A tuna melt is a quick and easy lunch option and this recipe couldn't be easier as it's all done in the air fryer. Air Fryer Tuna Melt uses ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen, and it's easy to adapt with different add-ins too.
Gooey melted cheese on top of tuna in a crispy toasted sandwich. Total comfort food!
The best thing is, a tuna melt in the air fryer, only takes 8 minutes to cook. It's so easy to make and no risk of it getting burnt in a frying pan and it's totally hands off too.
When we want something filling and comforting, but ready in under 10 minutes we always go for some kind of cheese toastie. This recipe is a jazzed up version of our Air Fryer Cheese Toastie.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Bread - The great thing about this recipe is that any bread works. You want to use a bread that will fit in your air fryer, and the sturdier the better. We used a seeded loaf, but sourdough works well too.
- Butter - This helps the bread to get golden brown when cooked.
- Tuna - We used tuna in spring water.
- Mayo - This is a must to stop the tuna from being dry. It makes it nice and creamy. Full fat has the best flavour, but you can use reduced fat if you prefer. You could also use yoghurt to make it lighter.
- Mustard - A little bit of Dijon mustard adds a really nice flavour. You could use wholegrain mustard too.
- Cheese - We used a mature cheddar because it melts well, and a little goes a long way because of the strong flavour. Any cheese that melts well works.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make an air fryer tuna melt - Step by step
One: Butter the bread on one side each.
Two: Put the tuna, mayonnaise and mustard in a bowl (a). Mix well (b).
Three: Spread the tuna mixture over one unbuttered side of the bread (a). Add the grated cheese on top (b).
Four: Top with the other slice of buttered bread, butter side up, and put into the air fryer (a). Press the sandwich down. Cook at 180°C for 5 minutes, flip over and cook for 3 minutes (b).
This is quite a filling meal as it is, but there are lots of things that you can serve it with to bulk it out a bit more.
The great thing about this tuna melt in the air fryer is that it's so adaptable. Use this recipe as a base and then feel free to adapt it with the suggestions below.
Crunch - For some added texture, we love adding in some finely diced red onions or shallots or even some gherkins.
Spice - We LOVE a spicy tuna melt and that's easy to do with some diced pickled jalapeños. You could add a splash of your favourite spicy sauce too.
Cheese - A cheddar is best because it melts well without being too stringy. But, you could use mozzarella instead, which also melts well. We also like using Swiss or adding some crumbled feta on top of the cheddar for added flavour.
Open faced - If you want to make a lower carb version of this, then you can make an open faced sandwich buy just using one slice of bread.
Frequently Asked Questions
We really can't rate the Ninja Foodi Max Dual highly enough. It has a huge 9.5 litre capacity, it allows you to cook two different things at once and it has 6 different cooking functions. It is 65% more efficient than an oven and uses 75% less fat than traditional cooking. It is also dishwasher safe.
This is best eaten straight after making. However, if you do have leftovers then you can keep it in an air tight container in the fridge and then reheated it in the air fryer for 4 minutes.
You need to make sure that you have drained your tuna well, and also don't add too much mayo.
If the bread is burnt, it may be because the temperature is too high or the cooking time is too long. To prevent this, make sure to adjust the temperature and cooking time according to the thickness of the bread and the amount of cheese used. It is also important to keep an eye on the toastie while it is cooking to ensure that it does not burn - every air fryer cooks differently.
More tuna recipes
Air Fryer Tuna Melt
- 2 slice Bread
- 1 tablespoon Butter - room temperature
- 100 g (3.53 oz) Tuna - (drained weight
- 1 tablespoon Mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 30 g (0.25 cups) Mature cheddar - grated
- Use 1 tablespoon Butter to butter 2 slice Bread on one side each.
- Put 100 g Tuna, 1 tablespoon Mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard into a bowl and mix well.
- Spread the tuna mixture over one unbuttered side of the bread. Add 30 g Mature cheddar on top.
- Four: Top with the other slice of buttered bread, butter side up, and put into the air fryer. Press the sandwich down.
- Cook at 180°C for 5 minutes, flip over and cook for 3 minutes.
- Choose a sturdy bread that will be able to hold all the filling, as it can be quite heavy.
- Make sure to drain the tuna well and get all the excess liquid out of it, as you don't want to end up with a soggy tuna melt.
- If you are using butter on the outside, then make sure it is softened before you try to spread it, so it doesn't tear the bread apart.
- The buttered side of the bread should be on the outside of the toastie, as that is the bit that you want to get nice and golden.
- To make this gluten free, use your favourite brand of gluten free bread. Just be aware that this doesn't hold together quite so well.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.