Tuna Melt Recipe

Tuna Melt with Crispy Capers. Photo by Jennifer Meier
  • 20 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches (4 servings)
Ratings (24)

A little fine tuning and one secret ingredient - fried capers - sets this tuna melt apart from others. I like to use a little less mayo than normal then pile on the cheese. And make sure to keep the tuna melt under the broiler long enough for the cheese to get slightly browned and crispy on top.

Crispy capers are simply capers quickly fried in olive oil. They have a slightly crispy texture and addictive salty flavor. Crispy capers are also delicious tossed into pasta and served over pork chops.

Types of Canned Tuna

  • Confused by all the different types of canned tuna at the market? Here's the lowdown.
  • Canned tuna often comes from albacore, skipjack, bluefin and yellowfin tuna. Which flavor you like best is a matter of personal taste, but keep in mind that the flavor can vary since not every albacore tuna out there tastes the same.
  • Tuna comes in solid, chunk and flaked varieties. Solid should have a larger piece of tuna in the can. Chunk tuna has pieces of tuna and flaked has a soft, shredded texture. 
  • Tuna is packed in water or oil. Oil packed tuna tends to be more flavorful.

What are Capers?

Capers are the flower bud on a bush native to the Mediterranean. The buds are sun-dried then pickled in vinegar brine. Capers are usually quite small, but stemmed caperberries are as large as an olive. It is often recommended that capers are rinsed before eating because they are so salty.

What You'll Need

  • 2 5-ounce cans of tuna (ideally packed in oil)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons celery (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup parsley (finely chopped or dill)
  • 3 tablespoons capers (drained)
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 1/2 pound cheese(Cheddar is a classic choice. Manchego, or a blend of Manchego and Cheddar, is also a delicious choice. So is Swiss cheese.)

How to Make It

  1. In a medium bowl, mix tuna with mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, caper juice, red onion, celery and parsley or dill. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-high, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the capers and cook, stirring or shaking occasionally, until the capers are crisp, about 4 minutes. There is a fine line between a crispy caper and a burnt caper, so keep you eye on the pan and use your nose as a guide
  1. Lay out 4 slices of bread. Drizzle with olive oil or spread with mayonnaise. Spread tuna evenly over each slice. Top each slice generously with cheese.
  2. Place under the broiler, keeping an eye on the bread and rotating as necessary, until the cheese is completely melted and browned slightly on top.
  3. Pull out of the oven and top with crispy capers before serving.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 514
Total Fat 38 g
Saturated Fat 14 g
Unsaturated Fat 13 g
Cholesterol 91 mg
Sodium 787 mg
Carbohydrates 9 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 34 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)