Nothing beats a classic tuna melt for dinner; but if you’re anything like me, sometimes it can be hard to know what dishes or sides to pair with it.
Whether you are preparing this dish as a delicious lunch or snack, the right accompaniment is crucial in creating a truly memorable experience.
While we all have our traditional go-to’s when it comes to side options – such as chips and salad (which, by the way, are still great choices!) – today I’m taking things up a notch sharing with you 10 brilliant ideas that will take your next tuna melts from ordinary to extraordinary!
So come join me now on this culinary expedition where I explore some creative and innovative ways of serving your favorite savory sandwich!
What to Serve with Tuna Melts? 10 BEST Options
Chips are the perfect addition to any tuna melt.
They add a crunchy contrast to the softness of the tuna and cheese, and their salty flavor pairs well with the other ingredients.
Plus, chips are easy to eat with your fingers, making them the perfect finger food.
There are lots of different types of chips you can use for your tuna melts.
Plain chips are always a good option, but you could also try flavored chips or even kettle-cooked chips.
And don’t be afraid to get creative with the type of chip you use.
Potato chips are classic, but tortilla chips or pita chips would also be delicious.
To really take your tuna melts to the next level, try using a flavored chip.
Barbecue chips or sour cream and onion chips would both be great choices.
Or you could go even bolder and use a chip that’s been seasoned with chili powder or other spices.
2. French Fries
Who doesn’t love French fries? They’re salty, they’re crunchy, and they go with just about everything.
But what if you want to take your French fry game to the next level? Here are some tips on how to do just that.
First, let’s talk about taste.
To really elevate your French fry game, you need to start with high-quality potatoes.
Look for Yukon Golds or Russets – they’ll give you the best flavor.
Once you’ve got your potatoes, it’s time to think about texture.
The key to perfect French fries is all in the cook time.
If you want them to be extra crispy, you’ll need to cook them for a little longer.
But be careful – if you cook them for too long, they’ll start to taste burnt.
Now that we’ve covered taste and texture, let’s talk about presentation.
The key to making your French fries look as good as they taste is to create a nice contrast between the fries and whatever else you’re serving them with.
So, if you’re serving them with a burger, consider topping your fries with some shredded cheese or diced onions.
Or, if you’re looking for something a little lighter, try pairing your fries with a lemon wedge or side salad.
3. Onion Rings
Onion rings are a classic side dish that can be served with tuna melts or any other sandwich.
They are usually deep-fried and have a crispy, golden brown exterior.
The inside is soft and slightly sweet from the onion.
There are many ways to make onion rings, but the most common way is to coat them in a batter made of flour, eggs, and milk.
You can also add some seasonings to the batter, such as garlic powder or paprika.
Once the onion rings are coated in batter, they are then fried in hot oil until they are golden brown and crispy.
If you want to elevate your onion rings, you can try using a different type of onion.
Sweet onions like Vidalia or Walla Walla work well.
You can also use red onions for a pop of color.
Another way to change up your onion rings is to add some seasoning to the batter.
Try using herbs like rosemary or thyme for a different flavor profile.
4. Potato Salad
Who doesn’t love a good potato salad? This dish is the perfect side for any summer BBQ or picnic.
It’s light, refreshing and can be made ahead of time so that you can enjoy your party without having to worry about cooking.
There are endless ways to make potato salad, but the best versions have a balance of creamy and tangy flavors.
The potatoes should be cooked just enough so that they are soft, but not mushy.
And, of course, don’t forget the fresh herbs.
Adding some chopped parsley or chives will brighten up the flavors and make this dish even more irresistible.
Here are a few tips on how to elevate your potato salad:
- Add some protein: cook up some bacon or add some hard-boiled eggs.
- Make it spicy: add a pinch of cayenne pepper or diced jalapeños.
- Give it a Mediterranean twist: add some Kalamata olives, feta cheese and oregano.
Coleslaw is a dish that is often overlooked but can be a great addition to any meal.
It is crunchy, creamy and acidic all at the same time.
The key to a good coleslaw is to find the right balance of these three elements.
Taste-wise, you want your coleslaw to be slightly sweet, slightly salty and slightly acidic.
The best way to achieve this is to use a dressing that is equal parts mayonnaise and vinegar.
You can then add sugar or salt to taste.
For an extra depth of flavor, try adding a teaspoon of mustard to the dressing.
Texture-wise, you want your coleslaw to be crunchy but not too hard to bite into.
The best way to achieve this is to use a mix of shredded cabbage and carrots.
You can also add in some chopped red onion for sweetness and crunch.
To elevate your coleslaw dish, try adding in some fresh herbs like dill or parsley.
You could also add in some diced apple or celery for sweetness and crunch.
6. Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup is one of the most comforting and familiar dishes out there.
It’s perfect for a chilly day, or when you’re feeling under the weather.
The warm, savory broth with tender chunks of chicken and noodles is guaranteed to hit the spot.
There are endless ways to make chicken noodle soup, but the classic version is always a winner.
The key to a good chicken noodle soup is in the broth.
You want it to be flavorful, but not too salty.
The best way to achieve this is by using homemade chicken stock.
If you don’t have time to make your own, look for a high quality brand at the grocery store.
Once you’ve got your broth sorted out, it’s time to add in the rest of the ingredients.
For the chicken, you can either use leftover cooked chicken, or cook some fresh chicken breasts in the soup.
For the noodles, any type will do – egg noodles, rice noodles, even pasta shapes like shells or elbows.
Just make sure to cook them separately from the soup so they don’t get mushy.
If you want to elevate your chicken noodle soup and make it a bit more special, try adding some chopped vegetables like carrots, celery, and onions.
Or stir in some shredded kale or spinach at the end for a boost of nutrients.
You could also top each bowl with a sprinkle of freshly chopped herbs like parsley or chives.
Serve with a crusty piece of bread on the side for mopping up all that delicious broth.
7. Tomato Soup
Tomato soup is one of the most classic and comforting dishes out there.
It’s perfect for a chilly day or when you’re feeling under the weather.
And while it might seem like a simple dish, there are actually quite a few ways to elevate it and make it even more delicious.
One way to do this is by adding some fresh herbs.
Basil, oregano, and thyme all go great with tomatoes and can really take the flavor up a notch.
Another way to add some depth of flavor is by roasting the tomatoes before you add them to the soup.
This brings out their natural sweetness and makes them even more delicious.
Of course, you can also add other ingredients to tomato soup to change things up.
Some crumbled bacon or pancetta adds a nice smoky flavor, while shredded chicken or turkey makes it more hearty and filling.
And if you want something truly unique, try adding some roasted garlic or a dollop of pesto.
Trust us, your taste buds will thank you.
8. Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Grilled cheese sandwiches are a classic comfort food that everyone knows and loves.
They’re simple to make, and can be easily customized to suit your taste.
The best grilled cheese sandwiches are made with fresh, quality ingredients.
Here are some tips on how to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich:
- Choose your bread wisely. A good grilled cheese sandwich should be made with bread that is sturdy enough to hold up to the grill, but not so thick that it takes forever to cook through. A quality white or wheat bread is a great choice.
- Don’t skimp on the cheese. A grilled cheese sandwich is all about the cheese, so choose a variety that you know you’ll love. Cheddar, Swiss, and mozzarella are all great options.
- Elevate your sandwich with some extras. Add thinly sliced fruit or vegetables, bacon, or even a dollop of your favorite sauce for an extra flavor boost.
9. Tuna Salad Sandwich
A tuna salad sandwich is a classic dish that is simple, yet delicious.
The key to a good tuna salad is getting the right ratio of tuna tomayonnaise.
You don’t want your sandwich to be too dry or too wet.
The best way to achieve the perfect consistency is to add the mayo a little bit at a time until you reach the desired texture.
Another important element of a tuna salad sandwich is the seasoning.
You’ll want to add salt and pepper to taste, but you can also get creative with other spices and herbs.
Dill, garlic powder, onion powder, and celery seed are all great options.
Just make sure not to go overboard – you don’t want your sandwich to be too salty or too spicy.
To take your tuna salad sandwich to the next level, consider adding some chopped up vegetables or fruit.
Finely diced red onion, celery, grapes, and apple all pair well with tuna salad.
Or, for a more substantial sandwich, try adding avocado or crispy bacon.
Whatever you decide to add, just make sure it complements the flavors of the tuna salad itself.
10. BLT Sandwich
The BLT sandwich is a classic for a reason: its simple yet delicious combination of bacon, lettuce, and tomato is hard to beat.
But if you’re looking to elevate this dish, there are a few things you can do.
First, focus on the quality of your ingredients.
Use fresh, local produce for the best flavor, and cook your bacon until it’s crisp.
Thick-cut bacon works well here, as it provides more flavor and texture.
Next, think about the bread.
A thick slice of sourdough or artisanal bread will hold up better to the fillings and make for a more satisfying bite.
And finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with your toppings.
Avocado, egg, or even grilled chicken all make great additions to the classic BLT.
Hopefully, you found this list of tuna melt side dishes helpful and you’re able to try out a few of them the next time you make tuna melts.
If you have any other suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!