Parmesan Pesto Tuna Melt

Friday 12 October 2018

Tuna wasn't something we ever had when I was growing up.  My first experience with it was when I was about 14 years old.  I was in Band at school and we had our practises during the lunch hour. I remember sitting in the band room and my friend had a tuna sandwich for her lunch that her mother had made.  She wasn't too impressed with it and asked if I would like to exchange sandwiches with her.    I said why not!

I couldn't begin to tell you what kind of sandwich I had in my own lunch but I have never forgotten how delicious her tuna sandwich was.  To this day it lives on in my memory as one of my favourite tastes of all time!

I think I may have talked my mother into buying tuna after that, I'm not sure.  I do know that tinned tuna fish was a staple in my store cupboard when I was raising my own family, and it still is.  

I was buying tuna in the grocery store one day, many moons ago and an old Italian woman told me only to always buy albacore tuna. All the rest was garbage she said.  Who was I to argue with Italian wisdom.  I reckon they know their tuna fish.  She also told me that blunt ended carrots were sweeter. 

In any case, ever since then, I have only ever bought albacore tuna fish and blunt ended carrots, and I have to say she was correct.  Albacore tuna is the best and blunt ended carrots are sweeter!

The tuna in this tuna melt is flavoured with a mixture of mayonnaise and basil pesto. If you have fresh homemade pesto, so much the better. 

There is also some garlic, and seasoning in the tuna mixture, along with grated Parmesan cheese.  Do be judicious with the salt as Parmesan cheese on its own is rather salty, but I always like to add a hefty bit of black pepper as I really like black pepper.

I like knife and fork, open faced sandwiches.  These can also be done as a closed sandwich very easily by using two slices of buttered bread.  I like them open faced and I add a couple slices of ripe tomato to the tops as well. You can also put slices of tomato in a closed sandwich if you want, or you can leave the tomato out altogether.  I sometimes add chopped olives to my tuna.  Its all good.

A slice of melty mozzarella goes on top of the bottom buttered slice of bread, then the tuna, then the tomatoes and then another slice of mozzarella. I like the melting properties of Mozzarella, but Gouda also works really well as does Swiss.  Just make sure it is a smooth melting kind of cheese.

Toast the bread bottoms in a warm frying pan.  Don't be too much in a rush to do this. I find medium low heat best, and you get a nice crispness to the bread.  After that's done, pop the whole bit under a grill to really melt that cheese and gild the lily.  YUMMY!!!

Yield: 2

Parmesan Pesto Tuna Melts

prep time: 5 minscook time: 5 minstotal time: 10 mins
A quick, easy and delicious open faced tuna melt sandwich that everyone is sure to enjoy. You can easily double the recipe ingredients to serve four people.


1 (145g) tin of albacore tuna, drained and flaked (1 5-oz tin)
2 TBS good quality mayonnaise
2 TBS prepared basil pesto
45g grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup)
1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
salt and black pepper to taste
2 thick slices of a sturdy type of bread
softened butter to spread
ripe tomato slices
4 slices mozzarella cheese


Flake the tuna into a bowl.  Stir in the mayonnaise,
 pesto, parmesan cheese and garlic.  Season to taste with salt and black
 pepper. Set aside.

Heat the oven grill to high.

 one side of each slice of bread.  Put the bread slices, butter side
down, into a large skillet, which you have warmed.  Place a slice of
cheese on each.  Divide the Tuna mixture between both slices of cheese
covered bread, evenly. Top each with several slices of tomato and then
another slice of mozzarella cheese.   Cook until the bottom of the slices
 of bread have turned golden brown.  Flash the pan under the heated oven
 grill for a couple of minutes, long enough to melt the cheese, and gild
 it in a few places.  Remove from the grill and serve immediately.

Created using The Recipes Generator

Boy I am really missing my Instagram.  Not so much the facebook.  I wasn't really that active on facebook anyways, except for my recipe page, but I love my Instagram and my friends on there. Only 6 days left to go.  In the meantime, I am catching up on a few other things.  I hope you will make the sandwich and enjoy! Bon Appetit!


  1. Marie I have never liked tuna. I do however, like tuna mayonnaise as used in Vitelli tonato. I make a salmon mix with cheese in it. I toast it under the grill.

    1. These would probably work well with tinned Salmon as well Suzan! xo

  2. I am watching the wedding and it seems very breezy.

    1. It is very breezy, but she is a beautiful bride, and it is not raining there at any rate! They both look very happy!

  3. Replies
    1. This would be a great way to use some of your lovely homemade pesto! Xo


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