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!

For other delicious tuna recipes, try our Jalapeno Tuna Cakes, Chickpea Tuna Pasta Salad, and Healthy Chickpea Tuna Salad.

A white plate of tuna melts with cilantro, on a striped napkin.

Classic Tuna Melts

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!

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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 view of a tuna melt with a bite out.

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 some English Muffins, but I often use my whole wheat honey bread or some Chewy French bread.
  • 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.
The ingredients on a white background with labels.

How to make Open Faced Tuna Melts:

Step 1
Prep. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2
Prep tuna. Open the cans of tuna, and strain in a colander. Break apart the big chunks with a fork.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 6
Bake. Bake tuna melts for approximately 15 minutes. Broil for a minute, if you like that golden brown top.

Step 7

A pan of the baked tuna melts with cheddar cheese.
A small plate with a tuna melt next to a plate with several melts.

Other delicious sandwich recipes on the blog:

A plate of tuna melts and a small plate of pickles, on a striped napkin.

Kitchen Tools used for this recipe:

Make this tuna recipe next: Healthy Tuna Patties

xoxo ~Sue

A plate of tuna melts with cheddar cheese.

Open Faced Tuna Melts

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!
4.70 from 26 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10 melts
Calories: 219kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf


  • 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


  • 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.


I use whatever bread I have on hand for tuna melts. For this batch, I used some English Muffins, but I often use my whole wheat honey bread or some Chewy French bread.


Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 547mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 183IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 177mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!


  1. I use Cheesz Whiz by Kraft. Add Mayo, salt, pepper ,dried granulated garlic and green onions. Been eating them since I was a child and I’m 70 now. Delicious.

  2. Ramah Williams says:

    I had alot of leftover hamburger buns and thought of making tuna melts. Haven’t had them in a long time and my kids love them. This recipe was the closest I could find to how I make tuna sandwiches minus the olive oil. Instead of dill seed, I use dill weed and chop up some dill pickles. Any flovor onion will work. I read another comment of using some hot sauce. Im going to try that cause this family loves some heat. Thank you cant wait to eat.

  3. Jackie Thill says:

    Extra man (my son) for dinner a few nights ago and all I had for protein was eggs and tuna. Made these tuna melts and Voila! Tasty dinner! My kids grew up with tuna sandwiches so they don’t turn their noses up at the idea, and these went down fast between my husband and son. If you haven’t tried them you should. SO good!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Oh I love to hear this, Jackie! Thanks for letting me know. You can’t go wrong with tuna! 🙂

  4. Julie Gatz says:

    Who know that tuna could end up so yummy!!! What a fabulous recipe. And perfect for Friday lunch during LENT. Just made this an hour ago and was so amazing I might just have it again for dinner. Thanks Suebee for reminding me that you can dress up Tuna. I eat Paleo so scooped the tuna on the against the grain bagels I made last weekend, threw in oven and out comes the most mouthwatering lunch! One of my new favs for sure!!!

  5. stephanie mcqueen says:

    wonderful…delicious………….added a touch of hot sauce…………a new MUST for me!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      We love this easy recipe too! Thanks for your feedback, Stephanie!

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

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Yay! Thanks for your feedback, LeeAnn!

  7. Nat Moberg says:

    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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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! 😊

    3. Christal Risley says:

      Walmart sells the Keto Culture White bread (red, white and black labeling)… This is my go-to bread when I am not doing wraps.

    4. Cheryl Ann says:

      Try a big thick slice of tomato! That’s what I did.

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

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Great idea!! 🙂

  11. 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! 🙂

  12. 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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