Classic Tuna Melt, Like Dad Used to Make

August 10, 2018
Photo by Julia Gartland
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

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Makes 1 open-faced sandwich
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.

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Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.