Easy Diner-Style Tuna Melt Recipe

Quick And Easy: Easy Diner-Style Tuna Melt Recipe

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Easy Diner-Style Tuna Melt Recipe

This is perhaps the most iconic rendition of a tuna melt, and it is defined by its simplicity. It features little more than canned tuna mixed with mayonnaise, bread, and sliced cheese, but when you pay attention to the details, it’s a work of art. Those details include toasted each bread slice on both sides, mashing the tuna thoroughly with the mayo, and properly melting the cheese.

This is the most classic tuna melt, and it’s the most basic—but don’t mistake that for less delicious. These simple components, when assembled thoughtfully, are absolutely delicious.

  • Makes 2 open-faced or closed sandwiches
  • 15 minutes

  • 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • One 5-ounce (142g) canned oil- or water-packed tuna, drained well
  • 1/2 cup (120g) Hellmann’s mayonnaise (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons (10g) panko bread crumbs (optional; see note)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Two 1-inch-thick slices (for open-faced) or four 1/2-inch-thick slices (for closed sandwiches) white sandwich bread
  • Vegetable oil, clarified butter, and/or melted butter, for brushing the bread
  • 4 slices Cheddar or American cheese

Directions

  1. 1.

    In a small mixing bowl, combine tuna, mayonnaise, and panko (if using). Using a fork or stiff rubber spatula, stir and mash mixture vigorously until well-combined and almost no flakes of tuna remain. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. 2.

    For Open-Faced Sandwiches: Position oven rack about 6 inches from broiler element, and preheat broiler. Using a pastry brush, lightly but evenly brush both sides of each slice of bread with oil, clarified butter, or melted butter. In a large cast iron or nonstick skillet, or using a griddle, toast bread slices on first side over medium heat until nicely browned and crisp, about 3 minutes; using a cooking weight or spatula, gently press down on bread slices while toasting to ensure even heating and browning.

  3. 3.

    Flip bread and lay one slice of cheese on top of each bread slice. Mound tuna salad on top of cheese, spreading it in an even layer, then top each with remaining 2 cheese slices. Continue to cook until bottom of bread is well toasted, then transfer to a baking sheet and broil until cheese is well melted, about 1 minute. Serve.

  4. 4.

    For Closed Sandwiches: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Using a pastry brush, lightly but evenly brush both sides of each slice of bread with oil, clarified butter, or melted butter. In a large cast iron or nonstick skillet, or using a griddle, toast bread slices on first side over medium heat until nicely browned and crisp, about 3 minutes; using a cooking weight or spatula, gently press down on bread slices while toasting to ensure even heating and browning.

  5. 5.

    Flip bread and lay one slice of cheese on top of each bread slice. Mound tuna salad on top of 2 of the bread slices, spreading it in an even layer. Close sandwiches, placing top bread slices cheese side down, and continue to cook until bottom of sandwich is well toasted; press down gently on sandwich with cooking weights or a spatula to ensure even heating and browning.

  6. 6.

    Flip tuna melt and cook until second side is well toasted. If your cheese at this point isn’t melted enough, transfer sandwiches to a baking sheet and heat in oven until cheese is well melted, about 3 minutes. Serve.