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Open Faced Skinny Tuna Melt

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Open Faced Skinny Tuna Melt is a light, delicious, and filling sandwich. A simple tuna salad gets kicked up several notches, and sharp Cheddar cheese adds a great bite to this dish that’s ready in 20 minutes.

This post and recipe card updated July 25, 2020
Overhead shot of finished tuna melt on a bed of lettuce

My parents never cooked with tuna when I was growing up, so I rarely ever ate it. In college, tuna fish sandwiches were one of my staple lunches.

Like many other foods, I go on eating spurts with tuna. When I’m in the zone, I eat it weekly. Other times I’ll buy tuna, and it just sits in the pantry forever because I forget about it.

Tuna Pasta Salad is one of my go-to lunches. I love the contrast of flavors in my Tuna Cakes with Fresh Tomato Salsa. And Tuna Tettrazini is an easy weeknight casserole.

I love melty-type sandwiches, full of gooey cheese. But yes, I know that’s not the best decision on a regular basis. So I’ve lightened up one of my favorites, with an Open Faced Skinny Tuna Melt

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
  • It’s a light and easy recipe that’s ready in about 20 minutes
  • You can easily go heavier on the cheese
  • You can make a big batch of the tuna ahead, and finish the sandwiches as needed
Close up shot of finished tuna melt on a bed of lettuce

I love this Open Faced Skinny Tuna Melt! It’s light, full of veggies, and surprisingly filling.

ALL ABOUT THE TUNA

What I love about tuna is its versatility. It works well in a wide variety of dishes, and it is light and healthy.

I’m a huge fan of Albacore Tuna. I have read that it has a higher mercury level than chunk tuna, and high levels of mercury are bad for you. However, I don’t eat nearly enough tuna to suffer any negative effects.

Most tuna comes packed in water, and I always look for wild-caught tuna. Some brands have tuna packed in oil. I’ve tried it…it’s delicious and the oil adds a nice silky texture. But I stick with tuna in water to save calories.

INGREDIENT TIPS FOR OPEN FACED SKINNY TUNA MELT

I use English Muffins for the bread. Lightly toast the bread first, to help them crust up better when you finish the melt in the oven.

I prefer to use vine-ripened tomatoes, and cut them into 1/4″ slices for a generous bite.

To keep it lighter, I don’t go crazy with the cheese. However, I do add it twice…on top of the bread, and as a finishing touch on top of the tuna salad.

I use sharp Cheddar cheese because I like the bite of flavor. But definitely use your favorite variety, and you can play around with different types on each layer.

For more veggies, I add finely diced carrots, red onion, and celery, plus some shredded parsley. I keep the veggies raw because I love the contrast of texture.

To bind everything together I use Mayonnaise and Spicy Brown Mustard. A few dashes of Hot Sauce adds a great kick.

Salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder round out the spices. Less is definitely more with the salt

Overhead shot of finished tuna melt on a bed of lettuce
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Drain tuna well, and add to a large bowl. Flake the tuna with a fork to break up the big chunks.

Add carrots, celery, red onion, and parsley. Mix together lightly to combine.

overhead process shot: tuna and vegetables mixed together in a glass bowl

Add salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Then add mayonnaise, mustard, and hot sauce. Stir to combine well.

Open English muffins, toast lightly, and place face-up on a platter. Top with half of the cheese.

overhead process shot: all ingredients on a wooden platter

Next, place tomato slices on the cheese. Scoop the tuna salad onto the tomato slices.

overhead process shot: 2 melts in process of being filled

Top the tuna with the remaining cheese.

process shot: close up of tuna melt, ready to finish in toaster oven

Heat the toaster oven to 400 degrees. Toast for 7-10 minutes, until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Close up shot of finished tuna melt with a bite taken out
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make these ahead? You can definitely make the tuna salad ahead, and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. I recommend assembling and toasting immediately before serving.

Can I use pre-seasoned tuna? I’m not a fan of it, because I prefer to add my own seasonings. If you do use it, you can eliminate the other seasonings

What other base options can I use?

  • Use thick-cut slices of sourdough bread
  • Go gluten-free with Gluten-Free English Muffins
  • Omit the bread and use the tomato as the base for a low carb dish.
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Open Faced Skinny Tuna Melt - Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

Open Faced Skinny Tuna Melt

Yield: 4 open faced sandwiches
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Open Faced Skinny Tuna Melt is a light, delicious, and filling sandwich. A simple tuna salad gets kicked up several notches, and sharp Cheddar cheese adds a great bite to this dish that’s ready in 20 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 English Muffins
  • 4 slices roma or vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

TUNA SALAD

Instructions

  1. Preheat toaster oven or oven to 400 degrees
  2. Drain water well from tuna. Add the tuna to a large bowl, and flake the tuna well with a fork.
  3. Add carrots, celery, red onion, and parsley to the tuna. Mix all the ingredients together with a fork.
  4. Add mayonnaise, mustard, red wine vinegar, and hot sauce. Add salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, Fold all ingredients together and set aside
  5. Lightly toast the English muffins, and lay face-up on a flat surface. Sprinkle half of the cheese mixture equally on each muffin piece. Top each one with a tomato slice. Scoop equal amounts of tuna salad on each muffin half. Finish with remaining cheese.
  6. Carefully transfer muffins directly onto a baking rack, and toast for 7-10 minutes. Remove carefully and sprinkle with a little more fresh parsley

Notes

I use Albacore tuna. You can use chunk light if you'd prefer. Some brands have tuna packed in oil, but I prefer tuna packed in water to save calories.

I use sharp Cheddar cheese because I like the bite of flavor. But definitely use your favorite variety, and you can play around with different types on each layer.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I make these ahead? You can definitely make the tuna salad ahead, and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. I recommend assembling and toasting immediately before serving.

Can I use pre-seasoned tuna? I’m not a fan of it, because I prefer to add my own seasonings. If you do use it, you can eliminate the other seasonings

What other base options can I use?

  • Use thick-cut slices of sourdough bread
  • Go gluten-free with Gluten-Free English Muffins
  • Omit the bread and use the tomato as the base for a low carb dish.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 391Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 977mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 37g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients, etc

Adapted from Skinny Taste

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