Cheddar Pesto Tuna Melt.

Rustic whole grain bread toasted and topped with creamy sharp cheddar cheese, baby spinach, pesto tuna, sliced tomato, sliced red onion and more cheddar. Served open-faced, so this “tuna melt” is really a “tuna toast” –  that has a much trendier ring to it, doesn’t it?

Whatever you call it, this flavor-packed, tuna sandwiches tops all other tuna melts and toasts!

Cheddar Pesto Tuna Melt via

I created this Cheddar Pesto Tuna Melt recipe for the dairy farm families of New England as part of an ongoing partnership. I was compensated for this post, but my love for dairy and all opinions are my own.

You don’t often see tuna melts on restaurants menus, in magazines or online much anymore, do you? I’m not sure why, because they are one of the greatest quick, simple and delicious sandwiches ever. And they’re a classic. Plus, who doesn’t always have canned tuna and slices of cheddar on hand? Those are staples in our house.

This Cheddar Pesto Tuna Melt is not your grandmother’s tuna melt. It has no mayo … I do not like mayo in my tuna (well, unless my mom makes it, but I won’t eat anyone else’s). Instead this tuna melt uses tuna packed in oil and pesto (so good!) and has lots of melted cheddar goodness. Here’s the canned tuna I used, below. I used to always buy tuna packed in water, but the packed in oil variety has so much more flavor, so I prefer that to the water variety.

I love freshness and crunch on my sandwiches (it can’t always be ALL about the cheese, right?), so I’ve added some veggies I had on hand. Baby spinach, crunchy and tangy red onion and tomatoes from our garden.  The veggies also make this tuna melt feel a bit less heavy than the tuna melts you used to know.

Cheddar Pesto Tuna Melt via

After you assemble the ingredients on the toast, you’ll broil it for a couple minutes until the cheese bubbles and you’ll top it with freshly ground pepper. This tuna melt is best served piping hot out of the oven.

Cheddar Pesto Tuna Melt via

This Cheddar Pesto Tuna Melt is packed with protein, fiber, calcium, healthy fats, and most of all, flavor. It’s the perfect Saturday or Sunday afternoon sandwich – or any day you’re working from home … because no one wants to smell tuna, especially hot tuna at the office. But, at home, totally fair game. Or, pair the melt with a bowl of veggie soup for a tasty weeknight dinner.

Cheddar Pesto Tuna Melt via

Here’s how to make this Cheddar Pesto Tuna Melt:

Cheddar Pesto Tuna Melt via
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5 from 1 vote

Cheddar Pesto Tuna Melt

Rustic whole grain bread toasted and topped with creamy sharp cheddar cheese, baby spinach, pesto tuna fish, tomato, red onion and more cheddar. This flavor-packed tuna melt tops all others!
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2


  • 2 slices rustic whole grain bread
  • 6 slices sharp cheddar cheese divided
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach packed
  • 1 5 oz can Albacore Tuna With Pesto & Olive Oil
  • 4 grape tomatoes slices widthwise
  • 4 thin slices red onion
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to broil. 
  • Toast bread slices in a toaster. Top each slice of toast with 2 slices of cheddar. Top cheddar with baby spinach, tuna, tomato and red onion. Top each slice of toast with one more slice of cheddar. 
  • Place toast on an oven safe plate and put under the broiler, keeping a close eye on it so the toast doesn't burn. Broil until cheese is melted and begins to bubble and lightly brown. Remove from oven. Top with freshly ground pepper. Serve. 


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Cheddar Pesto Tuna Melt. Rustic whole grain bread toasted and topped with cheddar, baby spinach, pesto tuna, tomatoes, red onion and more cheddar on a skillet. Melted to perfection.

Did you know?

  • Cheese contributes only 5% of the total calories to the U.S. diet, but delivers:
    – 21% of your daily calcium (after milk, it’s the #2 source of dietary calcium for Americans)1
    – 11% of phosphorus
    – 9% of protein
    – 9% of vitamin A
    – 8% of zinc
  • New England is home to nearly 1,500 dairy farming families.
  • More than 99% of the milk produced on New England dairy farms is bottled or turned into cheese, butter, yogurt and ice cream in New England or New York.

For information about the dairy farm families of New England, school nutrition, and health and wellness topics, visit New England Dairy & Food Council and Must Be the Milk.