Classic Tuna Melt, Like Dad Used to Make

October  4, 2022
3 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Makes 1 open-faced sandwich
Author Notes

A classic tuna melt—well, at least to me. When I was growing up, my dad made them just like this: English muffin, mayo-y tuna salad, sharp cheddar, ultra-hot broiler. I made a few nips and tucks: less mayo, more dijon, and pickles instead of relish (so, sour instead of sweet). But I kept the bright-colored cheese because it’s sunny as heck and makes me feel warm. —Emma Laperruque

What You'll Need
  • 1 can tuna, drained
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon mayo
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced pickles
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 English muffin, split (not sliced!) in half
  • 2 slices sharp cheddar, preferably yellow or orange
  1. Preheat the broiler and line a sheet pan with foil (not parchment, which can catch fire).
  2. Combine the tuna, mayo, mustard, celery, pickles, and salt in a bowl. Mix with a fork. Taste and adjust accordingly.
  3. Add the English muffin halves, cut side facing up, to the lined sheet pan. Slide under the broiler until just starting to get toasty, then remove from the oven. (Crispiness is personal! Just remember it gets broiled again in a moment.)
  4. Top each half with tuna, then a slice of cheese. Slide under the broiler again and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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    Janice Hubbell
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  • alejita
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

4 Reviews

Janice H. March 1, 2024
This is a great classic tuna melt. I use drained dill pickle relish instead of chopping pickles.
diana April 3, 2020
Mmmmm this was delicious. I substituted the mayo for sour cream since I’m not a huge mayo fan and it was delicious!
alejita August 17, 2018
What size tuna can?
Janice H. March 1, 2024
I think it’s the standard, about 5 ounce, can.