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Diner-Style Tuna Melts

The recipe and photography for this post was provided by Carolyn Hodges of The Dinner Shift.

No-fuss meals are the name of the game in my house. My kids never seem to tire of PB&J or turkey wraps, but every once in a while it’s nice to switch up the routine. Inspired by one of our favorite diner standbys, these tuna melts call for a handful of basics, like canned tuna, cheddar cheese and English muffins. What’s even better is that they can be on the table in about 15 minutes making them ideal for lunch or even a weeknight dinner.

Diner-Style Tuna Melts on Pan

I love a tuna melt with a slice of fresh tomato, but my kids aren’t fans, so I’ll make about half without. If you don’t have English muffins, sliced bread works just as well. Be sure to toast the English muffins (or bread) a bit before topping with the tuna salad.

Tuna melts on pan
Diner-Style Tuna Melts
Cook time:
Prep time:
Total time:



  • 4 Heinen's whole wheat English muffins, split
  • 3 5 oz. cans Heinen’s solid white albacore tuna, drained
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1-2 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 oz. Heinen’s sharp cheddar cheese, sliced


  1. Preheat the broiler. Line the halved English muffins in a single layer on a sheet pan. Broil for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until lightly toasted.
  2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, flake apart the tuna with a fork. Stir in the celery, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper and mix until well-combined. Divide the tuna mixture among the toasted English muffin halves. Top some (or all) with 1-2 tomato slices, then top each with a slice of cheddar cheese.
  3. Return the pan to oven and broil for 2-4 minutes, or until cheese is melted, bubbly and beginning to turn golden brown in spots.
  4. Serve alongside a simple salad or fresh fruit.

Diner-Style Tuna Melts on Plate with Salad

Carolyn Hodges headshot
By Carolyn Hodges
Carolyn is a mom of boys and culinary dietitian in Cleveland, Ohio. The Dinner Shift is dedicated to helping busy moms get dinner on the table after the weekday grind, however that is defined for you and yours.

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