tuna melt on focaccia

Girl in black shirt on a sailboat holding a slice of tuna melt on focaccia.

Grilled sandwiches on a cold and windy day are so satisfying! But even when we’re summer cruising, this is a meal that everyone seems to love and that I can prepare when our stores get low. I use the same dough recipe here as I do for my pizza, but I bake it in a single pan to achieve the perfect pillowy thickness for sandwiches. The melted cheddar cheese and tuna on fresh focaccia—what could be better? By the way, if you are in a crunch for time, check your local grocery store or bakery for other good focaccia options.tter.

tuna melt on focaccia

Serves: 4
Cooking Time: overnight


  • Focaccia:
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1½ cups room-temperature water
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Tuna melt:
  • 2 (5-ounce) cans albacore tuna
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 slices medium-sharp cheddar cheese



In a medium bowl, blend the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the water and stir until you have a wet, sticky dough. Cover it with a cloth or plastic wrap; let the dough sit at room temperature until it has doubled in size and the surface is dotted with bubbles, about 2 hours.


When the first rise is complete, dust a cutting board with flour and use a bowl scraper to transfer the dough to the board. Lightly dust the dough, and fold it over onto itself three times to form a flat rectangle. Cover it with a cloth and let sit in a draft-free spot to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.


Heat the oven to 450°F. Using some of the olive oil, generously coat a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet. Place the dough in the center of the oiled pan. Using your fingertips, work the dough out to the edges of the pan. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt if desired.


Transfer the focaccia to the hot oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the crust turns golden brown on the top and around the edges. Set aside to cool.


To make the sandwiches, heat a sandwich grill or medium sauté pan on medium. Cut the sheet of focaccia into six squares and split them horizontally. You will have two extra servings to use later.


Drain the tuna, and break it up with a fork in a small bowl. Add the mayonnaise and dill. Mix, then season with salt and pepper. Spread the tuna on the focaccia. Layer the tomato and cheddar cheese slices over the tuna and cover with the tops of the bread.


Grill until one side of the bread is golden brown and the cheese begins to melt. Flip and finish browning the sandwiches. Serve warm.

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