The Ultimate Tuna Melt

Tuna Melt with Crispy Capers

Jennifer Meier

Ratings (25)
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches (4 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
514 Calories
38g Fat
9g Carbs
34g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 sandwiches (4 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 514
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 48%
Saturated Fat 14g 71%
Cholesterol 91mg 30%
Sodium 787mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 34g
Calcium 417mg 32%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A little fine tuning and one secret ingredient - fried capers - sets this tuna melt apart from others. 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.

Ingredients

  • 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.)

Steps 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 your eye on the pan and use your nose as a guide

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Pull out of the oven and top with crispy capers before serving.