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Published: · Modified: by Kate Morgan Jackson · This post may contain affiliate links · 16 Comments

I’m always and forever helpless in the face of a tuna melt – my favorite diner food after bacon egg and cheese on a roll – so I am doing that thing I do with classic recipes that are near and dear to my heart.  And by that I mean I am messing with success by trying as many different spins as I can think of in an effort to eat as many tuna melts as humanly possible.  In this case, I added a secret ingredient that had the Southern husband extremely concerned about his dinner prospects that night…but I’m happy to report that it turned out creamy, dreamy and delicious.  Want to to take your tuna melts to luxurious new heights?  Let’s make it![clickToTweet tweet=”This recipe for creamy tuna melts has a secret ingredient that unlocks a dreamy, creamy taste!” quote=”This recipe for creamy tuna melts has a secret ingredient that unlocks a dreamy, creamy taste!”]The classic tuna melt recipe is mayo-based tuna salad spread on bread, topped with cheese and either run under the broiler open-faced, or topped with another piece of bread and grilled in a pan.  I usually go for the open-face approach when making a tuna melt, myself.

The one thing that can make a tuna melt less than amazing, however, is if the tuna salad turns dry during the broiling or grilling.  There is nothing sadder than taking that first, highly-anticipated bite and not getting the melty scrumptiousness that you were dreaming of.  So my tuna melt quest was all about making sure that the tuna salad was as creamy and dreamy as humanly possible.

And the answer?  The answer is…

Cottage cheese. Please don’t leave me.  Don’t do what the Southern husband did and practically fall on your knees in tuna melt horror.

The cottage cheese gets mixed in with the regular tuna salad ingredients of mayo and celery, and I like to add a little chopped garlic and lemon juice just to give things the right amount of sass.  Once the cottage cheese is mixed in and heats up with the rest of the tuna salad, it will melt into everything else, and all you will notice is the gorgeous creamy texture and just a hint of tang.  We are talking tuna melt PERFECTION, people.

I like to slather the tuna salad onto split, lightly toasted English muffins, so the tuna mixture can settle into all the nooks and crannies.  I top the whole thing with loads of finely shredded cheddar, run it all under the broiler just until the cheddar is gorgeously melty, and then I serve it up.

And there you have it.  Secret ingredient, delectably dreamy, creamy tuna melts.  I won’t tell about the cottage cheese part if you don’t.


Creamy Tuna Melts

  • Author: Kate Jackson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 minute
  • Total Time: 11 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • 2 English muffins
  • 12 ounces tuna, drained and crumbled
  • 1 cup small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

Prevent your screen from going dark


  1. Spit the muffins with a fork and lightly toast them.
  2. Mix together tuna, cottage cheese, mayo, celery, garlic and lemon juice.
  3. Divide the tuna mixture among the four muffin halves. Top with cheese.
  4. Line a rimmed baking dish with foil and put the tuna melts on the baking dish.
  5. Broil the tuna melts until the cheese is melted, watching carefully as this goes fast!
  6. Serve at once, TELLING NOBODY about the cottage cheese part.

Keywords: kid friendly creamy tuna melts

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