Tuna Melt… Done Right!!

Sometimes it’s the simple things that are the best…


For me tuna is not something I think about making at home, let alone tuna salad.  It is not that I dislike tuna salad, in fact I really like tuna salad!  It’s just not something I think to make.  However, every time tuna is on sale at the grocery store, I tend to buy it because in my mind I am going to make all these wonderful variations of tuna salad to take to lunch and enjoy with as a snack with a nice whole grain cracker. . But the stockpile of tuna cans (well not quite a full stockpile) clearly says that I am not living up to my tuna salad making potential. So, when one of the recipes I received to test for Leite’s Culinaria (and oh how I LOVE being a part of this recipe testing group!!), I thought that this was my opportunity to use some of those cans I seem to be collecting.


This recipe is called, Not Your Mom’s Tuna Melt and it is a fitting title because it is so good and not the tuna salad sandwiches that I remember from childhood.  I adapted the recipe a bit and decided to make it an open faced sandwich, but it you want to slap another piece of bread on top, that wouldn’t be a bad thing, I just like open faced sandwiches, less bread more filling.  If you have been following my blog, you know how much I like lemon.  This recipe uses a lot of lemon and I loved all that lemon flavor it.  I’m not sure why in previous tuna making efforts I didn’t infuse more lemon, but now I definitely will!


In addition to the lemon, I also loved the cucumber. I tend to not use much cucumber, but I loved the added textural element it added to the sandwich and because cucumbers don’t have much flavor it didn’t take away from the overall taste of the sandwich. The actual recipe calls for them to be stirred into the tuna, but I must have missed that piece and decided to add them to the top.  I realize that the picture below looks a little weird with the cheese plastered over the cucumbers, but I promise you it tasted absolutely wonderful!


I paired my tuna melt with a quick arugula and tomato salad… perfect for lunch, dinner or really anytime of the day!


I hope that you will give this Not Your Mom’s Tuna Melt a try!  This definitely inspired me to use up some of those cans of tuna!

Tuna Melt
Slightly adapted recipe on Leite’s Culinaria
Makes 2 (perfect size recipe for dinner and then lunch the next day or just eat them both at one time)

9 ounces canned tuna in oil (I used one white chunk and one light), drained
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 celery stalk, finely sliced
2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
1/4 medium (about 2 inches long) cucumber, finely diced (I used an english cucumber and didn’t need to peel it)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 slice good whole wheat bread toasted under the broiler
4 slices tomato
2 slices cheese of your choice, I used provolone

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Toast bread in oven for 5-7 minutes.
  • Flake the tuna into a bowl with a fork, stir in mayonnaise, celery, onion and lemon juice and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste..
  • Divide the tuna mixture between the two slices of toasted bread. Place 2 slices tomato on each sandwich, add diced cucumbers and top with slice of cheese.
  • Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the tuna is warmed through and the cheese begins to melt.



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