Tuna Melt

Published Date: February 28, 2024

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tuna melt cut in half

This quick and easy Tuna Melt recipe starts with a flavorful tuna salad before it’s topped with cheese and tomatoes and toasted on a buttery slice of bread!

Whether enjoyed as a quick lunchtime bite or a cozy dinner option, this timeless classic has secured its place in the hearts and stomachs of many!

Two halves of a tuna melt stacked on top of each other on a table.

Bursting with flavor, oozing with cheesy goodness, and boasting a satisfying crunch, these delectable sandwiches are a timeless favorite for lunch or dinner!

tuna melt ingredients

Tuna Melt Ingredients

  • Canned Tuna
  • Mayonaise
  • Purple Onion
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Celery
  • Green Onion
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Tomato
  • Sliced Bread
  • Butter

All About This Recipe

Picture this: a hearty helping of creamy tuna salad mixed with all the fixings like mayo, crunchy celery, and zesty onions, sandwiched between two slices of perfectly toasted bread. And then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, enter the cheese! Whether you’re a fan of melty cheddar, swiss, or something in between, the cheese takes the whole thing to the next level of yum!

Serve this Tuna Melt up with a fresh glass of Lemonade and a bowl of Italian Pasta Salad for a refreshing and light meal!

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How To Make A Tuna Melt

  1. After draining the tuna thoroughly, place it into a medium bowl. Use a fork to break it up really well.
  2. Combine mayonnaise, onion, lemon juice, salt, pepper, celery, green onion, and cheese with the tuna.
  3. Spread butter on one slice of bread. Place this piece of bread, butter side down, into a preheated skillet. Add some tuna mixture and spread it to the edges of the bread. Add slices of tomato and a slice of cheese. Butter on one side of another piece of bread. Place this piece of bread (butter side up) on top of the cheese. (The butter goes on the outside of the sandwich so that it will toast nicely.) Then carefully flip the sandwich with a spatula to grill both sides.
  4. Cook the sandwich in the skillet until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted.
step by step instructions on how to make a tuna melt

Tuna Melt Storage Instructions

Store unused tuna mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Or you may store it in the freezer for up to a week. If you are storing the tuna melt sandwich, it may be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days. Then, to reheat it, place it in the oven at 350 degrees to heat through. This will take about 5 minutes.

FAQ’S

I’m not sure how hot my skillet should be?

You want the skillet to be at about medium-low heat.  If you have the heat too high, the outside will burn before the cheese melts.  And if the temperature is too low, then you won’t get a nice crisp on the bread.  You may have to turn the heat higher or lower, depending on what is happening to the sandwich.  Cook until there is a golden toast to the bread and the cheese is melty.  And keep in mind that different kinds of bread may cook faster or slower.  It often depends on the amount of sugar in the bread.  

I like my sandwiches open-faced, can I make this recipe open-faced?

Yes!  Just don’t add the top slice of bread.  And be careful to keep the heat low enough so that the filling melts before the bread gets too dark. 

What kind of bread goes will with this sandwich?

 I like this sandwich with a sturdy bread like rye or sourdough, but it is also delicious with multigrain, whole wheat, or plain white bread.  You can adjust the bread to your own taste.  

Besides cheddar, what kind of cheese would go good on this sandwich?

  Some delicious alternatives would be havarti, provolone, colby jack, swiss, or even processed cheese if you prefer.  

I don’t care for celery, but I still want some crunch in this sandwich. What would you recommend?

Chopped water chestnuts also work well in this sandwich. They don’t change the flavor, but they stay crunchy!  Some people like to add in chopped dill pickles, which is another nice alternative.

tuna melt cut in half
tuna melt cut in half, showing both open sides of the sandwich stacked on top of eachother

Tuna Melt

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grilled tuna, tuna melt
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

EQUIPMENT

  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Medium bowl
  • Skillet

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 oz canned tuna drained (2 5oz cans)
  • cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup purple onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • 1 rib of celery diced
  • 1 green onion finely sliced
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 8 slices tomato
  • 8 slices bread
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter softened

INSTRUCTIONS

  • After draining the tuna thoroughly, place it into a medium bowl. Use a fork to break it up really well.
  • Mix mayonnaise, onion, lemon juice, salt, pepper, celery, green onion, and cheese with the tuna.
  • Heat a skillet to medium-low heat.
  • Spread butter on one slice of bread. Place this piece of bread, butter side down, into the skillet. Add about ½ cup of the tuna mixture and spread it to the edges of the bread. Add slices of tomato and a slice of cheese. Butter on one side of another piece of bread. Place this piece of bread (butter side up) on top of the cheese. (The butter goes on the outside of the sandwich so that it will toast nicely.) Then carefully flip the sandwich with a spatula to grill both sides.
  • Cook the sandwich in the skillet at medium-low heat until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted.

NOTES

Storage Instructions:
Store unused tuna mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Or you may store it in the freezer for up to a week. If you are storing the tuna melt sandwich, it may be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days. Then, to reheat it, place it in the oven at 350 degrees to heat through. This will take about 5 minutes.

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Gabby Hubbell Family Busy Family Recipes Author

From one busy family to another, I see you.

Hi, I’m Gabby! From crockpots to one-pot recipes, we’re eager to make dinner time a breeze for you and your family. Follow along for recipes even the pickiest of eaters will enjoy time and time again!
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