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an open baguette with onion, arugula, eggs, tapenade, tuna salad, tomatoes

French Tuna Sandwich (Pan Bagnat)

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  • Author: Jenni
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Mains, Sandwiches
  • Method: No-Cook
  • Cuisine: French


This French Tuna Sandwich, or Pan Bagnat, includes a Tuna Nicoise Salad encased in a hearty French baguette. This sandwich takes about 20-minutes to make and keeps well in the fridge when prepared in advance. It's lovely for lunch or tucked into a picnic basket!



For the olive tapenade:

*You will only need roughly 1/2 cup of the finished tapenade for this sandwich. See notes below.

  • 223 g (about 1 ½ cup) pimento-stuffed green olives (Manzanilla)
  • 138 g (about 1 cup) pitted Kalamata olives
  • 34 g (2 tbsp) non-pareil capers
  • 15g (about ¼ cup) flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • zest of 1 large lemon (about 1 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil (may sub 2 tbsp olive oil + 2 minced garlic cloves)
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper

For the tuna salad:

  • 2 (6.7 oz) jars tuna in oil, drained
  • 3 oil-packed anchovy filets, drained and minced (about 9 g)
  • 2 tbsp (28 g) mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) Dijon mustard
  • zest of 1 large lemon (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1 rounded tbsp fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh chives, finely chopped

For the remainder of the sandwich:

  • 1 baguette, traditional or sourdough
  • 1-2 tbsp Dijon mustard, as desired
  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 oz fresh arugula (rocket)
  • Optional additions: sliced red onion, sliced tomato, sliced English cucumber, marinated red peppers


  1. Prepare the Olive Tapenade: Add pimento-stuffed green olives, pitted Kalamata olives, capers, fresh parsley, lemon zest, garlic-infused olive oil (or fresh garlic + classic olive oil), black pepper, and red pepper flakes to a food processor. Pulse briefly just until the mixture is chunky and resembles gravel. If you prefer a smoother, spreadable tapenade you can pulse for longer, but I like mine to be quite gravelly. Set aside about ½ cup of tapenade for the sandwich and store the remaining portion in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  2. Make the Tuna Salad: In a large bowl, combine the drained tuna, minced anchovies, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon zest, chopped parsley, tarragon, and chives. Gently mix the ingredients together with a fork, breaking up the tuna and ensuring everything is evenly incorporated. Set the tuna salad aside.
  3. Prepare the Baguette: Slice the French baguette in half lengthwise and again vertically to create 4 pieces. Some people like to create a trough in the bread for extra filling to go into by pulling out much of the soft interior. This is totally optional and I don't generally bother unless I'm adding lots of extra toppings and want to be able to bite into the sandwich easier (see optional ingredients).
  4. Layer the Ingredients: Brush the inside of 2 pieces of bread (2 tops or two bottoms) with Dijon mustard as desired. Layer ¼ cup of olive tapenade on top of the Dijon, spreading it out until evenly distributed. Then top both pieces with the sliced hard-boiled egg. On the remaining two halves of bread, distribute the tuna salad across until evenly dispersed. Then top with the arugula (rocket). If you are using any of the optional toppings (red onion, tomato, cucumber, peppers) these can be added at this time.
  5. Assemble the Sandwich: Carefully close the sandwich by pressing the two halves together. Firmly press the sandwich to ensure it holds together. Slice them in half vertically once more to create 4 sandwiches.
  6. Serve and Store: Enjoy the French Tuna Sandwich immediately or wrap it tightly and refrigerate for later consumption. I find that if you use a hearty baguette and wrap them well, these sandwiches keep well for 24 hours in the fridge.


Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.

I like to start by doing a quick safety check on the kalamata olives for remaining pits by slicing each one in half before adding to my food processor. Although I purchase olives that have been labeled pre-pitted, I almost always find one olive in the bunch that still has a pit (no matter what olive bar I buy them from). Though this is an additional step, it's totally worth the extra couple of minutes because you definitely don't want a pit in your lovely tapenade.

This olive tapenade recipe will yield roughly 2 1/2 cups. You will need about 1/2 cup for this recipe, depending on your preference, which will leave leftovers. Feel free to reduce this recipe if desired or see this post for some more ideas for using the leftover tapenade. One item of note when reducing: Be sure that your food processor can handle small batches of food before reducing as reducing this recipe too small can make it difficult for some models to blend evenly.


  • Serving Size: 1/4th of the sandwich
  • Calories: 598
  • Sodium: 1590 mg
  • Fat: 30 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 48 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 33 g
  • Cholesterol: 136 mg