Not Your Grandmom’s Tuna Melt



This isn't Grandmom's Tuna Melt.


I’m a tuna fan.  I like it on sandwiches, as part of a dip or especially in my tuna casserole.  However, I find serving up the same old tuna sandwich day after day can be boring.  That’s why I like this recipe.  In it, I take the idea of a tuna salad melt to a completely different level—one with some added flavor, texture and spice.


Here's to adding some spicy red pepper.

I love mixing plain tuna with lots of delicious ingredients.

What makes this recipe so different?  It all comes down to combining the right ingredients, and then topping everything off with some really good smoky cheddar cheese.  If you like mixing recipes up for flavors and textures you’re bound to like the way the cashews (or almonds) give that crunch, the bacon bits add flavor and the spice sets everything off.


Let’s Gather The Ingredients


Here's everything we need for today's recipe.

Start with good bread, good tuna and lots of fresh ingredients.

1 can tuna or albacore

1/2 cup chopped sweet or red onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/3 cup chopped cashews or almonds (roasted)

1/4 cup bacon bits

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

3-4 tablespoons Miracle Whip Salad Dressing

2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

2 ounces grated Hoffman’s Smokey Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Whole wheat bread





One of the nice parts of this recipe is it goes together in about 5 to 10 minutes which makes it great when you want something special for lunch without a lot of work.  However, you may like the taste of this sandwich so well it will also turn into one of your favorites for a light dinner.


Here’s what to do:


Start by chopping the veggies (i.e. the onion and celery).


Next, pop your bread in the toaster.  I like whole-grain bread so suggested whole wheat, but any will do.


Open a can of tuna and drain it.  I often buy solid white or chunk albacore packed in spring water as I like it better for flavor, but this is more expensive than regular tuna.  Either works.


Here, I'm mixing my tuna salad.

Put everything in a bowl and stir well.

Now, grab a large mixing bowl and toss in all the ingredients.  Hold back about a tablespoon or so of the salad dressing and about half the pepper flakes at first.  Once you mix everything up, you can add a little more until you are satisfied with the taste and ratio of dressing and spice to tuna.  I admit it, I like lots of Miracle Whip with my tuna.  To hold down fat, I usually use the “Light” version.  One other note:  I buy ready to go bacon bits in a big bag from Costco so adding a little bacon flavor to recipes is a snap.


Make sure you have an oven rack up at the highest level and then turn on the broiler.


Once the toast has popped, cover a slice of bread with your tuna mix and then grate some cheese over the top.  I recommended Hoffman’s Smoky Sharp for this recipe as I love both its flavor and melted texture, but any favorite cheese will do in a pinch.  I can usually find Hoffman’s with the other cheeses, but sometimes I have to look for it in the deli case.  It’s definitely worth seeking out.


Broil the sandwich to melt the cheese.

Keep a close watch. When the cheese browns and bubbles you’re done.

Place a piece of foil on the top oven rack and set your open-faced sandwich down on it.  Now, slide the rack into the oven and broil until the cheese starts to brown and bubble.  That’s it!  You’re done.  Remove from oven and serve.


This recipe makes about 4 to 6 open faced tuna melt sandwiches depending on bread size and the quantity of tuna salad mix you use.




If you enjoyed this recipe you may want to read:
Fig ‘n Pig In A Blanket
Pacifico Pancakes:  There’s Beer In That Batter
Or for more recipe ideas visit our new Recipe page by clicking here.

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