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 can make 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 with 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 some vegetables into your kids and feed them a warming meal on cool days. The crunchy bread, savory tuna salad, melted cheese, and avocado come together to make the perfect casual meal.
I hope you enjoy this simple old-fashioned comfort food. 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!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Be sure your skillet has metal handles and is ovenproof. You do not want to melt plastic handles!!
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.
- Tuna Salad
- 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 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: Preheat the broiler. Use your toaster to lightly toast the bread slices. Remove from the toaster and set aside 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. 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.
- Yield: 2 sandwiches
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