Recipe Test: Fancy Tuna Melt

Since Summer is not-quite-officially over and Fall is not-quite-officially here and my apartment is still hot but not hotter than hell, I searched around the internet for a good in-between-seasons recipe to make yesterday. Also, I wanted something that easy to put together since I had some errands to run and a few other things to get done last night (like watching the US Open). I was browsing Leite’s Culinaria – one of my favorite places to find recipes these days – and I found this recipe for a Fancy Tuna Melt from Clodagh McKenna. Tuna salad always reminds me of Summer and, to me, there’s nothing more comforting and Fall-ish than a grilled cheese. So, this seemed perfect.


Fancy Tuna Melt

This sandwich totally hit the spot. It was quick and delicious. And I have leftovers that I can’t wait to eat tonight.

Not Your Mom’s Tuna Melt by Clodagh McKenna
Serves: 2


  • 9 ounces canned tuna (preferably packed in oil), drained
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 celery stalk, finely sliced
  • 1/4 small (about 2 tablespoons) red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 medium (about 2 inches long) cucumber, peeled, if desired, and finely diced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 baguette, cut crosswise into 2 portions, or 4 slices bread, such as sourdough or multigrain (Note: I used multigrain.)
  • 4 slices tomato (optional)
  • 2 slices cheese of your choice, such as Gruyère, Swiss, or white Cheddar (Note: I used Colby Jack because…it was on sale at the grocery store.)


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  • 2. Using a fork, flake the tuna into a bowl. Stir in the mayonnaise, celery, onion, cucumber, and lemon juice and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix again.
  • 3. Cut the baguettes in half lengthwise and divide the tuna mixture between the bottom pieces. Place 2 slices tomato on each sandwich, if desired. Top with a cheese slice and the baguette lids, pressing down gently to settle the filling.
  • 4. Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the sandwich is warmed through and the cheese begins to melt. Alternatively, you can warm the sandwich in a griddle or sandwich maker.
  • 5. Serve the sandwiches immediately.

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