Classic Tuna Melt
Classic Tuna Melt

Tuna melts are super easy to make at home! Make a tuna salad, sandwich with cheese and grill on the stovetop until toasty. Makes a simple lunch or light dinner.

What is a tuna melt except a Grilled cheese sandwich with tuna salad?

Two popular food groups brought together. I loved these sandwiches as a kid and was inspired by a recipe by Karen Tedesco at Better Homes and Gardens to make this tarragon version with a twist.

Video: how to melt tuna


How to melt tuna

The best tuna for tuna melts

Canned Firm Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil makes the best tuna sandwich, melted or classic. The olive oil intensifies the flavor of the tuna. If you don’t like the taste of the oil the tuna is canned in, drain the oil and add your own extra virgin olive oil.

If you only find tuna in canned water, drain the liquid from the tuna and add about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Light chunky tuna can make a mushy tuna salad, so look for firm tuna.

The brands of canned tuna that we use the most are Wild Planet Albacore Solid Wild Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Genova Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil. You can also find good options at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. It may take some experimentation before you find a brand you like.

The Secret to a Roasted Tuna Meltdown

A tuna melt is more or less a deluxe grilled cheese. Spread the outside of the bread with butter so it turns golden brown and crispy in the pan.

The other secret? Don’t rush it! We all know how disappointing it is to burn a sandwich. Take it easy and use medium heat, which gets the bread nice and toasted — and melts the cheese — without burning the bread.

Swaps & Substitutions

  • Use fresh or dried dill instead of tarragon.
  • Use Swiss, Havarti, Provolone, Munster, or Orange Cheddar in place of the white cheddar.
  • Use a chopped shallot or chopped chives in place of the spring onion.
  • Add some diced celery or water chestnuts for the crunch.
  • Use hearty rye or whole wheat bread.
  • Add a chopped hard-boiled egg to the tuna salad.

More Favorite Tuna Recipes!

  • THUN Macaroni Salad
  • Tuna Burger with Dill Olive Mayo
  • Tuna Tomato Pasta Casserole
  • Avocado Tuna Salad
  • Best tuna salad ever

From the editors of Simply Recipes

Classic tuna melt

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
8 minutes

total time
18 minutes

4 rolls


  • 1 thinly sliced green Onionincluding the Greens

  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf Parsely

  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon Leaves or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon, crumbled

  • citrus peel from one lemon

  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  • 1/3 Cup mayonnaise

  • 2 (6thOunce) Cans plain white tunawell drained and exfoliated

  • 8th slices French or Italian loaf of bread (or your favorite bread), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

  • 1 thinly sliced tomato (8 slices)

  • 4 ounces sharply grated white cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)

  • 2 tablespoon softened butter


  1. Make the tuna mix:

    In a medium bowl, combine the spring onion, parsley, tarragon, lemon juice, lemon zest, Dijon mustard, black pepper, and mayonnaise. Add the drained tuna and mix with a fork to break up the flakes.

  2. Prepare the tuna melts for the griddle:

    Lay out four slices of bread. Divide the tuna mixture evenly among the slices. Top each slice of bread with tomato slices and grated cheese. Butter one side of the remaining four slices of bread. Place the bread slices, buttered side up, on top of the cheese.

  3. Tuna melts on the first side:

    Heat a large griddle (or pair cast-iron skillets) over medium-high heat. Place the sandwiches, buttered side down, on the hot griddle. Gently spread butter on the bread slices. Fry for about 3 minutes, or until nicely browned on one side.

  4. Flip and bake the other side:

    Using a metal spatula, lift the sandwiches and gently turn them to the other side. Fry for another 3 minutes until the second side is browned.

  5. Serve immediately.
nutritional information (per serving)
542 calories
33g Fat
28g carbohydrates
32g protein
Previous articleButtermilk Fried Chicken
Next articleSpicy Corn Fritters
Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!