When I was working in High Tech, one of my go-to lunches was a tuna melt. Tuna salad heaped between two slices of bread and grilled until golden brown. Now that I make my own gluten-free breads (using recipes from my Gluten-Free Bread Machine Cookbook) these California Tuna Melts are back in my mealtime rotation again!
Today’s recipe is a spin on the classic, served open-faced with melted cheese over the top and avocado slices. So good! It is a bit easier to make since you don’t have to flip the sandwich as you are cooking it and I eat it with a fork and knife.
While it might not seem a natural thing to heat tuna salad, think about another classic favorite, tuna casserole. You may be surprised how tasty this sandwich is!
This is a great way to get seafood and vegetables into your kids and feed them a filling meal. The crunchy bread, savory tuna salad, melted cheese, and avocado come together to make the perfect casual meal. I could eat these every day!
I hope you enjoy this simple old-fashioned comfort food. With its quick and easy assembly, it is perfect for midweek dinners when time is short and everyone is hungry. California Tuna Melts make every day brighter!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Key Ingredients for California Tuna Melts:
- Mayonnaise, celery, green onions, bell pepper, lemon pepper
- Tuna in water, sandwich bread, cheese, avocado
Be sure your skillet has metal handles and is ovenproof. You do not want to melt plastic handles!
How to make California Tuna Melts:
- Combine the mayonnaise, celery, onions, bell pepper, and lemon pepper, stirring until blended; add the tuna and gently fold it into the mixture, taste and adjust seasonings if needed
- Preheat the broiler while you toast the slices of bread, then lightly butter one side of each slice and place in an ovenproof skillet, buttered side down; divide the tuna salad evenly between the bread slices, mounding it as needed and pressing to compact it
- Heat over medium-high heat until the bread is golden on the bottom, then remove from the heat; arrange cheese slices on the top of each sandwich, slide the skillet under the broiler and cook for 1 to 3 minutes until the cheese is melted – if you don’t want to put your skillet under the broiler, transfer the sandwiches to a baking sheet then melt the cheese
- Remove from the oven and transfer each sandwich to serving plates, lay the avocado slices over the top, season with salt and pepper if you want, and sprinkle with chives or other herbs; serve immediately
Because they turn brown so quickly, do not cut the avocado in advance. Cut it just before you are ready to serve the sandwiches.
The best way to cut an avocado is to use a knife to cut it in half lengthwise. Twist the halves apart and remove the pit with your knife or a small spoon. Then use a large spoon to scoop the entire half out of the peel in one piece and place it cut side down on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut it into slices and place on top of the open-faced sandwiches before serving.
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Using a good quality gluten-free bread will definitely improve your sandwich. My personal favorite is the “Almost Wheat” loaf from my cookbook, “The Gluten Free Bread Machine Cookbook.” It includes flax meal to mimic the texture of whole wheat and is a beautiful bread.
- 2 to 3 tbsp mayonnaise, low fat or regular
- 2 tbsp finely chopped celery
- 2 green onions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp finely chopped bell pepper (preferably red or orange)
- 1/2 tsp gluten-free lemon pepper, such as Penzey's brand
- 1 (6 oz) can or jar of tuna in water, drained and flaked
- 2 thick slices regular or gluten-free sandwich bread
- Slices of Monterey Jack, cheddar, or Pepper Jack cheese
- Slices of fresh avocado
- Finely chopped chives, herbs, or green onions, for garnish, optional
- Make the Tuna Salad: In a bowl, stir together the mayonnaise with the celery, onions, bell pepper, and lemon pepper. Add the tuna and gently fold it in. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Assemble the Sandwiches: Set a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the broiler. Use your toaster to lightly toast the bread slices. Remove from the toaster and set on a wire cooling rack to cool.
- Brush one side of each cooled piece of bread lightly with butter. Place the bread, buttered side down, in an ovenproof skillet. Spread half of the tuna salad on top of each piece of bread, mounding it and pressing to lightly compact it. Heat over medium-high heat until the bread is golden on the bottom. Remove from the heat.
- Arrange the cheese slices over the top of each sandwich. Slide the skillet under the broiler and cook for 1 to 3 minutes or until the cheese has melted over the tuna salad. If you don't want to put your skillet under the broiler, transfer the sandwiches to a baking sheet then melt the cheese.
- Remove from the broiler and transfer to two serving plates. Lay the slices of avocado over the top, season lightly with salt and pepper if desired, and sprinkle with the chives or other herbs. Serve immediately.
Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 769Total Fat: 62gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 43gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 1169mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 8gSugar: 3gProtein: 35g
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