Growing up, one of my favorite meals that my Mama would make were her tuna melts. Now, I’m sure they were most likely like every other tuna melt that Mama’s across the country were making for their families, but my Mama’s tuna melts always tasted extra special. Even better than the tuna melts that I’d sometimes have when I ate at a friend’s house.
I’m not sure if her tuna melts were better because she buttered and toasted her bread so that each bite was crunchy and held up to the tuna salad or if it was the cheese. She would slice a hunk off of a hoop of cheese and then cut into individual slices. Then, she would let me help her by peeling off the outer red rind on the cheese and carefully place a slice on each tuna melt before she slid the pan into the lower oven. My job was to stand and watch the tuna melts through the oven window to alert Mama as soon as the cheese began to slightly bubble on top – signaling the perfect amount of melt on the cheese.
The other night, I was rushing around doing laundry while I was also packing clothes into the RV for my husband’s and son’s all-guy’s camping trip for the weekend. Time completely slipped away from me until my sweet Little Buddy came up beside me and said, “Mama, what’s for supper?”
Now, you should know by now that I simply do not forget meals. I’m usually planning what’s for lunch as I make breakfast and what we’ll have for dessert with supper before I’ve gotten the breakfast dishes washed. It’s just what I do. So, for my ten year old sweetie to have to ask me what was for supper, I knew I had better get busy in a hurry to get supper on the table.
That’s when I remembered how quickly Mama could have her tuna melts on the table after coming home from a long day at work.
I decided to spice Mama’s recipe up just a titch and added a seeded and diced jalapeno to the tuna salad. Little Buddy helped me pile on the cheese and took the much-honored spot of watching through the oven window for the cheese to melt.
Within a few minutes, we were sitting down to the table to say our blessing. I said an extra thank-you for my Mama’s tuna melts and oven windows.
Here’s how I made them.
Preheat your oven to 350• F.
Melt butter into a skillet over medium heat. Add in your bread and toast on one side, about 2-3 minutes.
As your bread is toasting, make your tuna salad.
Flip your bread to toast the other side.
Then, pile your tuna salad onto your toasted bread.
Don’t be stingy.
Pile it high!
Unlike my Mama, I didn’t have hoop cheese in the house so I decided to use a grated Colby Monteray Jack cheese blend.
Slide your skillet into the oven just long enough for your cheese to melt, about 3-5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve warm.
These are delicious with a side salad for supper or right by themselves for a very filling lunch.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4-6 slices of bread
- 2 cans water packed tuna
- ¼ cup chopped celery
- ¼ cup diced onion
- 1 seeded and diced jalapeno
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Melt butter in heavy bottomed pan or skillet over medium heat. Place bread slices in pan and toast one side for about 2-3 minutes. Turn over and toast other side. Turn off heat under pan or skillet.
- Combine all ingredients for tuna salad and spoon evenly onto toasted bread.
- Top with grated cheese and place into oven until cheese melts, about 5 minutes.
- Serve warm.
These are delicious with a side salad for supper or right by themselves for a very filling lunch!