Welcome to Direct Your Dining! This cooking series will introduce you to energy efficient recipes full of tips to keep your meals delicious without using every appliance in the kitchen. Preparing recipes with energy efficiency in mind at least once a week will make cooking a little easier, and may even help reduce your monthly electricity bill. Check in every week for a new recipe full of flavor and creativity that will surely impress your friends and family.
Sure, making a sandwich is the easy go-to for a quick lunch that saves energy, but a classic ham or turkey with American cheese gets pretty boring after a while. Class up your lunch game this week with our lemon pepper Caprese tuna sandwiches loaded with fresh ingredients and flavors.
If you’re a regular reader of Direct Your Dining, you know that lemon and basil are two of my favorite fresh ingredients to use. They complement each other perfectly in this recipe, especially when you factor in the traditional ingredients of a Caprese salad.
The tuna I use in this recipe is a combination of chunk light tuna in water and albacore white tuna in water. You can substitute any kind of packaged tuna you prefer (albacore, Bluefin, Yellowfin etc.), just make sure you purchase the tuna in water, not in oil!
I create the dressing for the tuna salad by whisking together sweet white balsamic vinegar, fresh squeezed lemon juice, lemon pepper seasoning, and mayonnaise. The creamy mayonnaise in the dressing adds enough fat to carry the tuna salad so there is no need for any extra added oil or calories. The fresh Roma tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and tender baby basil form a traditional Caprese salad, especially when fused to a white balsamic vinegar drizzle.
Just don’t mix all the dressing into the tuna. Save a little extra to spread on the top piece of bread, as this delivers a little moisture and flavor to the greens and baby basil.
The tangy, zesty lemon pepper seasoning really works well in the tuna salad and doesn’t overpower the fresh ingredients. Check the ingredients list on the bottle of lemon pepper seasoning you choose to use. If it does not have garlic as an ingredient, you can opt to add some fresh diced garlic or sprinkle in a little garlic powder to the tuna salad. Just be careful with how much you add – you don’t want to the garlic to overwhelm everything else.
The only energy you’ll use for these sandwiches is when you toast the bread in the toaster, and you could even skip that for a completely no-energy-use recipe. I personally prefer toasted bread because the crunchy texture pairs well with the creamy tuna salad.
All in all, this is a super-delicious and super-simple recipe that requires nearly no energy to create. It’s simply one of my favorite sandwiches to make for my family. I always tell my husband, if we ever open a restaurant or start a food truck one day, this will definitely be on my lunch menu (if I don’t eat all of it, first)!
Lemon Pepper Caprese Tuna Sandwiches
Lemon Pepper Tuna Salad Ingredients:
- 1 Packet of Chunk light tuna in water (6 oz. size)
- 1 Packet of Albacore tuna in water (6 oz. size)
- ¼ c. Mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp. White balsamic vinegar
- ½ tbsp. Lemon pepper seasoning
- ¼ tsp. Garlic powder (if not in lemon pepper seasoning)
- 1 tbsp. Fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tsp. Lemon zest
Other Sandwich Ingredients:
- Your bread type of choice (I use honey wheat in this recipe)
- 4-5 Baby basil leaves per sandwich
- 1 Mozzarella cheese slice per sandwich
- 4-5 Thin Roma tomato slices per sandwich
- 1 Handful of mixed spring greens per sandwich
- Drizzle of extra dressing (from recipe above)
1) Whisk the mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon pepper seasoning, fresh lemon juice, and lemon zest together in a bowl to create the dressing. Keep whisking until all the ingredients are mixed completely.
2) Pour 2/3 of the dressing over the tuna. Mix with a fork until creamy. You’ll use the remaining 1/3 later in the recipe.
3) Move finished tuna salad to the refrigerator to keep cool.
4) Toast bread until golden brown.
5) Drizzle a very thin layer of the remaining dressing on the top piece of bread and spread it. Spoon the cold tuna salad onto the warm, toasted bottom piece of bread.
6) Top the tuna with a slice of mozzarella cheese, 4-5 thin slices of Roma tomatoes, 4-5 baby basil leaves, and a handful of mixed spring greens.
7) Place top piece of bread on the sandwich and cut in half and serve.
You can use two toothpicks to hold the sandwich together, as this makes it easier to cut and eat. Just stick one on each side of the sandwich before cutting as shown in the photos!
Serve these lemon pepper Caprese tuna sandwiches alone, with your favorite potato chips, or with a side salad created from the remaining spring greens, Roma tomatoes, baby basil, and dressing.
Check back in every week for more Direct Your Dining recipes to help reduce your energy use in the kitchen while getting creative with delicious dishes!
Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan