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Best Tuna Melt Recipes

Best Tuna Melt Recipes

Tuna Melt Shopping Tips

Look to the deli for cold-cuts and cheeses sliced to order; they'll taste fresher than their vacuum-sealed counterparts.

Tuna Melt Cooking Tips

For a more pronounced flavor, try drizzling your bread lightly with some olive oil and grilling it.

Wine Pairing

Most white wines (especially albariño) and rosé with most fish dishes. Muscadet, sancerre, or New Zealand sauvignon blanc with cold fish dishes; chardonnay, pinot gris/grigio, or pinot blanc with grilled or roasted fish; sauvignon blanc or gewürztraminer with baked fish; grüner veltliner with fish pâté; vintage or non-vintage champagne or sparkling wine with light fish dishes; fino or manzanilla with small fried fish; junmai, junmai-ginjo, or junmai-daiginjo with teriyaki fish.

Tips for Making the Best Tuna Melt

On April 19th, Virginia Senator Mark Warner posted a video on Instagram that horrified a nation. In the video, title simply, "Tuna Melt," Warner stood in front of a modest electric stove in a bare home kitchen and made what he described as one of his favorite recipes, one he said he'd learned as a kid. He described it as a way to "go back to basics" and get through these difficult months of coronavirus and quarantine.

His tone was earnest, his recipe choice humble, but, boy oh boy, there was no forgiving the string of culinary sins he proceeded to commit against bread, condiment, cheese, and fish. First, he squirted thick globs of Hellmann's directly onto soft, un-toasted slices of white sandwich bread. Then he scraped big chunks of poorly drained tuna directly from the can on top of that, attempting and failing to mash down the stubbornly dry flakes of canned fish with a fork.

After that, he slapped a couple slices of cheese on top, proudly proclaiming himself a "two-slice man," and then put his creation in. the microwave. What came out could only be described as an abomination.

At the very same time that Warner was massacring his tuna melt, I, as if guided by fate, had already started my own efforts at the sandwich's redemption. I was on a mission to create the most righteous, and undeniably delicious tuna melt I could—and, though I didn't know it at the time, restore order to the Tuna Meltiverse.

The tuna melt is an American culinary icon—admittedly one hell of a strange one—and so instead of declaring from high on the mount my own rules for the perfect tuna melt, I wanted to build these commandments as democratically as possible. And so I asked the people, What makes for a good tuna melt? The answers poured in, and they were more varied than I ever could have imagined.

The range of opinions on the "right" cheese, the "right" bread, the "right" flavorings, the "right" textures and temperatures convinced me that no single "perfect" tuna melt exists. Instead, there's an infinite number of potentially perfect versions, each reflecting the diverse tastes and experiences of the people who share, if nothing else, the conviction that canned tuna and melted cheese belong together on bread.

The resulting commandments are better than I could have ever come up with on my own because they take this diversity into account. There's even a tidbit of wisdom from Warner, proof that even the worst tuna melt isn't entirely terrible. The recipes I created to accompany these commandments are equally diverse: Instead of a single tuna melt recipe, I've created three, each representing a tuna-melt archetype. There's the "All-American," a diner-esque creation that strips the tuna melt to the basics of fish, cheese, mayo, and white bread. Then there's the "Jewish deli-style," which offers a tuna salad flavored more assertively with celery, sweet relish, mustard, onion, and dill. And finally, there's the one with "The Works," which in my recipe's case includes bacon, tomato, avocado, pickled jalapeños, and more, but really just serves as an example of how personalized a tuna melt can become.

To be honest, I suspect Senator Warner knew more than he let on when he decided to share his tuna melt how-to. The signs that he was in on the joke were there from the beginning—the self-aware editing and captions, the shocking close-ups and clumsy execution, the suggestion that "unless you're a professional chef, you may want to pause the video so you can keep up," and, perhaps most telling of all, the gorgeous Mediterranean mortar and pestle that could only be in the kitchen of someone who knows a thing or two about good food.* I think he wanted to get us all talking, and it worked.

*I reached out to Warner's Digital Media Director for comment on the mortar and pestle and was told Warner's daughters are much better cooks than the Senator. Still, even if he can't cook as well as his daughters, merely being in the same family as someone who would know to invest in a mortar and pestle of that caliber would lead to some culinary knowhow.

  • 2 cans (5 oz) Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna, drained
  • 1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickles, diced
  • Sea salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 8 slices of American, cheddar, or your favorite cheese
  • 8 slices of sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine tuna, green onion, mayo and pickles. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Place one slice of cheese on a slice of bread and top with tuna. Add another slice of cheese, and top with a second piece of sourdough. Repeat 3 more times to make remaining sandwiches.

Heat a non-stick pan to medium, brush the top of one sandwich with olive oil and put face side down in the pan. Cook until golden brown, brush the top with olive oil, flip, and finish cooking. Serve while warm.

What is a tuna melt?

A tuna melt is a sandwich that includes a tuna salad mixture, with a slice of cheese between 2 pieces of bread and then cooked in a pan on the stove to brown both sides of the sandwich. There are different variation and toppings that can be added to change up the flavors, but every sandwich starts with the best tuna salad mixture. We have created the best that is perfect for keeping things basic or making things fancy.

Grown-Up Tuna Melts Recipe

This Grown-Up Tuna Melts recipe – with banana peppers, sourdough bread, provolone cheese, tomatoes and more – is my retro recipe makeover of the simple Tuna Melts that my Dad used to make us when I was a kid.

I haven’t made tuna melts in years. Over 10 years, would be my best guess. But my son remembers them and he loved them. They weren’t fancy. It was the cheapest tuna, mixed with mayonnaise and pickle relish, spooned onto plain white bread, and topped with an American cheese slice. I baked them in the oven on a baking sheet until the cheese melted. The same way my Dad made them when I was a kid.

Sunday Supper this week was all about “Retro Recipes”. And that’s when I decided to finally give into my son. But rather than going completely old school with them, I decided to try something new — I made what I call Grown-Up Tuna Melts.

My Grown-Up Tuna Melts are made with solid white albacore tuna, chopped red onion, chopped celery and chopped banana peppers. The bowl I used was one of the silver metal bowls that my Dad used to always make tuna salad in when I was younger. Seeing this bowl always reminds me him making his tuna sandwiches, so using it in my kitchen for tuna is my little tribute to him.

I also mixed in mayonnaise and lemon juice, plus seasoned it with freshly ground salt and pepper.

Rather than plain white bread, I used a San Francisco style sourdough bread. The mixture was divided among 4 slices of sourdough, which were placed on a baking sheet. I added 2 tomato slices to each tuna melt and then 2 slices of provolone cheese to each.

The Tuna Melts are baked in oven until hot, melted and starting to brown.

When I pulled them out of the oven, I was happy. They looked so good and after I tasted them, I decided that the changes I made not only had me enjoying these tuna melts, but had me happy enough with them to put them on the menu more often.

Need your best Tuna Melt recipe

My Bf from America (I’m from Switzerland) recently mentioned he made a Tuna Melt and how yum it was. Never had one, never saw one, idk if it’s even much known in my country. Sadly he’s also a very lazy cook so his recipe is “take bread, toast it, put on some mayo, tuna and cheese. Done”

So before I have to read through tons of recipes claiming to be THE BEST with half of them having the posters story included of how their one armed, one legged grandpa used to make them after a hard day on the all natural tuna farm in the community of the holy mayo spirit.

Reddit, what is your BEST tuna melt? Thank you

So before I have to read through tons of recipes claiming to be THE BEST with half of them having the posters story included of how their one armed, one legged grandpa used to make them after a hard day on the all natural tuna farm in the community of the holy mayo spirit.

Have to admit, I did laugh out loud at this. Nice!

My son begs me for this for lunch every day ! How ever, I don’t just stick the bread in the toaster. I make the cheese, tuna and mayo sandwiches, spray them with olive oil spray and then put them in the fry pan until they’re golden brown on both sides and the cheese is oozing. Your eyes will roll back in your head. It’s that good. Comfort food !

2 can water drained albacore tuna, small or less onion finely diced, heaping tablespoon sweet pickle relish, salt, pepper, and dill weed to taste. Mix ingredients well, and add mayonnaise to desired consistency. Mayo up one side of toasted bread and spread healthy amount of tuna onto it. Broil a minute or two till warm, add a slice of cheese on top asiago is really good. Melt under broiler and eat.

I use a panini press and a tortilla for mine. Mix tuna and mayo, spread over half the tortilla (so you can fold it shut later). Add tomato/avocado if you like. Stack spinach and cheese onto the tuna. Add sauce of your choice to the untouched half of the tortilla, fold shut, and toast. College student here, they're a staple :)

The tuna salad is probably the biggest variable. I would suggest you interrogate your BF (nicely if you wish, or not - either way is fine by me) and find out what he likes in his tuna salad. Some people love celery in it, others do not. Some like scallions/spring onions, other don't. Some use sweet relish, some use dill. others none. This is just one thing that has become so mutated by personal preferences that you cannot define "proper" tuna salad. Proper tuna salad is the one you like.

For bread, I prefer sourdough, but any good hearty bread will work (rye is another good, classic choice).

As for cheese, this is again a preference. Cheddar is great, but Havarti is very good and creamy as well. You can even give a dill Havarti a try - it's great, and dill goes great with tuna salad IMO. Or Swiss if you want (or you're that patriotic), Muenster, Gouda. experiment away.

To prepare it, get a pan on medium to medium-high heat and have a good-size pot lid or cloche or something like that handy (anything that will completed cover the sandwich without touching it). Then lay out the bread, and add a thin layer of mayo to both slices. Lay down the cheese (one or both sides, up to you - I do both), then tuna salad on one side. Close up the sandwich, and put a good layer of butter or mayo on the outside of the piece of bread that's facing up. Now, put the sandwich in the pan with that buttered/mayoed side down, and immediately add a good layer of butter or mayo to the bread that's now facing up. Add a little water to the pan, close to the sandwich, and cover with the pot lid or cloche. Let the sandwich sit for a few minutes (covered), until the bottom slice is nicely browned on the outside. Once it's ready, flip it, add a little more water and cover again for a couple/few minutes. until the other side is browned. Enjoy.


Step 1

Thoroughly drain 1 can chunk light tuna and transfer to a medium bowl. Add mayonnaise, lemon juice, and chopped fresh dill. Mix with a fork until tuna is smooth and spreadable season with salt and pepper. Scoop tuna onto stone-ground wheat crackers and top with sliced Havarti cheese. Toast crackers in a toaster oven until cheese is just melted, about 2 minutes.

How would you rate Tuna Melt?

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Susartandfood's Blog

The east coast got hammered with a major winter storm over the weekend. Makes me glad to be tucked away inside my warm house, a light rain falling outside my door, and a cup of hot coffee sitting on the table next to me. The last time I lived in a snow belt would have been in the early 1990’s. My husband at the time was a construction roadie. Pipe foreman jobs during those six years on the road would take us from Washington to Arkansas, east to West Virginia, south to Alabama and back to West Virginia before returning California. Our time in West Virginia totaled a little more than three years, one first time and a little over two on our second time around.

What a gorgeous state West Virginia is. The Mountain State, as it is so named because of the gorgeous span of Appalachian Mountains to the eastern side of the state. The Appalachians offer endless vistas, impressive gorges, and prolific hiking opportunities. Once I hiked up to Hawk’s Nest State Park Museum on a trip through that part of the state. By the time we reached the top I was convinced I was going to be on the afternoon news being air lifted by helicopter to get back down. The views once we reached our destination were worth the hike, but I wasn’t taking in enough oxygen to really enjoy them.

On our second stay we rented a house in St. Albans. St. Albans is a small town on the western side of the state nestled against the banks of the Kanawha River midpoint between Charleston and Hungtington. The house was typical of homes in the area, older, well constructed, with a generous lot. A railroad track lay beyond the property line at the back of the house. So thrilled were we to have found a house close to the job site where my husband would be working, we didn’t give it much notice. Our first night in our new home we collapsed into bed around eleven. Half filled boxes were scattered about along with piles of clothes and household items. As with many older homes the bedrooms were relatively small. The king sized bed with its massive headboard had to be shoved up against the far wall in order to leave any room for maneuvering when getting in and out. As I slept on the wall side of the bed this meant I would have to climb over the foot board if I woke up before my husband did. Deep in dreamland the midnight special passed by precisely on time whistle shrieking. The house shook to such an extent the bed actually moved toward the door across the freshly waxed hardwood floors. “Lucy, I’m home!” I was perched on my husband’s shoulders like a frightened cat. The following day we fused the headboard to wall mount to keep from repeating the experience.

As the months passed we settled in. The train’s whistle became so familiar by the time summer melted into fall our sleep went uninterrupted. A week before Thanksgiving a major snowfall captured the state. Having not seen snow in years I was the first one out of the door followed by my Shih Tzu, Sushi, a snow virgin. Excited by my antics the small dog plowed through the unfamiliar drifts gathering enough white on her muzzle to look like a canine version of Santa. How beautiful the landscape is when covered with a recent snow. Stark shadows and woody images contrasting with the purity of the land have contributed to many a memorable work of art. However, once you add a vehicle to the picture, the picture becomes far less attractive.

The river soon iced over and winter officially made itself comfortable in our part of the world. I became fairly adept at maneuvering the icy streets, managing myself through several skids and a near miss or two. Being a one car family, if I needed the car it was up to me to drive my husband to work. Not that it was far, about 15 miles as I recall. The worst of it was he worked ten-hour days so his day began at 6:00 a.m. meaning when I took him to work my day began much earlier. On one particular morning planning to use the car I woke late. In my hurry to get ready on time I pulled on a bunny fur jacket and a pair of leather boots over my leggings and nightshirt. Who was going to see me anyhow? Right? Right.

Crossing the bridge it was dark. We turned right and drove through the town on the other side making our way along a six mile span of country road heading toward Nitro where the plant was located. Half dozing I jerked awake when my husband yelled “hold on”. Gliding across the icy patch we moved as if in slow motion up and over the bank to one side. The car leaned to the right, creaked and came to rest on the passenger’s side. Above me my husband was suspended from his seat belt. Shaken up, either of us appeared to be hurt. The temperature outside twas several degrees below zero and nobody was on the road. Do we stay or do we go was the elephant in the room. The car, as was obvious, was staying. Experts tell you to remain with the car. Unfortunately, there weren’t any experts with us that morning so we climbed out through his side and began to walk. After a while I began to complain I’d lost all feeling my feet and legs. My husband assured me we wouldn’t freeze if we kept walking. Whether or not that was true didn’t matter, I needed to believe it was.

Just when I felt my frozen toes had surely fallen off and were rattling about in the toe of my boots, a red truck crested the hill. Angels really are out there. Thankfully he stopped and welcomed us into the warmth of his cab. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. Never have I been so glad to see anybody. I can picture his face in my mind as I write this. Explaining our situation, he kindly drove me home to call a tow truck and my husband back to the car to wait with him for their arrival. Once my toes began to thaw pins and needles such as I have never experienced before or since attacked my toes with a vengeance. Fortunately, they were all still attached to my feet and functioning.

Winter leaves little room for idiots, but unfortunately we hadn’t read the memo on that subject at the time. Guess it wasn’t our time to go. So, if you’re stuck going out in snowy conditions dress appropriately, bring water, blankets, and flashlights. Trust me leggings aren’t going to do it.

These tuna melts are a favorite go to on busy days. I had some leftover cooked asparagus which was delicious on top. Vary the cheese as you like but whatever you use you won’t be disappointed. Yum.

Horseradish Tuna Melts

1 6 oz. can albacore tuna, drained and flaked
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped red onion
2 Tbsp. chopped celery
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise (more or less)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. red wine vinaigrette
2 hamburger buns
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
4 slices of beefsteak tomato
4 slices horseradish cheese
4 cooked asparagus spears sprinkled with lemon juice

Mix together tuna, egg, onion, celery in bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Add remaining ingredients thru red wine vinaigrette adding mayonnaise to desired consistency.

Place halves of buns in toaster and toast on Bagel setting. Spread 1/4 Tbsp. of mayonnaise on each cut side. Top with tuna mixture. Place 1 slice tomato on top of tuna and top with 1 asparagus spear on each. Cover with cheese and place under broiler until bubbly and golden brown.

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This was so easy to make, simple and very good! We had this for our lunch along with soup.

I liked the tuna base, but it was better cold than warm. I didn't have rye or gyuvere so I just used wheat bread with american singles the first time, then sharp (stinky) cheddar the second time. I found that the stinkier cheese made a much better sandwich it covered the fishier taste. This was easy to make in the good ol sandwich maker.

FANTASTIC. I did use 3 5 oz cans of Tuna so we could make more:-) Also used pepperjack cheese instead. Tasted great:-) Didn't change the other stuff:-)

I didn't have bread or tomato. I mixed it up and put it on Triscuits! YUM

Delish! Instead of using rye bread, we used 12-grain we had on hand. We also didn't include tomato, as both my fiance and I don't like it. We used pepperjack instead of swiss too. Def the best tuna salad ever! It will become my staple recipe for sure!

Very very good!! I didn't have rye bread so I just used whole wheat! Great, quick sandwich on a chilly night! Loved the crunch of the celery.

I made these last night. They were good but I was expecting much more. I followed the recipe but didn't have celery, just omitted it since we don't care for it any way. Tasted like a good tuna sandwich but nothing more. I won't go to the trouble of using the broiler again for a tuna sandwich. I normally put mine on toast with a slice of tomato, which I would say is equal in taste to this recipe.

This was my first time to make a tuna melt. and decided to prepare it for friends for lunch. Everyone loved it and definitely the Red Wine vinegar makes a big difference. Also rye bread enhances the flavor. Even my husband like it and he really isn t keen on canned tuna.

My husband said this is the best tuna melt he has EVER had. And I don't know anyone who likes tuna melts as much as him, so I was impressed! The best advice in the recipe was to broil the bread both sides and then take out and top with tuna, cheese, tomatoes, etc. In the past we've always had problems with the bottom of the bread being too soft. So thank you for that hint! Also, I love the idea of layering cheese, tomatoes, cheese. It tasted so good (even though the tomato made it a bit juicy to eat - it was worth it) Now, the only addition I have to your recipe is to put a little bit of fresh chopped garlic in--it enhances the flavor to perfection!

The Best Tuna Melt Recipe

Easy, cheesy and sure to please even the pickiest of palates, this tuna melt recipe is your new after-school MVP! Taking only 15 minutes to throw together and using easy store-bought ingredients like the pimento cheese, this savory sandwich makes the perfect quick after-school snack. It also can be a great quick dinner for those busy weeknights packed to the brim with homework and extracurriculars.

You’ll also love that tuna is packed with protein and omega-3s, which will help the kids refuel after a long day at school. The protein will keep them full and focused throughout their after-school sports practices, while the omega-3s will give them the brain boost they need to conquer their studies. That “Parent of the Year” award is headed your way!

Pro-tip: This recipe is simple enough for your older seafoodies to DIY. By taking a few minutes to show them how – and keeping the fridge and pantry stocked with the ingredients – you can rest easy knowing they’re enjoying a balanced after-school snack even when you’re not there to greet them.

As always, we hope you enjoy!

Cheesy Pimento-Tuna Melt

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 8 slices whole grain bread
  • 2 (5 oz.) cans or pouches of tuna in water
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup prepared pimento cheese spread


  1. Preheat broiler. Place bread on baking sheet and lightly toast both sides of all slices.
  2. In medium bowl, prepare tuna salad by combining tuna and the next 6 ingredients (through lemon juice).
  3. Take two slices of toasted bread. Spread tuna salad mixture onto one slice spread pimento cheese onto other slice.
  4. Broil each slice face-up for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and browned slightly.
  5. Sandwich together the two slices of bread. Cut and serve.
  6. Repeat process to make three more tuna melt sandwiches.

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Video styling: Monica Lavin of Lavin Label
Videography: iMint Media

Watch the video: How to Cook Tuna Steak. Jamie Oliver (December 2021).