Hot Lunch Week: Better Than Classic Tuna Melt - Sweet Potato Chronicles - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Hot Lunch Week: Better Than Classic Tuna Melt

How is this the first tuna melt recipe on the site? I don't know what to say except that I guess it seems so basic that it doesn't require a recipe? Yeah, that's not a good enough rea­son given how much I love a good tuna melt. As much as I love a clas­sic, diner-style tuna melt sand­wich, that's not how I make them at home. Par­tic­u­larly when our kids were really small they found reg­u­lar sand­wiches hard to man­age. Stuff falls out, the bread won't stay together or you can't get all of it in your mouth for a bite. Think­ing about a restau­rant I used to work at (any­one remem­ber Kens­ing­ton Kitchen on Har­bord?), I remem­bered the pita piz­zas the cooks used to whip up and thought if might be a solu­tion to our sand­wich dilemma. And this lovely, sim­ple cre­ation was born.

This is a great week­end lunch — per­fect with a bowl of tomato soup — but it's also a really easy, fast din­ner when I'm scram­bling. Chop up some car­rots, cucum­bers and pep­pers to serve on the side and you're done. If Ben is work­ing late I'll make two of these for the kids and me, enough for left­overs to go in Esme's lunch the next day. I find any recipe that is topped with melted cheese is an easy vehi­cle for extra, covert veg­eta­bles. In this case, I've added tart apples, crunchy cel­ery and sour pick­les, but some­times I use diced cherry toma­toes and red or yel­low pep­pers to up the veg­gie con­tent. Esme and Julian both love these, par­tic­u­larly the way they can pick the pieces up and eat them pizza-style. 

pho­tos by Maya Vis­nyei

Bet­ter Than Clas­sic Tuna Melt

2 whole wheat pita breads
1 can tuna (water packed is bet­ter for you but I con­fess to lov­ing the Italian-style oil packed, which I rinse)
1/3 cup diced Granny Smith apple
1/3 cup diced cel­ery
1/8 cup diced cor­ni­chon (dill pickle will do if you don't have cor­ni­chon)
1 Tbsp may­on­aise
1 cup grated cheddar


Pre­heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together the tuna, apple cel­ery, pickle and mayo until it is all well com­bined. You could add a pinch of salt and pep­per if you like. Just give it a taste first to see what you think. Spread the mix­ture evenly across the pitas. I like to leave a small bor­der around the edge the way you do with pizza — it makes it eas­ier to pick up and eat. Sprin­kle the cheese evenly across both pitas. Place the pitas on a bak­ing sheet.

Pop in the hot oven for about 10 min­utes but keep an eye on them, you want the cheese to be com­pletely melted and the edges of the pitas to start to get toasty brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a cou­ple of min­utes before cut­ting each pita into quarters.



  1. Tracy says:

    What a great idea! I can't wait to try this!

  2. joan says:

    Yum. Never thought of using pita bread. Def­i­nitely will be mak­ing this!

  3. […] Bet­ter Than Clas­sic Tuna Melt […]

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