Open Faced Tuna Melt Recipe – the best tuna melt sandwich is made with simple ingredients, is cheap and easy to make, and doesn’t stray too far from the old-fashioned comfort food we all love. Bread, tuna, and cheese, that’s it!
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Of course, it’s customizable, so you can make yours however you like. I know some people love adding a slice of tomato to theirs and maybe even some lettuce.
We like to keep ours pretty basic and let the creamy tuna and sharp Pepper Jack Cheese speak for themselves.
This open faced tuna melt recipe is a classic sandwich that the entire family will love! If you’re looking for a different way to use up your canned tuna, this is it. I promise you’ll be wanting seconds!
What is a Tuna Melt?
A tuna melt, as with any type of melt, started off as a variation of the grilled cheese sandwich! When other ingredients are added, it becomes a “whatever it is – melt”.
So, when you add a chicken salad, it becomes a chicken melt. Bacon, a bacon melt. Tuna, a tuna melt. You get the idea.
Typically the sandwich is made with 2 slices of bread, and the tuna and cheese are in the middle, but because we’re only using 1 slice, it’s an open faced tuna melt recipe.
Recipe Ingredients for Tuna Melt Sandwich
- Canned tuna: There are many varieties of canned tuna, so I like to use flaked light tuna that’s been sustainable sourced and packed in water.
- Salt & pepper: Just a bit of seasoning for the tuna salad.
- Chopped pickles: Love the tang and brightness pickles add! They also add a bit of crunchy texture. Dill pickles are what I use, but go ahead and use what you prefer.
- Chopped red onion: These also add texture and flavor. Red onions are sweeter and milder than regular onions so they are great raw.
- Mayo: This is what adds the creamy consistency and brings everything together.
- Pepper Jack cheese: If possible great your own from a block so that it melts much better. You can also use whatever cheese is your favorite or whatever you have on hand. Sharp cheddar cheese, Swiss, Gouda, or Gruyere are all great choices.
- Bread: You want to use bread that can hold everything! Sliced baguette is good, as is French bread, Italian bread, sourdough, rye, and even day-old Texas toast. Try and avoid regular soft bread or you may find your sandwich doesn’t hold well.
Best Tuna To Buy
Tuna has a ton of health benefits. It’s high in protein and omega-3s, and it’s a convenient and budget-friendly source of essential nutrients.
However, as we all know, looking for the best quality of any type of fish these days is like a full-time job, trying to figure out what’s what!
I won’t go too deep into things, but a few things to look for when picking up cans of tuna is noticing whether you’re buying white tuna or light tuna. Both are fine, it’s just that light tuna is considered more flavorful.
Use tuna that’s packed in water, that way it’s easier to avoid unnecessary oils.
Check the labels for sustainable fishing practices. Avoid anything that says “line caught” and look for “poll and line” caught.
Make sure your cans are BPA-free and avoid picking up any with dents.
How to Make a Tuna Melt
Step 1: First, combine the tuna salad ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Mix to combine until the tuna is evenly coated and seasoned and the chopped pickles and onions are mixed in.
Step 2: Next, slice the bread and place the pieces onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Step 3: After, spoon the tuna mixture onto the bread slices, evenly distributing the mix between each one.
Step 4: Top with shredded cheese and bake in a preheated 375F oven for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the bread is nice and toasty.
Tips & Variations
- Double or triple the recipe as needed. This is a great way to serve a crowd for brunch, lunch, or any time at all.
- Swap the bread for bagels, English muffins, or hamburger buns instead.
- If you don’t like pickles, use diced celery instead. Or maybe you want both.
- Thin slices of cheese will also work if you would rather not shred your cheese.
- Add a bit more seasoning to the tuna if you prefer. Dijon mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, or a bit of lemon juice.
- Make it a closed sandwich by adding another slice of bread on top.
- Add a slice of tomato on top of the tuna if desired.
What should I serve with a tuna melt?
How do you keep tuna melt from getting soggy?
The best way is to use thick, sturdy bread that can hold all the toppings. If you’re going to use sliced bread, I suggest lightly toasting it first.
Also, consider how much tuna you’re adding on top. Don’t overload it! Last, a tuna melt is best eaten right away. The longer it sits, the soggier it will get.
Check Out More DELICIOUS Recipes
Open Faced Tuna Melt Recipe
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl except bread and cheese.
- Divide the tuna mixture between 4 slices of bread.
- Add cheese and bake at 375F for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
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