Pan Bagnat is essentially a French tuna or chickpea salad sandwich which is a Niçoise salad in sandwich form. A combo of tuna (or chickpeas) and flavorful veggies, drizzled with a delicious dijon vinaigrette in a crunchy bread loaf. A popular treat in the south of France!
With summer coming to a close, we’ve been scurrying around the last few weeks trying to get our fill of outdoor fun. Hikes in the mountains, trips to the park, weekend visits to the farmer’s markets, etc. Quick and easy meals and snacks have been essential, not only to save money, but also so we’re not fueling our bodies with greasy fast food.
Although we occasional make simple plain turkey or pb&j sandwiches, every once in a while we like to make something a little more filling and satisfying, like these French inspired sandwiches—Pan Bagnat!
Pan Bagnat, pronounced pahn ban-yah, literally means “bathed bread” as the bread soaks up the flavors from the filling and vinaigrette. Because of this, it’s best when the sandwich is made ahead of time to allow the flavors to marry.
If you’re not a big fan of tuna, substitute shredded chicken or chickpeas, as a vegan/vegetarian option.
The fillings for this sandwich are very customizable and you can easily substitute whatever veggies you already have on hand for any in the recipe.
It’s also quick to throw together and makes a delicious, filling meal for anytime of day. Perfect for picnics too! Enjoy! 😊
- Crusty bread (baguette, ciabatta, round boule, etc.) Gluten-free sandwich bread can also be used.
- 2 5-ounce cans quality canned Tuna, drained OR 1-2 cans chickpeas/garbanzo beans (vegan/vegetarian option), drained and rinsed OR 1½ cups chopped/shredded chicken
- dijon vinaigrette, recipe below
- 8-10 fresh basil leaves
- 1 jar artichoke hearts, drained (I used this in place of the traditional olives)
- 3-4 hard boiled eggs, optional (omit for vegan variation)
- ½ red bell pepper, sliced
- ¼ large red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup English cucumber (or more to taste), sliced or shaved with a vegetable peeler
- ½-1 cup sliced tomatoes (grape, roma, or heirloom)
- 3-4 radishes, thinly sliced
- salt and pepper
- Bring a small saucepan of water to a simmer on the stove. Use a large spoon to gently lower eggs into the pot. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes.
- Drain eggs and gently tap each egg with a butter knife to crack the shell. Fill pot with cold water and let sit for 10 minutes. Peel the shells off each egg and slice. Set aside.
- Whisk all of the vinaigrette ingredients together and set aside.
- Place drained tuna (or chickpeas) into a bowl and mix in half of the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. If using chickpeas, mash slightly to keep the filling from falling out of the sandwich.
- Slice the bread in half horizontally. If the bread really is thick, scoop out some of the soft interior of the loaf. Drizzle each half of the loaf with some of the vinaigrette.
- Begin layering ingredients on the bottom half of the loaf. Sprinkle filling with more salt and pepper.
- Top with the other half of the loaf and wrap the sandwich tightly in parchment paper or plastic wrap. Wrap again tightly with aluminum foil.
- Place into the refrigerator and top with a heavy pan or books to press. This will help the sandwich hold together.
- Refrigerate for several hours to overnight to allow flavors to meld.
- To serve, slice in half or quarters and serve.