This delicious, quick and easy Tuna Melt recipe is full of flavor from seasoned tuna salad, layered with toppings and cheese, and toasted on your favorite bread.

Looking for more sandwiches & wraps? Try my Meatloaf Sandwich, Chicken Caesar Wrap, or Air Fryer Grilled Cheese!

Two halves of a tuna melt sandwich stacked, on a plate.

Why I love this recipe:

  • Quick – Only 10 minutes from start to finish! Perfect for a busy weekday lunch, and you can even make the tuna mixture in advance, for meal prep.
  • Healthy – Lots of protein and low in calorie. Use tuna packed in water. For an even healthier melt, use whole grain bread, unsaturated oil or cooking spray in place of butter, cook it open faced, with just one piece of bread and one slice of cheese on top.
  • Family favorite – This is a great change from normal lunch sandwiches, and adults and kids love it!

How to make a Tuna Melt:

Make the tuna salad: Combine tuna, onion, mayo, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper.

A bowl with tuna, mayo, lemon juice and chopped onion.

Layer the toppings. Spoon the tuna mixture on the bread and top with cheese, avocado, and/or tomato.

Four slices of bread layered with tuna, cheese and a slice of tomato.

Add another slice of cheese, and top with bread. Cook in a hot skillet over medium-low heat, flipping once, until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.

Assembled tuna sandwich with buttered bread tops, ready to be toasted.

Tips for a perfect Tuna Melt:

  • Use high quality tuna. White Albacore tuna, packed in water, is my preferred choice for tuna melts. The higher quality the tuna, the tastier the sandwich, so don’t go cheap here. I like Wild Planet or Whole Foods 365 brand.
  • Drain well! Be sure to drain the can of tuna really well before making the filling. This will help you avoid a strong “fishy” flavor that no one likes in their tuna melt sandwich.
Warm toasted tuna melt served on a plate with potato chips on the side.

Make Ahead and Storage Instructions:

To Make Ahead: The tuna filling can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for 3-4 days. Great for meal prep and quick lunches.

To Store: Keep the tuna mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Recipe Variations:

  • Cheese: Use your favorite kind of cheese–pepper jack, American, or any kind will work!
  • Bread: Wheat, white, sourdough, rye, beer bread, or even crusty artisan bread.
  • Toppings: Keep it simple with tuna and cheese or jazz it up by adding tomato, avocado, bacon, sprouts, jalapeños or hot sauce for a spicy tuna melt.
  • Open Face: Leave out the top layer of bread and broil in the oven as an open-face tuna melt.
  • Air Fryer Tuna Melt: Air fry at 370 for 2-3 minutes on each side, until the cheese is melted.
  • Tuna Melt Wrap: Add tuna mixture and cheese to a tortilla and fold like a burrito. Cook on a skillet over medium heat until toasted on all sides and the cheese is melted.

More Tuna Recipes:

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Recipe

Two halves of a tuna melt sandwich stacked on each other, on a plate.
Prep 5 mins
Cook 5 mins
Total 10 mins
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Ingredients
 
 

  • 12 ounces canned albacore white tuna, packed in water , drained
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise , more to taste (or substitute half mayo, half plain Greek yogurt)
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • pinch dried oregano leaves
  • salt and pepper , to taste
  • 4 slices thick cut white sandwich bread
  • 4 slices cheese , cheddar, provolone, swiss, or your fav kind
  • sliced avocado , optional
  • sliced tomato , optional

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl, combine tuna, mayonnaise, onion, lemon juice, and oregano and stir until thoroughly combined. Add more mayo if you want mixture wetter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Butter outsides of bread slices. Layer tuna mixture on inside portion of bread. Add cheese, desired toppings, then another piece of cheese and top with bread.
  • Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add sandwiches and cook until bottom bread is toasted, and cheese is warm. Flip and cook on the other side until bread is toasted and cheese has melted.

Notes

Tuna: Choose high quality canned tuna. White Albacore tuna, packed in water, is my preferred choice for tuna melts. Be sure to drain really well before making the filling. 
Cheese: Use your favorite kind of cheese–pepper jack, American, or any kind will work!
Bread: Wheat, white, sourdough, rye, beer bread, or even crusty artisan bread.
Toppings: Keep it simple with tuna and cheese or jazz it up by adding tomato, avocado, bacon, sprouts, jalapeños or hot sauce for a spicy tuna melt.
Open Face: Leave out the top layer of bread and broil in the oven as an open-face tuna melt.
Air Fryer Tuna Melt: Air fry at 370 for 2-3 minutes on each side, until the cheese is melted.
Tuna Melt Wrap: Add tuna mixture and cheese to a tortilla and fold like a burrito. Cook on a skillet over medium heat until toasted on all sides and the cheese is melted.
Make Ahead Instructions: The tuna filling can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge. This makes for an even quicker lunch!
Storage Instructions: Keep the tuna mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 338kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 29gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 778mgPotassium: 268mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 311IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 265mgIron: 2mg

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*I originally shared this recipe in August 2014. Updated May 2019 and May 2022.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    I’m so glad you posted / updated this recipe! It’s so good, and close to the way I’ve made them since childhood. (I also add garlic powder, chili powder and diced kosher dill pickle. 🙌🏾 ) There are so many variations, but once I tried this one, I never went back. 😉 Thank you for sharing, Lauren!

  2. Anyone know the break down for nutrition part. I could really use. Also made these to night and they were awesome.

  3. Tuna Melts are a Sunday after church staple in this house! I’m for sure trying this variation soon!