Tarragon Tuna Melt

SandwichGrilled Cheese SandwichTarragonTuna

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

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

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches


  • 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 Make the tuna mixture: 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 Prepare the tuna melts for the griddle: 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 Cook tuna melts on a griddle: 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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Tarragon Tuna Melt

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

50 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. 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…

  2. Karla M

    Another great recipe! I don’t use tarragon that often…but I will make this over and over. Thanks!


  3. Betty

    This is a delicious sandwich. It is very similar to a tuna melt that I had at a restaurant recently. I normally hate warm or hot tuna (except for steaks) but the flavors of this salad are sooooooooo good1


  4. John Mulder

    This is an AMAZING sandwich! The tarragon and lemon are incredible with the tuna. Made it for Sunday brunch and it was the talk of the week!


  5. Wesline J

    My family and I love tuna melts! We’ll definetely try this one! Ours are usually open faced. My fanciest one to date was made with diced onion, sweet peppers(orange & purple- you can use any sweet pepper),diced celery, cranberry mustard, honey mustard, relish and miracle whip. If your taste buds can handle it, some pepper flakes or tabasco, also. The salad is topped on wheat bread slices, then a slice of cheese, Sargento Chipotle- for a little kick, or Swiss, or any cheese, thinly sliced heirloom tomato, which are available this time of year at our local farmers’ markets in Boston. The final topping is some grated Parmesan cheese, then under the broiler it goes until browned. It’s a bit of extra work, but well worth it!

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