Buffalo Tuna Melt, or What to Make When You Accidentally Skip Dinner

Average ()
high-protein lunches: buffalo tuna melt
Photo/Styling: Taryn Pire

Ever spend all afternoon dreaming about what you’re going to make for dinner, only to end up accidentally skipping it altogether after traffic/errands/laziness/life got in the way? We feel your struggle. Instead of scarfing down a handful of pretzels between bath time and bedtime and calling it a meal, we’re betting that everything you need to make a Buffalo tuna melt is already hiding in your pantry.

Canned tuna never fails to fill us up when we’re busy; plus, it’s protein-rich, versatile and shelf-stable. But instead of going the usual route that may feel like settling (read: noshing on cold tuna and crackers), we like serving the fish on a warm, toasty sandwich. Here, we spruce it up with spicy, vinegary Buffalo sauce and cool ranch dressing, plus diced celery and carrots for crunch. Grilled in butter and piled high with melty mozzarella, this wing-inspired handheld is far from an impromptu struggle meal (despite being just as easy to make).


One 5-ounce can tuna

3 tablespoons celery and carrot mix, diced

3 tablespoons Buffalo sauce

2 tablespoons ranch dressing

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (optional)

1 tablespoon butter

2 slices thick-sliced white, rye or sourdough bread

2 to 3 slices mozzarella cheese

Ranch, for dipping


1. Open and drain the tuna. Add it to a bowl with the celery and carrot pieces. Add the Buffalo sauce, ranch dressing and pepper, then stir to combine.

2. Once the tuna is prepared, heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the bread to the skillet and toast until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Flip one slice of bread over in the pan. Spoon the tuna onto the toasted side and gently spread and flatten it to evenly distribute. If you have leftover tuna, cover and refrigerate it to enjoy tomorrow. Layer mozzarella cheese onto the tuna. Pick up the second slice of bread and put it toasted-side down onto the cheese to help it melt. Flip the entire sandwich over and reduce heat to low. (Feel free to regrease the pan with a little more butter or cooking spray before placing the sandwich back down.)

4. Cover the sandwich and continue to toast it until the cheese is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
  • 688 calories

  • 42g fat

  • 32g carbs

  • 47g protein

  • 6g sugars

Powered By

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

Made it? Rate it!

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...