Joe & the Juice Tunacado Sandwich Recipe - Tonnato-cado (2024)

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Joe & the Juice Tunacado Sandwich Recipe - Tonnato-cado (1)

The Joe & the Juice Tunacado Sandwich recipe is all the rage right now, and that’s why I’d like to introduce my version of the tunacado sandwich – the Tonnato-cado. Tonnato is an Italian sauce that is not commonly used (but really, it should be!), and it contains everything I love – anchovies, lemon juice, capers, and either egg yolks (if you’re really going for it) or mayo. I’ve of course taken some liberties in combining the humble tuna salad and the equally amazing tonnato, but in this sandwich I felt like the name “Tonnatocado” sounds right.

This sandwich is a recreation of Joe & the Juice’s tunacado, but it also can hold its own as a stand-out sandwich. Make it for your lunches throughout the week, or just as your perfect staple recipe to use when the tunacado craving strikes.

Joe & the Juice Tunacado Sandwich Recipe - Tonnato-cado (2)

Table of contents

  • What is tonnato?
  • Ingredients for this tonnato-cado recipe
  • Why aren’t we using pesto in this tunacado sandwich recipe?
  • How to make the basil vinaigrette for this recipe
  • How to make the tuna “tonnato” portion of this tunacado
  • How to assemble this tunacado sandwich recipe
  • FAQ
  • Looking for similar recipes?
  • What is the bread for this recipe?
Joe & the Juice Tunacado Sandwich Recipe - Tonnato-cado (3)

What is tonnato?

Tonnato is an Italian condiment often made with tuna, anchovies, lemon juice, olive oil, and either egg yolks and olive oil (to emulsify) or mayonnaise, if you are looking for a short cut! In a traditional tonnato recipe, the ratio of mayo and lemon juice is high, creating a really smooth, rich sauce.

In this tunacado sandwich recipe, I wanted all the brininess of tonnato, but in a thicker consistency that could be spread on bread, tuna-salad-style. But I also wanted a lighter base than mayo, so I opted to throw some cashew cream in there. Which personally, I think tastes even better. There are a few liberties taken with this tonnato spread, but the results are beyond worth it.

Ingredients for this tonnato-cado recipe

Everything you need for this recipe is below, it looks like a lot, but really everything comes together in minutes!

  • 1/2servingwhole wheat focaccia recipe, cut into two long pieces
  • 1/4cupraw cashews
  • 1/2cuppacked fresh basil leaves
  • 3tbspolive oil
  • 3tbspwhite wine vinegar
  • 1/4cupice water
  • 1/2tspDiamond Crystal kosher salt,use half this amount if using Morton’s
  • 15 oz. cantuna packed in oil
  • 6anchovyfillets
  • 2sprigsfresh dill
  • 2clovesgarlic
  • 1/4tspred pepper flakes
  • 1small lemon,for juicing
  • 1/2tspDiamond Crystal kosher salt, use half this amount if using Morton’s
  • 1/2largeavocadosliced thinly
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Why aren’t we using pesto in this tunacado sandwich recipe?

This sandwich is light, but there still is a lot going on. I opted to replace cheese-based pesto with a pesto vinaigrette that is 1) lower on ingredients 2) just as high in flavor and 3) very similar in consistency to the Joe & the Juice tunacado sandwich.

I’m no expert on Joe & the Juice’s secrets, but it felt like in this tunacado, a basil vinaigrette was the way to go!

Joe & the Juice Tunacado Sandwich Recipe - Tonnato-cado (5)

How to make the basil vinaigrette for this recipe

I already talked about how simple and easy the basil vinaigrette is, so here’s where I prove it.

To make this vinaigrette there’s no blanching, no mortar-and-pestle, no chopping. Just combine the basil, vinegar, olive oil and salt in a blender and add in 1/4 cup of ice water. Make sure the ice water is ice cold.

Blend to emulsify, and you have a beautiful basil for the tunacado sandwich recipe!

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How to make the tuna “tonnato” portion of this tunacado

This one is also simple, you just need a food processor to create the “whipped” texture of their tuna cream.

First make sure you’ve soaked some cashews in boiling water. Drain them and add to a blender with a pinch of salt and 1/4 cup of cool water and blend into a cashew cream.

Then just add the tuna (drain any excess oil from the can), the anchovies, the dill, garlic, red pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp of salt. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon. Pour in the cashew cream and pulse until the tuna is smooth and almost “whipped.”

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How to assemble this tunacado sandwich recipe

Now that all the parts of the recipe are prepped, here is how to bring it all together!

  • Set the oven to broil on high. Put the bread slices cut side up on a baking sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes or until crisp on the interior.
  • Slather both sides of the bread with the basil oil, then add sliced avocados on one side, and half of the tuna mixture on the other. Optional (and if they are in season!) add 2 slices of tomatoes to the avocado.
  • To get extra crispness, put a skillet on medium heat and “grill” the sandwich for 3 minutes on each side. This is optional, but so so good.
  • Serve warm!
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FAQ

Can I make this tunacado sandwich for meal prep?

Absolutely! This sandwich is great to make, store separately and assemble throughout the week.

How should I store this tunacado sandwich?

I recommend keeping the basil vinaigrette in a small jar on container in the fridge. Do the same with the tuna “salad.” Keep your avocados either ripe and on the counter or ripe and in the fridge. And you can store the bread in the pantry or the fridge, just make sure not to slice it until you need it! All of these will keep very well in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can I freeze this tuna salad?

Just for your defrosting sanity, don’t try to freeze the tunacado

Looking for similar recipes?

Here are a few from the site, that I LOVE, and will give you equal tuna-cado satisfaction!

Baked Salmon Salad with Avocado

My current go-to bagel order is baked salmon salad on an everything bagel – but sometimes, just sometimes, I want to make a slightly healthier, dairy-free and egg-free version at home. This is my version of baked salmon salad with avocado, and let me tell you it SLAPS. Like, just like the real thing.

Check out this recipe

Joe & the Juice Tunacado Sandwich Recipe - Tonnato-cado (9)

Sandwich Boy Hot Sauce

Deep down, we all are sandwich boys. AKA the boys who need huge sandwiches with even better sauces. And this, is that sauce. It's a roasted red pepper habanero hot sauce that will have you feeling the heat, but not too much of it.

Check out this recipe

Joe & the Juice Tunacado Sandwich Recipe - Tonnato-cado (10)

Avocado & Skhug Breakfast Sandwich

Skhug is one of my favorite condiments, and it takes the idea of "green eggs and ham" to a whole new level. This healthy vegetarian breakfast sandwich is bright green and filled with flavor. Perfect for any brunch craving.

Check out this recipe

Joe & the Juice Tunacado Sandwich Recipe - Tonnato-cado (11)

Joe & the Juice Tunacado Sandwich Recipe - Tonnato-cado (12)

What is the bread for this recipe?

The most important part of the tunacado is the crispy bread. I like to use my Whole Wheat Foccacia recipe for this, which you can find linked here:

Whole Wheat Focaccia

This recipe is done in less than 2.5 hours, is so rich in flavor and will quickly become your go-to focaccia recipe. It's fool-proof!

Check out this recipe

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And that’s it for this Joe & the Juice tunacado sandwich remake!

If you make it, please tag me onPinterestorInstagramso I can see! It’s my favorite thing to scroll through stories and see what you all are making.

And of course feel free to leave any questions, comments or reviews! This is the best place to reach me, and I’d love to hear from you.

Joe & the Juice Tunacado Sandwich Recipe - Tonnato-cado (14)

Tonnato-cado Sandwich – Joe & the Juice Tunacado Sandwich Recipe

5 from 1 vote

If you have seen the viral Tunacado sandwich, consider this my take. Slightly elevating tuna salad to a cashew-cream based tonnato, this sandwich is salty and filling with the perfect crispy bread to accompany it. It's filling, wholesome, and just so so good.

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time:15 minutes mins

Cook Time:12 minutes mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Keyword: sandwich, tonnato, tuna, tuna salad

Servings: 2 servings

Equipment

  • 1 food processor

  • 1 small blender

  • 1 Baking sheet

  • 1 Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1/2 serving whole wheat focaccia, recipe linked here
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt use half this amount if using Morton's
  • 1 5 oz. can tuna packed in oil
  • 6 anchovy fillets
  • 2 sprigs fresh dill
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 small lemon for juicing
  • 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt use half this amount if using Morton's
  • 1/2 large avocado sliced thinly

Optional ingredients

  • 4 tomato slices see notes

Instructions

  • First, soak the cashews in boiling hot water. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

  • Cut the pieces of focaccia in half through the center, creating a "top" and "bottom" for your sandwich. Set aside.

  • In a small blender, add the basil, vinegar, olive oil, 1/2 tsp of salt and ice water. Blend until smooth and store in the fridge until ready to use.

  • Rinse out the same small blender. Drain the cashews and add them in. Add another 1/4 cup of cool water and a pinch of salt and blend until smooth. This is your cashew cream.

  • In a food processor, add the tuna (drain any excess oil from the can), the anchovies, the dill, garlic, red pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp of salt. Squeeze in the juice from the lemon. Pour in the cashew cream and pulse until the tuna is smooth and almost "whipped."

  • Set the oven to broil on high. Put the bread slices cut side up on a baking sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes or until crisp on the interior.

  • Slather both sides of the bread with the basil oil, then add sliced avocados on one side, and half of the tuna mixture on the other. Optional (and if they are in season!) add 2 slices of tomatoes to the avocado.

  • To get extra crispness, put a skillet on medium heat and "grill" the sandwich for 3 minutes on each side. This is optional, but so so good.

  • Serve warm!

Notes

**Notes on the tomato – I made this recipe in the dead of winter when no tomatoes looked amazing to me. This, of course, might not be true to your location. Since this recipe is originally made with two tomato slices, I encourage you to add some if you’d like to!

Joe & the Juice Tunacado Sandwich Recipe - Tonnato-cado (2024)

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