Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kicked Up Tuna Melts

Is there something in your life that comes up seemingly out of the blue, but strangely happens every year?  Ash Wednesday is like that for me.  I know, there’s really no excuse, but I'm surprised every year.  Why the problem?  Well, my meal plan the Sunday before Ash Wednesday usually looks something like this: Monday, Macaroni and Cheese; Tuesday, Tortilla Soup; Wednesday, Beef Tacos; Thursday, Chinese Chicken; Friday, Pork Chops.  About midway through dinner on Tuesday night, I realize the next day is Ash Wednesday, and we have already consumed the two meatless meals I had planned for the week.  Scrambling ensues.  I throw the meat I had planned to serve in the freezer, and then I have to come up with something else, something meatless to serve on Wednesday and Friday.

These Kicked Up Tuna Melts usually do the trick for a quick Lenten meal.  The tuna is light with only a little bit of mayonnaise and bright with the olives, capers and lemon juice.  The provolone melts beautifully over the sandwich, and pairs nicely with the tuna.  But as much as my family enjoys them, I can’t serve them every Friday. 

So, I struggle to come up with quick healthy and meatless (but not necessarily fishless) meals during Lent.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.  I would appreciate your input!

Kicked Up Tuna Melts
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse Food Network

3 6-ounce cans solid white tuna packed in water, drained
½ cup chopped kalamata olives
1/3 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
1 Tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
8 slices of rustic white bread (about ¾ inches thick)
3 tomatoes sliced (16 slices)
8 slices of provolone cheese
Salt and pepper

Mix together the tuna, olives, mayonnaise, red onion, capers, lemon juice, black pepper and salt.  Stir until well incorporated.  Arrange the bread slices on a sheet pan.  Divide the tuna evenly among the 8 slices of bread.  Top with the tomato slices and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and add the provolone.  Broil the sandwiches until the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 5 minutes.


  1. Dinner tonight with a little tomato soup. I can't wait!!!

    One of my favorite salmon dishes is pan seared blackened salmon over pasta (or spaghetti squash) with a creamy pesto sauce.Dredge the fish in a combo of cornstarch and Chef Paul Blackened Redfish Magic Seasoning, sear it on the stove top and then finish it on the oven. While it's baking add some whole milk to pesto and boil some pasta. So good-so easy!

  2. Hi Liss,

    Thanks for the great salmon idea. I can't wait to try it! Thanks for reading.

  3. These look gorgeous. It would never occur to me to use provolone. Interesting. I'll have to give this one a try. The bread looks good too. I'm waiting for my new Staub dutch oven to arrive so I can begin making no knead bread.

  4. Hi Nutsy Fagan, Good luck with the bread. I want to try some new bread recipes, so you'll have to let me know how you like the no knead bread. Thanks for visiting!

  5. Made these tonight and they were very good. I used roasted garlic artisan and I'll admit to adding celery (I just have to - it's not tuna salad to me without that fresh crunch). Thanks for another great recipe!

  6. Kevin - Thanks!

    Nutsy Fagan- I'll have to try celery next time I make them. Thanks for the idea! I'm glad you liked the tuna melts.

  7. All I can say is yum, I must try this recipe myself.

  8. So glad to have found this after seeing Emeril's version. Less fussy and just as tasty. Thank you for sharing, Janice!


  9. Tuna melt at its very finest is what I call this recipe! I mean really - I have had tuna melts in my day, but there is nothing that compares to this one! It was easy to prepare, tasted fabulous, and on the healthy side (it is fish after all!!) Thanks for sharing Janice!!

  10. This looks really good and certainly different than any tuna melt I have made before. I am bookmarking you so I can make this soon. What a great lunch this will make for me on the weekends!

  11. I just made the tuna melt -- very, very good!



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