How To Make The Ultimate Grilled Tuna Melt Recipe

Grilled Tuna Melt Recipe

If there’s one thing that I could eat every single day for the rest of my life, it would be a good tuna melt.

Listen, I know you’re technically not supposed to eat tuna fish every single day (mercury poisoning and blah blah blah) but when a tuna melt is as good as mine is, literally, how could you not?

I know what you’re thinking:

“All it is is tuna, mayo, and melted cheese. How could this be life changing?”

Oh, but it’s not.

My tuna melt recipe has tons of bonus ingredients, comes perfectly seasoned, and has that perfect dash of acidity to cut out the saltiness of the mayonnaise and cheese.

I promise, you’re going to love it.

What You’ll Need:

Tuna fish: One can of solid white albacore is fine here. I know a lot of people prefer oil-packed tuna, but for this, you’re going to want to have fish that’s packed in water. Be sure to drain it first!

Mayonnaise: For an extra twang, use kewpie mayo! If you don’t have this or regular mayonnaise, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are both wonderful high protein substitutions.

Celery: Trust me. It just works, especially when it’s diced into super tiny pieces. If you want them chopped up really small, don’t be afraid to pulse it in the food processor.

Red onions: When it comes to tuna melts, red onions are better than white onions, or even a minced green onion. Same idea, chop them up super small.

Dijon mustard: You don’t need a lot, just a tiny bit to add some flavor depth.

Lemon juice: Just a few dashes for acidity will do the trick.

Salt, black pepper, onion powder: This is all you’re going to need to use to season your tuna.

Cheese: Use a sharp tangy cheese, like havarti, cheddar, pepper jack, or even wedges of parmesan. Avoid using neutral tasting cheeses, like Swiss cheese.

Bread: Use whatever bread you want, but I used a round bulky roll. And I flipped it inside out, so it still got that golden brown crust that a tuna melt is known for. But, you can also use two slices of bread if that’s all you have on hand.

How To Make It:

In a bowl, combine tuna, mayo, celery, onions, dijon, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Mix well.

On a slice of bread, place down your cheese and tuna salad mixture. Cover it with the other slice, and spread both sides of the bread with mayonnaise.

In a frying pan, grill both sides on low heat, flipping periodically, to ensure that you have melty cheese, and the bread becomes golden brown and crispy.

Slice in half and enjoy!

lasagna 4 pack


Q: I don’t have time to grill this in a frying pan. What else can I do?

A: Put this in your toaster oven or air fryer, using olive oil on the bread instead of mayonnaise! It’ll become evenly grilled and melted; just make sure you’re periodically checking on it. Using this method, you can also omit the top piece of bread and make an open-faced sandwich.

Q: What kind of bread should I use?

A: I always use an inside out bulky roll, it’s what I always used as a child and brings back so many memories. But you can use scala bread, sourdough bread, whole grain bread, or even ciabatta bread.

Q: What are some good options for toppings I can put inside of my tuna sandwich?

A: Banana peppers would be delicious mixed in with the tuna mixture. Same with dill pickles, I know I know, I’m crazy for that one. At the end, you can also carefully pull apart the non cheesy side and add shredded iceberg lettuce for maximum crunchiness. Personally, I’d recommend not using tomato slices, but I know some people love using them on a classic tuna melt.

What To Serve With This:

  • Potato chips (dip them right into the bowl of tuna salad if there are any leftovers)
  • Carrot and celery spears
  • Side of Greek Salad
  • Side of soup—we recommend this classic Minestrone Soup!
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Grilled Tuna Melt Recipe

How To Make The Ultimate Grilled Tuna Melt Recipe

  • Author: Gianna Ferrini


  • 1 can solid white albacore tuna
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • ¼½ red onion, finely chopped (use as much or little as you want)
  • 1 bulky roll, halved (or 2 bread slices of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp kewpie mayonnaise
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 12 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt, pepper, onion powder to taste


  1. In a medium bowl, mix the tuna fish, mayonnaise (saving a bit for the bread), lemon juice, mustard, onions, celery, and seasonings well, until thoroughly incorporated.
  2. Turn your bulky roll inside out, and spread mayonnaise on both of the outside sides. Lay a slice of cheese or two and your tuna mixture inside of the sandwich, and press together.
  3. Grill this as you would a grilled cheese sandwich, over medium-low heat (medium heat is too hot!) in a frying pan, flipping periodically and covering if necessary to melt the cheese.
  4. Cut in half and enjoy!

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