Homemade is Better—Tuna Melts

Recently, one of my daughters was asking for tuna melts.  I cannot recall why; I think they were off school that day, and we were trying to come up with a lunch or something.  My spouse and I have made a trade with meal planning; she plans the meals, and I execute them.  What a weight lifted off my shoulder; half the battle is what to eat.  I may choose to make something different from the meal plan, but having the backup is excellent because it doesn’t involve much thinking.

The tuna melt sandwich is a standard recipe in our house.  You can choose to serve it closed face or open face; we usually do it open face on a hotdog bun.  That’s how my mom used to make it.  The secret to a great tuna melt is the bubbly brown cheese and a great tuna salad mix.  Then you grill it in the oven to crisp up the bread and brown the cheese.  I prefer mozzarella for tuna melts, but a lot of cheeses could work for this recipe.  You want to stick with a mild cheese that compliments the flavours of the tuna, like mozzarella, cheddar, swiss, or Havarti.  You could even use marbled cheese if you’d like.  However, stay away from pungent cheeses like blue cheese, parmesan, or brie.  I find these cheeses can conflict with the flavours of the tuna.  If you like these pairs, though, knock yourself out (not literally, though).

The tuna itself is an interesting specimen.  Depending on who you ask, you will get some interesting answers about what tuna to buy.  I like to be picky with my tuna.  I try to get skipjack when I can, and I make sure it comes from a company that upholds sustainable fishing.  Greenpeace.org puts out a list of sustainable, conscious companies every year.  If you are not a supporter of Green Peace, I get it.  I don’t appreciate some of their methods.  However, this report is thorough and tells more about the top 20 brands in Canada.  You can at least know that what you are buying is supporting sustainable fishing.  Pole and line fishing is the best as it guarantees quality tuna and a slimmer chance that they are catching dolphins instead.

With that out of the way, let’s get to making a great tuna melt!

Tuna Melt


1-2 hot dog buns – cut in half
One can of quality flaked tuna
1-2 TBSP mayonnaise
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce


1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or a cheese of your choice)

  • Preheat your oven to broil.
  • Grab a sheet pan.
  • Split your buns and lay them flat on the sheet pan.
  • Drain the water from the canned tuna.
  • Put the tuna in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the mayo and mix; add more mayo if you like it slightly wetter.
  • Taste a small amount, add in the Worcestershire (don’t pronounce it, no one can) sauce.
  • Mix, taste, add salt and pepper and repeat.
  • Spread tuna on the buns.
  • Top with cheese and broil in the oven until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
  • Enjoy!
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