Growing up, the only way I had ever eaten tuna was in tuna salad. Depending on the occasion, tuna salad could mean tuna mixed with mayo, onions, and celery stuffed between two slices of wheat bread or tuna salad could mean the pasta salad (using the same ingredients plus pasta and carrots) traditionally served at potlucks. I thoroughly enjoyed both versions and have made my own variations over the years incorporating herbs and other vegetables to increase the nutritional content.
It wasn’t until a recent trip to Arizona that I had my first tuna melt. Being that I had only eaten packaged tuna in cold dishes, I was a bit hesitant to try tuna warmed. This tuna melt was loaded with sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, a touch of mayo and lemon juice and after adding a sprinkle of cheese; I couldn’t resist and ate the whole thing.
After returning home from my trip, I knew I had to give my own version of a tuna melt a try. Mixing together ingredients from my kitchen like cherry tomatoes, avocado, and onion made this an easy dinner with bursts of flavor and healthy fats. I used whole-grain sandwich thins as a base, but English muffins or whole wheat bread would work well too.
Tomato and Avocado Tuna Melt
2-3 oz. albacore tuna packed in water, drained
1 tsp light mayo
1 wedge lemon, juiced
1 tsp sweet onion, finely diced
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup avocado, diced
1 whole-grain sandwich thin, split in half
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
In a small bowl, combine tuna, mayo, lemon juice, onion, cherry tomatoes, and avocado. Toss lightly to combine.
Line a small cookie sheet with foil and preheat broiler. Add tuna mixture to sandwich thins and place on foil. Season with salt and pepper as desired and sprinkle with cheese. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to brown. Serve with a small green salad or side of vegetables.