Pan Bagnat

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Pan Bagnat is a protein-rich tuna sandwich originating from Nice, France. It's like a handmade Nicoise salad, only without the potatoes and is perfect for picnics or an early lunch!

Pan Bagnat

Pan Bagnat

I get asked for picnic ideas and recipes for cold lunches that don't require reheating 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 are tuna, anchovies, hard-boiled eggs, olives, tomatoes and olive oil, but never mayonnaise. I added cucumber and arugula for extra greens, you can add whatever you like. Since it's made ahead and contains no mayonnaise or dairy, it's great to take to the beach or park where you may not have access to coolers. For more canned tuna recipes, don't miss my tuna egg salad and my tuna melt.

What does “pan bagnat” mean?

Think of pan bagnat as a Nicoise salad sandwich, only without the cooked potatoes. The name translates to “wet bread,” referring to the olive oil that soaks into the bread.

Because I think Pan Bagnat is perfect for the beach or a picnic

Gina @

Now that it's officially summer, it's time for picnics, beach days and boat trips. Pan Bagnat sandwiches are the perfect lunch to take on the go. Here are a few reasons why I love this French Tuna Salad Sandwich:

  • Portable and easy to eat: No tools required! You can hold it in your hands and enjoy it without worrying about spills or making a mess with sand.
  • Go ahead: The longer it stays (up to 24 hours), the better.
  • Not May: If mayonnaise isn't your thing, you'll love this sandwich.
  • Easy, protein-rich 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.
Signature Gina

What you will need

Ingredients of Pan Bagnat

Here's what you'll need to make this sandwich (See exact measurements in the recipe card below).

  • Large eggs: Follow these instructions for hard-boiled eggs on the stovetop or for this Instant Pot hard-boiled egg method.
  • Bread: Use a crusty loaf, such as French bread, baguette, or ciabatta. I prefer the wholemeal one, but the white one is also fine.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Sprinkle it on the bread to coat it
  • Get dressed: Season the tuna in a vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and pepper.
  • Tuna: Drain 2 cans of tuna under water. You can also use tuna in oil, but it will add a little more fat.
  • Olives: You can use the type of olives you prefer. I usually use a mix of blacks and greens, but kalamata would also work.
  • capers add a salty and spicy flavor.
  • Anchovy fillets they are included in a traditional pan bagnat recipe. Although optional, I highly recommend them.
  • Vegetables: Crisp Persian cucumbers and juicy tomatoes contrast nicely with the tangy arugula and sharp red onions.

How to Prepare Pan Bagnat

This simple recipe for pan bagnat doesn't take much time, here are the step by step photos. (For complete instructions, scroll to the recipe card below.)

  1. Egg: After boiling the eggs using one of the above methods, peel and thinly slice the eggs lengthwise.
  2. Bread: Divide the loaf in half horizontally and remove about half of the bread from the top and a little less than half from the bottom. Then brush with olive oil.
  3. Tuna mix: Whisk the vinegar and mustard in a medium bowl and season with pepper. Add the tuna, olives, capers and anchovies (if using) and incorporate them into the sauce. The mixture should be well seasoned, but add more salt if necessary.
  4. Assemble the sandwiches: Spread the tuna on the bottom half of the bread and arrange a layer with the eggs, cucumber, tomato, onion and rocket. Place the other piece of bread on top.
  5. Flatten and store in the refrigerator: Wrap the sandwich tightly in cling film, place it on a plate and transfer it to the refrigerator. Place something heavy on top, like a small baking pan with canned food. Compressing the sandwich will make it easier to eat. Refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 24 hours for the flavors to blend.
  6. How to serve: When you're ready to eat it, unwrap it and cut it into 6 pieces.


  • Egg allergy? Omit them.
  • Tuna: Replace it with canned salmon.
  • Vegetarian Pan Bagnat: Remove the tuna and add other vegetables.
  • Vinegar: Replace the red wine vinegar with balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar.
  • Savory element: Replace the capers or olives with artichoke hearts.
  • Herbs: It is popular to add fresh basil leaves, you can also mix 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.
tuna salad with olives and capers

What to pair with Pan Bagnat


  • Meal preparation: You can make these sandwiches a day before serving, but they should last about 3 days total if stored in the refrigerator.
  • Picnic Tip: If you're taking these sandwiches on a picnic, you can cut and wrap them individually before placing them in the fridge and pressing them. This way you won't have to cut them while you're out.
Pan Bagnat

More picnic recipes you'll love

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Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooked: 10 minutes

Total: 25 minutes

Product: 6 portions

Portions: 1 sandwich

  • 4 great hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 14 oz crunchy bread, like French bread or ciabatta, ideally whole wheat (I scooped 3 ounces)
  • 2 spoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 spoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  • 2 5 oz cans of tuna in water, completely drained
  • 1/2 cup pitted and chopped olives, a mix of black and green is nice
  • 1 table spoon capers, drained
  • 4 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and chopped (optional but highly recommended)
  • 1 Persian cucumber, cut into long, thin slices
  • 1 ripe tomato, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced ​​very thin
  • 2 cups rocket
  • Hard boil eggs using this stovetop hard boiled eggs recipe or this Instant Pot hard boiled eggs recipe. Peel and thinly slice the eggs lengthwise.
  • Cut the bread in half horizontally and remove about half of the crumb from the top and a little less from the bottom half (so that it doesn't fall apart when you eat it). Save the crumbs to make croutons or breadcrumbs. Brush the inside of the bread with 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 delicately incorporate them into the sauce. Taste and add salt if necessary (it may not be, but the mixture must be well seasoned).

  • Pour the tuna mixture over the bottom half of the bread, up to the edges. Place the sliced ​​egg on top, followed by the cucumber slices, tomatoes (seasoned with salt and pepper if you prefer), onion and finally the rocket leaves to cover the surface of the sandwich. Place the top of the sandwich and press firmly.

  • Wrap the sandwich tightly in cling film. Place it on a plate to catch any drips and transfer it to the refrigerator. Place something heavy on top, like a tray with a can of tomatoes on it; the more compressed it is, the easier it will be to eat. Refrigerate for at least an hour or, better yet, up to overnight. When ready to serve, unwrap and cut into six portions.

Last step:

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

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