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How to Make Simple and Healthy Cheesy Tuna Melt Sandwiches

Updated on August 3, 2012

Cheesy Tuna Melt Sandwiches with a Side of Sarah's Caesar Salad

Cheesy Tuna Melt Sandwiches with a Side of Sarah's Caesar Salad
Cheesy Tuna Melt Sandwiches with a Side of Sarah's Caesar Salad | Source
5 stars from 4 ratings of Cheesy Tuna Melts

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 25 min
Yields: Serves 4 people with 2 halves of the sandwich

Why are we eating fish?!?

As we all know, certain types of fish are important in our diet. It is important to include fish in our diet, but the type of fish we consume is the key. The type of fish that you should include in your diet are fatty fishes, as these are the ones that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. There are three types of saltwater fish, salmon, tuna and herring, which have high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and are highly recommended as sources for providing Omega-3 fatty acids.

Why is Omega-3 fatty acids so important in our diet?

Unlike meat, fish contain unsaturated fat and, yes, this is the Omega-3 fatty acids. If you are watching your cholesterol, then consuming unsaturated fat is an extremely important ritual in your diet. The unsaturated fat that is in fish, Omega-3 fatty acids, aid in lowering your cholesterol levels by reducing triglycerides. In addition to this, Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Studies have shown that consuming fish with Omega-3 fatty acids help lower blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, boost your body's immunity system and help improve arthritis symptoms. For children, Omega-3 fatty acids may improve their ability to learn.

What types of fish contain Omega-3 fatty acids?

Saltwater fatty fish, such as salmon, herring and tuna, contain higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids as compared to other species of saltwater fish. On the other hand, fresh water fish like tilapia and catfish, contain high levels of unhealthy fatty acids which you want to avoid, especially if you are watching your cholesterol levels. The one exception is fresh water trout. This type of fish contains higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids when compared to other species of fresh water fish.

How often should fish be served every week?

One of the greatest health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids is the reduction of inflammation in the body because inflammation in the body leads to damage in blood vessels and this can lead to heart disease. By including one to two servings per week of fatty fish with Omega-3, the risk of heart disease and sudden cardiac death is greatly reduced.

No one in my family likes fish. How do I get them to eat it?

Like all foods, fish is only as healthy as you serve it. In other words, if you deep fry the fish, you will not only be serving Omega-3 fatty acids, you will also be serving other types of unsaturated fats and saturated fats that are unhealthy for you. I find that serving fish is an art -- a balance of taste and texture while ensuring its palatability for children and adults to enjoy and want more.

My cheesy tuna melts does just that. It is a mixture of saltiness, sweetness and spicyness that provides plenty of flavour and texture to take the mind off the "fish" so that one can enjoy the taste of it.

Not only will the taste entice your family to enjoy this meal, you can easily have your children or spouse participate with you in the kitchen in preparing, assembling and serving this healthy meal. Remember, children learn how to choose healthy snacks and meals through active participation in purchasing, preparing, assembling and serving their meals. Plus, there is a greater probability they will eat what they make.


  • 2 cans tuna, packed in water or stock, drained and flaked
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato salsa, fresh
  • 2 cups cheese (cheddar or a mixture of cheeses), grated
  • 4 panini rolls, cut in half lengthwise
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup cheese (cheddar or a mixture of cheeses), grated (for topping)

How to Make Cheesy Tuna Melt Sandwiches

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Open cans of tuna and drain well. With a fork, flake the tuna and place into a bowl.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly with the tuna.
  4. Add the tomato salsa and grated cheese. Mix thoroughly with a spatula.
  5. Place the halves of the panini rolls on a baking sheet. Arrange the cheesy tuna melt stuffing on top of each slice of panini roll. Cover top with additional grated cheese.
  6. Place in oven and bake until cheese is melted and sandwich is hot. Remove from oven. Arrange on plate with with a side of Sarah's Caesar Salad. Serve immediately while still hot.

Looking at How it is Made

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cheesy Tuna Melt MixtureCheesy Tuna Melt Sandwiches and Sarah's Caesar Salad
Cheesy Tuna Melt Mixture
Cheesy Tuna Melt Mixture | Source
Cheesy Tuna Melt Sandwiches and Sarah's Caesar Salad
Cheesy Tuna Melt Sandwiches and Sarah's Caesar Salad | Source

Substitute fresh fish for canned tuna. Here are the basics for buying fresh fish from Chef Jamie Oliver.

Serving and Accompaniments

A healthy lunch or dinner that can be make easily and quickly, cheesy tuna melts is versatile enough to be served for either meal, especially when coupled with Sarah's Caesar Salad and a bowl of Vegan Lentil Soup or Mulligatawny Soup.

Bon apetite!

Copyright Beth100 (Recipe, Text and Photographs)

© May 2012

How Fish Friendly Are You?

Do you eat fatty fish containing Omega-3 fatty acids?

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    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Victoria Lynn - Thank you for the vote up! Did you try it? Please leave me a comment an how you liked it!! :)

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Yummy. I love tuna and this looks awesome! Will have to try it! Voted up!

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      dobo700 -- Thank you and please come back and let me know how you enjoyed it. :) (comments and/or vote) :)

    • dobo700 profile image


      8 years ago from Australia

      Nice recipe, I will have to give it a go. Thanks

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      8 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Looks delicious! I've been looking for more ways to use tuna.

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Cardelean -- I haven't tried them on English muffins, so I'm going to give that a try with my mixture. :) Thank you for the idea!

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      PegCole -- Please, do give it a try! :) And then come back and let me know how you enjoyed it (and to rate it). Enjoy! Thank you!

    • cardelean profile image


      8 years ago from Michigan

      I love tuna melts! We always make them on English muffins but I think I'm going to have to give your panini bread a try! :)

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      8 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      This recipe looks wonderful and easy to make too. I love tuna and here's another tasty way to serve it.

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Jpcmc -- One suggestion: you could continue to enjoy tilapia by including one serving of salmon or tuna on a weekly basis. This way, you continue to enjoy your favorite fish plus you gain additional health benefits from one of the fatty fishes. It's win-win! Thank you!

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      8 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Darn, I'm a big fan of Tilapia. Well, fish is better than pork I guess. I'm watching my cholesterol level and this hub is great. We can mix healthy and yummy at the same time!

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Always Exploring -- You must try!! :) Your tastebuds will love you for it and your heart will too!

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Peggy W -- Thank you for the votes and ratings. :) Oh yes, you will not be disappointed with this little gem! I'll bring these if you bring your chicken parma! :)

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Man from Modesto -- Tuna melts are a classic! You can whip one up for her and watch her smile from ear to ear while she enjoys this! Thank you!

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      mts1098 -- Ah, well, you will have to include tuna in your shopping list for next week. :) I have substituted tuna for salmon in this recipe (fresh grilled and fresh broiled) and it works wonderfully too. I'm not a fan of canned salmon (too salty) but if you do choose canned salmon, use no salt or it will be too salty. Thanks mtsi! :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      8 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I've never eaten a tuna melt, It looks so good. I love tuna so i'll be making this. Thank you for sharing..

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Beth,

      We love tuna fish but have never eaten it in this fashion. Your recipe sounds like a winner! Will be trying it soon. Voting it useful and giving it a 5 star rating because even without trying it, I know it will be good because of liking all of the ingredients. Thanks!

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Jools99 -- No better time than the present to try something new. :) I hope that your tastebuds are enthralled with the change to a spicier cheesy tuna melt! Thank you, and please come back to rate and to tell me how you enjoyed it.

    • Man from Modesto profile image

      Man from Modesto 

      8 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California)

      My wife loves baked open-face sandwiches, and tuna is her favorite sandwich.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love tuna melts and these sound great...We just bought our weekly fish supply...last week we grilled tuna steaks and this week we have founder (not sure on the omega-3 for this)...Great job...cheers

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools Hogg 

      8 years ago from North-East UK

      Beth100, Tuna Melts are one of my favourites but I have never had them with the salsa mixed in. I am looking forward to giving this new 'twist' a try soon. Thanks for a great recipe.

      voted etc and shared.

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Kelleyward -- I think that we have all had one or two tuna melt sandwiches while growing up. My recipe is a nice variation of the original -- the salsa gives it nice little kick! :) Thank you Kelly, and enjoy!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I grew up eating these sandwiches but your recipe looks much tastier! Thanks for sharing! Take care, Kelley

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Crazyhorseghost -- Fabulous!! Thank you very much for trying it and returning to provide excellent feedback! There is no better endorsement than from someone who has tried it. Thank you!!! :)

    • crazyhorsesghost profile image

      Thomas Byers 

      8 years ago from East Coast , United States

      Wonderful recipe. Just made it and it turned out delicious. Thanks.

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Kevin Millican -- mmmm, I like how yours sounds like! That would be the extremely fast and serve style for tuna melts! Give this one a try, and come back and let me know how you enjoyed it. Thank you!

    • KevinMillican profile image


      8 years ago from Stilwell, OK

      I enjoy tuna melts very much, and your recipe looks fantastic! My tuna melts are pretty much like grilled cheese sandwiches...tuna and cheddar cheese between two slices of bread, grilled in a sautee pan. Yours looks so much tastier!!

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Klarawieck -- Yeah, I know. My boys don't like fish either, but they always ask for second and third helpings of this!! :) I didn't write this into the recipe, but adjust the amount of salsa so that the tuna mixture is not soggy and wet. This way, when you bake it, the panini rolls will not be soggy. I've tried to measure everything to exact measurements, but I'm old school -- I eyeball everything when I cook!!! :D I hope that your husband likes this and wants you cook lots and lots of it!! :) Thanks Klara!!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Ooooh.... Ohhh... So tasty and so easy to do! I have all the ingredients at home. I think I'll try it today. My husband is not a big fan of fish, but he likes canned tuna. Ugh! Men!

      Thanks for sharing, Beth!


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