A classic tuna melt is an easy recipe that is as nostalgic as it is classic. This sandwich is truly delicious, made with toasted bread, melted cheese, and a simple tuna salad filling.
Even if you’re serving a crowd, this recipe will work. The sandwiches are toasted in the oven all at the same time so everything comes together at once.
What is a Melt?
A “melt” sandwich is a hot sandwich similar to a grilled cheese but with added fillings that are usually made with a mayo or mustard base. In our case, we have a mayo-based tuna filling. These sandwiches can be served open-faced or closed face (meaning with or without a top slice of bread).
Classic Tuna Melt Ingredients
For the Tuna Filling, you will need:
- Canned tuna
- Green onion
- Pickle juice
For the Sandwiches, you will need:
- Hamburger buns
- Sliced cheese
- For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
How to Make a Tuna Melt
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Prepare the tuna filling by mixing together all of the ingredients until well combined.
- Place a bottom hamburger bun piece onto a piece of foil and then top the bun with about ¼ cup of tuna filling.
- Top with a slice of cheese and the top hamburger bun.
- Bring the sides of the foil up and wrap the sandwich completely.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
- Serve and enjoy!
Tuna Melt Variations
- Use homemade pickles. I like to make my own pickles using my friend Melissa’s Quick Pickled Cucumbers Recipe. It’s fast and simple if you need a jar of pickles but don’t want to make a trip to the store. It’s also insanely delicious!
- Different Cheeses. I like Monterey Jack cheese on this tuna melt recipe, but just use whatever cheese floats your boat. No hard and fast rules here.
Farmstead Recipe Tips for Classic Tuna Melts
- You can really use any veggies that you want, but I really like the slight sweetness of the pickles with the pepper and the mild flavor of the green onions.
- Adding in a tablespoon of pickle juice really helps to change up this filling for the better.
What to Serve With Tuna Melts
You can use just about any cheese your heart desires, but some of the most common pairings to go with tuna include cheddar, Monterey jack, asiago cheese, Colby jack cheese, and swiss. Even a jalapeno jack cheese would be nice if you want a subtle kick of heat in every bite.
I recommend sticking with any canned tuna (the kind that is in water, not oil). You will drain the water before using the tuna. Fresh tuna will not do well in these sandwiches, and the oil tuna is usually pretty greasy and can change the consistency of the filling as well.
Tuna melts are reasonably healthy. As always, food doesn’t have morals and isn’t good or bad. If you’d like to eat a tuna melt, eat one.
Easy Tuna Melt Recipe
For the Tuna Filling
- 10 ounces tuna two small cans, drained
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons dill pickles chopped
- 1/3 cup red pepper chopped, about half of a pepper
- 2 tablespoons green onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon pickle juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper or to taste
For the Sandwiches
- 6 hamburger buns
- 6 slices cheese Monterey jack, or your favorite
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
For the Tuna Filling
- Combine all ingredients except cheese. Mix well.
- On a piece of aluminum foil, place about 1/4 cup of the filling onto the bottom hamburger bun.
- Top with cheese and the top hamburger bun.
- Wrap in the aluminum foil.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.