Grocer to Table | Salads & Sandwiches

Best Damn Grilled Tuna and Cheese

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No kidding! The best damn grilled tuna and cheese sandwich you will ever eat! Tuna and Cheese is done is less than 20 minutes!

Halved tuna melt with dripping cheese and a wooden knife sticking into it.Pin

Ok, so I know what you are thinking. Has this woman lost her mind?

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Anyone can make a grilled tuna and cheese sandwich, otherwise known as a tuna melt! I know that a grilled cheese sandwich is not rocket science, but this is the best damn tuna salad you will ever eat!

We have an easy sandwich for dinner a few times a month. They are great, when you have had a busy day! They are also so tasty, and delicious!

This classic tuna melt sandwich is great for a super easy weeknight dinner or for a nice weekend lunch!

As with most grilled sandwiches, it is done in less than half an hour. This is also packed with veges so there’s no need to make a salad!

close up of grilled tuna and cheese sandwich, showing all of the vegetables in itPin

What you need for a tuna melt

  • tuna
  • mayonnaise
  • carrot
  • celery
  • chives, scallions or green onion, shallots or white or red onion
  • celery seed
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • quality bread
  • butter or mayonnaise for the outside of the sandwich
Ingredients used to make tuna melt on boardPin
  • cheese
  • soft or melted butter.
cheese, melted butter and bread on board.Pin

How to make Grilled Tuna and Cheese

  1. Mix ingredients for tuna salad in medium bowl.
  2. Brush one side of bread with melted butter. Place in pan over medium heat.
  3. When first side is golden, reduce heat and flip.
  4. Top with thick cut cheese.
  5. Add tuna salad to the top of cheese.
Tuna salad mixed up. Brushing butter on bread. Toasting 1st side. Toasted side up. Added cheese to bread. Tuna added on top of cheese. Pin

Top tuna with toasted side of the second piece of bread. Cover pan with lid, so the cheese melts nicely. Turn the burner on medium heat. Usually when you stop hearing the bread sizzling, the bread is nicely browned and ready to flip over.

Keep a close eye on them so that they do not burn. Carefully flip over so that you don’t lose ingredients.

Tuna topped with cheese. Second slice of buttered bread added to sandwich.Pin

Health Benefits of Tuna and Celery Seed

Canned tuna contains high-quality protein, selenium and potassium, not to mention the Omega-3 fatty acids and B complex vitamins! Make sure that you buy tuna which is line caught, to help protect the dolphin populations!

Also canned tuna has been shown to contain mercury, which is a heavy metal. Make sure you buy light tuna, rather than white tuna, as that has been shown to contain lower amounts of mercury.

Celery Seed, as well, has been shown to have multiple health benefits! Celery seed has been shown to help reduce blood pressure, improve cognitive function and improve joint function.

The Secrets to the Best Damn Grilled Tuna Sandwich

  • Use high quality, sustainably caught, tuna fish, either canned in water or vacuum packed.
  • Use a good quality mayonnaise, not salad dressing.
  • Quite a bit of celery seed is important.
  • A good quality bread is essential, either home made or store bought.
  • Toast bread on both sides so that it stays crispy.
  • You can substitute the butter for mayonnaise on the outside of the slices of bread. This will give a great crust as well and it’s easier to spread.
  • When you hear the bread stop sizzling, it is the usually the perfect golden brown
Tuna melt cut in half with a pickle sticking in the top with a toothpick.

What type of bread to use for your tuna melt

You can really use your favorite bread for these tuna melts. Some of our favorites are;

photograph of sliced zucchini, green onion, cheesy quick bread, use to make tuan and grilled cheese sandwichesPin

What to serve it with

You can serve your sandwiches with your favorite sides. Some of our favorites are;

  • julienned carrots and celery
  • beet chips or any other chips you like
  • french fries
  • onion rings
  • side salad
  • tomato soup
  • garnish with a pickle spear or pickle slices

Other delicious sandwiches

grilled tuna and cheese with carrots and celeryPin

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Tuna melt with dripping cheese and pickle garnish.

Best Damn Grilled Tuna & Cheese

Easy delicious for lunch or an easy dinner! 
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sandwich
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 sandwiches
Calories: 593kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $6


  • 2 cans tuna fish packed in water
  • 3 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chives snipped, fresh
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 8 slices cheddar cheese
  • 8 slices bread of your choice
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper


  • Mix all ingredients together, except for bread, butter and cheese.
  • Thinly and evenly spread softened butter on slices of bread, on both sides. Or melt butter and brush on.
  • Place 2 pieces of bread, buttered side down in a frying pan over medium heat. Toast on first side and then flip to second side.
  • Top bread with 2 slices cheese, then top cheese with 1/4 of the tuna mixture. 
  • Place second piece of bread on top of the sandwich, with buttered side up, toasted side towards tuna. Place sandwiches in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Top pan with lid so that cheese melts nicely.
  • When sandwiches are golden brown, carefully flip with spatula, so you don't lose ingredients. Be careful not to burn the bread. 
  • Repeat until you have 4 sandwiches.
  • Let cool slightly before serving.
  • Can be kept warm in the oven on low heat, until all sandwiches are toasted.
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When you hear the sizzling stop in the pan, it indicates that the sandwich is ready to flip.
Best if eaten fresh.
Tuna can be refrigerated 1 day.
Do not freeze.
See post above for bread and accompaniment suggestions.


Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 593kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 997mg | Potassium: 471mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5785IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 528mg | Iron: 4.4mg
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  1. Yum!!! I used to make these all the time as a kid, and this version looks so fancy and delicious! Saving to make soon!

  2. 5 stars
    My goodness, this sandwich looks amazing!! I will have to make it soon, looks perfect for lunch or dinner.

  3. 5 stars
    Great tuna sandwich!!! During this virus pandemic and shelter in home, there’s no running out to the grocery store for missing ingredients. Sooo, I didn’t have shallots nor celery, but I had onions and carrots! It was STILL delicious! Thanks so much for the recipe! I’ve shared it with my sister-in-law too! My daughter is vegetarian, so grilled cheese with sautéed veggies for her and her hubby!😀 Stay safe and well!

    1. I totally had a tuna kick going last week! I go through spurts. I won’t eat it for 6 months and then I have to have it!!! Usually for 4 or 5 days! Cheap and easy! Yeah! Thanks Sarah!

    1. It’s really crazy good! I can’t believe you have never one. It must be a US thing! Every Greek diner in America has them on the menu!

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