This tuna melt recipe makes the BEST sandwich! Here’s how to make this easy lunch or dinner that will make you melt in delight (don’t forget napkins).

Tuna melt

Is it odd to count a tuna melt in your “best of” foods? It might sound basic or ordinary. But this tuna melt: this is the stuff dreams are made of. Alex and I are cookbook authors, recipe writers and food bloggers…some people might even call us foodies. But guess what: this humble tuna melt is one of our very favorite foods! Between crusty bread is sandwiched a creamy, gooey mess so perfectly seasoned that you won’t be able to stop taking bites. Here we’ll show you how to make a tuna melt that will make you…melt.

What’s in a tuna melt?

First things first. There are a few different ways to make a tuna melt. For the longest time, I thought a tuna melt was just tuna with a big piece of cheese on top. Here’s the difference between them:

  • What it’s not? Broiled tuna on toast with cheese. One way to make a tuna melt is to put tuna on toast, then broil it with a piece of cheese on top. This is tasty and a quick way to a meal, but it’s not what this type of tuna melt is.
  • What it is: A grilled cheese sandwich filled with tuna salad. This tuna melt recipe has a perfectly seasoned tuna salad filling that’s then cooked like a grilled cheese on the stovetop.

Want more with tuna? Try these Tuna Recipes for Easy Meals.

Tuna melt recipe

Ingredients in the best tuna melt sandwich filling

This filling is based on our ultimate tuna salad sandwich: a recipe that’s been honed to perfection. It’s a little lighter than most tuna salads, using Greek yogurt to cut a bit of the richness and calories. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Canned tuna: Use either water-packed or oil packed (we prefer water packed).
  • Greek yogurt + mayonnaise: This is the key to the creamiest, best tuna melt! It tastes savory and creamy, but using some Greek yogurt helps to keep it less calorie-laden and rich. It’s just perfect.
  • Red onion & dill pickles: A good tuna salad must have pickles to bring in a tangy sweet sweet element.
  • Dijon mustard: Dijon makes it taste like deli-style tuna salad.

How to make a tuna melt

Ready for the secrets to the most perfect tuna melt on the planet? Here’s how to make a tuna melt that will blow your mind:

  • Grab a great crusty bread. Slice the pieces medium thickness, so they hold up on the grill but aren’t so thick the sandwich won’t cook. We used a store-bought sourdough bread.
  • Mix together the tuna salad. Mix up that tasty filling (below), starring Greek yogurt, mayo, Dijon and pickles.
  • Thinly slice the tomato. This is important, since too thick can make the sandwich too watery. It’s optional if it’s not tomato season or you don’t have one on hand.
  • Use shredded cheese. Contrary to what you might think…shredded cheese is the best for grilled cheese! It makes the sandwich gooey and fluffy instead of flat.
  • Grill it up (carefully). Throw it on a griddle and cook until golden and crisp on the outsides! It makes for a full sandwich, so be careful when you flip it.
Tuna melt

What to serve with it!

It’s just that simple because…tuna melts are meant to be ultra easy to whip up! This recipe makes a quick and simple lunch or easy dinner idea. Most of the time we just eat it with no side dishes. But looking for a healthy meal? Here are some ideas for sides to complement it:

This tuna melt recipe is…

Pescatarian. For dairy free, substitute the Greek yogurt with 2 additional tablespoons of mayonnaise.

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Tuna melt

World’s Best Tuna Melt

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 sandwiches 1x


This tuna melt recipe makes the BEST sandwich! Here’s how to make this easy lunch or dinner that will make you melt in delight (don’t forget napkins).


  • 1 5-ounce can white meat tuna
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dill pickles*
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ripe tomato (optional)
  • 4 slices bread
  • ½ cup each shredded mozzarella cheese and shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Drain the tuna. Place it in a bowl and use a fork to break apart any large clumps. Finely chop the red onion and dill pickles. Stir with Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and salt.
  2. Thinly slice the tomato and sprinkle it with a bit of salt.
  3. Spread the bread with mayonnaise (or butter). Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add one slice of bread, half of the shredded cheese, tomato slices, tuna salad filling, and top with more shredded cheese. Cook the sandwich 2 to 3 minutes, then carefully flip and cook about 2 minutes more until browned and the cheese is melted.


*Optional ingredient: 1 tablespoon chopped parsley or green onion tops (we used it for color). 

  • Category: Sandwich
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Tuna melt, tuna melt recipe, how to make a tuna melt, tuna melt sandwich

More great sandwich recipes

It’s true: a sandwich is basic, but it always hits the spot for a simple lunch or dinner! Here are a few of our sandwich favorites:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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