Italian Tuna Melt

Updated 6.26.2019.

Back in the day when my company was more prosperous we would have quarterly video-teleconferences with our entire organization and lunch was always catered. I hated the day-long meetings where every move you made was caught on camera but loved having a free lunch. While most the time, my team ordered something hot (like tacos or pasta), a sandwich platter with a bunch of meats was not an atypical choice and happened to be one of my favorite options. Sometimes I would make myself a roast beef and cheddar sandwich but I usually reached for tuna salad on wheat.

I am a big fan of tuna salad sandwiches and tuna melts. I like to try them whenever I stumble upon a sandwich shop or want a comforting melty sandwich when eating lunch out. When I lived in Portland, Ore. but worked in Beaverton, Ore. I frequently ordered Jimmy John’s for lunch. Yep, you guessed it. The Tuna Salad Deluxe sandwich was one of my faves.

I have almost never gone wrong ordering tuna for lunch. There’s only one occasion I can recall being vastly disappointed when I ordered a tuna sandwich from a local eatery (that will go unnamed) and it came with yellow mustard. Yellow mustard was not listed on the description of the sandwich; if it had, I would have asked to have it omitted. I hate yellow mustard. And you can’t really scrape the flavor off even if you attempt to scrape the mustard off. The flavor immediately sinks into spongy bread and taints the flavor. (In my opinion.)

Though I love eating sandwiches I don’t often make them. Why? I don’t know. Probably because I don’t often have fresh bread on hand. I mean that’s the major component of a sandwich. But when I do have fresh bread one of the easiest things to make is a tuna salad sandwich or tuna melt because I literally always have tuna in my cabinet and mayo in my fridge and onions in my produce bin.

Since I had made Italian Semolina Bread to update my blog, I decided to update my Italian-style sandwich that I tried out so many years ago. Apparently, judging by what. I wrote about this sandwich back in 2011, I wasn’t bowled over by the melt. For the updated I punched things up a bit by topping the tuna melt with thick slices of tomato and some arugula. You’ll see in one of the pics I served the melt with a side of avocado that I ate with each bite of tuna melt.

This fancy-schmancy-ish sandwich is so good that my friend Amber asked me why I don’t own a restaurant when I served her one.


  • Thick slice of artisan bread
  • 1 5-oz can of tuna, drained
  • 1 to 2 T. mayonnaise (I used roasted garlic mayo)
  • butter
  • pinch of oregano
  • pinch of thyme
  • pinch of parsley
  • pinch of basil
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • freshly shaved parmesan cheese
  • fresh mozzarella, sliced


  1. mix tuna, mayonnaise, herbs, garlic powder and parmesan cheese in a bowl.
  2. Butter the bottom side of the bread and spread the tuna mixture on top. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese, top with mozzarella and sprinkle with additional herbs.
  3. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees on a broiler pan or greased baking sheet until cheese melts and begins to brown. If the cheese doesn’t seem to brown, broil for one to two minutes.

No sandwich epiphanies here. This is just your standard tuna melt with Italian seasonings on Italian bread, ergo the Italian Tuna Melt.

Recipe rating: 

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