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Open Faced Tuna Melts

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 Open Faced Tuna Melts are a staple menu item at our home. A great, tasty, weeknight meal that includes canned tuna, celery, red onion, and spices – all piled high on bread, topped with cheese!

Overhead shot of just baked open-faced tuna melts, on a sheet pan lined with white parchment paper.

Tuna Melts! Now that’s a classic sandwich in my book. I grew up eating them and haven’t stopped. My family was a little iffy on these for the longest time. “Tuna?” But once I convinced Mike to have an open mind, the boys joined in as well. And now? They love them!

In fact, I didn’t intend to blog these little glorious things. But I decided – what the heck. Not EVERYONE knows how to make Classic Tuna Melts. But honestly, mine have evolved since childhood, thanks to my goal of never eating that block of processed cheese (starts with a V) ever again.

Ok, never say never.

Side shot of a white plate of tuna melts, showing a big bite out of one of them.

Ingredients needed for Open Faced Tuna Melts:

  • Tuna – I used two large cans of Albacore Tuna in water for this recipe. Drain it well, and chop up the big chunks.
  • Celery – Gives the melts a nice wholesome crunch.
  • Onion – Red onion is my fav in tuna melts, but green onions would work as well.
  • Seasonings – I used a combo of celery seed, dill seed, onion powder, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Another option is to add some red pepper flakes to give it some kick.
  • Mayo – I prefer to use a lighter mayo – the one that combines olive oil with the mayonnaise.
  • Olive Oil – I also add some additional olive oil as well. Good healthy fats are a great thing!
  • Bread – I use whatever bread I have on hand. For this batch, I used a combo of English muffins and some whole wheat honey bread that I had recently made. So good!
  • Cheese – Use whatever cheese you have on hand. I used a combo of mozzarella and sharp cheddar. I also love to use havarti or gruyere.

Note: I know that we should be eating wild tuna instead of Albacore. But I’m not QUITE there yet. So use whatever canned tuna you like best. Albacore tuna is my favorite because it’s not at all fishy tasting. It’s also chunky and soaked in water instead of oil.

Collage of 1) the tuna with celery and onion, and 2) bowl of the seasonings and the dressing.
Overhead shot of a clear bowl of the finished tuna salad, with a spoon inside.

How to make Open Faced Tuna Melts:

  1. Prep. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prep tuna. Open the cans of tuna, and strain in a colander. Break apart the big chunks with a fork.
  3. Combine the ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine the strained tuna, chopped celery and red onion, and the seasonings – the celery seed, dill seed, onion powder, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well.
  4. Add dressing. Combine the mayonnaise and olive oil in a small bowl, and then add to the tuna. Mix well. Taste and add more seasoning or dressing as needed.
  5. Assemble tuna melts. Place the bread/English muffins on the baking sheet. Add a heaping scoop of tuna salad to each piece of bread. Then top with cheese.
  6. Bake. Bake tuna melts for approximately 15 minutes. Broil for a minute, if you like that golden brown top.
  7. EAT.
Overhead shot of a sheet pan of 10 open faced tuna melts.

Other delicious sandwich recipes on the blog:

Close up of my hand holding an open faced tuna melt.

Kitchen Tools used for this recipe:

Make this tuna recipe next: Healthy Tuna Patties

Please let know if you try this recipe. Be sure to comment and leave a review on the blog so I can see what you think. You can also like my Facebook Page, follow me on Pinterest, and catch me on Instagram.

xoxo ~Sue

Overhead shot of just baked open-faced tuna melts, on a sheet pan lined with white parchment paper.

Open Faced Tuna Melts

Sue Ringsdorf
Open Faced Tuna Melts are a staple menu item at our home. A great, tasty, weeknight meal that includes canned tuna, celery, red onion, and spices – all piled high on bread, topped with cheese!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 10 melts
Calories 219 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 24 oz. Albacore solid white tuna (in water) – two large cans
  • 1/2 cup celery – diced
  • 1/3 cup red onion – diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mayo light – plus two tablespoons
  • 4 oz. cheddar jack cheese – or any cheese preferred
  • 5 whole wheat english muffins (or bread of your choice) – sliced in half

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Strain tuna in colander and then add to mixing bowl. Use a fork to break up the chunks.
  • Add diced celery and onions, celery seed, dill seed, onion powder, salt and pepper to bowl. Mix well. Add olive oil and mayo to tuna and stir until well combined.
  • Slice english muffins in half (or use other type of bread). Top each half with a large scoop of tuna, dividing it evenly amount the ten halves. Top with cheese.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and muffins are slightly toasted.

Nutrition

Calories: 219kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 19gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 547mgPotassium: 218mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 183IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 177mgIron: 2mg
Keyword open faced tuna melts, tuna melts
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

15 Comments

  1. Made these for supper tonight.
    They were Delicious thanks for sharing!!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Yay! Thanks for your feedback, LeeAnn!

  2. Great recipe. Just one note. Author suggest Albacore being not a wild fish:”
    …. know that we should be eating wild tuna instead of Albacore….”
    All Tuna is not a farmed fish, but rather all wild. The only difference is the size. Smaller fish is concerned to appear healthier according to the scientific studies. Tuna is great! Love this recipe!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      My thoughts are that my canned albacore isn’t wild. But I better do my research! Glad you enjoy this recipe, Nat!

  3. Dill seed or dill weed? I only have dried dill weed. Do you know how much I would use?

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I used dill seed in my recipe, but you could use dill weed as well. I think I would use 1/2 teaspoon of dill weed if that’s what you have.

  4. Ann Rosenmeyer says:

    Yummy. Tuna melts. But only on Fridays during lent. When I start going keto, will have to try, but scratching my head on what’s the best bread substitute.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I don’t know too much about the Keto diet, other than it seems HARD! Good luck Ann!

    2. Portobello mushrooms! 😊

  5. Tuck a couple slivers of avocado under the cheese before melting. /drool

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Great idea!! 🙂

  6. I love a tuna melt and this has definitely inspired me to make soon. Don’t bad mouth the Velveeta though, great with a side of pickles!! :0)

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Haha, ok! Eat the Velveeta! 🙂

  7. Guilty as charged. I never gave Tuna much of a chance until this recipe. Now, it is in my rotation and I love it. #sorrycharlie

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Exactly. Tuna melts are AMAZING!

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