Sort of a hot tuna and egg salad melt.

Here’s a not-quite-identical version from the April 16, 1961 edition of The Hammond (Indiana) Times:

To simplify the job of satisfying these hearty young appetites, try making sandwiches baked in foil, such as those prepared by the “Cook of the Week,” Mrs. Alden T. Schmidt of Highland. Not only are they easy for mother to fix, but they give a change from the traditional hot dog or hamburger, which will make a big hit with boys and girls alike.

One nourishing sandwich made by Mrs. Schmidt combines cheese, tuna fish and hard boiled eggs with accents of green pepper, olives, onion and sweet pickle. Appropriately named Bumsteads, the filling is spread on hot dog or hamburger buns, wrapped in foil and heated in the oven for 25 minutes.



1 cup (1/4 pound) sharp American cheese, diced
1 (7 ounce) can tuna fish, flaked
3 hard cooked eggs, chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped green pepper
2 Tablespoons chopped stuffed olives
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
2 Tablespoons chopped sweet pickle
1/2 cup mayonnaise
6 hot dog or hamburger buns

Combine all ingredients but the buns. Spread on bottom half of each bun. Wrap each bun in foil or waxed paper and place on baking sheet. Heat sandwiches at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Sandwiches may be prepared well in advance of serving and stored in the refrigerator until needed.

This seems to be a Midwestern artifact of the 1950s and 1960s, inspired by the diversity of ingredients in sandwiches like the ones that that Dagwood Bumstead would eat in the Blondie comic strip, like this one from the December 8, 1955 edition of the Wichita Daily Times of Wichita Falls, Texas:

It’s a cousin to the more famous Dagwood sandwich, a pile of cold cuts and cheeses larger than one could eat, inspired by the volume of the comic strip’s lunchtime fare.

From a box sold in East Moline, Illinois.


1/4 lb. American cheese (cubed)
3 hard-cooked eggs
1 (7 oz.) can flaked tuna
2 Tbsp. chopped green peppers
2 Tbsp. chopped onion
2 Tbsp. chopped stuffed olives
2 Tbsp. chopped sweet pickle
1/2 cup mayonnaise
6 weiner buns

Combine ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Split buns and fill. Wrap in foil.

Place in oven, 250 deg. for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cheese is melted.

Serves 6


  1. Kim Wilson

    My mother fixed these but she also used Kraft sandwich spread in place of the mayo.

  2. cassi

    My Grama in Chicago and Grama in Florida each have this recipe. Any idea what the “box” was that it was printed on from East Moline Illinois? I’m thinking it was probably something nation wide since it seems to be wide spread.

  3. cassi

    Oh yikes! I’m really glad you moderate the comments because I just realized that the box you mention is actually a recipe box!!
    I’m doing research on family recipes and found this page, made my comment and then started browsing around your website.
    I’m wondering if the recipe was originally printed on a can of tuna, sold nation wide. Hince my question about the “box”.
    P.S. Both my Gramas called this “Bunsteads”.

  4. Paul J Smith

    We ate these in grade school lunches in Granite City IL back in the 1970s. Oddly, most people I talk with around the St. Louis area have never heard of this, and are even repulsed by the idea. They were delicious.


    Can canned salmon be used instead of tuna?

  6. Sheldrick

    My mom and dad made these for our family reunions except they used chipped beef. So good.

  7. Laura R

    I’ve been searching for a “Bunsteads” recipe and thanks to Google spelling correct I came to your site. My mother was too polite to say “Bum” especially in connection to food. Made them today for lunch! Thanks. Your site looks interesting.

  8. DS97

    It was the day that the whole school would pack a lunch- Bunstead day! Back in Jasper County, Illinois, -1980’s. But I loved our lunch ladies. That was back when they actually cooked real food and most of it was really good!

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