Top | Sandwiches

Tuna Melts

(recipe, Caroline Cummins)

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The beauty of tuna-fish salad, of course, is that you can add all manner of ingredients to it. This particular combo happens to be one of my favorites. You can, of course, make these sandwiches as classic open-face melts instead of the panini shown here. Just sprinkle the cheese on top and run the open-face sandwiches under the broiler for a few minutes.


  1. 10 to 12 oz. (about 2 cans) good-quality canned albacore tuna, drained (see Note)
  2. 1 celery stalk, diced
  3. 2 scallions, sliced
  4. 2 Tbsp. capers
  5. 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (optional)
  6. ½ cup mayonnaise
  7. 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  8. ½ tsp. dried dill
  9. ½ tsp. paprika
  10. Salt and pepper, to taste
  11. Olive oil, for greasing the pan
  12. ½ cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  13. 8 slices sandwich bread
  14. Lettuce leaves (optional)


  1. Put the tuna in a medium bowl and break it up with a fork. Add the celery, scallions, capers, lemon juice (if using), mayonnaise, mustard, dill, paprika, salt, and pepper, and mix everything together.
  2. Pour a bit of olive oil into two large skillets and swirl to coat the pans. Lay two slices of bread in each skillet and put some of the tuna salad on top of each slice. Sprinkle each mound of tuna with some of the cheese. Top with the remaining slices of bread and brush the tops of the sandwiches with a little olive oil.
  3. Turn the heat to medium-low and place a heatproof weight over each set of sandwiches — a large flat saucepan lid, another heavy skillet, etc. Cook for a few minutes, pressing down if you need to, until the bottoms of the sandwiches have browned. Flip each sandwich with a spatula and cook, pressing down most of the time, until the cheese has melted and the sandwiches have browned on the second side. Remove the sandwiches.
  4. If you wish to serve with lettuce, peel back the non-cheesy piece of bread on each sandwich and slip in a piece of lettuce or two. Slice the sandwiches in half if you wish, and serve immediately.


If you can find it, try to buy sustainably fished tuna, such as that from Raincoast Trading. If you're using tuna packed in oil, reserve some of the oil to use in the tuna salad.