These healthy tuna melts use creamy avocado as the base of the tuna mixture (no mayo) with savory sun-dried tomatoes, sharp melty cheddar, and whipped cream cheese.
I’m so excited to share my go-to healthy tuna melt recipe with you today! There are a ton of creative things you can do with a can of tuna, like all-time favorite tuna melt quesadillas and tuna melts on English muffins, or my traditional recipes like healthy tuna patties and healthy tuna casserole. But sometimes a traditional tuna melt hits the spot, ya know? Golden brown crispy buttered bread with melted cheese and a creamy tuna mix in the middle. What’s not to love?
I have a couple of secrets that I think make my recipe the BEST healthy tuna melt recipe. And I’m about to share those secrets with you today, along with what I’ve learned about making tuna melts (aka how to be patient and not burn the bread.)
Let’s start with the right hearty and healthy bread. I like to use a hearty whole-grain bread that stands up to the job of holding all the fillings while it’s on the skillet. One of my favorites is Dave’s Killer Bread sprouted whole grains, but any 100% whole grain bread will work. Just make sure you don’t fall trap to misleading food labels!
Now for the filling. Starting with the tuna. Did you know that tuna can wildly vary on levels of mercury? That’s right, some species like albacore are bigger and have more mercury than other species like skipjack and light tuna, so that’s why I typically buy wild skipjack or light tuna.
I’ve said it before, and I say it again. I’m not afraid of mayo, but the quantity required to make your tuna salad ultra-creamy is somewhere near 1600-2000 excess calories. So, what I do is use a large ripe avocado, mix in all the rest of the ingredients, and if it needs some additional creaminess, then I’ll add a spoonful or so of mayo IF it needs it. This largely depends on how ripe the avocado is, the riper the avocado, the less mayo required. And most of the time I can 100% skip the mayo, because of my special creamy trick.
What’s my trick? Whipped cream cheese on one side of the bread! My Grandma used to do this, and it’s a MUST. Between that and the sharp cheddar, you’ll sandwich will have more than enough of a salty, gooey, creamy filling, I PROMISE.
Another must? Sun-dried tomatoes! These savory little gems pack ultra flavor into this tuna mixture.
After years of being impatient, I finally turned down the heat and let these babies cook on medium or medium-low. Low and slow is the name of the game when it comes to a crunchy golden-brown crust and a hot melty sandwich!
Let me know if you try my tips and secrets to the best healthy tuna melt friends!
Healthy Tuna Melt
- Mash avocado and stir with tuna, mayo, dill relish, celery, red onion, and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Spread softened butter over one side of all the pieces of bread. You'll need about two tablespoons to over the eight pieces of bread. On the other side of four of the slices of bread, add one tablespoon whipped cream cheese. On the plain side of the remaining four pieces of bread, add cheese and 1/4 of tuna mixture. Place the whipped cream cheese covered slices face down on top of the tuna.
- Heat a non-stick skillet to medium and spray with cooking oil. Working in batches (or as many sandwiches will fit on your skillet), add a sandwich to the skillet with the side that has the sharp cheddar face down. You want to give the cheddar as long as possible to melt. After about five minutes, or when the bread that's face down is golden brown, carefully flip the sandwich. Your tuna melt sandwich is done when both sides of the bread are golden brown, crispy, and cheese is melted on the inside.
- Take it off the skillet and let it sit for 5 minutes, the cheese will most likely melt.
- Take it off the skillet and microwave it for 3o seconds.
- Salvage the middle and start again.
- Use the age-old knife technique to scrape the burned part of the bread.