When a BLT is good, it is SO good. I’m talking extra crispy bacon, ripe summer tomatoes, crispy lettuce and creamy mayo all sandwiched between *perfectly* toasted bread. My only complaint with BLTs is that they’re not super filling. On a mission to change that, I decided to develop a sandwich that has all the flavors of a BLT with the heartiness of a tuna melt. I take my tuna salads *very* seriously because, similar to the BLT, when they are good, they can rock your world! BUT, I think they often are wrongly associated with sad cafeteria lunches. This tuna salad has everything you are craving in a flavor combo – it’s sweet, salty, crispy, crunchy AND creamy.
I’ve been working on my ideal combo of flavors for years. For this salad, I added sweet, crisp apples, crispy, salty bacon and fresh chopped dill. Take my word for it – I could easily eat this bowl by itself with a fork for lunch or dinner! But it’s the next step that makes it into our BLT Tuna Melt.
Critical to the BLT side of things of course was the lettuce and tomato. I chose Boston lettuce because the size of the lettuce leaves fit perfectly on a piece of bread, but use whatever you have on hand. If your tomatoes happen to be super juicy summer tomatoes, this recipe will be even more off the charts. Finally, it wouldn’t be a *melt* without cheese. I tried Swiss and provolone and provolone was hands down the winner. (Swiss was a little too overpowering in flavor!) You might think it’s a little crazy to melt the cheese with the lettuce also going in the oven, but it happens so fast that the lettuce leaves barely get touched by the heat. Plus, the order of the stacking makes a difference here for ultimate sturdiness – tuna salad goes first, then lettuce pieces, then tomato slices and provolone.
One last thing we must cover – the bread!! I can’t stress enough how incredible the sliced brioche is in this recipe. Can you see how yellow it is? That’s from all the BUTTER in the dough! That butter gives such a richness to the bread AND helps it toast up. Another trick – I spread mayo on the bread and toast in the oven for optimal browning and ease. When my Grandma Mary Ann had 8 kids, she toasted bread in the oven for efficiency and I love to do that anytime I’m making sandwiches for more than myself – both in her memory and for smarter, faster cooking!
Every single layer of this BLT Tuna Melt has a purpose and comes together for absolutely supreme flavor! I hope you’ll try the recipe on Food Network and let me know what you think 💛