Spicy Tuna Melt Panini



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What's great about this spicy tuna sandwich is the balance of bold flavor. With pepperoncini, pickles, pepper jack cheese and habanero mustard it’s definitely got a tangy kick, yet it still tastes like a tuna sandwich (which is, after all, the point). For more recipes like this, visit


  • 2 (5-Ounce) cans solid white albacore tuna in water, drained
  • 1 Celery rib, minced
  • 2 Tablespoon mayonnaise
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 Teaspoon hot sauce
  • 4 Tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 8 Slices sourdough or other rustic white bread, sliced from a dense bakery loaf
  • 8 Thin slices red onion, separated into rings
  • 1 Medium ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoon sliced pepperoncini (You can find jarred pepperoncini – pickled sweet or hot Italian peppers – in the condiments aisle at the grocery store, near the olives)
  • 2 Plum tomatoes (such as Roma), thinly sliced and seeded
  • 4 Ounce pepper jack cheese, thinly sliced


Step 1

  • In a medium-size bowl, mix the tuna, celery, and mayonnaise until it’s well combined. Season the tuna salad with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 2

  • In a small bowl, mix the Dijon mustard and hot sauce together – add more hot sauce if you prefer.

Step 3

  • Heat the panini press to medium-high heat.

Step 4

  • For each sandwich: Spread butter on two slices of bread to flavor the outside of the sandwich. Flip over both slices and spread mustard on the other side of each. To one slice add onions, avocado, tuna salad, pepperoncini, tomatoes, and cheese. Close the sandwich with the other slice of bread, buttered side up.

Step 5

  • Grill two panini at a time, with the lid closed, until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted, 4 to 5 minutes.