A couple of months ago I joined three of my good friends (who all happened to be pregnant) for dinner, and I ordered a tuna melt and a beer. Although it’s a healthy choice to eat fish about twice a week during pregnancy, it’s recommended to limit the amount of tuna you eat to no more than 6 ounces per week (the size of 1 can for many brands of tuna), so my friends all ordered other entrees like mac & cheese or cassoulet. When my sandwich arrived, I thought it was just okay, and envied my friends’ selections instead. The sandwich was overwhelmed by a high pile of tuna thick with mayonnaise and smothered in cheese. The innards of the sandwich dominated the bread, resulting in a pretty soggy mess.
In my attempt to make a more successful tuna melt at home, I wanted to do two things: amp up the flavor of the tuna. I added chopped olives, letting the acidity of the brine cut through some of the heaviness of the cheese and mayonnaise. Second, because a boat load of mayonnaise is the opposite of interesting and appealing, I pared down the amount of dressing used and substituted some Greek yogurt. The chopped celery and shallots helps keep things fresh and adds a bit of crunch for texture.
A little bit goes a long way with these sandwiches; because they’re served as open-faced sandwiches, using a bit of restraint when assembling these is a good idea. I used whole wheat English muffins because I liked the petite size and manageability of the sandwiches, but you could just as easily use a full slice of bread or make a whole sandwich — just adjust the amount of filling you use accordingly.
Healthier Tuna Melts
Makes 6 open-faced sandwiches
6 ounces canned chunk light Tongol tuna
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
2 tablespoon chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped kalamata olives
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2-3 tomato slices per sandwich
4 slices Swiss cheese
3 whole-wheat English muffins
1. Flake the tuna into a medium bowl. Add the yogurt, mayonnaise, shallots, celery, olives, and mustard. Stir to combine.
2. Spread the tuna mixture in a thin, even layer over each side of the English muffins. Top with the tomatoes and Swiss cheese. Heat in the oven or toaster oven. Place under the broiler for about 30 seconds to get the cheese bubbly.