Recipes / Tuna or Sardine Salad with Lemon and Olive Oil

Tuna or Sardine Salad with Lemon and Olive Oil

By Mark Bittman

Published August 28, 2020

My alternative to the traditional tuna sandwich has loads of bright flavor from lemon zest and capers. I like using sardines to switch it up; both fishes work well. If you use water-packed tuna, drain well and add another tablespoon or 2 olive oil. Try it with pitas.

Photo: Kate Bittman
Photo: Kate Bittman
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Make The Recipe!

Tuna or Sardine Salad with Lemon and Olive Oil

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Makes 4 sandwiches 1x

Time 10 minutes

Units Scale


  • 2 5- to 6-ounce cans tuna or sardines (preferably packed in olive oil), drained
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 small shallot or 3 scallions, minced
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 leaves romaine lettuce, washed and dried
  • 8 slices any bread


  1. Mix the tuna (or sardines) with the lemon zest and juice, shallots, capers, parsley, and olive oil and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. (You can make the salad up to several hours ahead and refrigerate in an airtight container; or store leftovers the same way for up to a couple days.)
  2. Toast the bread if you’d like. Make sandwiches with the tuna mixture, lettuce, and bread. Serve immediately.

— Recipe from How to Cook Everything: Completely Revised 20th Anniversary Edition