Classic Tuna Melt

This classic tuna melt, with its toasted bread, melted cheese, and creamy tuna filling, is proof that good food need not be fancy.

A toasted classic tuna melt on a wooden board with a dish of ketchup next to it.

This seemingly simple toasted sandwich with tuna and lots of cheese is a real American classic. Why? The proof is in the eating.–Bart van Olphen

Classic Tuna Melt

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 20 M
  • 20 M
  • Serves 2
5/5 - 1 reviews
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In a medium bowl, mix the tuna, onion, scallion, parsley, mayonnaise, and a few drops of hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

Butter 1 side of each slice of bread and turn them over. Pile the tuna mixture onto the non-buttered sides of 2 slices of bread and top with the Cheddar. Sandwich with the other 2 slices of bread, buttered side up.

In a dry skillet over medium heat, cook the sandwiches until the bread is crunchy and the cheese has melted, 2 to 4 minutes per side.

Cut the tuna melt in half and, if desired, set out some ketchup on the side.

Print RecipeBuy the The Tinned Fish Cookbook cookbook

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

Often I have a tin of tuna and do something boring with it. This reminded me that you can do something really tasty with it. The tuna melt mixture was appealing in color—pink of the tuna, white mayo, red onion, and green scallion. It was more effort than I would normally put into a tuna mixture but worth the effort.

The tuna melt mixture was easy to make. The amount of mayonnaise suggested for the tuna melt mixed the rest of the ingredients thoroughly. I thought that it might be easier to use a panini press rather than try to turn the assembled (and full) sandwich over on the skillet. As it was hard to get the cheese to melt when the slices of bread were thick, I experimented with making open sandwiches with just one slice of bread and melting the cheese under the grill (broiler). This worked well and looked appealing as the cheese can be melted until it browns up.

This sandwich was really tasty and the ketchup made a great accompaniment. I would recommend it and would make it again.

A simple and quick recipe and a delicious tuna salad sandwich! I used Mild Red Cheddar, a smooth cheese that’s a perfect combination with the tuna salad and the crunchy bread. Served with homemade ketchup, this is a real treat!


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  1. Saw this last night and earmarked it for the last of my challah for lunch today. I did use low fat cheddar from TJs and low-fat mayo for the tuna as well the the shmeer on the bread, which is my usual choice for grilled cheese. Husband and I both enjoyed tremendously. Terrific change of pace from usual tuna sandwich or grilled cheese.

    1. Thanks, Roni! I’m delighted that you and your husband enjoyed this so much. Can’t wait to hear what you try next.

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