Tuna and White Bean Panini

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by Amy on February 1, 2010 · 25 comments

Dear Readers,

Remember me? Tuna fish. I used to have those really great commercials back in the 70’s, with the catchy jingle “Yum yum Bumble Bee, Bumble Bee tuna.” I was fun. I was popular. You loved me.

I miss those days.

Now it seems I just sit on the grocery shelf, day after day, waiting for you to stop, pick me up, and place me in your cart. But, alas, few of you ever do.

I’m starting to develop a complex. What is it? Am I not pretty enough? Do you have a thing against using a can opener? My odor too strong? I’ve heard that Matthew McConaughey smells, but nobody seems to stop using him.

Listen, I’ve been misunderstood. I know I contain some mercury, and so, ya, I’m not entirely safe for pregnant women, nursing women, and young children (in large amounts, anyway.) But what about the rest of you?

Don’t you know that I’m 1) high in protein, with almost no fat, 2) contain essential amino acids that the body requires for growth and maintenance of lean muscle tissue, 3) a good source of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, 4) super inexpensive – ideal for today’s depressed economy, and 5) just like cookies, perfectly fine consumed in moderation.

Okay, I realize mentioning myself in the same sentence with cookies is a stretch, but I’m desperate.

Check me out in this incredibly tasty grilled sandwich. I’m loaded with personality, combined with cannellini beans, mayo, onion, and topped with cheese, leafy greens, and tomato.

Come on. Let’s hang out. For old times sake.

Hopelessly, Wishfully, Respectfully,


Print the recipe (adapted from Heart-Healthy Living)

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel February 23, 2010 at 11:12 am

Late to the party on this one but I am allllll about finding easy way to make sandwiches for dinner, and this sounds perfect. There are times where I CRAVE tuna sandwiches. I am all over this, thank you!!


Kris February 9, 2010 at 12:37 pm

This looks great! I put white beans in everything!


daphne February 6, 2010 at 8:31 am

I love my tuna sandwiches! But have not tried it with white beans before-more protein! Bring it on!


Amy February 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Heather – ooooh, salt and vinegar chips. Nice one.

Natasha – thanks for letting me know the samples arrived. Curious to hear what you think.

Kurious – yes, a perfect go-to meal at the last minute. Thanks for stopping by!

Kim – you’ve never had white beans? Butter, navy or kidney? Holy cow! You must. You really must. Ah, my Dad… he’s a funny guy, for sure.

JT – hahaha. Dazed and Confused, yes? Good times.


jive turkey February 4, 2010 at 9:46 am

Brilliant tuna recipe. YES, YES, and YES.

Actually, since we’re talking about Matthew McConaughey here, let me rephrase that:

“Alright Alright Alright.”


Kim February 3, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Yes! I remember. And be still my heart, I need to try some white beans. I am a white beans virgin.

I see where you get your sense of humor. GREAT POEM DAD!!!


Kurious Kitteh February 3, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Aw, I love you, Tuna! You’re always there for me when I need a quick lunch!
This looks very good. I’ve never heard of putting beans in a sandwich, very cool!


Natasha - 5 Star Foodie February 3, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Sounds like an awesome sandwich and I like the tuna & white beans combo! Btw, got the samples of the sunbutter, thanks so much, I’m looking forward to trying it!


Heather Davis February 2, 2010 at 6:19 pm

We are big tuna fans! Thick white crusty bread, tuna, mayo and salt & vinegar crips – you can’t beat it. I enjoy tuna salads with white beans and have not thought of putting the combo in to a sandwich. Will def try. Thanks!


Amy February 2, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Lora – The sandwich isn’t actually that intense. Really, the beans tend to ballance the strength of the tuna. Jingles from the 70’s were catchy!

Jen – Then my work here is complete.

Dad – Ha! Great comment, Dad…in the tone of Dr. Seuss maybe. I know you hate fish, but for some reason I thought you liked tuna. Of course not! Silly me.


Lora February 2, 2010 at 10:47 am

Amy, great way for tuna to call out to all your readers. Its so true, I have passed it by on the grocery shelves even though I grew up with tuna sandwiches. Never would have ever thought of putting it with beans, but sounds like an intense sandwich. And why is it I can practically recite every word of that jingle? Man I must’ve watched a lot of commercials as a kid. Sorry Charlie!


Dad February 2, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Much as I hate to give Tuna a complex,
and disrespect your marvelous plea,
you won’t find me near Charlie the T. or Matthew McConaughey.

It’s not just your texture and
taste I can’t stand.
It’s the smell that I dismiss out of hand.

So make me a panini if you will.
I’ll appreciate that you’re the cooking leader.
But I’m allergic to fish, and prefer a bottom feeder.


Jennifer February 2, 2010 at 11:59 am

I opened the email and immediately started drooling.

Then I read the post. So cute and clever that my face hurts from laughing and smiling! I like to start the day this way. I may just have to give Tuna salad another try.


Mike February 2, 2010 at 8:50 am

We eat tuna all the time, so we’re gonna have to remember this recipe. And BTW, I don’t know about his body odor, but Matthew McConaughey’s acting sure smells.


Mom February 2, 2010 at 10:42 am

I haven’t had tuna salad in quite awhile, and this really looks good. So I’ll do my part to cheer up the canned tuna sitting on the shelves just waiting for attention! Great post, Amy.


Amy February 2, 2010 at 10:15 am

Mike – LOL. No doubt.


Amy February 2, 2010 at 8:38 am

Natashya – and you can actually use your new panini maker to get those awesome grill lines. I’m so jealous.

Melissa – I know, right? I love beans like you do.

Teresa – I haven’t, but I do use dried cranberries in chicken salad, so I bet it would be really good with tuna also. Great idea.

Dani – I LOVE tuna melts! I usually make them on half an English Muffin, with a slice of tomato, and cheddar cheese. Put them under the broiler for a minute or two, so the cheese gets crispy. Is it wrong that I want this now…at 7 in the morning?


Dani H February 2, 2010 at 2:15 am

Did you ever eat tuna melts at your local diner or at the lunch counter back when drugstores used to have them? I don’t think I’ve ever fixed one at home, though. This is a very creative recipe. I love canned tuna ~ old fashioned tuna salad, either on a sandwich or in a whole tomato (with a hard-boiled egg) or I’ll add a whole can to a green salad as an entree. Once in a while, I’ll get a “protein” craving and eat the tuna right out of the can. My mom made salmon patties with canned salmon, which I still love. Don’t love having to get the vertabrae or whatever they’re called out by hand, though. Now I want some tuna, it’s after midnight, and I don’t have a can in sight! {Adding to grocery list} Take care, dear girl. “See” you soon.


Teresa February 1, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Ha! I love your letter from Tuna, very cute. Haven’t tried the tuna/white bean combo yet but it looks delish! Have you ever used dried cranberries in your tuna salad/sandwiches? If not, I highly recommend it!


Melissa February 1, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Tuna + Cannellini Beans = YUM. Put it in a panini? YUM-ER. :D


Natashya February 1, 2010 at 5:21 pm

We are big fans of tuna – that sammie is calling my name!


Amy February 1, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Joanne – As much as I love salmon, I have actually never tried the canned kind. It’s going on my shopping list for next week.

Helen – I hadn’t had a tuna sandwich in a long time either and this one hit the spot. So, even I am guilty of abandoning our dear tuna. (Don’t even get me started on the media!!)

Cheryl – You give me too much credit. Don’t forget, I adapted this recipe from one I found in a magazine. Although, I will say, the more I cook, the more creative I get. There’s a lot of truth to “practice makes perfect.”


Cheryl February 1, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Hahahahaha. Love it. You’re always good for a laugh, Amy. And this sandwich sounds really interesting. I enjoy a good old fashioned tuna fish sandwich, but who would have thought to combine beans and tuna? I lack so much creativity in the kitchen – thank god for you.


Helen February 1, 2010 at 3:23 pm

LOL. Clever clever. Poor tuna needs some attention. I totally agree with Joanne that the whole mercury controversy is hype. Maybe not entirely, but it’s blown out of proportion (of course, like everything in the news.) I really like tuna sandwiches, and yet I haven’t had one in the longest time. I really don’t even know why. I see canned tuna in my very near future. Thanks for the reminder!


Joanne February 1, 2010 at 3:01 pm

This is adorable! I ate tuna a lot on sandwiches last year. And yet I didn’t seem to die of mercury poisoning. Interesting. I have a feeling that’s all hype. People have been eating canned tuna for years with no really bad side effects.

The only problem. Is that I happen to like canned salmon better. But I could definitely go for some tuna in a grilled sandwich like this one.


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