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Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwich Recipe

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Open Faced Tuna Melt is the ultimate sandwich for all you tuna lovers! Serving them open faced is an easy way to make them healthier and cut the calories.

Open Faced Tuna Melt is the ultimate sandwich for all you tuna lovers! Serving them open faced is an easy way to make them healthier and cut the calories.
Tuna Melt

Diner comfort food just got a makeover! This classic tuna melt has the perfect amount of crunch, melty cheddar cheese, and veggies. Melts are one of my favorite types of lunch sandwiches. If you love a hot sandwich, you should also try these Open-Faced Turkey Melts and Egg and Tomato Breakfast Melts. If you want a cold sandwich, definitely check out my Open Faced Tuna Sandwich with Avocado.

Open Faced Tuna Melt is the ultimate sandwich for all you tuna lovers! Serving them open faced is an easy way to make them healthier and cut the calories.

When I was a kid, my mom owned a luncheonette where she was the cook. She would often make me a tuna melt, which I loved! Tuna is such an easy protein since it requires very minimal prep work – just open up the can and drain. If you want to turn tuna into a larger meal, we love our homemade tuna casserole.

Are tuna melts good for you?

Adding veggies to your tuna and serving it open-faced makes this classic sandwich healthier and lighter! By using only one slice of bread, you cut the carbs in half. For a more low-carb tuna melt, try these tomato tuna melts.

Use your favorite whole grain bread – I love Dave’s Killer Bread. It’s organic, non-GMO, and tastes great. Another good option would be to use homemade bagels instead of sandwich bread.

How To Make Tuna Salad

There are so many ways to make tuna salad, but this recipe is my go-to. Start with a can of tuna, drain it, and mix in mayonnaise, chopped red onion, celery, carrots, and a little red wine vinegar. The vinegar gives it a little zing that makes it delicious!

Tips to make this quicker:

To speed up the prep time, I love using my Cuisinart 4-cup mini food processor (affil link), I put the carrots, celery, and onion in and pulse a few times, which saves a lot of time.

What sides go with tuna melts?

This healthy tuna melt is excellent on its own, but you can definitely add a side if you want to round out the meal. You could serve your tuna sandwich with a green salad or a cup of soup. This Tomato Basil Soup or French Onion Soup would be delish. You could also serve it with potato salad or a dill pickle.


  • Swap the whole grain bread for bagels, sourdough, English muffins, or whatever you have on hand.
  • Use another cheese like Swiss or gouda in place of the cheddar.

Ingredients to make a healty tuna meltHealthy tuna saladOpen Faced Tuna Melt is the ultimate sandwich for all you tuna lovers! Serving them open faced is an easy way to make them healthier and cut the calories.Open Faced Tuna Melt is the ultimate sandwich for all you tuna lovers! Serving them open faced is an easy way to make them healthier and cut the calories.

How To Make a Tuna Melt Sandwich

More Canned Tuna Recipes

Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwich

4.75 from 27 votes
Classic comfort diner food, just got a make-over with this Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwich!
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Open Faced Tuna Melt is the ultimate sandwich for all you tuna lovers! Serving them open faced is an easy way to make them healthier and cut the calories.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
Serving Size: 1 open face sandwich


  • 4.5 ounce can tuna (in water), drained
  • 1/4 cup carrots, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced celery
  • 1 tbsp red onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp light mayonnaise, Hellman's Light
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 2 slices 2% reduced fat cheddar or American cheese
  • 2 slices tomato
  • oil spray, I used my Misto


  • Combine tuna, celery, carrots, onion, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large skillet over low heat.
  • Spray skillet with oil, and place two slices of bread on top.
  • Top bread with cheese, then tuna salad and tomato. Cook on low heat until cheese melts and bread gets toasty.
  • Serve immediately.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 open face sandwich, Calories: 231 kcal, Carbohydrates: 14.5 g, Protein: 28.5 g, Fat: 6.5 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Fiber: 3.5 g


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122 comments on “Open-Faced Tuna Melt Sandwich Recipe”

  1. This is a really good tuna recipe! I did add an extra half tablespoon of Mayo just to make it a little smoother but my husband and I really enjoyed it. His only critique was that the cheese wasn’t really noticeable, the tuna overpowered it too much. I’ll definitely make this again though.

  2. Is the serving size one or both slices? It says one open faced sandwich, but a sandwich is usually 2 slices of bread, so I wasn’t sure.

  3. Like all the additional veggies–and I also added some chopped steamed broccoli florets. I am used to tuna salad that has some mustard and dill pickle in it–so usually end up adding some. I go a bit lighter on onion or add it cooked or steamed up a bit so it isn’t as strong. I doubled the recipe so we could have it a few times. I also found if it seems to need something–a couple red grapes cut up actually are really good in it.

  4. Delicious! I substituted pink salmon (realized the can is expiring in a couple of months), but it really hit the spot. Extra tasty with the grilled bread. Thanks, Gina!!!

  5. Um – so good! I did make an adjustment b/c I realized I had red cooking wine and after some quick research – I realized that was NOT the same as Red Wine Vinegar (hehe). So, I used Hoisin Sauce! Y U M M Y! I also didn’t have celery. I used red bell pepper. I had one serving and am stuffed! I loved that I chopped all this up earlier and put in one bowl, then when I was ready, just opened the tuna, added some mayo, hoisin sauce, salt, pepper and bowl of yummies! Plan on eating this for lunch alot! Thanks,

  6. Avatar photo
    Allison Dabney

    Yum! I’ve never added red wine vinegar to my tuna and was skeptical but I think this one little ingredient has a lot to do with how good this tuna salad turned out. I used the Sara Lee Delightful 45 calorie white bread and a slice of the Sargento Ultra Thin sharp cheddar slice. This was a really satisfying and quick to prepare lunch.  Preparing in a pan instead of the toaster oven also made it better than my usual tuna melt! Thanks for another yummy recipe!

  7. We really enjoyed this tuna melt and have added it to our meal planning rotation. For 231 calories a serving it tastes amazing and it is very satisfying. We love it.

  8. I love this recipe but I was wondering…If I made a double batch of this recipe, how long would it last in the fridge?

  9. Warning: this tuna melt will change your life!

    Okay, in all seriousness, this is absolutely delicious. I added an extra 0.5 tablespoon of mayo, fresh dill and fresh parsley (because I had them on hand). I also layered the tomato on the bottom, tuna in the middle, then cheese cheese on top – the warm juicy-ness of the tomato was really nice once it came out of the oven.

    I doubled the recipe and will store the remaining mix in the refrigerator for tomorrow’s lunch.

  10. Avatar photo
    Natalia Smith

    I just made it!!! Sooooooooooooo good!!! This is a great sandwich. I used white bread and yellow onion. Still delicious….

  11. Avatar photo
    Emilie Cormier

    This recipe is absolutely DELICIOUS!!!! This was my first ever Tuna Melt & I have to say, it’s going to be hard to beat! I was looking for a healthy lunch idea and had most of the ingredients on hand. I didn’t have Red Onion, so I omitted that and substituted Apple Cider Vinegar bc I had it on hand. Hardest part is only eating 1/2 of the sandwich! AMAZING!

  12. Just to make everyone laugh…. I wanted a quick meal that I could grab anything I needed at Target. I write my list, run to the store, can’t find 14.5 oz cans of tuna. So I do some math, grab 3 cans and come home. Yep… reading really is fundamental! The recipe is delicious and I can make a double batch tomorrow when I have more time.
    Thank you Gina from the bottom of my non cooking heart! All of your recipes taste wonderful and you write them in a way that I can actually pull them off!🤣

  13. I love all the meal plans you’re sharing. My husband and myself just started weight watchers and appreciate the points you’re including. The shopping list are wonderful and make juggling life with 3 kids easier! I am looking at ordering your meal plan book too!

  14. Hands down the BEST tuna salad EVER! So simple! So good! Have had it for Lunch, Dinner then lunch again….3 meals in a row! Thats how good it is!!! Thank You Gina!!!

  15. I am that horrible person who rarely measures ingredients. I sub sour cream for the vinegar, provolone for cheddar and added dried dill. Still phenomenal.

    1. I have found you can sub some may for yogurt but you really need the mayo taste and the oil in it brings the ingredients together better. Plus, there is just 1 1/2 tsp per serving. Not much. Bread exchange should work. Most low calorie breads are 1 point vs 2. I think using a low fat english muffin at 3 points would be really good too. 

  16. This was surprisingly good and filling. I followed the tuna salad recipe exactly (was skeptical about that carrot!). Finely mincing the vegetables really is key. I lightly toasted my bread in a toaster oven then added cheese on top and cooked. Placed tomato on after it was finished cooking. Delish and very filling. 

  17. It was okay. I’d rather eat a carrot separately than include
    it. I’ll go back to mine- diced celery, onion, drained tuna, 
    and a dollop of mayo. 

  18. This sounds so yummy but I don’t understand how it can only be 4 blue points with 2 slices of bread, 2 slices of cheese and mayo

  19. One of my favorites on the site! My old job had pizza maker oven that I would make these in and feel in love with them baked. Now I heat them in my oven at 350 for about 20 minutes (I put the cheese on top so it melts and gets bubbly).

  20. I was making this and after getting it all together it looked very dry.  In addition the 14.5 oz of tuna and vegetables looks like a lot to serve 2 people?  Is the ingredient list correct?

    1. I left a wonderful review on your Chicken Paprikash
      and it posted immediately. 
      I left a very lukewarm review on this tuna melt and it was immediately erased????

      1. Sorry Maureen, no comments are posted until they have been approved and we are just now getting caught up on yesterdays comments. You will now see all your comments posted.

  21. I made this last night, and it is DELISH!! The flavors are perfect . I used my Panini grill, and followed the recipe exactly. Wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you so much for another awesome recipe!

  22. 14 ounces of   tuna is a lot for this amount of other ingredients. – you may have meant a 7 ounce can which when drained yields about 5 ounces maybe closer to 4,7?

      1. I read it the same as Mary Ann as 14.5 oz.  Therefore I used 2 cans of tuna and have lots for the coming week after adjusting ingredients accordingly.

  23. This is the only way I make tuna salad anymore! I love the flavors and crunch of the veggies and the complexity added by the vinegar.

  24. Yum! I made this for lunch today and it was really quite tasty! I will be making it again! I used my Pamered Chef food chopper to dice the veggies up really small. I also used a Joesph’s Pita instead of the bread, as i follow WW Freestyle and one pita is only one point! Great recipe!

  25. This was absolutely delicious!! Definitely a keeper. I think this is how I will make my tuna all the time from now on. I loved the crunch of the celery and carrots.

  26. Made this for a quick dinner using gluten free ingredients. The recipe comes together fast. The veggies were processed in my mini chopper and add a nice crunch to the tuna. I used a slightly larger can of tuna and instead of extra mayo added in some non-fat greek yogurt. The sandwich was cooked in a covered skillet over low heat. The cheese was melting and all blended together nice.

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  36. I have never been a very big tuna fan, but I had a can that I needed to use up and figured why not. I’m not exactly a convert after making this, but it was a satisfying low-cal meal for sure!

    Thanks for covering so many different types of meals, Gina, I never get bored of your site when looking for a new dinner idea because it covers so many cooking styles.

  37. Avatar photo
    Stacy Makes Cents

    This was really good! I wasn't sure I would enjoy the little crunchy veggies in there, but they were so flavorful! Great recipe and so quick to fix for a fast meal.

  38. We just found this recipe on Pinterest and fell in love. I usually don't like Tuna Salad but the flavors in this recipe make it very good. Thank you!

    Also, since we liked it so much I've included it on our monthly menu plan for February (and it will also be featured in March too.. post coming soon!).

  39. Avatar photo

    I recommend the curry powder too! It's an easy way to add a different type of flavor without packing on too many calories.

  40. Avatar photo
    Teggin Summers

    Hi there! I just made this for lunch today, and it was awesome!! There was a little coffee shop/ice cream shop that also served light lunch fare in Cambridge, MA that I used to frequent. They had the most amazing tuna salad sandwich, and I've spent years trying to replicate it. Your recipe comes the closest, especially when I add tomatoes.

    I used a whole grain, small tortilla and topped it with shredded reduced-fat cheddar. Popped it in the microwave to get it nice and melty. Then I added the tuna mix + diced tomatoes. Heaven!! Had to stop myself from eating all of the tuna mix. I'm saving the other half for lunch tomorrow. Paired it all with sliced of red pepper and crunchy carrot chips.

    Thanks for all of your delicious recipes!

  41. Oh my, this is so incredibly satisfying Gina! Eating it for dinner right now. Somehow I managed 2 open faced sandwiches for 8 points total? I'm thinking it must be the tuna because your recipe says a can… I used a 2.6oz pouch… could that be the difference? Everything else is the same. Bread is 2pts for 2 slices. Oh, well, I'm very happy 🙂

  42. i made this yesterday for lunch and i'm about to make it again for lunch today! it was soo yummy! i'm a newly healthy eating fat person, so tuna with LOTS of mayo was my fave. the carrot and onion (don't like celery) really added some great texture to the sandwich so i didn't need to be so focused on the lack of mayo. also i loved the addition of the red wine vinegar. so delicious! and then toasting it up, well that just makes everything better. another great recipe!

  43. I didn't have all the items so I had to modify it somewhat but it was so good. I didn't have celery or carrots or regular tuna. I used tuna w/jalapeno's added pepper, mayo,onion,red wine vinegar also used pepperidge farm very thin 100% whole wheat I split a slice of cheese on the bread & used pepperjack cheese…it was yunmmy and gave it that spiciness that I love. Thanks for the recipe!

  44. What a great healthy treat for lunch or even dinner. You can have delicious meals that are low in calories and taste good. I have been eating healthier and have found some great diet meals that will help you lose weight.

  45. Thank you so much for all your beautiful pictures. You not only offer me a diverse variety of healthy options, but you make healthy, old-school favorites look delicious!

    – Ivy

  46. By far one of my favorite sandwiches! I typically use cucumbers instead of celery most of the time… The vinegar I think is the "secret ingredient"!

  47. What a great idea to lighten up tuna with shredded carrots. The spot of vinegar really adds a nice touch, and I was able to use less mayo. I used real butter and sharp cheddar, and also added sliced avocado. Worked great in the panini pan. Thanks much! 🙂

  48. Try it on a Fiber One English Muffin – 100 Calories and 56% of your daily fiber. Also, I used one package of tuna and one of salmon for an extra boost of Omega 3's!

  49. Just finished eating this for lunch. It was delicious! Thanks Gina! I love every recipe I have tried from your site. It's my go to site for any ingredient I am trying to use.

  50. Over 2 years ago, I lost 70 pounds through changes in my diet and exercise. After having my son 1 year ago, I gained 50 pounds. Tuna was a key player in my weight loss and thanks to THIS recipe, I'm ready to go hard and lose the weight again! I've been put off by tuna, sick of the same'ol same 'ol. I tried this (substituting lime for the vinegar b/c we don't normally buy red wine vinegar)and it was AMAZING! Thank you so much for all you do!

  51. This was wonderful! Quick & Easy and I'm watching my almost 2-year-old eat his right now! 2nd recipe today I've made from your site!

  52. Avatar photo
    Jessica Wright

    This was a GREAT lunch!!! I love how your recipes are easy enough for us college students to make but soooo DELISH!!!! LOVE it and I LOVE you GINA!!!! 😀 Thanks for helping me learn to cook while in college!!! haha!!! >.<

  53. I am totally in love with the tuna melts. I've made them probably three times in the last two weeks. And my toddler's love them, too. A total bonus!!!

  54. Just made this and it was delicious! Even my boyfriend loved it and i have never seen him eat tuna in my life!

  55. These were good, not as mayo-heavy as I am used to, for obvious reasons. These are great to bring to work, I put the tuna between two slices of toasted bread, added a slice of lowfat cheese and when it was lunch time, I microwaved for about a minute. Really tasty.

  56. I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!!! My boyfriend, who is not on WW loved it also so I will definitely be making it again. Thanks for the great recipe.

  57. I made one of these for lunch on an Arnold's sandwich thin, and I can't stop thinking about how simple and delicious it was. I've been craving tuna but unsure how to make a healthy tuna salad — i.e., not globbed full of mayonnaise — and a little bit of fat free mayo and the splash of red wine vinegar (which I never would have thought of!) did the trick perfectly. On a sandwich thin, it was filling and delicious. Thanks!

  58. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    Sure, Hellman's is my favorite!

    Swati- The bread was 1 pt 2 slices and the cheese was 1 point each I believe.

  59. Gina,

    Do you know how many points just the tuna salad is? The points value of the bread and cheese I use varies, and I would like to be able to add that in separately.



  60. I wonder if it would be good with greek yogurt instead of mayo. Cut a few more calories. Plus I just love greek yogurt 🙂

  61. Hello,

    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM YUM.
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  62. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    @Merut- lol, I'm sure this would be good with some hot sauce too!

    @bouchizzle- you're welcome!

    Yes, shredded chicken would work fine in place if tuna!

  63. I am allergic to fish – can I make this with chicken or turkey breast? Otherwise it looks fabulous!

  64. Hi Gina. I saw this post and thought …. um I have to have that! So I made it for lunch and I LOVE IT. I didn't have the vinegar, so i added cranberry juice instead. It was AMAZING!!! Thanks for all of your hard work on this blog. Yum yum Yum.

  65. This is perfect. My fiance loves tuna fish sandwiches, but he always fills it with a bunch of nasty (i.e. mayo, hot sauce, olives, pickle resish, more hot sauce, the list continues . . . ). Maybe he'd go for this healthy version (if I add hot sauce of course)

  66. Avatar photo
    Susie Bee on Maui

    How can you not love a tuna melt!? Have you tried making the tuna with fresh salsa and spreading the bread with avocado? Delish!

  67. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    Hi Katie, funny, I get asked that via email almost every day! It is my dream to have a cookbook someday. I could easily make an inexpensive one myself, but my hopes are to have a beautifully printed book with photos, and until I know exactly how to go about getting one published, I'm going to stick with the blog for now. I am thinking of creating an e-book, which is easier to do myself, not sure if you would be interested in that.

    1. Just came across this post, Gina. I would love a cookbook–I save the recipes I want to try on my iPad, but sometimes it's nice to have a collection by one person in a book. Hope you're going to go through with this!

      1. I have made my cookbook of favorite recipes by printing and putting in a notebook in page protectors. That way if I spill an ingredient on cookbook I can wipe it off

      1. This is Krystle.. from the future.. you have three cookbooks so far! You’re on fire! 

  68. Hi Gina,

    My husband and I love your recipes. We go on your site a few times a week to look up diffent dinner ideas. However sometimes it would be easier to just have a cookbook. Do you think you will make a cookbook?


  69. Yum! I will have to make this for my family. We love tuna melts, especially in the colder months with a cup of hot soup.

    Now I'm hungry…

  70. I make a similar version but use english muffins and add lemon zest. Also I let the cheese melt over the tomato.

  71. Avatar photo
    Rachel (Two Healthy Plates)

    I go in and out of tuna phases but I do love a good tuna melt. Sometimes I like to add curry to mine (it's just good, trust me) but next time I'm going to give this a try – especially with the red wine vinegar!

  72. Avatar photo
    Kristina @ spabettie

    this looks DELICIOUS… I love that whenever I make a recipe healthier I always like it better than the original… the healthy swaps are just as flavorful, or MORE so!