Groovin' in the kitchen, dancin' in Missoula.

Tuna Bun Boats


There’s a story behind this one.


We were all staying at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house while my little sister was being born.


Grandma shared that she was making Tuna Bun Boats for dinner. Without hesitation, the four of us declared that we hated them, and we weren’t going to eat them.


I should tell you that my grandmother was an excellent cook. Nearly everything she made was amazing. (I have to add the “nearly” because some things she made had walnuts, which only belong in salads, and mayo, which only belongs in…well, nothing.)


“Have you ever had a Tuna Bun Boat?” she asked. “No, but we hate them. They’re gross.”


My grandmother proceeded to make them, and we all pretended not to be interested.


She was an incredibly patient woman. I guess she had practice raising her three sons,


And one daughter.


*Not mayo*


She mixed everything together in silence.


By the time she got to this stage, it was getting harder and harder to pretend that we weren’t interested.


“What on earth is she doing?” “Eeew. I’m not eating that.”


“Where are the boats?”–That one was me. I was pretty little. And the loudest of the nay sayers.  Mostly, I think, because I thought we’d get to eat them ON a boat.


But then the smell started wafting out of the oven. It’s pretty hard to turn your nose up at melted cheese.


They came out of the oven, and still looked pretty weird. What happened next was the worst case of “Please just try it–Eeew, no!–How can you say you don’t like it if you’ve never had it?–Because we just know!–You’ll sit down and eat, and if you hate it I won’t make it for you again.–Fine, but only because we’ll never have to eat it again.”


Tiny, angry bites.




“I told you so.”

My Grandma never held a grudge against us for being so snotty, and when we were really nice she’d make them for us when we visited.  These are so easy to throw together in a hurry, and I’m told that they reheat well, though I’ve never had them last that long.  They also make a great packable lunch because you can leave them in the foil to take on the go.

So before you vehemently affirm that you hate them, just give them a try.  I promise that if you don’t like them, you’ll never have to make them again.  But you won’t hate them.  Fair warning.

Tuna Bun Boats from Grandma Paula
Makes 6 boats

2 hard boiled eggs, diced (I don’t like hard boiled yolks, so I left them out and used the whites)
4 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 tbsp sweet pickles (I used regular pickles)
6 1/2 oz tuna in water, drained
enough mayo (or plain yogurt) to moisten well
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425F. Combine all ingredients. Assemble in buns and wrap in foil. Bake for about 15 minutes, then serve hot.

3 thoughts on “Tuna Bun Boats”

  • Sounds interesting! I don’t care much for cheddar cheese though, but maybe I could try making them with Swiss. I’ll have to try it sometime…but with yogurt instead of mayo. I have this weird thing about warm mayo…just can’t stand the thought of it. Warm yogurt is okay though. Go figure. I’m an odd one I guess. 🙂

    • I’ve tried this with mozzarella, with great results. Swiss would be delicious though! I hear ya on the mayo. I always replace mayo with yogurt, and no one even notices, if you don’t say anything 😉

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