Moroccan Tuna Bocadillos With Olives, Potatoes and Harissa

tuna nicoise style sandwich
Rita Maas/Photolibrary/Getty Images
  • 50 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: Serves 1 or more

The word bocadillo is undeniably Spanish, but Moroccans also use it to describe a hoagie-style sandwich which is sold as a street food and widely available in sandwich shops. Depending on the vendor, a Moroccan bocadillo might be prepared using half of a long French baguette, on an 8" baguette roll, or with half of a loaf of Moroccan khobz. At home, any crusty sandwich bread or roll will do.

Tuna, olives, eggs, raw onion, tomatoes and potatoes are common fillers, making it similar to a tuna nicoise sandwich but with extras. Combined with bread, that may seem like carbohydrate overload, but my kids love it.  Although the bread is traditionally left dry, I like to brush it with olive oil; a vinaigrette or mayo may also be used. Harissa or hot sauce (sauce piquante) are typical condiments. Olive tapenade is also excellent for adding moisture and flavor.

Use the list of ingredients below as inspiration for creating your signature sandwich which builds on a base of tuna, potatoes, and eggs. If serving the bocadillos as a family meal, it helps to plan ahead and have everything arranged in dishes on the table or counter so that you can move quickly while in assembly mode. It may seem like a bit of work to pull together so many ingredients for a cold sandwich –particularly if you need to take the time to steam or boil potatoes, cook some veggies and boil some eggs – but your family and stomach will thank you.

Use your judgment for how much of each ingredient to use per person. Cooking time below will vary according to what fillers you decide to use. The sandwiches may be assembled ahead of time and refrigerated until needed, making them excellent choices for bagged lunches. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 long French baguette (or baguette roll or khobz)
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons olive oil (mayonnaise or vinaigrette)
  • 2 tablespoons 
  • harissa (or hot sauce)
  • 1 15-ounce can of tuna (drained)
  • 1/2 potato (diced, boiled or steamed)
  • 1 carrot (diced, boiled or steamed)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs (chopped or sliced)
  • 1/2 onion (red, minced or slivered, raw)
  • 1/4 cup olives (sliced, or chopped capers)
  • 1/2 tomato (chopped or sliced)
  • Garnish: grated cheese (Edam is popular)
  • Garnish: chopped lettuce

How to Make It

  1. Ahead of time, prepare any cooked fillers: boil or steam potatoes; boil or steam carrots; boil and chop eggs; boil rice. 
  2. Prep your cold ingredients: slice tomatoes and chop lettuce; chop or sliver an onion; slice olives; grate your cheese.
  3. When ready to assemble, arrange all the fillers in one large work area.
  4. Slice your baguette or other bread lengthwise. If desired, brush the bread or drizzle it with olive oil or vinaigrette; or, spread it with a little mayonnaise. Add harissa or hot sauce to taste.
  1. Stuff the bread with tuna, onion, olives, cooked potatoes and your choice of other ingredients. Typically, the ingredients are used in moderation since a variety of them are being combined.
  2. Serve the bocadillos with Moroccan Mint Tea or another beverage.
  3. Wrapped well, the sandwiches may be refrigerated for up to two days.