Posted by: Erica Retrochef | August 19, 2013

Treasure Chest Tuna Sandwich

One of our kids’ favorite computer games is Lego Pirates of the Caribbean. They like it mostly because it’s a Lego game, full of puzzle challenges and cartoon violence; the pirate schtick is largely irrelevant, and they also love the Star Wars and Indiana Jones (and so on) versions. But, when they’re immersed in the game, Middle Boy will talk endlessly about pirates.

So dinner tonight is a pirate-themed sandwich.


This is one of the very few ads for Chicken of the Sea I’ve seen that doesn’t have their iconic mermaid. It does, however, tell you to go visit her at Disneyland.

She’s still there, actually, although Chicken of the Sea no longer sponsors her and so she’s been somewhat anonymized (read more at the Kevin Kidney blog where I found that photo).


Cut top of long roll to form a hinged “lid,” as pictured. Hollow out roll slightly and fill with savory mixture of Chicken of the Sea Brand Tuna; chopped hard-cooked eggs; pineapple tidbits; minced celery and onion; diced pimiento (or green pepper) and mayonnaise. Tuck in a few thin slices of carrot for gold coins. Add “straps” of pimiento (or green pepper). Serve cold with milk or coffee or other hot or cold drink.

That last sentence is hilarious. “Serve with… well, any beverage at all, we guess.”

And also worth noting? This is a very tropical-themed summer here at retro recipes, with our third pineapple recipe so far.


I’ve never had tuna salad with pineapple before. (Or in a treasure chest, come to think of it.) Otherwise, nothing terribly weird here.


Well — the modern mermaid mascot is a little weird. Certainly more sleek, but there’s something charming about the cartoony original.


I started off hollowing out the rolls with a grapefruit spoon. It had the right combination of scoop shape and serrated age.


I had to slice large roasted red peppers into long, thin slices to decorate the top. (This was one of the hardest parts.)


For the tuna salad filling, we mixed all the stuff that wasn’t a bread roll together in a bowl.


I added the pineapple after everything else was mixed, actually, because I was slightly concerned that the tidbits would be completely crushed during the mixing process. (They were more robust than I had thought, though.)


These are just too freakin’ adorable.


And if you peek in through the lid, you can see the “gold” coins embedded. Awww!


The pineapple and pimiento did help make the sandwich subtly more sweet, at least compared to my typical tuna salad (which uses pickle relish), and we all liked the flavor. The presentation is quite fussy (sticking olive slice halves on a bun with dabs of mayo takes a surprising amount of time) but it ends up looking really fun.

This is absolutely worth considering if you want a cute, fancy sandwich for a pirate-themed party. Heck, I might throw a pirate-themed party for Middle Boy just to make these sandwiches again.

1955 Woman’s Day, brought to you by The Gallery of Graphic Design


  1. Sounds good, minus the pineapple. I can’t do ‘sweet’ tuna fish.

    • I thought the sweet tuna salad was going to be gross. However, I was surprised to find that the flavors really worked.

  2. – I agree, the retro Mermaid had a lot more charm!
    – I love the name of this thing.
    – It looks just adorable, sounds tasty enough. I kind of like food made to look like something else, if it isn’t too fussed-over, like you’ve been laboring away all day in a hot kitchen.
    – Olives and pimentoes? A sure sign of a retro recipe, olives and pimentoes were included in everything, mostly molded salads…
    – Good job, thank you for making this so we readers don’t have to (though if I can find those nice rolls, I’m game.)

  3. THIS is what has been missing from all of my pirate theme parties! I love this!

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