It’s time to take Toast Tuesday up a level. Or up about 10 levels.
Actually, this tuna melt should be crowned Emperor of the kingdom of Toast Tuesday and make all the other toasts bow down and bring him gifts of avocado and cheese.
Have I gone too far?
Perhaps, but you need to understand how amazingly delicious and flavorful and crisp and melty and wonderful this tuna melt actually is. Now, I know some of you may be skeptical. It’s easy to turn your nose up at tuna from a can, and maybe you’ve even had a bad experience with poorly cured commercial olives. But trust me on this one: Opt for high quality or “fresh” (olive bar) Spanish olives and a good balsamic vinegar, and the flavors blend together so beautifully that even the biggest olive hater will fall in love.
Toasty whole grain bread is topped with creamy avocado, the BEST tuna mixture–featuring Greek yogurt, Dijon, balsamic, oregano, crisp bell pepper and red onion, Spanish olives and sweet sun-dried tomato–and finally finished with the rich, hickory infused love that is smoked gouda. Now THAT is toast that rules.
If you can’t find smoked gouda, go for smoked cheddar, smoked mozzarella (Can you tell I like smoked cheeses?), provolone, or muenster. Or try another favorite and let me know how it turns out!
The secret to getting everything warm while keeping the bread perfectly crisp, even under mounds of moist and melty toppings, is to
- Put the bread/melt directly on the grates of the toaster oven, or on a pizza pan WITH HOLES in the oven/toaster oven.
- Toast the bread by itself first, before adding any toppings.
- Wait until the last couple minutes to add the cheese. (This way, it can toast longer and ensure the tuna mixture is heated through without the cheese bubbling and hardening first.
There’s not much to it, but these steps will make a huge difference for the textures of your tuna melt (or any hot toast stack, for that matter). Crispy, succulent, melt-in-your-mouth PERFECTION.
And you can feel good about your protein- and nutrient-packed, 100% whole grain, waistline-friendly lunch or dinner. Chunk lite tuna is a lean (and cheap!) protein source that’s low in mercury; nonfat Greek yogurt (no mayo!) keeps the tuna salad light on calories; sun-dried tomatoes are nutritional powerhouses with cancer-preventing antioxidant activity; and all the bold flavor makes a cheese overdose unnecessary (although studies are finding that cheese consumption does NOT contribute to heart disease risk despite its saturated fat content…YAY! One review here).
You can even prep the tuna salad ahead of time, and a healthy lunch or light dinner comes together in a snap!
- 1 slice | 43 g whole grain bread
- 1-3 oz can chunk light tuna, drained
- 1/2 Tbsp nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 tsp Dijon
- 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Black pepper to taste
- Sprinkle dried oregano
- ~1.5 Tbsp diced red bell pepper
- ~1/2 Tbsp diced red onion
- 5 g sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 pimento-stuffed Spanish olive, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp chopped fresh chives (opt.)
- 12 g ripe avocado
- 1/2 oz smoked gouda, thinly sliced*
- Preheat toaster oven or oven to 425º.
- Drain tuna well. (Use a fork to press tuna as water drains out of can.) Add to a small mixing bowl with Greek yogurt, Dijon, balsamic, black pepper and dried oregano; stir with a fork to evenly combine. Then stir in diced red bell pepper, red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, olive, and chives.
- Meanwhile, place bread directly (!) on the grates of a toaster oven, or on a pizza pan with holes (!) in the oven or toaster oven. Toast at 425º 1-2 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.
- Remove** toast and use a fork to mash/spread on avocado. Then add tuna mixture and gently press to even out.
- Return toast (with avo + tuna mixture) to toaster oven grates/pizza pan in oven for about 5 minutes, or until tuna mixture is heated through. Then remove and quickly add cheese. Return to oven for 2-3 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted. Slice diagonally if desired and enjoy immediately.
- *If you cannot find smoked gouda, try smoked mozzarella, smoked cheddar, provolone, or muenster.
- **Setting the warm toast on metal with ventilation (i.e. a wire rack or holey pizza pan on top of cool stovetop grates) when working with it keeps moisture from accumulating and ensures that the bread stays crisp. For this reason, I also like to place the finished melt on a folded piece of paper towel on my plate to absorb moisture.