Tuna Melts with Sicilian Aioli

Lunch / Dinner

Tuna Melts with Sicilian Aioli

Tuna melts are just fancied-up tuna salad sandwiches that have accessorized — with better bread, cheese, and tomatoes. They’re good. But, if you always make them with canned tuna and plain mayo, these are in a league all their own. Bursting with fresh flavors, these tuna melts will blow all others out of the water.

Start with fresh, grilled tuna, which means more meaty, less water-logged texture. Then turn ordinary mayo into aioli. Aioli is just garlic mayonnaise, but adding parsley, anchovy paste, citrus, and pepper flakes takes it from mundane to amazing. Plus, it’s a built-in safety net — hiding any dryness if you accidentally overcook the tuna.

Choose a sturdy artisan bread for this hefty tuna salad, and to keep with the Italian flavors, go with provolone cheese instead of Cheddar. Then it’s back to the normal tuna melt experience for tomatoes and broiling. This sandwich is rich, so pair it with a fresh, crunchy strawberry salad.


2 servings

Total Time

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Preheat grill to high. Brush grill grate with oil. Preheat broiler to high with rack 5–6 inches from element.

For the tuna, grill tuna, covered, 23 minutes per side. Let tuna cool, then cut into ½-inch pieces.

For the aioli, combine mayonnaise, parsley, garlic, zests, lemon juice, orange juice, anchovy paste, and pepper flakes; season with salt and black pepper. Gently stir tuna into aioli.

Brush both sides of bread with oil and broil until golden on both sides, 1½ minutes per side. Divide tuna salad between bread slices. Top each sandwich with two tomato slices and ⅓ cup cheese. Broil sandwiches until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, 23 minutes.


For the best grilling, pat the tuna dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.


To keep from breaking up the tuna too much, gently stir it into the aioli before putting on the bread.


Provolone adds great flavor, but once melted, also serves to hold these sandwiches in place.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

Calories: 807

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 52g 80%

Saturated Fat 13g 65%

Cholesterol 127mg 42%

Sodium 1095mg 45%

Carbs 23g 7%

Fiber 4g 16%

Protein 60g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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