Tuna Melts

One of the best ways to enjoy tuna is in a tuna melt. If you have never had Tuna Melts and wondering what it is, think grilled cheese meets tuna sandwich, but better.

tuna melts cut and plated

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Easy to Make

Tuna Melts are so easy to make. Our teens learned to make these by the time they were 12 years old.

Our kids like to make these for an after-school snack or weekend lunches. They have even taught their friends to make them.

Variations For Grilling

The usual way to grill these sandwiches is in a skillet on the stove. But there are other ways to grill these that make them just as delicious.

On The BBQ

On the BBQ, yes, you can make these on the BBQ. I use a grill mat on the BBQ to make these sandwiches. If we are spending the day outside, either in the pool or just enjoying the outdoors, these sandwiches are perfect for a day outside. I prepare the tuna in the morning and store it covered in the fridge. Then when it’s time for lunch, I make the sandwiches and grill them on the BBQ. This is also a great way to enjoy these sandwiches without heating up the house when it’s hot outside.


Open Fire

We use a cast iron fry pan over a campfire to make these while camping. Again I make the tuna in advance, usually the morning we are heading out camping. As long as you keep the tuna in an airtight container on ice, it will keep for 24 hours. Tuna melts are an easy-to-make sandwich for that first day of camping after setting up camp.

In The Oven

When making a large amount of these sandwiches for the kids and their friends, I make these in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F with a large baking sheet in the oven while it preheats. Then place the sandwiches on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15, flipping over halfway through. Cook until golden on both sides and the cheese is melted.

On The Griddle

These Tuna Melts can also be made on a griddle. This is also a great way to make a large batch of these sandwiches. We can grill at least a dozen sandwiches at a time on our outdoor griddle.

Ingredients To Make Tuna Melts

The Tuna

When it comes to canned tuna, there are a few different kinds to choose from. We prefer to use chunk light tuna or albacore white. You can use flaked tuna but we find this kind of tuna doesn’t hold up as well. Whatever you have on hand or usually buy will work.

The Cheese

Just like a grilled cheese sandwich, slices of cheddar are perfect for this sandwich. Mild, medium, or old cheddar is great on these sandwiches.

Sometimes we use Jalapeno Cheddar cheese or shredded Tex Mex. We have also made these sandwiches with either Havarti, Gouda, or Monterey cheeses. The choice is yours so you can make these to suit your tastes.

Mayonnaise, Mustard, and Hot Sauce

When it comes to the mayonnaise in this recipe, it’s really about preference. Some like a creamier tuna filling, while others prefer less mayo. We use Hellman’s mayonnaise which is real mayo, but if you prefer Miracle Whip can be used as an alternative.

The addition of mustard adds tang to the tuna. There isn’t a lot of mustard, just enough to add a little flavour.

We like to use Frank’s Red Hot sauce for the tuna filling. This adds just a touch of flavour, but really no heat. You can add any hot sauce you like to make this sandwich hotter.


Sometimes I like to add a little extra to the sandwiches, just to change things up a bit.

When putting the sandwiches together, sometimes I add a slice or two of tomato.

Another addition I like to add is spinach. This adds colour and makes it feel a little healthier.

tuna melts cut and plated

Tuna Melts

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Lunch
Servings 6 sandwiches


  • 4 cans of tuna packed in water, drained
  • ¾-1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 6 cheese slices
  • 12 slices of bread
  • margarine or butter for grilling sandwiches


  • Mix together tuna, ¾ cup mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce and pepper, breaking up tuna as you mix
  • Add remaining ¼ cup of mayonnaise if you want the tuna creamier.
  • Evenly spread tuna mixture on 6 of the slices of bread.
  • Top with cheese slice and remaining 6 slices of bread
  • Preheat a skillet over medium heat
  • Butter outside of bread on each sandwich and place in heated skillet.
  • Grill sandwiches on both sides until bread is golden
  • Serve immediately.



1 Comment

  1. My husband and I love tuna melts! We put relish in ours and lemon juice! We make them on the stovetop in a frying pan and they come out perfect. Thank you for reminding me that this would be a great light dinner idea maybe served with some fries or chips!

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