The Ultimate Tuna Melt: A Classic Comfort Food Recipe

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The tuna melt: a timeless comfort food that’s as satisfying as it is simple. This recipe breaks down the art of crafting the perfect tuna melt, from the creamy filling to the perfectly toasted bread.


Easy Diner-Style Tuna Melt
Easy Diner-Style Tuna Melt

2 slices of high-quality bread (white, wheat, sourdough – your choice!)

  • 1 can (5 oz) chunk light tuna in water, drained
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Prepare the Filling: In a medium bowl, combine the drained tuna, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, celery (if using), red onion (if using), and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and create a creamy spread.

    2. Toast the Bread: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Lightly toast the bread slices on both sides until golden brown. You can also toast the bread in a toaster for a quicker option.

    3. Assemble the Melt: Spread a generous layer of the tuna mixture onto one toasted bread slice. Top with your desired amount of shredded cheese.

    4. Melt that Cheese! Carefully place the sandwich, cheese side up, back into the heated skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Alternatively, preheat your broiler and broil the sandwich for 1-2 minutes, keeping a close eye to avoid burning.

    5. Slice and Enjoy! Carefully transfer the tuna melt to a plate and let it cool slightly before slicing it in half diagonally. Devour immediately!

    Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    Calories: approximately 400 (depending on bread and cheese choices)

  • Fat: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Protein: 25g

  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional breakdown and can vary depending on the specific ingredients you use.


    The tuna melt is a versatile recipe that can be easily customized to your preferences. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of bread, cheeses, or add-ins like chopped pickles or a sprinkle of hot sauce. With its ease of preparation and satisfying taste, the tuna melt is sure to become a regular in your lunch routine.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use canned tuna in oil instead of water?

    Yes, you can! However, keep in mind that tuna packed in oil will add additional calories and fat to your sandwich. Drain the oil well before adding the tuna to the mixture.

    2. What are some good substitutes for cheddar cheese?

    There are many delicious cheese options to explore! Swiss, provolone, or pepper jack would all be excellent choices for a tuna melt.

    3. How can I make this recipe vegetarian?

    For a vegetarian twist, simply replace the tuna with cooked and flaked chickpeas or lentils. You can also explore vegetarian “deli slices” found at most grocery stores.

    4. Can I make this ahead of time?

    Yes, you can! Assemble the sandwich without toasting the bread and store it in the refrigerator for up to a day. When ready to eat, simply toast the bread and melt the cheese as directed.

    5. What are some good side dishes to serve with a tuna melt?