Mediterranean Tuna Melt

A Mediterranean tuna melt may not be the classic tuna melt yet it may just upend everything you thought you knew about your tuna melt preferences.

The makings of a Mediterranean tuna melt -- a slice of whole grain bread topped with gruyere cheese, a bowl with tuna salad, and a butter lettuce leaf topped with tuna salad, avocado, and pepper

These Mediterranean tuna melts are a lighter, fresher, and, yes, healthier spin on a diner classic. In what seems a crazy unconventional riff on tradition, tzatziki replaces mayonnaise and there’s the soul-satisfying addition of creamy avocado. Or, as one of our recipe testers explained, “What we have, ultimately, is a homey if a little eccentric piece of comfort food that comes together quickly and disappears even faster.” Yet it sacrifices none of the cheesy goodness of the original. Originally published March 24, 2017.Angie Zoobkoff

When is a Tuna Melt Not a Tuna Melt?

This Mediterranean tuna melt recipe, from Manhattan chef Michael Psilakis, toasts the bread and melts the cheese first and only then adds the tuna and other ingredients to ensure the cold stuff stays cold and the hot stuff stays hot. It creates a charming collision of temperatures as well as textures. Some may call this a tuna salad sandwich rather than a traditional melt, but to us, it’s heaven.

Mediterranean Tuna Melt

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 25 M
  • Makes 4
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Dump the tuna and cucumber yogurt dip or tzatziki in a bowl and use a fork to combine them until the tuna is nicely coated yet still chunky. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice and gently fold everything together.

Preheat the broiler on your oven or preheat your toaster oven. Lightly toast the bread under the broiler or in your toaster oven. Remove 4 slices of toast and set aside. Place 1 slice cheese on each of the 4 remaining slices of toast and return them to the broiler or toaster oven until the cheese melts, 1 to 3 minutes. Watch them carefully and don’t turn your back!

In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice. Add the greens and herbs and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again. Divide the greens among the 4 plain slices of toast. Scoop an equal amount of tuna over the greens, arrange the avocado slices on top, and sandwich with the toasted cheese slices, cheese side down. Cut the sandwiches on the diagonal and serve immediately.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

These tuna melts were the perfect sandwich—the cheese was gooey, the avocado was creamy, and then there was the slight tang of the olive oil, lemon juice, red onion, tuna, and herbs. Everyone was pleased! I'm not sure where the diner is that serves this tuna melt, but now we can have them at home! What a yummy and filling tuna melt to add to my recipes. Parsley and chives were my herbs of choice and I used Gruyère cheese. I did a rough chop on the romaine leaves instead of leaving them whole.

This tuna melt recipe makes for a lovely sandwich. It's interesting. It's satisfying. It elevates sandwich night. It charmed my family. It's a winner! I used Gruyère cheese and, for herbs, dill and mint.


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