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Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwich Recipe

Indulge in the heartiness and simplicity of an open-faced tuna melt sandwich. It's a perfect blend of creamy tuna salad, crunchy vegetables, and melted cheddar cheese on toasted whole wheat bread. This easy-to-make delight is nutritious and full of flavor, making it an ideal choice for a quick lunch or dinner.


Photos of Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwich Recipe

While most of the ingredients for this recipe are commonly available in homes, you might need to pick up a few from the supermarket. Whole wheat bread and cheddar cheese are usually available in the bakery and dairy sections. For the tuna, opt for canned tuna in water, normally found in the canned goods aisle. Also, light mayonnaise and red wine vinegar can be found in the condiments aisle. For fresh produce like celery, carrots, and tomatoes, check the fresh produce section.

Ingredients for Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwich

tuna: A rich source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Adds a meaty texture to the sandwich.

carrots: Adds a bit of sweetness and crunch to the tuna salad.

celery: Provides extra crunch and freshness to balance out the creamy tuna salad.

red onion: Gives a slight pungency and color to the salad.

light mayonnaise: Binds the ingredients together and adds a creamy texture.

red wine vinegar: Brings a tangy flavor, balancing out the richness of other ingredients.

whole wheat bread: The base of the sandwich; whole wheat adds fiber and a hearty taste.

cheddar slices: Melted cheddar adds a layer of richness and gooey texture to the sandwich.

tomato slices: Adds freshness and a slight acidity, complementing the other rich ingredients.

oil spray: For toasting the bread evenly and adding a light crispness.

One reader, Iorgos Hatfield says:

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This open-faced tuna melt sandwich recipe is a game-changer! The combination of flavors is simply divine. The tuna salad is so flavorful and the melted cheese on top is the perfect finishing touch. It's a quick and easy meal that's now a regular in my lunch rotation. Highly recommended!

Iorgos Hatfield

Techniques for Crafting the Perfect Open-Faced Tuna Melt

How to prepare the tuna salad: Combine the tuna, celery, carrots, onion, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix until well combined.

How to assemble the sandwich: Place the whole wheat bread slices on a heated skillet, top with cheese, then the prepared tuna salad and tomato slices. Cook on low heat until the cheese melts and the bread becomes toasty.

How to serve the open-faced tuna melt sandwich: Serve the sandwich warm and enjoy!

How To Make Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwich

Trim down calories with this crunchy and tangy open-faced tuna melt sandwich! It’s packed with melted cheese and crisp veggies for a richer meal.

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes



  • 4.5oztuna,(1 can in water), drained
  • ¼cupcarrots,minced
  • ¼cupcelery,minced
  • 1tbspred onion,minced
  • 1tbsplight mayonnaise,Hellman’s Light
  • 1tspred wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 2whole wheat bread slices
  • 2cheddar slices,2% reduced fat, or American cheese
  • 2tomato slices
  • oil spray


  1. Combine the tuna, celery, carrots, onion, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

  2. Heat a large skillet over low heat. Spray the skillet with oil, and place 2 slices of bread on top.

  3. Top the bread with cheese, then the tuna salad and tomato.

  4. Cook on low heat until the cheese melts and the bread gets toasty.

  5. Serve warm, and enjoy!


  • Calories: 328.48kcal
  • Fat: 16.10g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.32g
  • Trans Fat: 0.36g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 4.88g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.23g
  • Carbohydrates: 18.26g
  • Fiber: 3.10g
  • Sugar: 3.59g
  • Protein: 26.93g
  • Cholesterol: 53.44mg
  • Sodium: 457.36mg
  • Calcium: 259.74mg
  • Potassium: 550.36mg
  • Iron: 1.55mg
  • Vitamin A: 226.73µg
  • Vitamin C: 5.37mg

A Crucial Technique for Mastering the Open-Faced Tuna Melt

When preparing your tuna melt sandwich, it's important to remember that the key to a great melt is the cheese. Opt for a cheddar that melts well and has a flavor you love. Also, don't rush the toasting process. Low and slow is the way to go to ensure your bread gets perfectly crispy without burning and your cheese has ample time to melt. For an extra flavor boost, consider adding a dash of your favorite spices to the tuna mixture.

Time-Saving Tips for Making an Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwich

Prep ahead: Prepare the tuna salad mixture in advance and store it in the refrigerator. This will save time when assembling the open-faced tuna melt sandwiches.

Use pre-cut vegetables: Consider using pre-cut carrots and celery to save time on chopping and preparation.

Multitask: While the sandwiches are cooking, use that time to clean up the kitchen or prepare a simple side dish to serve alongside the tuna melts.

Invest in a good skillet: A high-quality non-stick skillet can help prevent the bread from sticking and make the cooking process more efficient.

Organize ingredients: Before starting the recipe, gather and organize all the ingredients and kitchen tools needed to streamline the cooking process.

Substitute Ingredients For Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwich Recipe

  • tuna - Substitute with canned salmon: Canned salmon can be used as a delicious alternative to tuna in this recipe, providing a similar flaky texture and mild flavor that complements the other ingredients well.

  • carrots - Substitute with bell peppers: Bell peppers can add a crunchy texture and sweet flavor similar to carrots, while also providing a pop of color to the dish.

  • celery - Substitute with cucumber: Cucumber can offer a refreshing crunch and a mild, slightly sweet flavor that can replace the texture and taste of celery in the recipe.

  • light mayonnaise - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can be used as a healthier alternative to mayonnaise, providing a creamy texture and tangy flavor while reducing the overall fat content of the dish.

  • whole wheat bread slices - Substitute with sourdough bread slices: Sourdough bread can add a tangy flavor and hearty texture that complements the other ingredients, providing a delicious twist to the classic open-faced tuna melt sandwich.

  • cheddar slices - Substitute with Swiss cheese slices: Swiss cheese can be used as a milder alternative to cheddar, offering a creamy texture and nutty flavor that pairs well with the tuna and other ingredients.

  • tomato slices - Substitute with roasted red pepper strips: Roasted red pepper strips can provide a sweet and smoky flavor, adding a unique twist to the sandwich while offering a similar juicy texture to tomatoes.

Presenting Your Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwich

  1. Elevate the tuna salad: Create a visually appealing presentation by using a ring mold to shape the tuna salad into a perfect round. Place it in the center of the plate for a clean and sophisticated look.

  2. Artfully arrange the tomato slices: Thinly slice the tomatoes and fan them out in a circular pattern around the tuna salad. This adds a pop of color and freshness to the dish.

  3. Garnish with microgreens: Sprinkle a handful of delicate microgreens over the tuna salad for a touch of elegance and a burst of flavor. The vibrant green color will contrast beautifully with the other ingredients.

  4. Drizzle with balsamic reduction: Create a decorative drizzle on the plate using a balsamic reduction. This adds a touch of sweetness and a beautiful, glossy finish to the dish.

  5. Use a high-quality serving platter: Present the open-faced tuna melt on a sleek, modern serving platter to showcase the dish's gourmet appeal. Choose a platter that complements the colors of the ingredients.

Essential Tools for Making a Tuna Melt Sandwich

  • Food processor: A food processor is a versatile kitchen tool used for chopping, slicing, shredding, and pureeing ingredients. It can be used to prepare a wide range of recipes, from sauces and dips to dough and nut butters.
  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is an essential kitchen tool used for combining ingredients, marinating meats, and preparing batters and doughs. It comes in various sizes and materials, such as stainless steel, glass, and ceramic, to accommodate different cooking needs.

Storing and Freezing Your Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwiches

  • To store leftover open-faced tuna melt sandwiches, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 2-3 days.

  • If you want to freeze the sandwiches, wrap each one individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, making sure to remove as much air as possible. Place the wrapped sandwiches in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag, and label with the date. Freeze for up to 1-2 months.

  • To reheat frozen sandwiches, remove the plastic wrap or foil and place the sandwich on a baking sheet. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the sandwich is heated through and the cheese is melted. Alternatively, you can microwave the sandwich for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through.

  • For best results, consume the reheated sandwiches immediately. Keep in mind that the texture of the bread and vegetables may change slightly after freezing and reheating.

  • If you prefer to store the tuna salad separately, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. When ready to serve, assemble the sandwiches with fresh bread, cheese, and tomato.

How to Reheat Leftover Tuna Melt Sandwiches

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover open-faced tuna melt sandwich on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is crispy. This method will help restore the texture of the bread and ensure the tuna mixture is heated through.

  • If you prefer a quicker option, you can use a toaster oven. Set the temperature to 350°F (175°C) and place the sandwich on the toaster oven rack. Heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted to your liking. Keep an eye on the sandwich to prevent burning.

  • For a stovetop method, heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Place the open-faced tuna melt sandwich in the skillet and cover with a lid. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the bread is crispy. This method will help retain the moisture in the tuna salad while reheating.

  • If you have an air fryer, you can use it to reheat your leftover sandwich. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C). Place the sandwich in the air fryer basket and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is crispy. This method will provide a crispy texture without the need for additional oil.

  • Microwave reheating is not recommended for open-faced tuna melt sandwiches, as it can make the bread soggy and unevenly heat the tuna mixture. However, if you must use a microwave, place the sandwich on a microwave-safe plate and heat it on high power for 30-45 seconds, or until the cheese is melted and the tuna is heated through. Be aware that the texture of the bread may suffer.

A Surprising Fact About Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwiches

Tuna melt sandwiches are believed to have originated in the United States during the 1960s. They quickly gained popularity due to their delicious combination of flavors and ease of preparation.

Is Making Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwiches Cost-Effective?

This open-faced tuna melt sandwich recipe offers a cost-effective option for households. With affordable ingredients like tuna, carrots, and whole wheat bread, it provides a budget-friendly meal. The combination of protein and veggies makes it a nutritious choice. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $10. This recipe earns a solid 8/10 for its affordability and nutritional value, making it a practical choice for families looking for a satisfying and economical meal option.

Is an Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwich Healthy or Unhealthy?

This open-faced tuna melt sandwich recipe is a relatively healthy option, thanks to several nutritious ingredients:

  • Tuna is an excellent source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Carrots and celery provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Whole wheat bread offers complex carbohydrates and additional fiber

However, there are a few aspects that could be improved to make the recipe even healthier:

  • Light mayonnaise, while lower in calories than regular mayonnaise, still contains processed ingredients and unhealthy fats
  • Cheddar cheese is high in saturated fat and sodium

To further enhance the nutritional value of this sandwich, consider the following suggestions:

  • Replace the light mayonnaise with mashed avocado or Greek yogurt for a healthier source of creaminess
  • Opt for a reduced-fat or low-sodium cheese, or use a smaller amount of regular cheddar
  • Add more vegetables to the tuna salad, such as diced bell peppers, cucumbers, or leafy greens like spinach or arugula
  • Choose a whole wheat bread that is high in fiber and low in added sugars
  • Incorporate additional herbs and spices, such as dill, parsley, or paprika, to enhance flavor without relying on salt

By making these simple adjustments, you can transform this tuna melt sandwich into an even more nutritious and satisfying meal that supports your overall health and well-being.

Editor's Take on the Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwich Recipe

This open-faced tuna melt sandwich recipe is a delightful twist on a classic favorite. The combination of tuna, crunchy vegetables, and creamy mayonnaise creates a flavorful and satisfying filling. The addition of cheddar cheese and tomato adds a burst of richness and freshness. The use of whole wheat bread provides a wholesome base for this delicious creation. The cooking method ensures a perfect melding of flavors and textures, resulting in a warm and comforting dish. It's a simple yet impressive recipe that is sure to please the palate.

Enhance Your Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwich Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Asparagus: Tender asparagus spears roasted to perfection and topped with a savory garlic parmesan crust.
Honey Glazed Carrots: Sweet and tender carrots glazed with a sticky honey glaze for the perfect balance of sweetness and crunch.
Grilled Pineapple Slices: Juicy pineapple slices grilled to caramelized perfection, adding a touch of tropical sweetness to your meal.

Delicious Alternatives to the Classic Tuna Melt Sandwich

Creamy Chicken Alfredo: Indulge in a rich and creamy pasta dish with tender chicken and a savory alfredo sauce.
Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Enjoy a colorful and flavorful dish with a variety of fresh vegetables grilled to perfection on skewers.
Berry Cobbler: Satisfy your sweet tooth with a warm and comforting berry cobbler topped with a buttery, golden crust.

Appetizers and Desserts to Complement Your Open-Faced Tuna Melt

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your taste buds with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a delicious mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer for any occasion.
Crispy Zucchini Fritters: Indulge in these crispy zucchini fritters, made with fresh zucchini, Parmesan cheese, and a hint of garlic. Served with a side of tangy dipping sauce, these fritters are sure to be a hit at your next gathering.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Berry Parfait: Layered with fresh berries, creamy yogurt, and crunchy granola, this berry parfait is a delightful combination of sweet and tangy flavors. It's a light and refreshing dessert option for any occasion.
Share your thoughts on this Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwich Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any tips or variations to make it even better!
What type of tuna should I use for this recipe?
You can use canned tuna in water or oil for this recipe. Just make sure to drain the tuna before mixing it with the other ingredients.
Can I use a different type of bread for the sandwich?
Yes, you can use any type of bread you prefer. Whole wheat bread works well for this recipe, but you can also use sourdough, rye, or any other bread of your choice.
Is there a substitute for mayonnaise?
If you prefer not to use mayonnaise, you can substitute it with Greek yogurt or mashed avocado for a creamy texture.
Can I add other vegetables to the tuna salad?
Absolutely! Feel free to customize the tuna salad with your favorite vegetables such as bell peppers, cucumbers, or even some fresh herbs like parsley or dill.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
While it's best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the tuna salad in advance and assemble the sandwich when you're ready to eat. This way, the bread will stay crispy, and the flavors will meld together nicely.

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