This Grown-Up Tuna Melts recipe – with banana peppers, sourdough bread, provolone cheese, tomatoes and more – is my retro recipe makeover of the simple Tuna Melts that my Dad used to make us when I was a kid.
I haven’t made tuna melts in years. Over 10 years, would be my best guess. But my son remembers them and he loved them. They weren’t fancy. It was the cheapest tuna, mixed with mayonnaise and pickle relish, spooned onto plain white bread, and topped with an American cheese slice. I baked them in the oven on a baking sheet until the cheese melted. The same way my Dad made them when I was a kid.
Sunday Supper this week was all about “Retro Recipes”. And that’s when I decided to finally give into my son. But rather than going completely old school with them, I decided to try something new — I made what I call Grown-Up Tuna Melts.
My Grown-Up Tuna Melts are made with solid white albacore tuna, chopped red onion, chopped celery and chopped banana peppers. The bowl I used was one of the silver metal bowls that my Dad used to always make tuna salad in when I was younger. Seeing this bowl always reminds me him making his tuna sandwiches, so using it in my kitchen for tuna is my little tribute to him.
I also mixed in mayonnaise and lemon juice, plus seasoned it with freshly ground salt and pepper.
Rather than plain white bread, I used a San Francisco style sourdough bread. The mixture was divided among 4 slices of sourdough, which were placed on a baking sheet. I added 2 tomato slices to each tuna melt and then 2 slices of provolone cheese to each.
The Tuna Melts are baked in oven until hot, melted and starting to brown.
When I pulled them out of the oven, I was happy. They looked so good and after I tasted them, I decided that the changes I made not only had me enjoying these tuna melts, but had me happy enough with them to put them on the menu more often.
Grown-Up Tuna Melts RecipePrint
Grown-Up Tuna Melts Recipe
- 12 ounces solid white albacore tuna (packed in water and drained)
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise (may wish to use more or less)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/4 cup finely chopped banana pepper rings
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- 8 slices tomato
- 8 slices provolone cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine tuna, mayonnaise, onion, celery, banana peppers and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Lay bread on baking sheet. Spoon and divide tuna mixture on the bread slices. Top each tuna melt with two slices of tomatoes and then 2 slices of provolone cheese.
- Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is hot, bubbly, and starting to brown. Serve immediately.
–You may wish to use more, or less, mayonnaise. I have actually found 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons to be the amount our family likes best.
Want more recipes using canned tuna? I recommend the “200 Best Canned Fish and Seafood Recipes: For Tuna, Salmon, Shrimp, Crab, Clams, Oysters, Lobster and More” cookbook by Susan Sampson. It has 200 ways to transform the canned tuna and various seafoods into delicious dishes.
Want More Retro Recipes?
I shared my retro recipe re-do, and there is lots of other food bloggers participating in Sunday Supper who are also sharing retro makeovers OR some are sharing the original retro recipe. Either way, you’ll find lots of blasts from the pasts in this list below — check them out and tell them I sent ya!
Retro Appetizer Recipes:
- Irish Cheddar-Whiskey Fondue by girlichef
- She Devils: Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs by Ruffles & Truffles
Retro Salad Recipes:
- Coca-Cola Salad by Magnolia Days
- Salmon Salad | Retro Tuna Salad by Family Foodie
- Ambrosia Salad by Simply Gourmet
- Romaine “Wedge” Salad with Hot Maple Bacon Dressing by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Carrot & Raisin Salad by The Roxx Box
- Sweet & Smoky Broccoli Salad by In The Kitchen with KP
Retro Breads and Sandwich Recipes:
- Italian Style Bread by The Meltaways
- Creamed Chipped Salmon Jerky on Toast by Pescetarian Journal
- Grown-Up Tuna Melts by Home Cooking Memories
- English Muffin Pizzas by Comfy Cuisine
- Patty Melt, Hand Cut Fries, & a Shake by Mooshu Jenne
- Grown-Up Grilled Cheese With Tomato Soup by Catholic Foodie
- Toast Topper #16: Grandma’s Mock Apricot Jam by What Smells So Good?
Retro Main Dish Recipes:
- Chicken Pot Pie Topped With Bacon Cheddar Biscuits by Chocolate Moosey
- Tuna Noodle Casserole by Country Girl in the Village
- Nana’s Marinated Beef Roast by Supper for a Steal
- Chorizo Scotch Eggs by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Chicken Maryland by Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Mushroom Stroganoff by Small Wallet Big Appetite
- Dairyfree Toast Hawaii by Galactosemia in PDX
- Porcupine Meatballs by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Chicken Kiev by The Urban Mrs.
- Salmon Quiche with Preserved Lemon by Shockingly Delicious
- Steak Diane by Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
- Fried Chicken only in the Oven by In the Kitchen with Audrey
- Hambak Steak a.k.a. Salisbury Steak by Kimchi Mom
- Retro-Redo: Homemade TV Dinner by The Little Ferraro Kitchen
- Kicked Up Meatloaf by Curious Cuisiniere
- Shrimp Scampi (a lighter version) by Kudos Kitchen
- Old-Fashioned Pork Chops by My Trials in the Kitchen
- Jägerschnitzel by Sustainable Dad
- Healthier Hamburger-Corn Noodle Casserole by The Weekend Gourmet
- Inspired by Tuna Noodle Casserole by Cookistry
- Chicken-N-Biscuits Pot Pie Casserole by The Messy Baker Blog
- Souper Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes by Mama.Mommy.Mom
- Meatloaf that will make you swoon and Datz the truth by Midlife Roadtrip
- Spaghetti with Currywurst Sauce by Masala Herb
- Tator Tot Casserole by NeighborFood
Retro Side Dish Recipes:
- Smokey Braised Red Cabbage by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Classic Corn Casserole by The Foodie Army Wife
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Balsamic by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- Classic Green Bean Casserole Redux by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Mem’s Broccoli Casserole by Momma’s Meals
Retro Dessert Recipes
- Peachy Keen Tutti-Frutti Jello by La Cocina de Leslie
- Old School Boozy Rum Cake by Webicurean
- Individual Baked Alaskas by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Rainbow Jello by Cravings of a Lunatic
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake by Noshing with the Nolands
- Pineapple Bars by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Creamy Dairy Free Fresh Orange Julius With Coconut Milk by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Refrigerator Strawberry Cheesecake by There and Back Again
- Frozen Pineapple Upside-Down Cake by Juanita’s Cocina
- Boston Cream Pie by Gotta Get Baked
- Coca-Cola Cupcakes by Daily Dish Recipes
- Jello Poke Cake by Flour On My Face
- Devil’s Food Cake by Maroc Mama
- Bread Pudding with Pecans by Basic and Delicious
- Victoria Sponge Cake by The Lovely Pantry
- A Chocolate Twist on the Classic Japanese Strawberry Shortcake by Ninja Baking
- Post War Apple Pudding by My Cute Bride
- Layered Mini Chocolate Banana Cakes by Big Bears Wife
- Raspberry Jam Cakes by Pippis in the Kitchen Again
Retro Cocktail Recipes:
- Moscow Mule by Crazy Foodie Stunts