Learn all the tips for packing this epic sandwich properly in the lunch container so it stays delicious until lunchtime.
Grilled Tuna Melt Sandwich
Not all grilled sandwiches are created equal, and this Grilled Tuna Melt Sandwich lunch idea proves that! Crispy on the outside and perfectly melty on the inside, this is a terrific meal for those who love protein-rich lunches.
I love tuna because it’s inexpensive as far as quality protein ingredients go, and it has a very long shelf life. This means that it often serves as my go-to emergency lunch builder. But this sandwich is so good, my family will even request it for DINNER!
Since we LOVE this Grilled Tuna Melt and regularly eat tuna fish, I’ll make a large batch of tuna salad and use it for these sandwiches and to pack in other lunches. It refrigerates exceptionally well, up to 3 days, which means that you now have lunch figured out! -at least for a couple of days.
It’s the kind of recipe you will find in my 101 Packed Lunches eBook. Fresh, delicious, and easy to pack ahead for a simple office or school lunch.
101 Packed Lunches eBook
All my best kid-friendly lunches from over a decade of creating meal plans. Add some variety to your child’s lunchbox with these epic lunches, plus receive my Pack Meals Like a Pro ebook, free with purchase!
What is in Grilled Tuna Melt
Do you have a can or a pouch of tuna in your pantry? Yeah, you do! Good, because you are definitely going to want to make this incredibly easy, cheesy Grilled Tuna Melt!
What you need:
- Tuna: both pouched or canned tuna in water or oil work!
- Aromatics: onion and celery, finely diced, add a nice crunchiness.
- Sweet relish: a tangy-sweet addition that makes this sandwich epic!
- Mayonnaise: you can swap it for whipped cream cheese, plain Greek yogurt, or even hummus for a flavor twist.
- Garlic powder: extra flavor!
- Thick sandwich bread: like Italian or French bread.
- Butter: for grilling the tuna melt.
- Cheese: I used Cheddar, but other sliced cheeses work too.
You’ll find the measurements in the recipe card below.
How to pack Grilled Tuna Melt for lunch
While tuna salad is most often made with this ingredient, there are so many delicious ways to eat it for lunch. You can use tuna salad in a wrap, served on the side with fresh veggies and crackers, or, the BEST WAY… inside a deliciously grilled sandwich!
Here’s how I made this tuna melt for lunch:
- Make the filling
In a medium bowl combine the tuna, onion, celery, sweet relish, mayonnaise, and garlic powder. Stir to combine.
- Assemble the sandwich
Place the bread on a flat surface. Spread the butter over each slice and flip. Spread the tuna fish salad over 2 slices of bread, top with cheese, and assemble the sandwiches.
- Melt it!
In a non-stick pan or griddle over medium-high heat, place the sandwiches and grill for 2 to 3 minutes, until the bread is golden brown. Flip and continue to grill until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
- Pack it for lunch
If packing in a lunchbox, allow the sandwich to cool down to room temperature before packing into a lunch container with fruit, veggies, and your favorite sides.
Since this is one epic and easy lunch, check out the video below to see how to pack a grilled sandwich inside a lunchbox. This means that this epic sandwich is perfect to pack for school or office lunch.
And when you’re done packing this one, you can see more epic grilled cheese lunch ideas here.
More tips for packing melt sandwiches for lunch
Follow these packing tips and you will be able to enjoy crispy and neat melt sandwiches every time:
Keep dry and wet ingredients separated
If you pack this grilled tuna melt with veggies and fruits, make sure to place them in their own compartments so the sandwich doesn’t absorb any moisture and remains crunchy for hours!
Use a sturdy lunchbox
Want to open the lunchbox and find a neat sandwich that hasn’t been flattened in the lunch bag? Pack it in a firm, sandwich-size container. Here are my top pick containers for school lunches.
Add more nutrition
Build a balanced lunchbox that kids will devour by packing melt sandwiches with your favorite sides. Grapes, berries, banana chips, nuts, carrots, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, cheese crackers, and the list goes on! Just keep in mind to separate dry from wet, as I explained above.
Keep it chilled
This Grilled Tuna Melt can be enjoyed for lunch at room temperature, or you can pack it inside an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack to keep the temperature inside the lunch bag cool.
Grilled Tuna Melt Sandwich Lunch
- 10 ounce canned tuna, drained (2 5-ounce cans)
- 2 tablespoons onion, finely diced
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons sweet relish
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 slices thick sandwich bread, such as Italian or French bread
- 1 tablespoons butter, for grilling
- 2 slices Cheddar cheese
Make the sandwich:
- In a medium bowl combine the tuna, onion, celery, sweet relish, mayonnaise, and garlic powder. Stir to combine.
- Place the bread on a flat surface. Spread the butter over each slice and flip. Spread the tuna fish salad over 2 slices of bread, top with cheese, and assemble the sandwiches.
- In a non-stick pan or griddle over medium-high heat, place the sandwiches and grill for 2 to 3 minutes, until the bread is golden brown. Flip and continue to grill until the cheese is melted. Remove from heat and serve immediately or pack it for lunch.
Pack it for lunch:
- If packing in a lunchbox, allow the sandwich to cool down to room temperature before packing it.
- Once cooled, place into a lunch container with fruit, veggies, and your favorite sides.