Mom’s tuna salad recipe is always a hit because of the delicious textures and flavors. When there’s any leftover Dad gets to make his famous cheesy grilled tuna melt sandwiches. It’s not just his favorite but one of our favorites too. Tuna melt sandwiches are one of the forgotten grilled sandwiches because when it comes to grilled cheese because we don’t see it on menus as often as they should be. Creamy, cheesy with fantastic flavor, grilled tuna melts truly melt in your mouth. They are a fantastic lunch sandwich and when paired with a crisp cool salad, it’s an awesome lunch. It’s a great way to use leftover tuna salad and sometimes we eat it up so quick, we have to make a whole new batch just for the tuna melt sandwiches!
We’ve found one of the key variables in making a tuna melt sandwich is the relationship between browning the bread and melting the cheese. Too high of heat and the bread is golden but the cheese hasn’t melted. Too low and it will eventually become a decent tuna melt sandwich, but it takes forever. So find a nice melting cheese to use and don’t cook it too hot. Especially if your bread has a bit of sugar in the ingredient. Those breads are more sensitive to cooking will often brown quicker than other slices of bread. Hope that helps and Enjoy!
Watch how to make Dad’s Grilled Tuna Melt
Gooey, Cheesy Tuna Melt
Yield: Serves 4-6
Total Time: 20 minutes
Canned tuna fish varies in texture. Some are chunkier and some are more mushy so add the amount of mayo to your preferred taste. Some folks like their tuna extra creamy and some like it drier, with less. So add accordingly!
Different breads will brown quicker than others. If the heat it too warm, the bread may brown quicker than the cheese can melt, so if the bread is very soft or has any sugar in the dough (check the bread ingredients) cook on a little lower heat to make sure the cheese gets to melt by the time the bread browns. It will take a little longer but you’ll get an even browning to cheese melt ratio.
For the Tuna:
- 2 cans (5-oz - 142g each) tuna, drained
- 1/4 cup (60ml) mayonnaise (or more depending on how creamy you want it to be)
- 1 large stalk of celery, minced
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) sweet relish or diced dill pickles
- 2 Tablespoon (30ml) minced red onion
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) mustard
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) minced parsley
- salt, to taste
- fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- (optional) 1/2 teaspoon (3ml) dried dill (or 1 teaspoon (5ml) minced fresh dill)
- (optional) 1/2 teaspoon (3ml) hot sauce or Sriracha sauce
- (optional) freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
For the sandwich:
- Butter, softened
- Sliced American, Swiss or Cheddar cheese
- Tomato slices (optional)
- Pickles (optional)
- Add drained tuna to bowl and gently break up large chunks.
- Add mayonnaise, celery, relish or pickles, red onion, mustard, parsley, salt, pepper and/or optional dill, hot sauce, and lemon juice.
- Gently stir everything together. Add tuna and cheese in between the slices of bread. Optional: add tomato and/or pickles (these can also be served on the side after the sandwiches are cooked if you like). Spread butter on both outsides of the bread.
- Heat skillet on medium-low heat. Place sandwich on skillet and cook on both sides until golden and cheese is melted. Serve with some pickles if you like and enjoy!