In the 1960s and 70s, traditional tuna melt sandwiches reached the height of their popularity. These classic sandwiches featured piles of rich, creamy tuna salad on white bread. After topping the tuna with American cheese, you popped the sandwich into the oven until the cheese melted. You can update this classic open-faced sandwich by substituting and adding to the list of basic ingredients — tuna, mayo, bread and cheese — to suit your own tastes.

Things You'll Need

Preheat your broiler.

Prepare your tuna salad. Add the tuna, celery, green onion, mayonnaise and mustard to your mixing bowl; stir to combine. If desired, you can add other vegetables such as bell pepper or canned artichokes to the salad. You can also replace the mayonnaise with mashed ripe avocado. To give your tuna salad a bit of zing, add a squeeze of lemon juice.

Lay your bread in a single layer on the baking sheet. You can experiment with different types of bread. Whole-grain and sourdough breads work well. For extra flavor, use an onion or other flavored bagel. For a lighter sandwich, use a pita or tortilla.

Spoon the tuna salad mixture onto your bread.

Top the tuna salad with the sliced tomato.

Place the cheese on top of the tomato. Good choices include cheddar, Swiss and mozzarella. If you use a flavorful cheese, such as sharp Cheddar, use less cheese.

Slide the baking sheet in your broiler and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Your tuna melt is done when the cheese is melted.


  • If you don’t want an open-faced tuna melt, you can make a full sandwich on the stovetop. Melt some butter in a skillet on medium-high heat. Cover the cheese with an additional slice of bread and place the sandwiches in the skillet. Flip them after the bottom side has turned golden brown.