How to Make a Tuna Melt


This tuna melt recipe is dedicated to all those chefs who tell you to never, ever mix fish and cheese together; and yet there they are, at the diner at 2:00 in the morning. And you know what they eat? Tuna melts. And the reason they do is because they are delicious.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
25 mins


  • 1 (6.5 ounce) jar oil-packed tuna, drained

  • 2 tablespoons finely diced celery

  • 1 tablespoon minced green onion

  • 2 teaspoons capers, drained

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, or more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon Asian chile paste (such as sambal oelek)

  • cup fresh mozzarella cheese

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons softened butter, divided

  • 2 thick slices French bread

  • ¼ cup shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese, divided

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste


  1. Place tuna into a mixing bowl and lightly break it apart with a fork. Add celery, green onion, capers, mayonnaise, and chile paste. Pinch in small pieces mozzarella and stir to mix. Season with salt and black pepper; refrigerate tuna salad until needed.

  2. Preheat the oven's broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  3. Spread butter generously on both sides of French bread slices.

  4. Broil buttered bread until golden brown on top, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip bread slices and broil other side until toasted, 2 to 3 more minutes. Remove from the oven and turn bread slices over on the baking sheet so the darkest sides are on the bottom.

  5. Gently spread tuna salad onto bread slices using 2 forks. Press the salad onto the bread and spread tuna all the way to the edges of the bread. Spread shredded Cheddar over each sandwich. Dust tops with cayenne pepper.

  6. Place sandwiches under the broiler and cook until cheese is melted and bubbling, 5 to 6 minutes.

    close up view of Tuna Melt sandwiches
    Chef John


Use a baking dish underneath your sheet pan if you need to move your food slightly closer to the broiler flame.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

594 Calories
40g Fat
23g Carbs
36g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 2
Calories 594
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 40g 51%
Saturated Fat 16g 82%
Cholesterol 82mg 27%
Sodium 918mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 36g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 253mg 19%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 271mg 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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