocinis


  38. Tamara Says:

    Tuna in water, drained. Diced celery, red onion, tomato. Minced garlic. Paprika. Pepper. Dijonnaise. On whole wheat bread, whole wheat bagel, whole wheat wrap, or whole wheat pita! Simply delicious!

  39. Jason Says:

    I try to keep it simple. Usually I just add the tuna and drench the sandwich in louisiana hot sauce.

  40. Brad Says:

    Tuna, Miracle Whip, diced homemade pickles, diced green onions, & black pepper.

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