Keto Tuna Melt Recipe – Open-Faced
This keto tuna melt is the perfect lunch or dinner recipe when you’re feeling lazy and craving some comfort food. The tuna salad is easy to whip up quickly, and you can either use the microwavable keto bread recipe included, or use your own choice of low carb bread options out there. You’ll love this cheesy delicious meal!
How to make a low carb tuna melt
You’re all probably more than familiar with how to make a tuna melt! Luckily, the main ingredients – tuna salad and cheese – are definitely keto friendly. The only thing that’s not usually keto friendly is the bread. In this case, we’ve made a low carb microwavable bread to solve that problem.
Start off by making your tuna salad. For a single-serving, I love using those little pouches of tuna in water (or oil). You can mix that up with a little mayo, celery, onion, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. Yum!
Then, make your bread. You’ll first melt a little butter in a bowl. Whisk in an egg, then stir in the almond flour, baking powder, parmesan, and a pinch of salt.
This is what it looks like prior to being microwaved:
Now, stick that in the microwave for about 90 seconds. This is what it will look like when it’s done:
It will be pretty fluffy. Remove it from the bowl and slice it in half. Now, you’ll add just a smidge more butter to a skillet, and lightly toast the bread for about 2 minutes on each side.
When it’s all set, you’ll pop that onto the baking sheet, top it with your tuna salad and some cheese, and bake it for a few minutes into that classic tuna melt!
As written, the entire recipe contains 691 calories with just 5 grams of net carbs and 56 grams of fat (heck yes!). That’s a good size meal for me, but if you’re looking for a lower calorie dish, you can split this with someone.
Here’s the macronutrient breakdown as far as percentages go:
- Fat – 74%
- Carbs – 5%
- Protein – 21%
Pretty good for a keto meal!
Keep in mind if you choose a pre-packaged low carb bread instead of the homemade bread, these might vary slightly. I’ve provided the tuna melt nutrition facts (outside of the homemade bread) separately in the recipe card so you can use that to figure out the total net carbs and macronutrient breakdown by adding it with whatever bread you use.
Here are some of the common questions that might come up as you make this recipe:
- Can you use a store-bought low carb bread? Sure! See below for recommendations.
- Can you skip the mayo? Yes. You can use mashed avocado instead of mayo if you’d prefer.
- Can you broil it instead of bake it? Sure. Just broil it for about 3-5 minutes. Our broiler is weirdly on the bottom of our oven so it’s usually easier to just preheat the oven and bake it.
- Can you eat a tuna melt when pregnant? According to our in-house nutritionist, it is safe to eat tuna melts in moderation while pregnant (provided you don’t have a fish allergy of course). Albacore tuna does have more mercury than other seafood choices, so it’s recommended that you limit overall consumption of albacore and choose other low-mercury choices most of the time. According to the FDA and EPA, it’s safe to eat one serving per week of albacore tuna. (However, keto during pregnancy is a whole separate question, and one that we always recommend discussing with a doctor or dietitian.)
- Can you use a can of tuna instead of a pouch? Sure! If you’re making servings for two people, a can is definitely the easier choice. A drained can of tuna is usually about 1.5x the size of a pouch (around 4.5 to 5 ounces versus 3 ounces), so you can multiply the tuna salad ingredients by about 1.5x to adjust. Or just add the other ingredients to taste!
Keto Bread Options
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The microwavable keto bread I’ve included in this recipe is easy to make and quick. But if you want, you can certainly try a store-bought low-carb bread. Here are a few options:
- Base Culture Keto Bread – This comes at a bit of a net carb cost compared to other low carb options, but it is by far the most similar to regular bread out of everything I’ve tasted thus far. It’s 4 grams of net carbs per slice (8 grams total minus 4 grams fiber), so if you used one slice with the tuna melt ingredients, it’d clock in at 6 grams net carbs. Two slices would bring you to 10 grams net carbs for the meal, which might be pushing it for some keto followers but could be fine for those just doing low carb.
- ALDI L’Oven Fresh Zero Net Carb Bread – For zero net carbs (9 grams total carbs minus 9 grams fiber per slice) and less than $5/loaf, this is probably something you’ll want to try out. Price can vary based on geographic area, but I know some people have spotted this as low as $2.99 near them – just like the cost of regular bread.
- Sola Golden Wheat Bread – I’ve never tried this bread, but it comes highly rated compared to many other varieties. I’ve read many reviews that it’s softy, chewy, and extremely similar to regular bread. Each slice clocks in at 3 grams of net carbs (7 grams total minus 4 grams fiber) with 5 grams of protein.
- Franz Zero Net Carb White Bread – This is another option that’s thought to be zero net carbs based on the calculation of 12 total grams carbohydrate per slice minus 12 grams of fiber. The reviews are mixed on this on Amazon; some say it’s very dry and stale tasting and others say it has a great flavor to it.
As an aside – some people believe several of these breads aren’t keto because they contain wheat. If that’s you, feel free to ignore those recommendations. Here, myself and my wife (who is a credentialed nutritionist) are firm believers that the only true “rule” of a keto diet is to be in the metabolic state of ketosis.
There is no such thing as an “official” keto diet; there are simply general guidelines that can help people achieve that state. Typically, one of those guidelines is no wheat/oats – because clearly, most of the time even small amounts of those in products will boost the carb count too high. However in these cases, they (for the most part) appear to be isolating wheat proteins and wheat/oat fiber.
There is *some* debate over whether the modified wheat starch (a form of fiber) in these products would be partially digested, which technically wouldn’t make that fiber zero net carbs, but that’s hard to assess. Since even with some digestion it would likely be a minimal amount of net carbs, we believe these options could be good choices for some keto followers.
Obviously, monitor your own response. *If any of the above breads kick you out of ketosis, it’s not a good choice for you.*
I hope you enjoy this keto tuna melt! It’s definitely a family-friendly hit in our house. If you get a chance to try it, please feel free to leave a recipe rating or comment below.
Keto Tuna Melt
For the tuna salad:
- 3 ounce pouch albacore tuna or chunk light
- 1 tbsp mayo
- 1 tbsp finely chopped celery
- 1/2 tbsp finely chopped onion
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- Pinch salt
For the bread:
- 1 1/2 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
- Pinch salt
For the tuna melt:
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Prepare the ingredients for the tuna salad first: mix together the pouch of tuna with the mayo, celery, onion, garlic powder, and pinch of salt.
- Next, prepare your bread. Start by melting 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small microwave safe bowl for about 30 seconds until melted. Next, whisk in the egg. Then stir in the almond flour, baking powder, parmesan cheese, and pinch of salt.
- Microwave the mixture for 90 seconds. Remove and let sit until it’s cool enough to handle. Slice it in half.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter and cook each side of the bread for about 2 minutes per side, until toasted.
- Place the bread on a baking sheet and top with the tuna salad. Add the shredded cheddar cheese on top. Bake at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Enjoy!