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How to Spice Up a Tuna and Mayo Sandwich

By TBSP Susan
Created March 10, 2017
Ban the bland tuna sandwiches you remember from childhood! Use these ideas and jazz up a tuna and mayo sandwich using just spices.

How to Spice Up a Tuna and Mayo Salad with Spices

Resist the urge to make the same old boring tuna salad. You know the one I'm talking about. Tuna, mayo, maybe some pickle relish or celery. Woo, exciting. It's bland and dull. Sometimes a splash of something acidic like lemon juice will brighten up tuna salad, but it still seems to be missing something.

Life is short.  Spice it up! Here's how to spice up a tuna and mayo sandwich using just spices.

Before we get started, don't even think about getting pedantic and complaining, "But that's an herb, not a spice." Herbs and spices used to be well-delineated, but today even the American Spice Trade Association — the folks in charge of calling a spice a spice — say that any dried plant used for seasoning is a spice.

First, take a look at the basics. Some salt and pepper will start fixing that tuna right up. Dried minced onion flakes or onion powder and garlic powder will add some basic flavor as well. Add those four things, and you can stop right here with a pretty darn good tuna and mayo sandwich.

But you don't have to stop there. Think about how you feel, what cuisine you want to evoke in your humble tuna salad. It's possible to taste anything from the bright Mediterranean coast to warm, evocative India to a raucous New Orleans party with just a few shakes of a spice jar.

Tuscan Tuna

Sprinkle some dried basil, thyme, oregano and garlic powder in there. Add a squeeze of lemon juice or some lemon pepper — another spice! yay! — and you'll have tuna salad with an Italian accent.

Deep in the Spice Bazaar

Go Indian. Loads of people swear by adding curry powder to their tuna sandwiches. The complex spice mixture just has a knack for brightening up and deepening flavors. Alternatively, consider using some common Indian spices like tart, bright orange turmeric, cumin, or coriander.

Mardi Gras Tuna Salad

This is the one for those of you who like a lot of spice. Grab a jar of some Cajun seasoning and shake some into your tuna salad mix. Or, if you don't have any pre-made, add cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, and maybe even some dried thyme and basil, if you feel like it. Remember, it should feel like there's a party in your mouth and everyone's invited.

Speaking of Cajun seasoning and curry powder, pre-mixed spice combos are a great easy way to spice up tuna. Besides those, look in your cupboard and you just might find another use for that jar of Old Bay® seasoning, steak seasoning, seasoned salt, or even fines herbes. You thought you were going to cook a lot when you bought that jar of fines herbes, didn't you? Well, at least now it won't go entirely to waste. You're welcome.

Use these ideas for spicing up a tuna and mayo sandwich as a jumping-off point for your own crazy creativity. Garlic powder, oregano, paprika, and fennel? Why not? It will probably taste pretty good!