Tuna Melt

It’s funny some of the dos and don’ts that people have come up with around food. Things like that you shouldn’t wash button mushrooms, that you should drink red wine with cheese, and that you shouldn’t let soap anywhere near your cast iron skillet. Nope, nope, and nope. Not sure where these things get started, but people grab the ball and run with it without turning around to realize they are completely off the field.

Another thing you hear a lot is that fish doesn’t go with cheese. In addition to Moules au Roquefort (mussels with Roquefort) in France, Shrimp Saganaki (with feta) from Greece, and Machas a la parmesana (clams with Parmesan) from Chile, the Tuna Melt is a popular sandwich in the States. However, I do draw the line at les sushis restaurants and decline the bœuf fromage brochette that comes with yakitori assortment plates in France, and ask if they can swap it for a second roasted duck. I love melted cheese, and I like sushi. I’m not sure I want them in the same meal, but à chacun son goût…to each their own taste.

I haven’t made a Tuna Melt in quite a while. At the beginning of the pandemic I stocked up canned tuna and when I told a French friend she might want to do the same, she replied, “But what do I do with it?” The canned tuna aisle in French supermarkets is similar in size to those in the States, but to be honest, I never thought about how French people eat canned tuna at home. I know they aren’t baking up Tuna Casseroles but bakeries do have Tuna Sandwiches to grab for lunch next to the Jambon-beurre and it’s part of a salade Niçoise. And I did bookmark this very tasty-looking recipe for Tuna Fish Cakes from my friend Pascale, although she admits they’re inspired by les pays anglo-saxons, or English-speaking countries.

But what inspired me to revisit the Tuna Melt was Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten. I don’t know how she did it, but she managed to come out with the right book with the right idea at the right time. Ina, as we all call her, is the real deal and shares glimpses of her life, even in lockdown, on her unfiltered Instagram page. In her latest book, her finger remains squarely on what we all want to eat right now, and while I bookmarked her Boston Cream Pie and Tuscan Turkey Roulade, it was the Tuna Melt that lured me in.

Ina is famous for presenting do-able recipes using ingredients that are easily available, although she admits that she likes fancy jarred tuna. I shelled out a few extra bucks for that, but could not find the microgreens that she uses as a garnish. But neither of those are deal-breakers and honestly, it’s a Tuna Melt.

She also isn’t shy about using mayonnaise liberally. I was one of those odd kids that didn’t like mayonnaise and always choose mustard for my sandwiches rather than mayo. (I still remember when I had lunch at a friend’s house and his mom put something called Miracle Whip on our sandwiches, which – with apologies to Miracle Whip fans out there – in the words à la mode of Moira Rose, “It’s an experience I shan’t revisit.”)

I’ve since come around to the mayo side, especially since French store-bought mayonnaise is so good! It has a dab of Dijon mustard added which gives it a particularly wonderful flavor. I can’t confirm if it’s the mustard or what, but it’s really good. Ambitious types could make their own mayonnaise, which I do when I make aïoli, but store-bought has a “stand up” quality to it, which makes it good for tuna salad where you may not want a mayo that’s too runny.

I tweaked the recipe to my taste. Ina recommends an optional teaspoon of anchovy paste but I added chopped capers to lend a similar salty brininess that compliments the tuna. I dialed down the mayo because I like my tuna salad to focus more on the tuna than the binder, although I know that a lot of people like tuna salad heavier on the mayo than I do.

I also like to use Swiss cheese, or what’s generically called “Swiss cheese” in the U.S. Cheddar is somewhat crumbly and doesn’t always melt as smoothly. So I like a cheese such as a young Comté, Gruyère, or Emmenthal, but similar cheeses would work, including Jarlsberg, Jack, and yup, cheddar, if one of those is where your loyalties lie. White bread is rather nice but any firm but not super dense bread will do. Pullman, pain de mie, Jewish rye, or a hearty or whole-grain sandwich-style bread all work just fine.

Tuna Melt

Adapted from Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten
I like to add enough mayonnaise to let the tuna shine so reduced it from the original recipe, which called for 3/4 cup. I found 1/2 cup was just right for me but you may want to start with 1/3 cup and add more from there.
Although I gave it a go with jarred imported tuna, I think that tuna shines when served on its own, and less-so when tossed with mayo and other condiments. So feel free to use a good-quality jarred or tinned tuna packed in oil, preferably one that's responsibly caught. (A guide to a few brands in the US and in France.)
I offered some ideas for what kinds of bread and cheese you might to use in the post, but for those who don't like dill, you can swap out another herb such as chives, parsley, chervil, or tarragon, although since tarragon can be quite strong, I'd start out with half the amount called for and add more to taste.
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
  • Two 6-8 ounce (340-450g total) tins tuna packed in oil, drained
  • 1/2 cup (65g) finely diced celery, (preferably the tender center ribs and hearts)
  • 1/2 cup (50g) minced scallions, (white and light green parts)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons capers, rinsed in a sieve and squeezed dry
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup (115g) mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices sandwich bread
  • 4 ounces (115g) grated cheese, (see headnote)
  • In a medium bowl, flake the drained tuna with a fork. Stir in the celery, scallions, and dill. Chop the capers and mix them in along with the lemon juice and mustard.
  • Add mayonnaise and salt and pepper. Stir well. Taste, and season with more seasonings, if desired.
  • Toast the four slices of bread in a toaster, and turn on the oven broiler. Position an oven rack in the top third of the oven.
  • Lay the toasted bread slices on a baking sheet. Divide the tuna salad mixture among the slices of bread, spreading it in an even later. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the slices then place the sandwiches under the broiler until the cheese is melted. Depending on your broiler, it'll take 1 to 2 minutes, or longer, but keep an eye on them.
Tuna Melt


  • E
    March 2, 2021 3:25pm

    Yum! And may I say, I would KILL for that giant bag of capers! Here in the States, my capers come in tiny glass jars. Reply

    • March 2, 2021 3:45pm
      David Lebovitz

      I bought those in Greece a few years ago and they’re really good. You can find good salt-packed capers in the States although they’re usually more expensive. Reply

      • Susan
        March 2, 2021 6:39pm

        While a bit pricey, Gustiamo in the Bronx has seriously delicious capers in salt. Find them on their website. They are worth it! Reply

    • McJames
      March 12, 2021 11:37pm

      Buy the capers at Costco. Huge jar, small price Reply

  • Suzy M
    March 2, 2021 3:28pm

    The only thing missing is Cape Cod potato chips.
    Tuna melt here we go! Reply

  • Linda
    March 2, 2021 3:30pm

    Love Tuna Melts. I’ll be making your recipe for lunch today. Reply

  • marcella
    March 2, 2021 3:31pm

    I know I shouldn’t ask, but is there anything I could swap the celery for? Reply

    • March 2, 2021 3:41pm
      David Lebovitz

      Some people like red peppers in tuna salad, but they’re not to my liking but if you like ’em, that’s another option. Reply

      • Catherine Mundy
        March 2, 2021 11:31pm

        The fresh green crunch of celery can be achieved by substituting the fresh green crunch of green capsicum – which is not to everyone’s taste but does add a little kick as well.
        Tuna melt was a significant part of my childhood – being raised in Australia. It didn’t actually have a name, to be frank, but Tuna Melt seems to be popular everywhere in our Commonwealth these days.
        We ate it as a quick weekend lunch or a Sunday evening supper rather than dinner.
        Thank you for the reminder with this recipe.
        I agree that the fine, high quality (in every respect) tuna in oil like Ortiz is best suited to being eaten in a dish like Nicoise or anywhere it can stand out. It is addictive however and we have adjusted our portion sizes to eat a little of the best rather than a lot of the rest.
        Finding cheaper tuna that is sustainably sourced and ethically processed and canned is not straightforward.
        Re Tuna Cakes or Fritters – very popular in our house. I have a very good recipe adapted from classic Italian cod fritters and refined over the years that I will send you. The most important thing about the recipe is that it is very fresh in ingredients and flavour. Delicious. Thank you again for your wonderful writing – and the market talks!! Reply

      • Marcia Wilheim
        March 3, 2021 5:41am

        Chopped water chestnuts have a good crunch, but hardly any taste and no color. Reply

    • marilyn
      March 2, 2021 3:49pm

      Chopped fennel bulb! Reply

      • Maggie
        March 3, 2021 6:25am

        I’m with you, Marilyn. Actually I prefer fennel to celery in anything. And a little of the finely chopped greens for garnish. Reply

    • Grace
      March 2, 2021 4:15pm

      If you don’t like or have celery, just leave it out. Reply

    • E
      March 2, 2021 4:53pm

      Chopped apple! Reply

    • Nancy
      March 2, 2021 10:26pm

      Chopped water chestnuts Reply

    • sundevilpeg
      March 3, 2021 7:50am

      Jicama is the way to go. Better texture and flavor. Try it! Reply

    • Jo
      March 3, 2021 5:04pm

      I grated carrots ( they were small) when I was out of red pepper which was good pretty too. I add red pepper to all salads we a lot of them. Reply

    • Jordan
      March 6, 2021 12:40am

      I was sadly out of celery, but I had some tiny white salad turnips. Lots of knife work to get them to the right size cubes, but crunchy and just a tiny peppery kick. Reply

    • I. A Rose
      March 6, 2021 8:12am

      Fennel, thinly sliced or chopped, is another option. Reply

    • Heddy
      March 6, 2021 4:38pm

      Try using celery salt, or celery seed.
      Take it easy on using the celery salt, you don’t over do it. The seed is also just as salty. Experiment, by putting in your hand and sprinkling it in. Taste as you go along. See if this helps Reply

  • aimee m
    March 2, 2021 3:37pm

    love tuna melts! but do NOT like those cheesy-meat sticks at French sushi joints either. where did that terrible idea come from? Reply

    • March 2, 2021 3:44pm
      David Lebovitz

      I don’t know. I found a bunch of food bloggers in France presenting recipes for them so they are popular. I do remember when I was in Japan we went to a restaurant that specialized in tofu skins and there was a simmering bowl of soy milk in the middle of the table and we pulled off the skin and ate those (which were delicious) along with accompaniments. However at the end of the meal they brought me a small bowl with melted warm mozzarella and tomato sauce which I thought was kind of strange, but maybe they were being polite since I was a Westerner and they thought I might enjoy it. (The local people I was with for the week were surprised I liked sushi!) Reply

  • Charlotte in Sacramento
    March 2, 2021 3:45pm

    Thats..fancy. We get tuna processed in the can from a company in Oregon. I use that..a little more mayo..not much..on good white bread with Monterey Jack. The only addition is a little lemonade. Tour version..I would probably put with crackers and a mug of tea. Reply

    • March 3, 2021 12:59pm

      I dont recall ever seeing tuna in glass jars in olive oil in the US, but it is amazingly flavorful. Also very pricy 7-8€. I never ate mayo in the US either but here it is superb. Going out to get these ingredients now! Reply

      • Dana Ward
        March 4, 2021 3:50pm

        There is tuna in oil in jars at grocery stores that have gourmet sections. Yes, it is pricey here too! Reply

    • Jessica
      March 8, 2021 2:17am

      Hi Charlotte, what company do you use? I’m in Oregon, so I shouldn’t have a hard time finding it! Reply

  • Wendy
    March 2, 2021 3:49pm

    David, I share you aversion for mayo, having eaten half a jar of it when a small child(!) For years I’ve been making my tuna fish sandwich mix w/tarragon, balsamic vinegar, several cranks of black pepper & a smidge of mayo. Suggestion to Marcella who wanted to swap out celery – a pinch of celery seed for flavor. For crunch – well, there’s the old “add potato chips to the sandwich” trick from my childhood as well.
    David, thank you for sharing yourself so generously – a good heart surely is revealed in spreading love through food and drink. Reply

    • Lee
      March 2, 2021 8:08pm

      Thank you for the non-mayo (or minimal/smidge of mayo) suggestion. I don’t like the stuff either. Maybe because of the gelatinous texture of the kind from the jar. A smidge probably dissolves rather than coats. Most restaurants slather the stuff on. Mayo-avoiders unite! Reply

      • Alex
        March 3, 2021 1:39am

        I’m also in the no-mayo camp and I use a spoonful of plain yogurt to help bind, along with some Dijon. Reply

  • Margaret Petro
    March 2, 2021 3:52pm

    I recently made some antipasto with a friend and was adding canned tuna and there was one tin that looked different so I tasted it … omg it was amazing ! It was smoked albacore tuna so I hunted to find it and found it on Vancouver island where I live. Pretty expensive but oh so good ! I could send a can if you like ? Reply

  • Pam
    March 2, 2021 3:55pm

    The capers won me over. I have always made tuna salad with dill relish but I think I like the caper flavor more. Reply

  • Meg
    March 2, 2021 4:16pm

    I have to say I always had a sneaky guilty fondness for the meat and cheese yakitori. So bad it was good. That and the nan au fromage are the two things that I can’t find in any Japanese or Indian restaurants outside of France! Reply

    • Mr. Whipple
      March 3, 2021 11:13am

      Me, too! Delicious! Reply

    March 2, 2021 4:17pm

    I believe Miracle Whip has mustard in it that is what gives its distinctive taste, I looked it up because when I could not find a small bottle I make my own Reply

    • March 2, 2021 4:33pm
      David Lebovitz

      I actually didn’t know this but Miracle Whip isn’t actually mayonnaise. I don’t recall the exact flavor but I do remember it was on the sweet side. Reply

      • Cyndy
        March 2, 2021 5:12pm

        Yeah, it’s actually called (or was for a long time) salad dressing on the label. Now the label says mayo plus tangy dressing. Has mustard powder and paprika in it. My mother used it in potato salad.

        I’m a mayo fan. At first French mayo tasted odd to me, but I’ve come to like it better than US mayo. Even the cheapest brand tastes wonderful. Plus I like the small bottles that get used up before they get old.

        As for Ina, she could make gravel look good. I’m sorry I went to her Insta page. Now I’m starving. Reply

      • Susan
        March 3, 2021 12:24pm

        When I was a child, my Mom would make us tuna sandwiches to take to school for lunch. She used Miracle Whip with the rational that it was NOT mayo, so it could sit in our locker for hours without spoiling. I guess she didn’t think the tuna could spoil either!
        I love a tuna melt and use Swiss cheese on mine. I like it on a dark whole wheat, with tomato w/lots of pepper and sprouts.. Lots of flavor w the sprouts and the tomato is moist enough that you don’t need much mayo but it must have some! Reply

      • Jordan
        March 6, 2021 12:43am

        It’s a classic “boiled dressing” – a staple in Southeastern home cooking (and cookbooks) of a certain age. Barely tolerable (in my opinion) when freshly made – Reply

    • March 3, 2021 5:11am

      It’s the sugar that separates it from Mayo, most of all, I think. I grew up with it but changed to Mayo as an adult. Mayo can be so neutral but Miracle Whip is a presence. Reply

  • Cynthia
    March 2, 2021 4:22pm

    In place of capers, I like to used chopped stuffed olives. Reply

    • March 2, 2021 5:51pm

      Yes, I’ve always used stuffed Spanish olives. But I love capers, so I’m going to give it a try. Thank you, David, for this yummy reminder. Reply

  • Carmen
    March 2, 2021 4:26pm

    Have you tried peeling celery? I find that it makes even outer stalks tender. Reply

  • Judy Gilmore
    March 2, 2021 4:37pm

    Wonderful! I too bookmarked this recipe in Ina’s Modern Comfort Food!
    So good! Reply

  • Chris
    March 2, 2021 4:47pm

    Thanks for the Cobra Kai recommendation. I am almost done the first season. It brings me back to my youth :) I’ve always enjoyed adding a handful of dried currants to my tuna melt mixture. It adds a nice touch of sweetness. Reply

  • Jeremy
    March 2, 2021 5:26pm

    Greetings from Perigueux.

    Tuna melt is a great sandwich ! .. on par with a patty melt, but I digress.

    In reading your proposed cheeses, I wondered what ‘yup’ was & then I realised you were referring to the cheddar. Reply

  • Alice farley
    March 2, 2021 5:26pm

    For those who are celery averse, try chopping up a crisp apple.
    To reduce the Mayo slightly, try a few slices of avocado beneath. Reply

  • Sabine
    March 2, 2021 5:34pm

    Hello David,
    Long time reader, follower and chocolate tour participant !

    Off topic from todays post – with the recent changes in your platform, your webpages are now surrounded by ads (today: Amazon Prime Video).

    Is there a way to not have this assault to my senses when I visit your site? Your posts have always been a respite during my day, but not so now with the unwanted anxiety causing distractions. Does the viewer have any option about this? Reply

    • March 2, 2021 6:18pm
      David Lebovitz

      I don’t see those ads & I’ve refreshed the page a few times so it may be your browsers. There should be no pop-up ads on videos blocking content on the blog so if there are, just underneath any ad it says “report ad” and you can report it there. I queried readers a few months ago and a majority told me they were happy that the site wasn’t subscription-based so I keep it free. Reply

      • Pamela
        March 3, 2021 12:56am

        I’m viewing from Japan and there are lots of ads on your blog of anime school “girls” of a certain kind… and ads from Rakuten, an Amazon look alike among other things. They rotate in and out. Sigh…. Reply

        • March 3, 2021 12:39pm
          David Lebovitz

          Is the “Report ad” text link (just below each ad) not visible? If not, it’s likely malware in your browser. Any ads from my network have a “Report ad” link just below them. Let me know if that’s not visible. Reply

      • Joycelyn
        March 4, 2021 9:21pm

        I click on the report ad a lot with my complaint being covers content. It’s then deleted but soon replayed with a different ad. I can deal with those but as soon as I clicked on report ad on a small ad on your page, I was instantly bombarded once again with both sides of my screen ( which squeezed your page to a small area in the middle) by prime video advertising. the prime video ads do not have report this ad which I’m guessing is because they take up the entire screen from top to bottom save for the small area in the middle where your tuna melt post is. Reply

        • March 5, 2021 12:27am
          David Lebovitz

          Sounds like you have malware. (Often they direct you to Amazon, or something that resembles Amazon.) Here is how you can remove it in Chrome. Not sure about other browsers but you can likely find how to do that online. Reply

          • Sabine
            March 7, 2021 2:59am

            Hello David – sounds like Joycelyn and I are having the same issue. This only started recently. There is no way to report the amazon prime video. So intrusive. I have a MAC and have always used Safari with out issue. This seems to be happening only on your site. None of the other sites I visit regularly have this issue. I will try and figure how what is happening and why. Even as I type this comment, the surrounding amazon ad covers 1/3 of the text box so I cannot see all that I am typing. So horrible.

        • jane
          March 5, 2021 6:38pm

          Download a different browser – I like firefox because it actively protects. Also be sure to clear your cache and cookies regularly! I do it daily. A vpn service helps too. Reply

          • March 7, 2021 3:08am
            David Lebovitz

            Jocelyn, Sabine and Pamela: Can you send me a screenshot of what you are seeing because I’m unable to reproduce that on my Mac in Safari or in Chrome. Please let me know what device you are seeing it on as well and I can forward to the ad network. Please send screenshot to:

            david.lebovitz AT yahoo.com

            (replace the AT with @)

            UPDATE: Since I haven’t received a screenshot or anything, I assume the problem has been solved. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  • March 2, 2021 5:35pm

    Tuna melt on fresh sourdough is my absolute favorite lunch. My husband adds SO MUCH stuff to his that his overflows: olives, onions, pepperoncini, cayenne, green onions, dill pickles, celery, trader joe’s umami powder. I keep it simple: celery, sharp cheddar cheese. Duke’s mayo tastes the best to me. Echo the Cape Cod potato chips tip (we warm ours in the oven). Thanks for the food cue, and you know what we’ll be having for lunch…NOW WITH CAPERS!! Reply

  • Daphne Lynch
    March 2, 2021 5:47pm

    I so agree with you that Miracle Whip is an abomination! Living here in NH, usa, people buy it all the time. My ex father in law makes peanut butter and miracle whip sandwiches on wonder bread! Ugh! Lol! Reply

  • Kenneth Allyn Barton
    March 2, 2021 5:50pm

    We have a holiday home in the Languedoc and over the years I’ve tried a number of brands of French canned tuna. Sadly, all of them smelled and tasted like cat food. I’d love to find a good-tasting can of albacore, packed in water. Is there a particular French brand of tuna you like? Reply

    • Ellen A.
      March 3, 2021 7:50pm

      If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion while you wait to see if David has a response:
      I look for what the French call “Thon Blanc.” That is the closest to American-style albacore – cleaner and less fishy-tasting. It is more expensive, but worth it! Reply

      • March 3, 2021 9:19pm
        David Lebovitz

        I also tend to get the thon blanc or solid white, as the dark tuna isn’t as tasty and I don’t like the texture so much. (It’s often mushy.) Reply

        • Kenneth Allyn Barton
          March 4, 2021 10:47pm

          bFriends have recommended Rio Mare, which apparently is available at my local Intermarché, so I will try that. Thank you David and Ellen. Reply

  • Christina
    March 2, 2021 6:05pm

    I looove a good tuna melt and this sounds divine! Rye bread is my go to for this. Reply

  • Bev
    March 2, 2021 6:38pm

    I have always buttered my toast or added a swish of olive oil before putting on the topping – – – to prevent the filling making the toast soggy. Reply

  • Joycelyn
    March 2, 2021 6:39pm

    Looks lovely, much nicer than the tuna melts I’ve made through the years.
    Have to say though, it’s become a bit frustrating trying to read your newsletter now that your newsletter is squished between two large ads one on each side of my monitor, this time for signing up for prime videos amongst other ads for clothing and such. I don’t mind the smaller ads as I know they help support your site but the overly large ads are a wee bit annoying simply because they take up so much room.
    Nonetheless, still loving the fact you generously send us your e-letters with lovely dishes to make not to mention introducing us to amazing cookbook authors we didn’t know about.
    Cheers! Reply

  • Charlotte K
    March 2, 2021 6:42pm

    Isn’t the “no cheese with fish” specifically a preference in Italian cuisine? My best friend is an Italian American who was brought up eating a very traditional Italian diet (i.e. a primi and secondi at every dinner, followed by fruit), and she recoils in horror at the thought of cheese and seafood combined. I on the other hand was brought up eating American WASP food like Cheesy Hot Crab Dip with Saltines.

    I made a tuna melt the other day, and while it’s not something I can eat often, it is an great winter lunch! Reply

    • Marcella
      March 3, 2021 12:54am

      I can confirm it is an Italian preference. I myself can’t bring myself to shower our Pasta al Tonno (=with homemade tuna sauce) with grated Parmigiano, even though my husband always does. BUT I adore sprinkling emmental rapé over rouille in the ubiquitous French milled fish soup, so definitely I have room for improvement ;) Reply

  • Susan
    March 2, 2021 6:48pm

    IMO finely chopped dill pickle in it is great in lieu of capers and/or dill. Reply

  • March 2, 2021 7:10pm

    If you ever come up to Sonoma area – the Tuna Melt Piadine at Della Fattoria is to die for – wrapped in a fried piece of pizza dough… and if like me I can’t get down there enough you can get Kathleen’s cookbook and make it for yourself! Thanks for being a great inspiration! Reply

    • March 3, 2021 12:36pm
      David Lebovitz

      I love their bread so not surprised their tuna melt is exceptional too! Reply

  • Jeremy
    March 2, 2021 7:15pm

    Delicious Reply

  • Scott Buchanan
    March 2, 2021 8:12pm

    Does the quality of the tuna matter in this recipe ie is it worth using a brand like Ortiz or is a supermarket brand O.K?
    Thanks Reply

    • March 3, 2021 12:35pm
      David Lebovitz

      I think you could use a good-quality tuna packed in oil from the supermarket. Reply

  • Judi Suttled
    March 2, 2021 8:22pm

    I love tuna melts ! I use Jewish Rye in mine and top with Kraft Extra Sharp Cracker Barrel Cheddar, which is a good melting cheese. I’ll try the dill and capers next time. Reply

  • Gavrielle
    March 2, 2021 9:06pm

    This looks so good! I avoid tuna because of the mercury content, but I will definitely be trying this with canned salmon. Reply

  • Debra W
    March 2, 2021 9:12pm

    Thanks for this. My favorite tuna melt is at the Palace Diner in Biddeford, Maine. Bon Appetit said it was the best they had ever had AND the chefs have been James Beard Award finalists. Yum. Reply

  • Gary Stotsky
    March 2, 2021 9:26pm

    Being from Baltimore MD we always put 2 tsps of Old Bay seasoning in our tuna TRY it you will like the spicy Baltimore taste, Its good on corn on the cob too Reply

    • Diletta
      March 3, 2021 3:24pm

      Oh wow, both this tips seems so good… I’ll try soon, thanks Gary! Reply

  • Mai Allison
    March 2, 2021 9:32pm

    I like tuna melts on toasted English muffins. Reply

  • Terry S.
    March 2, 2021 9:39pm

    I am putting this at the top of my must try list! Reply

  • Sandra Alexander
    March 2, 2021 10:08pm

    Critical step omitted from recipe! “Set aside the liquid drained from the tuna and when convenient pour it into the dog’s bowl.” Big winner with my mutt, a mere whiff of a can of tuna being opened and there he is, right by my side. Reply

    • Charlotte K
      March 2, 2021 10:39pm

      I use the kind of tuna David pictures above, and I save its jar with the olive oil in the fridge for when I bake or broil fish. That’s what I brush on top of it instead of plain olive oil. Reply

  • March 2, 2021 11:24pm

    One of my great food memories is eating machas a la parmesana in a spectacular house on the Chilean coast. God they were amazing! Simple and pure perfection. Thanks for reminding me of an incredible day! Reply

  • Shell
    March 2, 2021 11:35pm

    What I always heard re: washing mushrooms is only just before cooking’ You’re trying to keep them from absorbing too much water. Reply

  • Jennifer
    March 3, 2021 2:10am

    Tuna melt is my go-to diner order in the US, and I’m with you on the mayo and the Swiss cheese! Looking forward to trying your version of this comfort food ASAP (even though I do own that Ina cookbook and haven’t yet given her tuna melt a try). Reply

  • Mary F
    March 3, 2021 4:50am

    I’ve always thought tuna melts were an American abomination, but yours/Ina’s version just might be worth a try…I especially love capers in tuna. Reply

  • March 3, 2021 6:26am

    So happy that my favorite food blogger, YOU, think mushrooms should be washed…me too! I can’t wait to try a tuna melt tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration! Reply

  • Y Lee
    March 3, 2021 10:14am

    Haven’t had one in ages, thanks for the reminder! Planning to make this tomorrow! Reply

    • Janice Nelson
      March 5, 2021 3:09pm

      This looks so good, however, I dislike Tuna. Could I substitute with canned chicken? I imagine it would be just as yummy.

      Also, I’m not getting any ads. You are one of the few blogs I follow without them. Thanks! Reply

  • Mr. Whipple
    March 3, 2021 11:17am

    Dorie Greenspan recently ran a recipe for a tuna sandwich in the NY Times magazine, which had me scratching my head, like this column does. Does anyone really need a recipe for a tuna sandwich or a tuna melt? Just seems pretty intuitive to me. Reply

    • March 3, 2021 8:31pm
      David Lebovitz

      It’s interesting because Mark Bittman talked recently about how people criticized him for putting a grilled cheese sandwich in one of his books, and then someone wrote him a nice note thanking him for teaching them how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. Likewise, things like mashed potatoes, butternut squash soup, vinaigrette, etc. seem natural to some of us, but others need or like the guidance of a recipe. Also I learn things from recipes, many of which I consider templates for improvisation, like this one. Reply

      • Margaret
        March 4, 2021 1:50am

        Dorie made Julia Child’s tuna sandwich for Julia’s lunch years ago when Dorie worked for her, under Julia’s direction — that’s what made this recipe so special. I had to try it and it’s the best tuna sandwich I’ve ever had — my go to recipe now. Reply

  • Annie Martin
    March 3, 2021 12:23pm

    Years ago I experienced a wonderful Tuna sandwich in Neiman Marcus Dallas , chopped pecans were a crunchy sweet addition and forever became part of my go-to in making my family favorite. Reply

    • Margaret
      March 3, 2021 10:50pm

      Oh yeah, the Mermaid Bar at NM Northpark! I ate there whenever I got the chance when I lived in Dallas — wonderful memories…. :) Reply

  • Leu2500
    March 3, 2021 12:37pm

    How Ina came out with Comfort food when we needed it? In an interview she said she knew it was coming out around the election & figured we’d need comfort food. Reply

  • holly
    March 3, 2021 2:03pm

    Made Ina’s Tuna Melts last week and what a treat! Hadn’t had one in years and both my husband and I loved our lunch. We must all be experimenting with Ina’s well timed Comfort Food. Reply

  • Peggy Bruns
    March 3, 2021 2:05pm

    I’ve been encouraging Oliver Gee to have Ina on his podcast. Can you help out there? Reply

  • Mary-Karen Euler
    March 3, 2021 6:37pm

    I have some left over Dungeness crab and think I might try a Crab Melt Sandwich on sour dough bread…but perhaps with a milder cheese. What do you think? Reply

  • Margaret
    March 3, 2021 7:19pm

    Ina’s recipes always work! In reference to your comment about what the French do with canned tuna, Molly Wizenberg came to mind. She wrote about a recipe she fell in love with from her French host Mom when she was in France years ago as a student. Bouchon au thon or “tuna corks”, little tuna soufflés. I’ve always wanted to make them but never have. Reply

  • Karen Victoria Davenport
    March 4, 2021 4:12am

    finely diced cornichons are nice in tuna salad, anything sour and sweet/sour works. I find that the most important veg to include is the scallions/onions. but I have put grated carrots in tuna salad at times. my special ingredient is freshly grated nutmeg and always fresh pepper, also some lemon juice along with the mayo. Thank You David! Reply

  • Miguel
    March 4, 2021 8:40am

    I’ve been on a tuna melt kick lately so I’ll be trying your version this Friday since I try to observe lent.
    (Fresh dill is always a must imo)

    Maybe I missed it but I was surprised I couldn’t find a recipe for a pan bagnat on your website. I’ve never attempted one but I saw a bon Appetit recipe that I plan to try soon. Reply

  • Querino de-Freitas.
    March 4, 2021 12:21pm

    I do agree, the jarred tuna is by far the best but a good quality tinned tuna will do. I just love straight-forward drained tuna with 2 fried eggs cooked in the oil from the jar of the tuna. Try it! Reply

  • Linn
    March 4, 2021 7:25pm

    I made the Creamy Tomato Bisque from the same cookbook and even though I left out the dairy and most of the oil and butter (eating vegan now, doctors orders), it was still amazing. I think it was the saffron that made it taste so good — genius. Reply

  • C Price
    March 5, 2021 4:47pm

    Inspired me to make a tuna melt right away. Reply

  • jane
    March 5, 2021 6:41pm

    I was introduced to tuna melts on toasted bagels but usually made them at home on toasted German rye with caraway seeds. Best after school snack ever : ) Reply

  • Nancy
    March 5, 2021 11:51pm

    Made this today using Comté cheese and country bread from our local bakery. Delicious! The capers and dill were new to me in tuna salad and I think this will become my go-to recipe. Reply

  • Shirlene
    March 10, 2021 7:33pm

    I had a Frenchman in my family many years ago and learned to add dijon mustard to my store bought favorite mayonnaise… made it so much better. As always thank you so much David… you brighten my days with your good recipes, excellent writing, photography, story telling and your sense of humor. I love the comments here also. Will definitely try this tuna melt. Reply

  • Jeannine
    March 16, 2021 10:06pm

    Yum! Thank you. I’ll be making this soon. Ina has unfortunately not yet discovered I’m her long-lost niece. And…though I’m loathe to be disagreeable, we must part ways on your lack of affection of Miracle Whip. All during pandemic, I’m had the strongest craving for a bologna sandwich with Kraft single slice cheese and a healthy dollop of MW on the squishiest white bread. Thank you for all your lovely content…had made this past year SO much more enjoyable. Reply

  • Ikue
    March 21, 2021 4:17am

    This was so good! Thank you for sharing the recipe. Reply

  • Jenny
    March 23, 2021 12:20pm

    The first nope only links to facebook Reply

    • March 23, 2021 12:53pm
      David Lebovitz

      It looks like either Facebook or the Jacques Pépin Facebook page either removed or redirected the post based on the URL I linked to. It’s now updated. Reply

      • Jenny
        March 23, 2021 12:55pm

        Thank you Reply

  • Kermitte
    March 24, 2021 11:55am

    “pays anglo-saxons, or English-speaking countries” : What !
    As a french person, I have to protest. Pays anglo-saxon also include Germany or Northern country such as Norway or Sweeden. It is not only English speacking country.
    It is non-mediteranean countries.
    This translation was a bit english-speaking centered to my licking.
    No hard feeling at all; Sans rancune et merci pour ces textes et recettes. Reply

  • Gina
    March 30, 2021 12:22am

    We, too, stocked up on tuna and this looks like a wonderful way for it to be used.
    I have your book, Ready for Dessert, and while I agree Flo Braker should be cloned, you should also be added to that list:) Reply

    • March 30, 2021 8:11pm
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, with all that tuna we’ve stock up on this year this is probably my favorite way to eat it. Happy you like my book too! : ) Reply

  • Holly
    April 1, 2021 6:46pm

    David, all I can find is oil packed skipjack tuna or something called Auxis Rochei & Auxis Thazard tuna both packed in glass and wild planet brand.

    I don’t know if they are ‘white meat’ as you said above ( I always read all the comments before I make something) but that’s what I want for this recipe. Are you familiar at all with those??

    Also, could you share the original amount of anchovy paste Ina used just is case I can’t get my hands on some good capers?

    Yay are sublime in many ways.
    Thank you! Reply

    • April 2, 2021 4:03pm
      David Lebovitz

      She uses 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste. As for white tuna, in France I usually get “thon blanc.” (In Ina’s book she has a picture of Ortiz Thon Blanc.) You may not be able to get exactly what’s available in the U.S. but if you use a good-quality canned or jarred tuna, it should be fine. Reply

  • Jessica
    April 12, 2021 4:30pm

    Thanks for the inspiration! I hadn’t had a tuna melt in decades! Being an Alaskan, I used our lightly smoked jarred salmon. I like to top off the fish with onion and tomato slices before I add the cheese. This will be a regular lunch now. Reply

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