Classic Tuna Melt

This classic tuna melt is so easy to throw together for a weeknight dinner.  It’s perfect in its simplicity – the buttery crunch of the bread, the gooey cheese, and savory tuna filling make for the ultimate comfort food.  You may find yourself craving these in the middle of the night.

A classic tuna melt sandwich with cheese on buttery sourdough bread. A diner style sandwich that is the perfect comfort food.

How many times have you sat in an old fashioned dinner and ordered their tuna melt?  It’s always been a favorite of mine.  They’re consistently good and ridiculously easy.

With all of us in self-isolation, why not bring that diner favorite home?  You probably have all of the items in your pantry and refrigerator.  Bring on the comfort food.


  • It all starts with the tuna.  I like Albacore in water because it tastes light and fresh.  You can use tuna in a pouch or canned in oil.  Use whatever you like or have on hand.
  • Bread.  Again, use what you have on hand.  Sourdough is my choice.  I like the texture of sourdough when its toasted.  I also like the flavor, but Texas toast, rye, whole wheat, or plain old white bread all work well.
  • Cheese.  I think the slices help keep the bread from getting soggy, but you can use shredded in the tuna mixture as well.  Swiss, cheddar, gouda, any cheese works.
  • Pickles.  I like the sweetness of a bread and butter pickle, but a great, sour dill is also amazing.  Not in the mood to chop?  Use a pickle relish – just be sure to drain it a little bit.  You don’t want a watery tuna filling.
  • Mayonnaise.  I am, and always will be, a Helmann’s girl.  However, any mayo will do the trick!
  • Flavorings.  I use grated onion, celery, and pickles.  But use what you have in the fridge or your family loves.  No produce on hand?  Try a ½ teaspoon of onion powder, celery seed, or other herbs to add flavor.

A classic tuna melt sandwich with cheese on buttery sourdough bread. A diner style sandwich that is the perfect comfort food.

Like this recipe?  Here are a few more ‘Diner-Style’ comfort food recipes:



This classic tuna melt sandwich is the ultimate comfort food.  Buttery, toasted sourdough bread with a savory filling that has just the right amount of crunch is sure to please your whole family.

  • Author: Eats By The Beach
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 23 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American



8 slices sourdough bread

2 tablespoons butter 

2 (6-ounce) cans Albacore white tuna, drained well

2 tablespoons grated sweet onion, dried on a paper towel

⅓ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon minced celery

12 sweet pickles, finely minced and dried on a paper towel

1 tablespoon freshly minced parsley

6 slices cheddar cheese


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.  Set aside.

Butter one side of each slice of bread.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, onion. Mayonnaise, celery, pickles, and parsley.

Lay 4 slices of bread, buttered side down, on the prepared baking sheet.

Top each slice with 1 ½ slices of cheese.

Spread the tuna mixture over the cheese slices.  

Top with the remaining bread slices, buttered side up.

Bake in the preheated oven for 6 – 8 minutes until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.

Serve hot.

Keywords: classic tuna melt, comfort food, weeknight meal ideas, tuna recipes, sandwich recipes,