" "

Pan Bagnat – Skinnytaste

Must Try

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
Pan Bagnat is a protein-packed tuna sandwich from Nice, France. It’s like a handheld Salade Niçoise only without the potatoes and perfect for picnics or a make-ahead lunch!

Pan Bagnat
I get asked for picnic ideas and cold lunch recipes that don’t require heating, and this sandwich is a great option. Pan Bagnat is a staple in French bakeries, markets, and beach stands. It sounds fancy but it’s actually pretty simple to make. The main ingredients include tuna, anchovies, hard-boiled eggs, olives, tomatoes, and olive oil, but never mayo. I added cucumber and arugula for extra vegetables, you can add whatever you like. Since it’s made ahead of time, and has no mayo or dairy, it’s great to take to the beach or park where you might not have access to coolers. For more canned tuna recipes, don’t miss my Tuna Egg Salad and my go-to Tuna Melt.

What does “pan bagnat” mean?Think of pan bagnat as a Niçoise salad sandwich, only without the cooked potatoes. The name translates to “bathed bread,” referring to the olive oil that soaks into the bread.

Why I think Pan Bagnat is Perfect For the Beach or a PicnicNow that it’s officially summer, it’s time for picnics, beach days, and boat trips. Pan bagnat sandwiches make the perfect lunch to take on the go. Here a few reasons why I love this French tuna salad sandwich:

Portable and Easy to Eat: No utensils required! You can hold it in your hands and enjoy it without worrying about spills or making a mess with sand.
Make It Ahead: The longer it sits (up to 24 hours), the better it gets.
No Mayo: If mayo’s not your thing, you’ll love this sandwich.
Easy High Protein Lunch:  The combination of protein from the eggs and tuna, with about 20 grams of protein, vegetables, and bread makes it a satisfying lunch option.

What You’ll NeedPan Bagnat Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need to make this sandwich (See exact measurements in the recipe card below).

Large Eggs: Follow these instructions for stovetop hard boil eggs or this Instant Pot hard boiled eggs method.
Bread: Use a crusty loaf of bread, like French bread, baguette or ciabatta. I prefer whole wheat, but white will work too.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Drizzle this on the bread to coat
Dressing: Toss the tuna in a vinaigrette made of red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and pepper.
Tuna: Drain 2 cans of water-packed tuna. Tuna in oil can also be used, but it will add a bit more fat.
Olives: You can use whatever kind of olives you prefer. I typically use a mix of black and green ones, but kalamata would also be good.
Capers add a briny, tangy taste.
Anchovy Fillets are included in a traditional pan bagnat recipe. While optional, I highly recommend them.
Vegetables: Crisp Persian cucumbers and juicy tomatoes contrast nicely with the peppery arugula and sharp red onions.

How to Make Pan Bagnat
This easy pan bagnat recipe doesn’t take long to make, here’s the step by step photos. (For the complete instructions, scroll to the recipe card below.)

Scoop out the inside of the bread and brush with olive oil.
Make the tuna salad.
Fill the scooped out bread with tuna salad.

Eggs: After hard boiling the eggs using one of the methods above, peel and thinly slice the eggs lengthwise.
Bread: Halve the loaf horizontally and scoop out about half of the bread from the top and a little less than half from the bottom part. Then brush with olive oil.
Tuna Mixture: Whisk the vinegar and mustard in a medium bowl and season with pepper. Add the tuna, olives, capers, and anchovies (if using) and fold into the dressing. The mixture should be well seasoned, but sprinkle extra salt if necessary.
Assemble the Sandwiches: Spoon the tuna over the bottom half of the bread and layer with the eggs, cucumber, tomato, onion, and arugula. Place the other piece of bread on top.
Flatten and Refrigerate: Wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic wrap, place it on a plate, and transfer it to the fridge. Place something heavy on top, like a small sheet pan with canned food. Compressing the sandwich will make it easier to eat. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 24 hours for the flavors to meld.
How to Serve: When you’re ready to eat it, unwrap it and cut it into 6 pieces.

add cucumbers
add tomatoes, red onion and eggs
add arugula

Variations

Egg Allergy? Omit them.
Tuna: Substitute canned salmon.
Vegetarian Pan Bagnat: Leave out the tuna and add more vegetables.
Vinegar: Swap red wine vinegar for balsamic or white wine vinegar.
Briny Element: Replace capers or olives with artichoke hearts.
Herbs: Adding fresh basil leaves is popular, you can also mix in some parsley, or oregano with the tuna.
Onion: Use pickled red onion instead of raw onion.
Cucumber: If you don’t have a Persian or English cucumber, peel a regular cucumber and remove the seeds.
Greens: Substitute spinach or romaine lettuce.

What to Serve with Pan Bagnat

Storage

Meal Prep: You can prep these sandwiches a day before serving, but they should last about 3 days total if kept refrigerated.
Picnic Tip: If you’re bringing these sandwiches on a picnic, you can cut and wrap them individually before refrigerating and pressing them down. That way, you don’t have to cut them while out.

More Picnic Recipes You’ll Love

Prep: 15 minutes minsCook: 10 minutes minsTotal: 25 minutes mins

Yield: 6 servings
Serving Size: 1 sandwich

▢ 4 large hard boiled eggs▢ 1 14-ounce crusty loaf bread, such as French bread or ciabatta, ideally whole wheat (I scooped out 3 ounces)▢ 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil▢ 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar▢ 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard▢ Kosher salt and fresh black pepper▢ 2 5-ounce cans water-packed tuna, thoroughly drained▢ 1/2 cup pitted and chopped olives, a mix of black and green is nice▢ 1 tablespoon capers, drained▢ 4 anchovy filets packed in oil, drained and chopped (optional but highly recommended)▢ 1 Persian cucumber, cut into long, thin slices▢ 1 ripe tomato, sliced▢ 1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced▢ 2 cups baby arugula
Hard boil the eggs using the stove top hard boiled eggs recipe or this instant pot hard boiled eggs recipe . Peel and thinly slice the eggs lengthwise.Halve the bread horizontally and scoop out about half the crumb from the top and a little less from the bottom half (so it doesn’t fall apart when you eat it). Save the crumbs to make croutons or bread crumbs. Brush the insides of the bread with the olive oil.In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar and mustard. Season with pepper.Add the drained tuna, chopped olives, capers, and anchovies and gently fold into the dressing. Taste and add salt if necessary (it may not be, but the mixture should be well seasoned).Spoon the tuna mixture over the bottom half of the bread, all the way to the edges. Lay the sliced egg on top, followed by the cucumber slices, the tomatoes (season with salt and pepper if you like), the onion, and finally arugula leaves to cover the surface of the sandwich. Place the top of the sandwich over and press firmly.Wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic wrap. Put it on a plate to catch any potential drips, and transfer to the refrigerator. Place something heavy on top, like a sheet tray with a can of tomatoes on top; the more compressed it is, the easier it will be to eat. Refrigerate for at least one hour, or even better, up to overnight. When you’re ready to serve, unwrap, and cut into six servings.

Last Step: Please leave a rating and comment letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business to thrive and continue providing free, high-quality recipes for you.

Serving: 1 sandwich, Calories: 308 kcal, Carbohydrates: 29 g, Protein: 21 g, Fat: 11.5 g, Saturated Fat: 22.5 g, Cholesterol: 146.5 mg, Sodium: 651 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 1.5 g

Latest Recipes

More Recipes Like This