Food & Drink

Tuna melt toastie recipe

This dish takes your average tuna and sweetcorn sarnie to the next level.

Tuna melt toastie from Max’s World Of Sandwiches
Tuna melt toastie from Max’s World Of Sandwiches

“The idea for this hot little pocket of heaven came to me while eating an allegedly great tuna melt in Elephant and Castle. While eating it, I thought to myself, ‘God, I wish this was a toastie and not all floppy’,” sandwich expert Max Halley remembers.

And so the tuna melt toastie was born – and Halley says this recipe makes a bit too much filling, giving you the perfect excuse to make another sandwich afterwards.

Tuna melt toastie


(Makes 1 sandwich)

1 not-posh tin of tuna (unless you fancy one), in water or oil, emptied into one side of a large sieve and drained in the sink for at least 10 minutes

¼ onion, cut into tiny chunks, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, drained in the sieve

5–6 pickled jalapeño slices, cut into little chunks, drained in the sieve

½ big gherkin, grated and put in another bit of that sieve

1 heaped tsp tinned sweetcorn (full sugar), drained in the sieve

¼ celery stalk, cut lengthways into 3–4 pieces, then into little chunks

Splash of malt vinegar

4tbsp Hellmann’s mayo

3tbsp your best extra virgin olive oil

2 slices of Hovis-type, supermarket white bread

75g grated supermarket mozzarella

Salt and pepper

Tuna melt toastie from Max's World Of Sandwiches
Tuna melt toastie from Max’s World Of Sandwiches (Robert Billington/PA)


1. Put the drained tuna in a bowl with the onion, jalapeños, grated gherkin, sweetcorn, celery, malt vinegar, a big pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper and 3 tablespoons of the mayo. Mix everything together with a fork and, once combined, a tablespoon at a time, mix your tastiest olive oil into the tuna mix. Be sure to completely combine each spoonful of oil before adding the next, or Kenji López-Alt (whose little trick this is) will be very cross indeed, I should imagine.

2. Spread the remaining tablespoon of mayo on one side of both the slices of bread and put one of them mayo-side down on the work surface in front of you. Sprinkle half the mozzarella on it. Put some tuna mix on top of that and spread it evenly all over the sandwich, leaving a little gap round the edges. If you can, echo the shape of the toastie’s pockets, with less in the middle, if you know what I mean, but no worries if you don’t.

3. Put the rest of the cheese on top and put the other piece of bread on, mayo’d side up. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, mayo works better on the outside of toasties than butter. It’s made of oil and egg, making it brown beautifully, crisp well and taste fantastic. Using a spatula, or your hands, put the sandwich in the machine, shut the lid and wait until it’s hot as hell and a delectable colour.

Max’s World Of Sandwiches by Max Halley and Benjamin Benton is published by Hardie Grant Books, priced £25. Photography by Robert Billington. Available now.