Spicy Tuna Melt Panini

by on June 27, 2013

Post image for Spicy Tuna Melt Panini

Thanks to everyone who contributed updates to Panini Happy’s Great American Sandwich Guide! I’ll be working over the summer to incorporate your suggestions into the updated guide. I personally love this resource for checking out awesome new-to-me sandwiches, whether I’m looking for a bite right here in San Diego or I’m traveling to a new city. Today’s Spicy Tuna Melt Panini recipe was inspired by a local favorite sandwich from The Rubicon Deli, which I first learned about in the guide.

What I loved most about the Spicy Tuna sandwich at Rubicon was 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). But like a tuna sandwich that was heads and tails above most others I’ve ever tried! Tuna fans: if you find yourself in San Diego or Reno (they’ve got locations in both cities), you must order this (preferably on Dutch Crunch bread, my favorite). In the meantime, try my panini version.

The spicy mustard is a key component of the Rubicon sandwich, but since habanero mustard isn’t always easy to find I simply spiked some regular Dijon mustard with Tapatío hot sauce. BOOM – there’s your spicy kick! I also used some of the pepper jack cheese that the folks from Cabot Cheese recently sent me to try. It melted beautifully and brought more gentle heat. The crunch of the panini-grilled sourdough replaces the Dutch Crunch in the original cold sandwich. Try it and let me know what you think (I hope you love it too)!

Spicy Tuna Melt Panini ...from paninihappy.com

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com June 27, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Oh my yum!! I would love this for lunch, every single day 😀
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com´s last blog post ..Grilled Avocado & Cucumber Cold Soup


2 Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas June 27, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Oh my heavens! I love tuna melts…and I love that you made this spicy! Looks incredible!
Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas´s last blog post ..Two-bite Mac and Cheese Cups


3 Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet June 28, 2013 at 6:46 am

This looks amazing, Kathy! Love spicy tuna melt!
Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet´s last blog post ..Cucumber Lime Pops and a ZOKU Giveaway!!


4 Nessa June 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Not a canned tuna person, but this looks very good!


5 Ash- foodfashionparty July 1, 2013 at 3:50 pm

This looks delicious. With habanero mustard and cheese, it’s perfect.
This is my first time commenting and I like your recipes a lot.


6 Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective July 2, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Love tuna melts! This sounds delicious!


7 Robin July 6, 2013 at 2:34 am

Kathy, this looks yummy!



8 Nutmeg Nanny July 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm

This looks delicious, my husband absolutely loves tuna melts 🙂 I will have to whip this up for him!


9 kelly @ sass & veracity July 15, 2013 at 7:23 pm

I have gotten more bold with my tuna sammies as I’ve aged so this one is right up my alley. Love the whole spicy thang! And I need to check out that sandwich list again. It’s been a while.
kelly @ sass & veracity´s last blog post ..Paris Perspective: Montmartre


10 Kathy Strahs July 16, 2013 at 5:16 pm

You should definitely check it out at Rubicon, Kelly! 🙂


11 Laura July 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm

It looks like a quick meal for something so delicious! Great Panini!
Laura´s last blog post ..Pesto, Minus the Kick


12 Erik B. September 8, 2017 at 5:38 am

Made this last night and it was terrific! I added a tablespoon of dill pickle relish and a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to the tuna. One medium avocado for 4 sandwiches isn’t nearly enough so I put some guacamole on the bread of 2 sandwiches. This worked out well.

*rant on* This is what bothers me about the comment section of most food blogs – Every comment above said this “looks” like a good recipe. None of them actually made it. When I read recipe comments I want hear how it turned out, what modifications folks made, etc.. *rant off*


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