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Tuna Melt

close up shot of tuna melt sandwiches stacked on top of each other
Mix together the perfect tuna salad, add some yummy mozzarella, and grill this sandwich to make a tuna melt recipe you’ll come back to time and time again.
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Table of Contents
  1. TUNA MELT INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS TUNA MELT RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. FAQ
  6. More Recipes You'll Love
  7. JUMP TO RECIPE

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!

If you like this grilled sandwich, try out Grilled Ham and Cheese or our Grilled Cheese Sloppy Joe. Do you love tuna and want a cold version of this tasty sandwich? Try our tuna salad sandwiches.

close up shot of tuna melt sandwiches stacked on top of each other

MORE TUNA RECIPES:
Tuna Sandwich | Tuna Casserole


TUNA MELT INGREDIENTS

tuna melt raw ingredients that are labeled

You will need:

  • Four 5-ounce cans of tuna (water or oil), drained
  • One medium onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • Half a stalk of celery, chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • One clove of garlic, minced (or ½ teaspoon ready minced garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ 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.

kitchen tools you actually need

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.

tuna melt process shot of ingredients being combined in a bowl with a wooden spoon

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.

tuna melt process shot of sandwich on a skillet being cooked

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.

tuna melt process shot of bread on a skillet with tuna mixture

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.

STORAGE

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.

overhead shot of tuna melt sandwiches sliced in half

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.

FAQ

Can I freeze this sandwich?

We don’t recommend freezing this classic sandwich as the mayo will end up separating while frozen.

What type of tuna fish should I use?

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?

What is the best bread for tuna melt sandwiches?

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close up shot of tuna melt sandwiches stacked on top of each other

Tuna Melt

5 from 11 votes
Mix together the perfect tuna salad, add some yummy mozzarella, and grill this sandwich to make a tuna melt recipe you’ll come back to time and time again.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 sandwiches

Ingredients
  

  • 20 oz tuna water or oil, drained
  • 1 medium onion chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 1/2 stalk celery chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 clove garlic minced (or ½ 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 152mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 46IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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  1. Joan Trimble says

    5 stars
    This was delicious-never had a tuna melt before. Is there supposed to be leftovers? Why use 2 cans of tuna when each sandwich is filled w/ 2 T of the prepared salad? I used less tuna than called for and placed used than 2T on 2 sandwiches and had about 1/3rd leftover. I’m sure it was more than 220 cal, however it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Kathy says

      5 stars
      .Gloria, thanks for rating the tuna sandwich my kids. Wanted a tuna melt
      ! Haven’t made , one in years but found
      The one you rated & decided to try.thanks

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