Back when I was pregnant with Viggo I was on a real tuna melt kick. Of course, I couldn’t just have any kind of tuna melt… nope, I needed something SPICY, flavorful, and filling to satisfy my cravings.
What could be better than a SPICY tuna melt with a kick from jalapenos, freshness from green onion, and melted cheddar on top?
Fast forward over 2 years and a baby Lachlan joining the party, I’m still all about these incredible tuna melts. Sometimes I make half of this recipe for lunch and enjoy it with my easy blender vegan tomato soup. Other times I enjoy the full thing for dinner with some crunchy chips on the side (Sun Chips are my secret go-to!). I hope you love this recipe as much as I do.
Everything you’ll need to make a damn good spicy tuna melt
One part spicy, one part cheesy, and all parts delicious, these tuna melts will be ones you make again and again because of how easy they are! You’ll just need a few pantry staples:
- Tuna: the start of the show. I like to use yellowfin tuna that’s packed in olive oil but feel free to use any canned tuna you like. Be sure to drain the tuna before using it.
- Mixture: you’ll need a bit of mayo, greek yogurt, grainy dijon mustard, your fav hot sauce, and a little salt and pepper to give the tuna the perfect balance of flavors and moisture. Of course, you could use all mayo or all greek yogurt, but I love to do a mix — totally up to you and based on what you have on hand.
- Hint of green: I like to add diced jalapeño and diced green onion for a little crunch, an extra kick of heat, and freshness.
- Bread: good news, you can use any bread you’d like! I love a nice, thick bread to hold up all of that tuna goodness, but you could also do sprouted bread or gluten free bread if you’d like.
- Cheese: what’s a tuna melt without a layer of melted cheese? I love sharp cheddar slices paired with the creaminess and tang of the tuna.
Optional ingredient swaps
This spicy tuna melt recipe is super easy to customize with what you have on hand. Here’s what I suggest:
- Out of tuna? If you don’t have tuna you can also use canned salmon or even chicken (canned or regularly cooked & shredded). Learn how to easily shred chicken here!
- Out of mayo or yogurt? Feel free to use all mayo or all yogurt if you don’t have both on hand.
- Switch up the spice: If you’re out of hot sauce, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a kick of spice.
Can I make it vegan?
Actually, yes! Though it won’t be a tuna melt anymore, you can use about 3/4 cup chickpeas (be sure to mash them!) and dairy free yogurt in this recipe to keep it vegan, vegetarian & dairy free. SO GOOD!
Can I make it gluten free?
Yes, absolutely. Simply use your favorite gluten free bread.
Customize your spicy tuna melt
- Choose your cheese. Enjoy with any cheese you’d like! I think Havarti, Swiss, and Muenster would all be amazing. My absolute favorite though is Cabot’s Habanero Cheddar. It’s SPICY and flavorful.
- Not into spice? Feel free to omit the hot sauce and jalapeño — it will still be delicious.
- Add a boost of veggies. This tuna melt would be delicious with fresh spinach, or crunch from some shredded carrots or diced celery.
How to make the best spicy tuna melt
Here’s exactly how to make a spicy tuna melt in three easy steps:
- Mix it. Add all of your ingredients (besides the bread & cheese slices) to a bowl and mix them together well. Remember to drain your tuna first!
- Toast it. Toast that bread to golden perfection in your toaster.
- Top it. Add half of the tuna mixture to each slice of bread, and then top each with a slice of cheese.
- Broil it. Melt it, baby! Place the bread slices under the broiler for 2 minutes until melty and delicious.
More ways to use canned tuna
Get all of my tuna recipes here!
I hope you love these easy, spicy tuna melts! If you make this recipe be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
Spicy Jalapeño Cheddar Tuna Melt
Spicy tuna melts filled with amazing flavor and a kick of heat from jalapeño & your favorite hot sauce. This easy, spicy tuna melt recipe is topped with melted sharp cheddar for the perfect, savory lunch or dinner that’s packed with protein!
- 1 (5 ounce) can yellowfin tuna, drained (I like to use tuna that’s packed in olive oil)
- 2 tablespoons finely diced green onion
- 2 tablespoons diced jalapeno
- 1 tablespoon mayo
- 1 tablespoon yogurt (or sub mayo)
- 1 teaspoon grainy dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 slices your favorite bread, a thicker sliced bread is always nice
- 2 slices sharp cheddar cheese (or your fav cheese!)
- Extra jalapeno slices, if desired
In a medium bowl, mix together drained tuna, diced green onion, diced jalapeno, mayo, yogurt, dijon, hot sauce and salt and pepper.
Toast your bread the way you normally like it. Evenly spread the tuna mixture over each slice. Top each with a slice of cheese. Top with extra jalapeno slices, if desired. Place under the broiler for 2 minutes* or until the cheese is melted. Enjoy!
See the full post for tips, tricks, and easy ways to customize this tuna melt!
Serving: 1tuna melt (both slices)Calories: 555kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 39.6gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 9.5gFiber: 8.2gSugar: 8.3g
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
This post was originally published on January 20th, 2021, and republished on August 29th, 2023.