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There’s nothing quite like a delicious, homemade tuna melt to satisfy your lunchtime cravings. These family-friendly open-faced Tuna Melt sandwiches are a scrumptious combination of creamy tuna salad, juicy tomatoes, and melted cheddar cheese, all toasted to perfection. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy lunch or a hearty snack, this Tuna Melt recipe is sure to become a favorite in your household. Packed with protein and bursting with flavor, these sandwiches are both nutritious and utterly satisfying.

Ingredients and Preparation


To make these delectable Tuna Melt sandwiches, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 (7 ounce) cans of albacore tuna packed in water: Drained
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 stalk of celery: Chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 slices of bread: Sourdough, white, rye, whole wheat, or pumpernickel
  • 12 thin slices of tomato
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Equipment Needed

  • Baking sheet
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon for mixing
  • Oven

Instructions for Making Tuna Melt Sandwiches

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). This temperature ensures that the sandwiches will be perfectly toasted and the cheese will melt evenly.

Step 2: Prepare the Tuna Salad

In a mixing bowl, combine the drained tuna, mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, chopped celery, red onion, pickle relish, parsley, dill, and black pepper. Mix well until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. This flavorful tuna salad will be the base of your Tuna Melt sandwiches.

Step 3: Toast the Bread

Lightly toast the slices of bread until they are just beginning to turn golden. This will provide a sturdy base for the tuna salad and prevent the bread from becoming soggy.

Step 4: Assemble the Sandwiches

Divide the tuna salad evenly between the toasted bread slices. Spread the mixture out evenly. Top each sandwich with two thin slices of tomato, then sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese evenly over the tomatoes.

Step 5: Bake the Sandwiches

Place the assembled sandwiches on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the sandwiches are warmed through. Serve promptly for the best texture and flavor.

Tips for the Perfect Tuna Melt

Tip 1: Choose Sturdy Bread

A good, sturdy bread is ideal for this sandwich to hold the toppings without becoming soggy. European white, whole wheat, pumpernickel, rye, and sourdough are all great choices.

Tip 2: Use Freshly Ground Pepper

Tuna is naturally salty, so additional salt is not needed in this recipe. However, a good helping of freshly ground black pepper adds a delightful kick.

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Tip 3: Make Ahead

If you’re pressed for time, you can make the tuna salad 1-2 days in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This also allows the flavors to meld together, enhancing the taste.

Tip 4: Use Fresh Tomatoes

If you have access to homegrown tomatoes, use them. They are so full of flavor and will take this sandwich over the top. The fresh, juicy slices of tomato add a burst of freshness that complements the creamy tuna salad perfectly.

Tip 5: Customize with Fresh Herbs

Top the sandwiches with fresh herbs like parsley, chives, dill, or tarragon. You can also add avocado slices dipped in lemon juice for an extra layer of flavor and texture.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use a different type of cheese?

A: Yes, you can use other types of cheese such as Swiss, mozzarella, or provolone. Each will provide a different flavor profile to the sandwich.

Q: How can I make the sandwich healthier?

A: To make the sandwich healthier, you can use whole wheat or multigrain bread, reduce the amount of mayonnaise, and add more vegetables such as spinach or arugula.

Q: Can I use fresh tuna instead of canned tuna?

A: Yes, you can use fresh tuna. Cook the tuna first, let it cool, then flake it and proceed with the recipe as directed.

Q: How long can I store leftover tuna salad?

A: Leftover tuna salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be sure to check for freshness before using it again.

Q: Can I add other ingredients to the tuna salad?

A: Absolutely! You can add ingredients like capers, olives, or chopped hard-boiled eggs to customize the tuna salad to your liking.

Q: Is there a dairy-free version of this recipe?

A: For a dairy-free version, you can use vegan mayonnaise and skip the cheese or use a dairy-free cheese alternative.


These open-faced Tuna Melt sandwiches are a delicious and easy way to enjoy a nutritious meal. With the perfect blend of creamy tuna salad, juicy tomatoes, and melted cheddar cheese, each bite is a taste of comfort and satisfaction. By following these simple steps and tips, you can create a delightful lunch that your whole family will love. Whether you enjoy them fresh out of the oven or make the tuna salad ahead of time for a quick meal, these Tuna Melt sandwiches are sure to become a regular in your meal rotation. Enjoy the process of making and savoring these scrumptious sandwiches, and don’t hesitate to get creative with your ingredients and toppings. Happy cooking!