Tarragon Tuna Melt

Classic grilled cheese tuna salad sandwich with tarragon. Tuna melt recipe with French loaf bread, canned tuna, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, parsley, lemon, tarragon.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

What is a tuna melt, other than a grilled cheese sandwich dressed up with tuna salad? Two favorite food groups, merged together. I used to love these sandwiches as a kid, and was inspired by a Karen Tedesco recipe in Better Homes and Gardens to make this slightly more fancy version with tarragon.

Do you like tuna melts? If so, how do you like yours? Please let us know in the comments.

Tarragon Tuna Melt Recipe



  • 1 thinly sliced green onion, including the greens
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon, crumbled
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 6-ounce cans of solid white tuna, well drained and flaked
  • 8 1/2-inch slices French or Italian loaf bread (or your favorite bread)
  • 1 thinly sliced tomato (8 slices)
  • 4 ounces grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp softened butter


1 Mix the green onion, parsley, tarragon, lemon juice, lemon zest, Dijon mustard, black pepper, and mayonnaise in a medium sized bowl. Add the drained tuna, mixing with a fork to break up the flakes.

2 Lay out four slices of bread. Divide the tuna mixture evenly onto the slices. Top each bread slice with tomato slices and grated cheese. Spread one side of the remaining four bread slices with butter. Place bread slices, buttered side up, on top of the cheese.

3 Heat a large griddle, on medium heat (or couple cast iron skillets). Place the sandwiches, buttered side down, onto the hot griddle. Gently spread butter on top of the bread slices. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until nicely browned on one side.

Then use a metal spatula to lift up the sandwiches and carefully turn them to the other side. Cook for another 3 minutes or so, until the second side is browned.

Serve immediately.

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Goat Cheese and Artichoke Heart Tuna Melt from Alana the Wasabi Cowgirl

Tarragon Tuna Melt

Showing 4 of 50 Comments

  • Helene

    I like my tuna melts with a kick. Try some pickled hot peppers instead of the tomato, topped with provolone. Or keep the tomato and use pepper jack cheese. Mmmm…

  • Anne

    Wow, so many comments, and I still have something new to add! Tuna melts are a winter staple in our house, and we always go with my husband’s favorite — open-faced on english muffins (toasted first) with sliced tomato and a good Vermont cheddar. In the tuna salad go chopped white onions, and DILL RELISH. I usually use plain yogurt instead of mayo, just personal preference. I’m going to try this one, though!

  • seamaiden

    I think my best tuna melt ever was at a gluten free bakery cafe, Panne Rizo, in Vancouver, Canada. It was on their amazing gluten free panini bread and served in this adorable plastic basket with paper just like fish and chips. So tasty!

    At home I mostly just make grilled cheese sandwiches in a sandwich press- but I often add a really tasty mustard or pesto (not both together, of course). Since I love tuna fish salad, I should add it more often… the fresh herb aspect of this recipe is inspiring me!


  • evinrude

    I like my tuna mayo to have lots of chopped onions in it! =) Topped off with loads of mozzarella and toasted in the oven till nicely browned and crisped and the mozzarella all melted and stringy! Mm~

    P.S. It’s odd how you would say it’s a cheese sandwich dressed up with tuna salad, I always called mine a tuna sandwich dressed up with loads of cheese. =)

  • Jennifer

    I adore tuna melts. You can really top them with anything too- have you ever tried pickled okra? I bet that would be good on a tuna melt with some fresh scallions!

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