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Canned tuna is the star of these cheesy, easy heirloom Tuna Melts!

Grandma Ruth Jean's Tuna Melts

While we’re on an heirloom recipe kick, I thought it was high time I shared these easy, cheesy Tuna Melts with you, which I actually photographed these last June when I first got my DSLR! Guilty as charged! I have been hiding them from you, keeping them all to myself.

Grandma Ruth Jean's Tuna Melts Plated
Roast beef melt with swiss cheese melting down the sides.
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I can tell you from personal experience that, as an avid cook, there is nothing as exciting as receiving a packet of vintage family recipe cards in the mail. Last year my Step-Grandmother Carol sent me a package full of my Grandmother’s original recipe cards. I promptly called my Dad to share in my elation and he told me, as I read through each card, which recipes were his favorites, which were his dad’s favorites and which were his sisters’ favorites!

These Tuna Melts made it on his list of favorites and I completely understand why! I think the secret is the sweet relish.

Sweet Relish

I remember the first time I ever saw anyone put sweet relish on tuna fish. It was my now husband and I was revolted! He forced me, okay cajoled me, into trying it, promising me that it was delicious. And he was right! I now rarely eat tuna fish without it.

Grandma Ruth Jean knew that the salty-sweetness of relish pairs just perfectly with tuna.

Grandma Ruth Jean's Tuna Melts

Something about the simplicity of these burgers makes them that much more special! Mix it up, wrap them in foil, bake, then eat. How easy was that? Okay, fine, there is some minor chopping involved.

Grandma Ruth Jean's Tuna Melts

The chips on the side? Those are a nod to my father. They’re BBQ, and we know how much he loves barbecue! After the photo shoot I put some of the chips on my tuna melt sandwich and it was amazing!

Grandma Ruth Jean's Tuna Melts

I kept these tuna burgers fairly true to Grandma Ruth Jean’s original recipe; however I did reduce the amount of mayo because I’m not a huge fan and I used cheddar cheese because I’m allergic to American Cheese. #funfact

I’ve included the original amounts and ingredients in parentheses in the recipe below in case you want to try it out!

Grandma Ruth Jean's Tuna Melts
5 from 1 ratings

Ruth Jean’s Tuna Melts

Canned tuna is the star of these cheesy, easy heirloom Tuna Melts!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 7-oz can tuna fish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green peppers
  • 2 tablespoons sweet relish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped hard boiled eggs
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or American
  • ¼ cup miracle whip light the original calls for ½ cup mayo


  • Preheat the oven to 350°
  • Mix ingredients well but lightly. Make four patties and wrap each in aluminum foil.
  • Bake 30 minutes in preheated oven. Serve on rolls!


These patties will be loose. They will not hold together like burgers. Don’t fret, my dad said this was how his mom made them ?


Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 377mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 425IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 205mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: lunch
Cuisine: American
Calories: 148
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Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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  1. How beautiful to receive some old recipes from your Grandma. Hope you will post some more from that list. This one must be really delicious.

  2. Lindsey I will have to try these, I do not remember them! But so remember cranking out the ginger & chocolate chip cookies by the dozen!

    Love the blog!

    1. Thanks, Aunt Susan! And happy birthday!!! I don’t have a recipe for ginger and chocolate chip cookies! Those sound delicious! I’d love if you could snap a photo and send it my way! I’m always in for another cookie recipe. I do have a recipe for her Chocolate Drops that sound amazing and are next on my list 🙂

  3. Have totally forgotten these but will definitely try them again! Thanks Lindsey for posting the recipe.

  4. What an amazing recipe – vintage cooking si always so fab! These burgers look unreal and that sweet relish soounds like the best thing ever! xx

    1. I heart vintage recipes too! Well, most of the time…sometimes it’s best they stayed in the past! lol!

  5. I love tuna salad and I am always looking for different ways to try it. I usually use relish in mine too. I recently found a recipe on All Recipes that called for curry powder. I liked the first time I tried it but didn’t care for it as much the second go around (does that ever happen to you?) Curry though is just not one of my favorite flavors. I have never tried hard-boiled eggs so this is new to me as well.

    1. I have a curried chicken salad recipe that I love, which I should share sometime, come to think of it. I’m not sure how I feel about the combo of curry and tunafish, but I’m willing to try most things once. That definitely happens to me where I like something and then it loses it appeal upon repeat trials! I hope you do try this out! I liked the addition of the eggs and the onions and peppers.

    1. Haha! Thanks, Bill! This is definitely any easy, foolproof recipe! My paternal grandmother was good for those! I have some others of hers that I have been making for a while but haven’t photographed and shared yet!