Today we are making one of my favorite self-isolation meals, quarantine friendly tuna melts with a tangy tuna salad, melted cheddar cheese, and gluten free bread.

If you love tuna melts, you should definitely check out this easy canned tuna tostada recipe and tuna poke tapas!

A stack of quarantine friendly tuna melts.

Day number ??? of self quarantine

By this point in April we’ve all been (hopefully) self-isolating for awhile now. For my family it’s been over a month, which has felt like over a year, and if I’m being really honest, we’ve lost track of the days.

For us and most other families in America, this pandemic means eating a lot of home cooked meals. As a food blogger, most people assume that’s an easy task for me, but it’s not!

Like the rest of us, we like ordering pizza every once in awhile and going out to brunch on the weekends. It’s a much needed break in all of the mixing, chopping, and washing of dishes.

And as much as I love supporting local restaurants, with everything so uncertain right now, we’re focusing on minimizing our exposure.

So yeah, lot’s of home cooked meals.

Thankfully, these quarantine friendly tuna melts have been a saving grace. They require 0 stove top cooking, very minimal chopping, and a few simple ingredients.

A quarantine friendly tuna melt with chips and a pickle.

A childhood classic

Even though tuna sandwiches were never the most popular meal back in elementary school, that didn’t stop my parents from packing it in my lunch box weekly. Anyone else?

Canned tuna fish is one of those non-perishables that most people make a face at. It has a strong smell and it’s canned fish (no way to sugar coat that). Not exactly the most dreamy description of an ingredient.

That said, with a few simple ingredients, that can of tuna fish in your quarantine pantry can turn into something elevated and truly delicious.

Today we’re using mayo, diced pickles, diced celery, and a splash of hot sauce. I’m using the celery I had in the fridge that was on it’s way out, but if you are running low on fresh produce, you can definitely leave it out.

Assembling your sandwiches

Throwing these quarantine friendly tuna melts together is about as easy as it gets. Start by making your tuna salad – drain your tuna, toss all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Next, place some of the tuna salad on one of your slices of bread. On the other slice, add a slice of cheddar cheese.

If you’ve got a toaster oven, this is the perfect place to toast your sandwiches. If not, the oven will work too. I usually just use the toaster setting on my oven but if you’re using your big oven, 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes will do the trick.

The idea is to warm things up just enough to melt the cheese. That way, when you squish your slices together, the melty cheddar marries everything together. Heaven in a bite.

A tack of quarantine Friendly Tuna Melts.

Did I mention these go really well with some chips and a pickle?

A quarantine friendly tuna melt with chips and a pickle.

Happy cooking!

Salima written in cursive
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A tack of quarantine Friendly Tuna Melts.

Quarantine Friendly Tuna Melts

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  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: Sandwiches, Sandwich, Lunch
  • Method: Toasted
  • Cuisine: American


  • 8 slices of bread
  • 2 cans of tuna (drained) 
  • 1 pickle, minced
  • 1 stick of celery, minced
  • 1/4 cup mayo 
  • 1/2 tbsp hot sauce (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 4 slices of cheddar cheese 


  1. In a bowl, combine tuna, minced pickle, minced celery, mayo, hot sauce, and salt and pepper. Mix well and taste to see if it needs more salt/pepper/hot sauce. 
  2. Assemble sandwiches. On half of the bread slices add tuna salad, on the other half add cheddar cheese slices.
  3. Toast in the toaster oven or in your big oven (400 degrees for 5-7 minutes) until cheese gets melty. Fold your halves together and enjoy with a pickle and some chips!