Tuna Pita Sandwiches with Cucumber

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Make brown-bagging it tasty and economical with these delicious Tuna Pita Sandwiches with Cucumber. Canned tuna never tasted so good.

Tuna Pita Sandwiches with Cucumber | Good Cheap Eats

When we were in England, one of our go-to “fast food” restaurants was a chain called Pret a Manger. It’s not really fast food, but it’s quick and easy, ready when you walk in the door — and best of all, it’s fresh food, like salads, sandwiches, soups, things you and I both know are great make-aheads. Everyone in our family found their favorites; I vacillated between the Posh Cheddar and Pickle and the Ham and Greve Cheese.

One of my husband’s regular choices was the Tuna and Cucumber served on baguette. He loved that combination and made me promise to share a version of it here.

I grew up packing tuna salad sandwiches to school. Most kids probably did. Only my lunches were considered weird because my mom spooned the tuna salad into pita breads and stuffed it full of alfalfa sprouts. Weird or not, I didn’t care. Those sandwiches were some of my favorites!

So, I’ve taken Bryan’s Pret sandwich and morphed it with the one good old mom used to make. Reason: a lot of the baguette you buy here in the States is so dense that salad fillings ooze out of a sandwich before your teeth can break through the outer crust. You know what I mean? Turkey and roast beef and even pan bagnat fillings tend to sit tight, but egg and tuna salads tend to have a mind of their own.

IMO, tuna salad should stay in the sandwich until it gets in your belly. So, pita bread it is! Feel free to try the baguette if you like or regular sandwich bread.

Tuna Pita Sandwiches with Cucumber | Good Cheap Eats

How to make this good and cheap:

Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:

  • Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. Canned tuna and pita breads are your big ticket items here. Stock up when you see a good sale.
  • Shop at Costco. When I did my big grocery store showdown, I learned that Costco has the best price for a lot of the things I buy, plus they sell all the ingredients needed for this recipe. I am partial to their Kirkland Albacore tuna because it doesn’t contain soy as many commercial brands do.
  • Make your own mayo. Homemade mayo is so yummy and so easy to make!

How I make this recipe easy:

This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.

Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:

Tuna Pita Sandwiches with Cucumber | Good Cheap Eats

Tips for packing Tuna Salad

I love packing lunch in advance. It takes so much pressure off. Last year I started making a week of lunches for my husband and I on Sunday nights. The kids and I have been talking about the idea of our doing that for everyone’s lunches this year. We’ll have our very own Pret!

If you’re going to pack tuna pita sandwiches for the road, then there are a couple things in mind. It will make your bread soggy. Sometimes this isn’t a bad thing, such as in the case of the aforementioned baguette or when you use hearty sourdough or whole grain bread or make the sandwich on lightly toasted bread. However, in the case of Tuna Pita Sandwiches, the pita bread will soften rather quickly.

To prevent soggy Tuna Pita Sandwiches, do one of the two following things:

  1. Pack the tuna salad and cucumbers separately from the pita bread and assemble right before eating.
  2. Line the pita pocket with lettuce to act as a barrier between the salad and the bread. This is the role that my mom’s alfalfa sprouts played in my childhood sandwiches.
  3. Add a breath mint to your lunch. Just saying.

Tuna Pita Sandwiches with Cucumber | Good Cheap Eats

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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  1. Alice E says:

    I have been thinking about this post. I haven’t fixed pita sandwiches in ages or used sprouts, but they both sound good. One of the things I appreciate most is the way you encourage us to make changes. I’m not that fond of tuna or cucumbers, but I’m thinking salmon salad and sprouts might appear one of these days, probably after I get out the sprouter and grow some sprouts. I used to fix scrambled eggs in pita for the kids years ago, but never tried anything like tuna salad. I’m thinking egg salad would be good also, maybe lined with spinach leaves.

    • I’m so glad to hear that this was a great brainstorming post for you, Alice. Yes, salmon salad would be really tasty. And now I want to try breakfast pitas! Brilliant!

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