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Tuna Melt

4 servings


  • 1 large or 2 small stalks celery
  • 1 large tomato
  • ½ medium lemon
  • 2 (5- or 6-ounce) cans light tuna, packed in water, no salt added
  • 2 ounces low-fat cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 slices whole wheat sandwich bread

Optional Ingredients:

  • ¼ teaspoon dried dill or tarragon
  • Hot sauce, to taste
Tuna Melt


  1. Rinse and dice celery. Rinse, core, and cut tomato into 4 thick slices.
  2. Rinse lemon and cut in half. In a small bowl, squeeze juice. Discard seeds.
  3. In a colander, drain tuna.
  4. Grate cheese.
  5. In a medium bowl, add tuna. Flake apart with a fork. Add celery, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and black pepper. Mix with fork until combined. If using dried herbs and hot sauce, stir in now.
  6. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 slices bread. Cook until toasted on bottom, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Repeat with other 2 slices. Remove pan from heat.
  7. On the toasted side of each bread slice, add ½ cup tuna salad. Top with tomato slice and sprinkle with cheese (about 2 Tablespoons each).
  8. Return skillet to medium heat. Place 2 sandwiches in skillet. Cover and cook until cheese is melted and underside is browned, about 3–5 minutes. Remove from pan. Repeat with other 2 sandwiches.

Chef’s notes:

  • Tuna salad is also great for cold sandwiches. Or, use to make a pasta salad. Combine with leftover whole wheat pasta, a handful of thawed frozen peas, and a little extra low-fat mayonnaise and lemon juice.
  • Use diced radishes in place of celery, if you like.
  • To make all 4 sandwiches at once, use the oven. Toast bread on a baking sheet at 450°F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and turn each slice over. Top with tuna salad, tomato slices, and cheese. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 3–5 minutes.

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