These cheesy hot tuna melt sandwiches are delicious and the perfect thing for a family get-together or to serve during the big game.
The recipe for these hot tuna sandwiches has been in my family for decades. I really can’t remember the first time my mom made these, probably in the late 60’s. No one knew what to expect from these hamburger buns wrapped up in tin foil.
Once unwrapped and we all had a couple of bites, I think we looked at each other and collectively said, “We’ve got to have these things again….and soon.”
And so a kind of tradition was formed right then and there. It seems that every time the family got together we would have hot tuna melt sandwiches….we called them burgers….hot tuna burgers.
Now I want to make a distinction here. These are not your open-face sandwiches which consist of tuna salad with a layer of cheese slices put under a broiler to melt.
Nor are they fried like a grilled cheese sandwich in a hot skillet.
This is an oven-melted hot sandwich that ends up as a creamy tuna mixture with melted cheese. I would consider them a bit more casual and fit for a gathering. Served with potato chips and your favorite beverage they make for great party food
Simple Ingredients Go Into The Cheesy Tuna Sandwiches
The ingredients you will need for these delicious tuna melts are pretty basic. It is the kind of stuff that every tuna lover would like melted together for the ultimate Comfort Food sandwich.
- Tuna in a can
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Dill pickles
- Green olives
- Sweet pickle relish
- American cheese
- Miracle Whip salad dressing
- Hamburger buns
- Aluminum foil
The choice of canned tuna is whatever you like. They have been made with Albacore Tuna in natural juices, water-packed tuna, and olive oil-packed tuna. They all work to make a perfect tuna melt.
I realize that not everyone likes the sweetness of Miracle Whip. Feel free to use mayonnaise if you must. Mary Jo once made these using mayonnaise instead of Miracle Whip and we both agreed that the taste was just not the same. Using Miracle Whip dressing is the best way to make these.
Assembling The Tuna Melt Sandwiches
It’s actually fun to put the sandwiches together when a crowd is at your house. Give each person an assignment to chop a vegetable or to make sure the aluminum foil is cut and ready to go. Have one person open the buns, another filling the buns and another wrapping the foil to get them ready for the oven.
Once all the ingredients are Chopped, mix them together well in a large bowl. Place an open Hamburger Bun in the center of a precut length of aluminum foil. Then, spoon the tuna filling onto the bun. An ice cream scoop is good to use for equal portions. Otherwise, just use a large spoon to make a pile of the tuna salad mixture.
Put the top of the bun on the tuna and then fold the aluminum foil around the bun.
I have made the hot tuna sandwiches using bread slices rather than buns. They taste the same, but the increased surface area of the slice of bread becomes moist from the steaming effect of heating the tuna and cheese. It is a bit off-putting.
I have never tried it, but using English Muffins may be a good substitute for hamburger buns. Their toasty Bread Texture should hold up to the moisture.
Place the assembled sandwiches onto a baking sheet and place them into a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.
Serve the sandwiches right off of the baking sheet. Open up the foil wrapper and let the Hot Cheese cool down a bit. It is going to be hot.
It seems to me that we always made about two dozen of these which would be a triple recipe of what’s in the recipe below. I got 7 hot tuna sandwiches from the recipe, but the buns I used were pretty big. And I used Whole Wheat buns which the family never used long ago…strictly white buns. Once wheat buns became more popular in the 80’s and 90’s, we would make half white and half wheat.
Leftover Hot Cheese Sandwiches
Another thing is…you have to make more than you can eat that day. Put Leftovers in the refrigerator still in the Foil once they have cooled to room temperature.
Take them from the refrigerator and eat them cold. They are delicious with an ice-cold glass of milk.
I must say, it is hard to portray the goodness of these cheesy tuna sandwiches in a couple of pictures. They are gooey, Cheesy, dill tasting, green olive tasting, onion tasting, Tuna tasting, bun tasting, all wrapped up in a piece of tin foil ready for you to dig in.
For your next get-together, make some cheesy hot tuna melt sandwiches.
Here are some more tasty recipes to try:
- Stovetop Lentil Chili
- Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables
- Grilled Chorizo and Vegetables Foil Pack
- Summertime Seafood Gazpacho
How To Make The Best Cheesy Hot Tuna Melt Sandwiches
- 2 5 oz. cans albacore tuna in water (or other variety) shredded with a fork
- 2 hard boiled eggs chopped
- 1 cup dill pickle chopped
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1/3 cup green salad olives
- 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
- 5 oz. block American cheese, yellow or white cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
- 7 hamburger buns
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Prepare aluminum foil by tearing off 12" to 15" pieces, enough to wrap the sandwiches.
- Fill the buns with the tuna fish mixture and wrap in foil. (I used a #8 ice cream scoop).
- Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet and place in oven for 25 minutes or until the cheese melts.
- Serve the sandwiches wrapped in foil.
- Let leftover sandwiches cool, then place them in the refrigerator and eat them cold the next day.
- Any type of canned tuna can be used. They will all taste very similar.
- A block of American cheese works best. Block American is usually found in the deli section of your grocery.