This Jalapeño Cheddar Tuna Melt is the perfect lunch or light dinner to enjoy. The scratch-made tuna salad is full of flavor and spread on top of your favorite toasted bread and topped with sharp cheddar cheese and sliced jalapeños. Toast the entire situation until nice and melty, and enjoy your life with this open-faced tuna melt…pair with fruit, veggies, or chips for a complete meal the whole family will love!

jalapeño cheddar tuna melt on plate with celery and grapes

If I could live on lunch or snacks for the rest of my life, I would. This is a safe space, so I’m fully admitting to you that my spirit thrives on lunch-inspired meals. I know, I know. You can’t get all of your nutrition on these types of foods, but today is all about one of my most beloved things, the tuna melt! Fresh tuna salad, buttery toasted sourdough, and melted cheese…get in my mf belly, gah!

Jalapeño Cheddar Tuna Melt 🤤

Yes indeed, y’all. You just cannot beat this tasty goodness! The whole thing starts with whipping up a batch of my best-ever, homemade tuna salad. It’s full of flavor and all that jazz, you’ll love it! Then we’ll toast up some bread and slather on the tuna salad, sprinkle with cheese and top with jalapeño slices, and broil until melty. This tuna melt sando is flavor-loaded and the most perfect lunch that everyone will want second (maybe third?) helpings of!

⇢ Just like my whipped ricotta toast, I love a good toast situation. We’re obsessed with this jalapeño cheddar tuna melt in the BBR household!

tuna melt on plate with grapes

Tuna Melt Ingredients You’ll Need

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Prepared batch of tuna salad, it’s so fresh + so good 🫶🏾
  • Butter (or olive oil): for pan-frying the bread.
  • Sourdough: It will always be my preferred choice for making a tuna melt, however, feel free to use your choice of bread here.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese: I use sharp cheddar cheese for that extra punch of cheddar-y goodness, we love Tillamook thick-cut shreds!
  • Jalapeño slices: For topping the shredded cheese, love a little heat.
  • Fresh dill: Adds a nice touch of freshness, dill + tuna are besties.
tuna salad in bowl with spatula on the side

The Filling: Homemade Tuna Salad 🙌🏾

A tuna melt has to start with tuna salad, and here’s what’s in my go-to recipe:

  • Canned tuna: I use yellowfin tuna for my tuna salad. It’s considered a wild-caught, sustainable type of tuna. Additionally, I do recommend using canned tuna that’s packed in olive oil for a better taste/texture.
  • Jalapeño: Adds a touch of heat to the mix.
  • Shallot: The sweet delicate bite from a shallot is so nice.
  • Celery: For some nice crunch and additional texture.
  • Mayonnaise: This staple ingredient delivers lush, tangy creaminess to a proper tuna salad recipe in my humble opinion. It’s a truly unmatched binder, but an alternative would be plain yogurt if you have an aversion to mayo.
  • Dijon mustard: Delivers tangy, well-rounded flavor, dijon forever!
  • Capers: A pop of salty, briny capers is just chef’s kiss here.
  • Sweet relish: This condiment adds a sweet yet tangy flavor, adding a bit of zest, crunch, and crispiness to the tuna salad.
  • Garlic: Gotta have that garlic on deck, yummm.
  • Fresh dill: A nice, herbaceous pop of flavor, delish. >> Not a fan of dill? It’s all good, use chopped chives or thinly sliced scallions (green onion) instead.
  • Lemon zest & lemon juice: Bright + zippy notes of lemon, you already know.
tuna salad on top 4 slices of sourdough on baking sheet

How To Make A Tuna Melt:

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Make tuna salad recipe before assembling your tuna melts.
  2. Heat butter (or olive oil) in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add sourdough to the skillet (work in batches, if needed), and toast on each side until lightly golden brown.
  3. Then remove sourdough from heat and place the slices on a baking sheet.
  4. Next, spread the tuna salad mixture over each slice. Top the slices with an even sprinkle of cheddar cheese and a few jalapeño slices, if using.
  5. Place the assembled toasts under the broiler for 2-3 minutes- cooking until the cheese is nice and melty. Garnish open-faced tuna melts with fresh chopped dill, if desired. Enjoy!
tuna melt on plate with celery and grapes

Tips + Tricks For Recipe Success & More

As with others, you may have additional questions about this tuna melt recipe. Like other BBR recipes, I always recommend sticking to the recipe as it is written in the recipe card, below. However, here’s some extra info:

  • Don’t skip pan-frying the bread…Putting the slices of bread in the toaster just won’t do, peeps. Trust me on this, pan-fried sourdough is ELITE.
  • Broil until just melty…You don’t want to end up with a burnt tuna melt, oof. And remember that the bread is already toasty, so broil the tuna melt just until the cheese melts.
  • Enjoy as a full-faced sando…This here is written as an open-faced tuna melt, but you can def cover and enjoy it as a regular ole sandwich, too.

What To Pair With Your Tuna Melt 🤞🏾

  1. Pair your toons melt with fresh fruit and/or veggies for a healthier vibe.
  2. We love some potato chips or pretzels for a full-on lunch!
  3. Crackers, nuts, or your favorite soup (broccoli cheddar soup!)
tuna melt cut in half on plate with celery and grapes

A Tuna Melt is one of the best sandwich creations there ever was, and this jalapeño cheddar one is extra good, friends! Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

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jalapeño cheddar tuna melt on plate with celery and grapes

Open-Faced Jalapeño Cheddar Tuna Melt

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  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Cuisine: American
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Description

This Jalapeño Cheddar Tuna Melt is the perfect lunch or light dinner to enjoy. The scratch-made tuna salad is full of flavor and spread on top of your favorite toasted bread and topped with sharp cheddar cheese and sliced jalapeños. Toast the entire situation until nice and melty, and enjoy your life with this open-faced tuna melt…pair with fruit, veggies, or chips for a complete meal the whole family will love!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 batch Tuna Salad
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter or 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 slices thick-cut sourdough (or bread of choice)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (we love Tillamook thick-cut!)
  • Jalapeño slices, for topping- optional 
  • Fresh chopped dill, for garnish- optional 

Instructions

  1. First, make tuna salad recipe before assembling tuna melts.
  2. Heat butter (or olive oil) in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add sourdough to skillet (work in batches, if needed), and toast on each side until lightly golden brown. Then remove sourdough from heat and place the slices on a baking sheet.
  3. Next, spread desired amount of tuna salad over each slice. Top the slices with an even sprinkle of cheddar cheese and a few jalapeño slices, if using. Place the assembled toasts under the broiler for 2-3 minutes- cooking until the cheese is nice and melty. Garnish open-faced tuna melts with fresh chopped dill, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. For best recipe success, please read the blog post & notes in its entirety with video tutorial before beginning.