Panini Tuna Melts

Whether you are looking for a quick lunch or dinner wants to be a sandwich but still warm, I'm sharing this one for you. Tuna melts are a favorite in my house and they happen quickly when I plug in my panini press. In the time it takes to assemble the sandwiches for pressing, the appliance is warm and ready to go. I love tomato in mine, but you can tweak yours to suit your tastes.

A note about tuna: I love getting chunky tuna packed in oil. I drain the oil and save it to make salad dressing and the tuna has so much more texture. I highly recommend giving it a try. If you don't have pickle relish on hand, some capers or chopped olives will do the trick as well. You just want a little briney tang in the mix.

For a meal this simple, I often add a handful of chips, whatever salad I can either put together quickly or have on hand already, and a dill pickle spear. There's a saying in my house: A sandwich isn't a meal unless you add a pickle and I'm not about to disagree!

Panini Tuna Melts

  • 12 ounces canned tuna, drained
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons pickle relish
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 slices artisan bread, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1-2 tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup butter, softened, for spreading

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients (tuna through black pepper) and mix thoroughly. Preheat a panini press.

To assemble the sandwiches, spread one slice of bread generously with the tuna mixture and top of a slice or three of tomato and a generous sprinkling of shredded cheese. Place another slice of bread on top and carefully butter the outsides of the sandwich. Repeat until you have 4 sandwiches.

Spray the panini press lightly with cooking spray. Place two sandwiches on the press at a time; close the press. Cook until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted and golden, about 5 minutes. Repeat the process to toast the other tuna melt sandwiches.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

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