#95 – BBQ Tuna Melt

#95 – BBQ Tuna Melt

This is Recipe Roundup, episode 95. We all know that pulled pork barbeque is delicious but it often takes time that we don’t always have in our schedules. If you do have the time, check out episode 49 for my easy slow cooker version of pulled pork. But if you want to get your necessary serving of barbecue sauce, look no further than a can of tuna fish!


Admittedly, this recipe is just as easily made with canned chicken. However, I personally find that canned tuna is relatively closer to fresh tuna than canned chicken is to fresh chicken. It’s still great in a pinch, but I personally find it to be just as metallic and fishy tasting but without those Omega-3s and other sea minerals we can get from tuna. If you do find this mix of fish and barbecue to be tantalizing, exchange the tuna for sardine, mackerel, herring, or salmon if you decide to eat it more than once a week! Being higher on the food chain, tuna have relatively high levels of mercury in their flesh – these other fish can be prepared in exactly the same way and don’t pose the same toxicity. 


Perhaps to some, tuna is just a stinky mess – and I respect that. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit one of my café favorites is a tuna melt. Warm, buttery bread with tangy fish, melted cheese, and fresh onion and tomato? Count me in. 


This classic is just made better by barbecue sauce. You can use your favorite store bought or homemade barbecue sauce for this one, but I recommend opting for thick, sweet styles over thin, vinegar based ones if you are at all tuna-averse. My personal favorite brand is Sweet Baby Ray’s, particularly the “Sweet n’ Spicy” Variety. 


You’ll need 

1 can or two packets of tuna

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon pickle relish or chopped pickled jalapenos

Sprinkle of garlic powder and black pepper

2-3 tablespoons of barbecue sauce. 

Bread of choice

Slice of Cheddar cheese

Sliced tomato


First, toast your bread lightly. This prevents any sogginess during the grilling process. 


In a small bowl, mix the tuna, bbq sauce, onion, garlic, and pepper until completely combined. 


Spread one side of each piece of bread with butter or mayonnaise, whichever you prefer for grilling. Place a piece of cheddar on the bread then spread with tuna, followed by a slice of tomato and another slice of cheese, and finally the other piece of bread, butter side out. 


In a skillet on low, begin to grill the sandwich. I recommend covering with a lid for the first several minutes to warm up all of the ingredients. 


One you notice that the cheese is melting, raise the heat slightly and continue to cook to your grill preference. 


Allow the sandwich to rest for a few minutes before slicing diagonally and enjoying with some potato chips or fries!


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