Tuna Fish-Apple Sandwiches – Mid-Century Recipe Guest Test Sunday

Posted on Mar 2 2014 - 8:00am by Erica

The mid-century kitchen wasn’t all about jello and tomato soup.


Sometimes, they just made sandwiches.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Tuna Fish-Apple Sandwiches – Mid-Century Recipe Guest Test Sunday
  • 1 7-oz. can tuna fish
  • ½ cup red skinned apple, diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Enough mayonnaise to bind
  • Buttered cracked wheat bread
  1. Place 1 7-oz. can tuna fish in strainer and rinse with hot water.
  2. Flake tuna fish and add ½ cup red skinned apple, not pared but cored and diced.
  3. Season with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and blend with just enough mayonnaise to bind.
  4. Spread on butter cracked wheat bread. Makes 12 sandwiches.


It isn’t entirely clear who we should credit (blame?) for this recipe — Linda Douglas who originally submitted it, or The American Home Kitchen who tested and published it.


Did you know tuna fish used to always be packed in oil? That’s the only reason you’d need to rinse your tuna — if (like most shoppers) you buy tuna packed in water, then all you need to do is drain it.


Add apple and an indeterminate amount of mayonnaise. (A couple tablespoons seemed about right.)


When mixed, it looked… exactly like you’d expect tuna salad to look, but with shiny red apple skin showing. A little disconcerting.


“It’s a sandwich.”




“Hmmm. Not too bad.”

Verdict: Tasty twist on tuna.

Tasting notes:

We each grew up having pickle relish in tuna salad, not fruit, but this works. A bit of salt and pepper and a reasonable amount of mayo is necessary give the tuna some flavor (it was bland otherwise), but apple is an interesting add-in that gives the sandwich both sweetness and texture.

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Erica was inspired to learn to cook by a complete lack of home economics classes in high school, and a love of old books. When using antique cookbooks to teach herself some skills, she realized a lot of the recipes were pretty strange by modern standards. All that fun testing just begged to be shared with the world. Regular recipe testing can be found here on Mid-Century Menu, on Erica's Retro Recipe Attempts blog, and also I Ate The 80's.

6 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Lassie March 2, 2014 at 9:53 am - Reply

    😀 These are the tuna sandwiches John Travolta and Debra Winger ate in “Urban Cowboy”, only there were also some chopped pecans added.

  2. Aerin March 2, 2014 at 10:55 am - Reply

    This is how my mom always made tuna salad sandwiches, with chopped apple (in the 70’s). I may have to have this for lunch.

    Tuna in olive oil is much, much better than water-packed tuna. You may have to check the “ethnic” aisle at the grocery store to find it. It usually come in packs of 3 small cans. Drain it, but don’t rinse, and toss with pasta, or add to salad, or just eat with crackers – so much more flavour than water-packed tuna.

  3. yvette March 2, 2014 at 11:10 am - Reply

    My fav lunch spot does a tuna and cranberry sandwich thats so good!!!!

  4. mslewis March 2, 2014 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    I think I would rather peel the apples but other than that, this sounds pretty good.

  5. Christian March 3, 2014 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    Here in the UK you can still get tuna in oil – it’s just as common as water (which is available both in salt- and fresh-). It’s meant to be better but I can’t really tell the difference. You don’t really need to rinse the oil off though, it’s packed so tightly you just drain it a little and you’re good.

  6. Jenny March 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    My BF makes tuna salad a lot, because I love it, and he usually puts green apples in it, or alternately cranberries and pecans or almonds. Soooooo good. Never tried it with tuna in oil, though.

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