This classic Tuna Melt takes my favorite tuna salad recipe and uses it to make a crispy, golden brown sandwich with melted cheese. This easy recipe will have any tuna-lover drooling and it uses every delicious ingredient you love about a tuna melt. This recipe consists of crisp celery and onion for that crunch you crave and garlic, mayo, salt, and pepper for the perfect flavor. Melted mozzarella makes it undeniably delicious!
Tuna Melt ingredients
You will need:
- Four 5-ounce cans of tuna (water or oil), drained
- One medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- Half a stalk of celery, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- One clove of garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon ready minced garlic)
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 12 slices of bread
- Softened butter
Substitutions And Additions
ONION: The type of onion is up to you. Red onion or a sweet yellow onion would be good options. You can also use a 1:1 ratio of chives as a good onion substitute.
MOZZARELLA: Use Swiss cheese or white cheddar cheese if you don’t have any mozzarella.
LEMON JUICE: Squeeze a little bit of lemon into your tuna to add some extra freshness to your sandwich.
BREAD: Any bread will do but we suggest a more sturdy bread such as sourdough, rye bread or heavy artisan bread.
HOT SAUCE: If you like things spicy, add a dash of hot sauce to the tuna salad mixture.
How to Make This Tuna Melt recipe
STEP ONE: Drain the water or oil from your tuna can.
PRO TIP: You can place the tuna in a paper towel or a clean dish towel and wring out even more liquid, this makes for a less soggy sandwich.
STEP TWO: Place the tuna in a medium bowl and use a fork to loosen it.
STEP THREE: Add the onion, celery, garlic, parsley, mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and mozzarella cheese to the tuna bowl. Stir the ingredients to combine.
STEP FOUR: Add salt and pepper to taste and mix it again.
STEP FIVE: Place a non-stick skillet on the stove and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Heat your skillet over medium heat.
STEP SIX: Spread butter on one side of a piece of bread and carefully place that side down into the hot skillet. You can replace the butter with mayonnaise.
PRO TIP: If your butter is too hard to spread, place it in the center of the frying pan. When it has fully melted, spread it around a little and set your bread directly on top.
STEP SEVEN: Spoon about 3 heaping tablespoons of the tuna mixture on the bread, filling the slice of bread in the skillet. Add to or decrease tuna to your liking.
STEP EIGHT: Take another slice of bread and butter one side. Place that side of the bread on top of the sandwich in the skillet with the butter side up.
STEP NINE: Be careful and watch for browning on the underside of the sandwich. Grill until it’s golden brown. Flip the sandwich over and brown the other side.
STEP TEN: Remove the sandwich from the skillet and place it on a paper towel-lined plate for one minute before eating.
HOw to serve
This perfect tuna melt is a complete meal in itself but if you are looking for a larger meal, add a green salad, coleslaw or potato salad to the side along with a handful of potato chips and a couple of dill pickles.
IN THE FRIDGE: Store your sandwich in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
IN THE FREEZER: We don’t suggest freezing this sandwich. The mayonnaise tends to separate when frozen.
This grilled tuna melt recipe is made from classic ingredients that you already know and love. This is a great option for an early dinner or even lunch. Eat this simple sandwich filled with melted gooey cheese and flavorful tuna with just a few simple steps.
Always wondered how to make that classic deli-style tuna melt recipe? Now, you know to quickly make a mouth-watering tuna salad and take it up a notch for a perfectly grilled, hot sandwich for lunch or a light dinner.
We don’t recommend freezing this classic sandwich as the mayo will end up separating while frozen.
You can choose whichever tuna based on your personal preference. Chunk light tuna or albacore tuna are both great choices.
What is the best bread for tuna melt sandwiches?
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- 20 oz tuna water or oil, drained
- 1 medium onion chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 stalk celery chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 clove garlic minced (or 1/2 tsp ready minced garlic)
- 1 tbsp parsley chopped
- 5 tbsp mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1/2 cup mozzarella shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- 12 slices bread
- softened butter
- Drain the water or oil from the tuna. Place the tuna in paper towels or a clean dish towel and wring out even more liquid which makes for a less soggy sandwich, optional.
- Place the tuna in a medium bowl and using a fork loosen it apart.
- To the tuna bowl add the onion, celery, garlic, parsley, mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and mozzarella cheese. Stir to combine.
- Salt and pepper to taste and mix again.
- Place a nonstick skillet on the stove and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Heat over medium heat.
- Butter one side of a piece of bread and carefully place that slice butter side down into the now hot skillet.
- Now spoon about 3 heaping tablespoons of tuna filling onto the slice of bread in the skillet, more or less depending on how thick you like your sandwiches.
- Now take another slice of bread and butter one side. Place that slice of buttered bread on top of the sandwich in the skillet with the butter side up.
- Watch for browning on the underside of the sandwich and grill until golden brown. Next flip the sandwich over and brown the other side.
- Remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel lined plate.