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Tuna Muffaletta with Olive Salad

Tuna Muffaletta with Olive Salad

Lemon and briny olives make this tuna sandwich something to sing about – like they do in New Orleans – where the Muffaletta originates.

Tuna Muffaletta with Olive Salad

{Disclosure: As co-owners of The Recipe ReDux, we were compensated to manage this recipe contest but are not eligible to win associated prizes. Thoughts and opinions are my own.}

Have you ever sat on your sandwich?

…No, I mean intentionally sat on your sandwich?

Author Amanda Hesser (in Cooking for Mr. Latte) tells the story of sitting on her family’s large crusty-loaf sandwich all the way to the beach when she was a child. That way, all the yummy flavors in the vinaigrette dressing, get pressed into the sandwich bread. It’s a tale I like to tell my kids, “One of these days, I’m going to let you sit on our sandwich on the way to the picnic.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the time. Our picnic spot was too far away – and I haven’t quite figured out how to maneuver a large sandwich beneath a child and still get their car seat snapped properly.

So instead, I packed the heavy coleslaw in the cooler on top of the large Muffaletta sandwich. And a doll sat on the whole thing.

Tuna Muffaletta Olive Salad

It worked: The flavors of the garlic, herb Olive Salad were absorbed by the crusty loaf – making the bread soft and a bit squishy – just the way my kids like it. And (news flash!) they also ate the tuna. This is wonderful news because:

Kids – and the rest of us – need at least 2 to 3 servings of fish and seafood weekly. In fact, according to some researchers at Harvard School of Public Health, “Seafood is likely the single most important food one can consume for good health.”

Unfortunately, two of my four kids are not great fish eaters. So telling a fun story – like the sandwich-sitting tale – often helps kids get a bit more excited about foods they don’t ‘think’ they enjoy.

The ULTIMATE tuna sandwich: Tuna Maffaletta with Olive Salad

Which is why I’m especially happy Bumblebee Tunais sponsoring this week’s ‘The Benefits of Seafood’ recipe contest for The Recipe ReDux. While most of us who have been pregnant in the last few years realize the amazing brain-boosting benefits of tuna and seafood for pregnant and breastfeeding women, I’m not sure we always remember to get at least 2 servings of fish into our kids’ weekly meal rotation.

However, since most of us moms can be pretty good at making up fishy tales, I’m sure you can think of a fun reason your child ‘is allowed’ to sit on their tuna sandwich! (Safely inside a plastic bag – of course – and not necessarily en-route to a picnic.)

The ULTIMATE tuna sandwich: Tuna Muffaletta with Olive Salad via @tspcurry #AD #RecipeReDux Click To Tweet Print
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Tuna Muffaletta with Olive Salad

Tuna Muffaletta with Olive Salad

  • Author: Serena Ball
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Lemon and briny olives make this tuna sandwich something to sing about….just like they sing in New Orleans – where the Muffaletta originates.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (This easy recipe for Homemade Red Pepper changed my life!)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cans Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore in Water, drained and flaked
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cauliflower
  • 1 (10-ounce) loaf whole grain crusty bread


  1. In a medium bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, garlic, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper; whisk to combine dressing. Remove 1 tablespoon of dressing; set aside.
  2. To the dressing bowl, add tuna, tomato, bell pepper, olives and cauliflower; toss to coat. Let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Cut bread in half horizontally; remove insides of bread, leaving a 1 1/2-inch-thick shell. Spoon tuna mixture over bottom half. Brush reserved dressing (and any remaining tuna mixture juices) over cut side of top half of bread. Place top half of bread on top of sandwich. Wrap sandwich tightly in foil or plastic wrap; press (or have a child sit on!) Unwrap; cut into pieces using a serrated knife.

How do you make a tuna sandwich? Ever told any fishy tales to get your kids to eat something?

For more yummy ways to get your 2-3 servings of tuna per week, check out these ReDux creations:

Kalee @ The Crowded Table

Tuesday 7th of July 2015

What a creative way to use tuna. I love all the olives and veggies that are packed into this sandwich! It looks perfect for a picnic. :)

Serena Ball

Saturday 11th of July 2015

The fun part is packing in all the veggies...the yummy part is when they all spill out and you eat them by hand. Because it's a picnic, afterall!

Jessica @ Nutritioulicious

Tuesday 7th of July 2015

I love a good tuna sandwich and this one looks great with all those veggies packed in. The cauliflower took me by surprise - would love to see if my kids eat it or pick it out!

Serena Ball

Saturday 11th of July 2015

The cauliflower came from my days in Chicago. The classic Giardiniera is a pickled salad with green olives, carrots and cauliflower and celery. It's spicy and so yummy! Perfect with tuna. (But Windy City residents put it on roast beef - and lots of other sandwiches!)

dr barb, nutrition budgeteer

Tuesday 7th of July 2015

Your story is so cute and does help finicky eaters try something different. I love mufaletta sandwiches. I only discovered them a few years back.

Serena Ball

Saturday 11th of July 2015

Yup! Sandwiches make my kids veggie eaters! Thanks Barb.

Lauren @ Eating with a Purpose

Monday 6th of July 2015

Love that you created a classic New Orleans dish- I adore muffalettas as olives are my fav! I was thinking of pairing tuna with olives in a puttanesca sauce, but think a sandwich is a way better idea :)


Monday 6th of July 2015

Terrific recipe and I love your story! Pinned!

Serena Ball

Monday 6th of July 2015

Thanks Diane! Betting you all get on lots of beach picnics on the coast! (: #jealous

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