Not Your Mom’s Tuna Melt

Not Your Mom's Tuna Melt Recipe

When you’re shopping for canned tuna, look for the “sustainably fished” logo. The cucumber adds a gorgeous freshness.–Clodagh McKenna

LC Not Your Mom's Tuna Melt Note

A tuna melt is a tuna melt is a tuna melt, right? Uh, not exactly. We beg to differ with that simpleminded sentiment after tucking into this fancy schmancy recipe, which bears all the hallmarks of the classic—creamy tuna-y goodness in warm and toasty sandwich form—yet with a few tweaks that mom never thought to include. Witness nubbins of cucumber for crunch. Cheese that’s not of the presliced, shrink-wrapped variety. And bread from a foreign land…although if you’re not the messy sort, think twice about that baguette, seeing as the crunchy exterior means the tuna salad part may just plop into your lap (consider using sliced bread instead). In other words, we consider this godsend a welcome departure from the classic tuna melts we choked down each and every Friday of our childhood. P.S. You can just as easily make half the amount for a tuna melt for one.

Not Your Mom's Tuna Melt Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 25 M
  • Makes 2


  • 9 ounces canned tuna (preferably packed in oil), drained
  • 1/3 cup store bought or homemade mayonnaise
  • 1/2 celery stalk, finely sliced
  • 1/4 small (about 2 tablespoons) red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 medium (about 2 inches long) cucumber, peeled, if desired, and finely diced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 baguette, cut crosswise into 2 portions, or 4 slices bread, such as sourdough or multigrain
  • 4 slices tomato (optional)
  • 2 slices cheese of your choice, such as Gruyère, Swiss, or white Cheddar


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
  • 2. Using a fork, flake the tuna into a bowl. Stir in the mayonnaise, celery, onion, cucumber, and lemon juice and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix again.
  • 3. Cut the baguettes in half lengthwise and divide the tuna mixture between the bottom pieces. Place 2 slices tomato on each sandwich, if desired. Top with a cheese slice and the baguette lids, pressing down gently to settle the filling.
  • 4. Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the sandwich is warmed through and the cheese begins to melt and turn ooey gooey. Alternatively, you can warm the sandwich in a griddle or sandwich maker.
  • 5. Serve the sandwiches immediately, preferably with napkins galore.
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