tuna melt sandwich halves stacked on a cutting board

Tuna Melt Sandwich

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This tuna melt sandwich is the ultimate! It’s a nearly effortless meal with simple and inexpensive canned tuna that melts in your mouth!

tuna melt sandwich browned and melty

The crispy pan toasted Italian bread along with the creamy melted cheese makes this tuna sandwich the ultimate comfort food! It’s a classic! And a super easy dinner idea!

Tuna sandwich

You can make a simple tuna salad sandwich the traditional way, or you can bump it up a notch into a fantastic meal by making it a tuna melt! The cheesy goodness is something you won’t soon forget. And it’s customizable according to your tastes.

They can be open or close faced, but close faced (a piece of bread for a lid) are a little easier to eat. Then you can decide what kind of bread will hold it together, what kind of cheese will melt it into fabulosity, and what kind of personalized toppings you would enjoy! Here are some ideas:

  • pickles
  • tomatoes
  • onions
  • potato chips
  • avocado slices
  • cheddar
  • colby
  • mozzarella
  • gruyere
  • havarti
  • provolone
  • the options are unlimited
ingredients for tuna salad in a bowl

Some tips to make the best tuna melt ever!

  1. Instead of butter, grill the sandwich with mayo on the outside of the bread.
  2. Cook on medium heat to make sure the middles warm up by the time they are brown and crispy perfectness.
  3. Make sure you use two slices of cheese per sandwich. It’s the glue that holds the whole deal together!

This tuna melt makes a great quick meal that doesn’t involve a drive through window. You can feel good about feeding this to your kids too. If you hate tuna, you can opt for canned chicken with the same quick convenience. And it’s no harder to make than a regular grilled cheese. The ooey-gooey is to die for!

Toss on a side of chips or some roasted vegetables and you have a quick lunch!

I love using chewy french bread because it’s sturdier than regular sandwich bread and these tuna melts have a little heft to them. Any skillet will do, and even a cast iron skillet is perfect for cooking these in.

You can freeze your constructed tuna melt sandwiches without the mayo on the outside and them pop them out of the freezer for a super quick meal. Just let them thaw on the counter for about 30 minutes, spread the mayo on and then cook them on a low skillet until browned. They will keep in the freezer uncooked and tightly wrapped for about 3 months.

The best kind of cheese to use is the kind that you like. There isn’t a bad choice. I mean, cheese is good!

If you want to make it open faced, just toast one side of the bread in your skillet, flip it over, add cheese and then the tuna and cook until the second side is toasted. You can also make tuna melts in the oven under the broiler. It’s a great time saver if you’re making a bunch of them for all the kids or something.

Canned tuna recipes

For more canned tuna ideas that kids love, check these out:

Tuna melt

Tuna melt sandwich, cut in half on a paper on a cutting board
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Tuna Melt Sandwich

A tasty warm tuna sandwich smothered in cheese, perfect for a quick lunch, or effortless weeknight dinner!
Prep Time3 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Total Time11 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: canned tuna, tuna melt, tuna melt sandwich
Servings: 2
Calories: 525kcal
Author: Christina


  • 5 oz can of tuna drained
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise plus extra to butter bread
  • 1 tsp minced onion
  • 1 tbsp celery finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice or pickle juice
  • 4 slices italian bread
  • 4 slices of cheddar cheese


  • Add the tuna, mayonnaise, lemon juice, minced onion, and celery to a small bowl.
  • Stir to combine.
  • Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on one side of each of the slices of bread.
  • Place two slices of bread, mayonnaise side down in a large pan.
  • Top each slice of bread with a slice of cheese, then half the tuna mixture, and top with another slice of cheese.
  • Top with another slice of bread, mayonnaise side up.
  • Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes, flip, then heat for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Serve hot.


Calories: 525kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 618mg | Potassium: 268mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 409IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 257mg | Iron: 2mg

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