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There are a lot of ways to make a tuna melt. But the best tuna melt? That’s this one right here.
There’s no mayo or onion and celery in this staple sandwich. Instead, there are some roasted tomatoes, lots of good sharp cheddar. All tucked between thick-sliced sourdough bread that’s pan-fried in butter.
It doesn’t sound terribly exciting I know. But if you use the right ingredients and cook it right, it can be exciting in a melty cheddar, golden brown kinda way.
First, the tuna. Get good quality tuna. I like mine packed in olive oil, and my favorite can is this one. It’s not the cheapest by far, but it’s moist, full of flavor, and responsibly sourced. You get big, meaty chunks instead of mushy wet shreds that turn your sandwich to, well, mush.
Next up, get some cherry tomatoes and roast them whole. This sweetens them up and gives them a slightly charred taste that compliments the tuna and sharp cheddar cheese.
Speaking of cheese, I use a good sharp cheddar. Then I layer it on both sides of bread, so bread, cheese, tuna, more cheese, and bread. Sourdough is my bread of choice, but any kind of good crusty bread will do. The tang of a good sourdough helps bring everything together in a savory, flavorful sandwich. It’s not a must, but don’t use something with tons of sugar (which surprisingly a lot of breads are full of!)
You’ll cook this like a grilled cheese — low and slow so that your bread browns and your cheese melts. Covering your pan will help melt your cheese. Don’t try to rush it unless you want a blackened sandwich with cold tuna and cheese inside. It takes time people. And butter. Lots andl lots of butter.
The Best Tuna Melt
Melty cheddar, roasted tomatoes, and good quality tuna make the best tuna melt. Perfect for lunch, a quick dinner, or beyond.
Lay the tomatoes on a small baking sheet and drizzle with avocado oil. Add a pinch of salt. Roast for 10-12 minutes until softened and lightly charred. Remove and let cool.
Put the tuna in a bowl with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Chop the cooled tomatoes and add them to the tuna. Mix well.
Heat a large skillet over medium low heat. Add a tablespoon of butter. When it melts, add two slices of bread. Add 1/4 of the cheese to each slice, then add half of the tuna mixture. Divide the remaining cheese between the two sandwiches, then add the other two slices bread. Press down slightly.
Cover the pan and allow to cook for several minutes, being careful not to let your heat get too high. Check the sandwiches to see if the cheese is melted, and carefully flip. Continue cooking until both sides are golden brown.