Southern Tuna Salad Sandwich

Southern Tuna Salad Sandwich | Magnolia DaysGrowls from my tummy alerted it was lunchtime. I opened the refrigerator door to find empty shelves and an array of condiments. Nary a piece of lunch meat was to be found. A few lettuce leaves were alone in the produce bin. Procrastination of grocery shopping had finally caught up with me. A few steps to the pantry lead to finding a can of tuna and the remaining slices of bread. Luckily there was one tomato on the counter. My mind went into gear putting available ingredients together. The result was a Southern Tuna Salad Sandwich and one of the best lunches I’ve had in a while.

Sandwiches are my number one lunch food. It’s rare a day goes by that I don’t have a sandwich of some sort. It is a routine established long ago in my youth. The endless combinations of bread, meat, veggies, condiments are something I am happy to tackle on an on-going basis. Lately the condiment of choice is chow chow made by my parents. I don’t know what I’ll do once the supply is gone other than pick up canning where my parents left off.

Southern Tuna Salad Sandwich | Magnolia DaysSouthern Tuna Salad Sandwich only has a few ingredients. I highly recommend using a good canned tuna such as white albacore. I splurge on a premium brand and one packed with water without salt. One day I plan to make tuna salad from fresh tuna, perhaps grilled for an extra smoky flavor. For now, canned will do. The chow chow is what gives this sandwich the Southern flare. It’s a relish with flavors far beyond regular pickle relish. With it nothing much else is needed except a little mayo and a touch of mustard to hold it together.

Have you found yourself being creative due to an empty fridge? Or do you head out to the store or a restaurant when your stock gets low? I won’t let a bare supply get in my way. You never know what other tasty recipes can come from a little ingenuity.

Southern Tuna Salad Sandwich
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yield: Makes 2 servings
  • 5 to 6 ounce can tuna in water (white albacore recommended)
  • 1 tablespoon chow chow relish
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 slices sandwich bread
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato slices
  1. Drain the water from the tuna and place tuna in a small bowl. Fluff tuna with fork if tightly packed.
  2. Add the chow chow relish, mustard, mayonnaise and stir to combine.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide into two equal portions.
  4. Place lettuce and tomato on 2 bread slices. Top with tuna mixture. Place remaining bread slices on top. Serve immediately.

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  1. says

    We are a family of sandwich eaters, Renee. My hubby, daughter, and I are the tuna eaters…and this sammich is making my tummy rumble right now. I love the use of chow-chow in it. When you do try poaching your own tuna – you will not believe just how amazing it is!

  2. Jo-el says

    Interesting twist with the mustard. I will have to try that. I usually add diced cucumber or celery and grated onion. I then sometimes sprinkle Old Bay seasoning when putting the sandwich together.

  3. says

    Saw your delectable Southern Tuna Salad Sandwich courtesy of a share by Liz Berg in Michael Richardson’s “Culinary Lens Newspaper” just now. (Nothin’ like a roundabout way to find good eats!) I hear ya on the grocery shopping procrastination though… if I can throw something together with what I have, it’s one less trip to town. :) Thanks for following your heart… and pantry. Off to check your recipe for chow chow!

  4. says

    Renee, we love tuna salads and the title of this post made me really curious. Now what about it can be Southern, I wondered?! Then I skimmed the ingredients and it all made sense though I am intrigued I have no cue what’s chow chow relish. Going back and reading the post. :)

  5. says

    Just found your blog through Twitter. That’s a great looking/sounding sandwich. I’m a new chow-chow lover. Found it a couple years ago at our Farmer’s Market. Now that vendor isn’t there anymore and I’m going to have to make my own. Love that stuff and love that you added it to tuna salad. Look forward to more recipes.

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