Salmon Melts

Warm and juicy sandwiches that are made with crunchy and garlicky bread, with a delicious salmon filling and topped with slices of fresh tomatoes and avocados and covered with melted and gooey cheese.

Salmon Melts - appetizer sandwiches with salmon, tomatoes, avocados and cheese

Salmon Melts are a great appetizer or lunch. In most cases, I make Salmon Melts when I have leftover salmon from some other dinner – Baked Steelhead Trout Fillet, Cheesy Baked Salmon, Broiled Salmon, or this Poached Salmon. You get the picture. Not only is it quick to prepare and tastes phenomenal, it’s a great way to repurpose leftovers into something delicious.

The salmon filling is full of hearty and aromatic flavors. I really like the bright acidic note in here from the lemon juice, mustard and capers. With the addition of fresh parsley and a juicy slice of tomato or avocado, the sandwich isn’t blah and boring, but fresh and exciting. It has everything you could want in a sandwich – crunchy bread, scrumptious filling, juiciness and freshness and it’s all topped off with melted cheese.

What are Salmon Melts?

Salmon Melts are a play on Tuna Melts, hot sandwiches made with canned tuna mixed with flavorful ingredients, placed on bread and topped with cheese and baked until warmed through and the cheese is melted and golden.

Using cooked salmon instead of tuna makes the filling so juicy and flavorful. The addition of cooked onions, garlic and capers makes it even more delicious. A bit of mayonnaise binds it all together and keeps it from falling apart. Lemon juice, mustard and fresh herbs break through the creaminess and give the salmon filling some acidity and freshness.

Of course, you can use canned salmon or canned tuna instead of the cooked salmon as well.

Ingredients For Salmon Melts

Ingredients for Salmon Melts
  • cooked salmon – in most cases, I use leftover salmon, but canned salmon or even canned tuna can be used instead. You can also bake or poach the salmon to be used for this recipe
  • onion, garlic – sautéed in butter or oil until tender and cooked through
  • capers
  • mayonnaise
  • dijon mustard
  • lemon juice
  • fresh herbs, such as parsley and chives
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • bread or baguette
  • tomatoes and/or avocados
  • grated cheese

How to Make Salmon Melts

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The high temperature will crisp the sandwiches quickly but won’t dry them out since they won’t need to be in the oven too long. Slice the bread.
  2. In a skillet, heat the butter or oil and sauté the onion and garlic on medium heat until softened and cooked though. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
  3. You can completely omit this step and instead of cooking onion and garlic, use green onions in their place. This will make the sandwich making process even easier.
  4. In a large bowl, mash the cooked salmon (or the canned salmon/tuna). Add the cooked onion and garlic, minced capers, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, lemon juice, fresh herbs and salt and ground black pepper to taste. Mix to combine.
  5. Place the sliced bread on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast the bread until it’s lightly golden. Take out of the oven and use the sliced garlic cloves to rub all over the surface of each of the slices of bread. The garlic will rub right into the toasted bread (the crisp bread will sort of be a grating surface for the garlic). This gives the sandwiches a pleasant and mild garlic flavor without being too overpowering.
  6. Top the toasted bread with the salmon filling, spreading it out evenly over the bread. Place a slice of tomato and/or avocado on top of the salmon filling and then top with grated cheese.
  7. Bake in the oven for another 7-10 minutes, until the sandwiches are warmed through and the cheese is melted.

Salmon Melt Variations

  • Other veggies to use: celery, bell peppers, jalapeños, pickles.
  • Grated or finely chopped hard boiled eggs are also really great to add to the salmon filling.
  • The sliced fresh tomatoes and avocados pair so perfectly with the creamy and hearty salmon filling. You can use only tomatoes or only avocados. It’s also important to use avocados that aren’t too ripe. If they are too soft, they will become too brown when placed in the oven. Be more mindful not to leave the sandwiches with avocados in the oven too long, just enough to melt the cheese on top.

Other Delicious Sandwiches:

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Salmon Melts

  • Author: Olga’s Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 1012 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: Appetizer

Description

Warm and juicy sandwiches that are made with crunchy and garlicky bread, with a delicious salmon filling and topped with slices of fresh tomatoes and avocados and covered with melted and gooey cheese.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked salmon
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 12 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons capers, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (slightly less)
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/21 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley, chives 
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 baguette, sliced 
  • 12 tomatoes and/or avocados, sliced
  • 1 cup grated cheese, finely shredded (Mozzarella, Parmesan, Swiss, Provolone, Monterey Jack, Cheddar, etc.)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Heat the butter or oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, seasoning with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Sauté on medium heat until the onions and garlic are softened and cooked through, 5-7 minutes. 
  3. In a large bowl, use a fork to mash the cooked salmon until it’s flaky. (You can also used canned salmon or tuna, mash with a fork as well.) Add the cooked onions and garlic, the capers, mayonnaise, dijon mustard, lemon juice, fresh herbs, salt and ground black pepper. Mix until evenly combined. 
  4. Place the sliced bread on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast the bread until it’s lightly golden. Take out of the oven and use the sliced garlic cloves to rub all over the surface of each of the slices of bread. The garlic will rub right into the toasted bread (the crisp bread will sort of be a grating surface for the garlic). This gives the sandwiches a pleasant and mild garlic flavor without being too overpowering.
  5. Top the toasted bread with the salmon filling, spreading it out evenly over the bread. Place a slice of tomato and/or avocado on top of the salmon filling and then top with grated cheese.
  6. Bake in the oven for another 7-10 minutes, until the sandwiches are warmed through and the cheese is melted.

Notes

Instead of cooking onions and garlic, you can omit them and use sliced green onions instead. This will make the filling even easier to prepare. 

Keywords: salmon melts, salmon sandwiches, tuna melts, hot salmon sandwiches

This is an updated version of the Salmon Melts recipe that was originally published on May 29, 2013. I have updated the photographs and clarified the instructions to make it even more user friendly and enjoyable.

16 Comments

  • Julia

    Mmmm, looks delicious. We make tuna melt in a similar way, but never tried salmon. I’m gonna try not to eat *all* my salmon at dinner next time so I can have some leftover to make this, lol. Looks so good!

  • inna

    Hi Olga,
    These look yummy. I love making sandwiches because they are so quick and easy. I may have to try these with canned salmon just because we don’t eat fresh salmon very often.

  • Oksana

    These look absolutely delicious!! I can’t wait to make them. Maybe for Father’s day since my husband loves Salmon!

  • jenny

    Hello Olya,
    Can I omit the capers? I don’t have any and never used them. What do they taste like? Can I substitute it with anything else?
    Thanks dear

    • olgak7

      Yes, Jenny, you can omit the capers. I personally love how they taste and the flavor they give to the Salmon Melts, but it’s optional. Capers taste briny, sour and salty.

    • olgak7

      Olga, if you read the description that I wrote of this recipe, you will see that I use cooked salmon. Usually, I use up leftovers from another recipe. I would recommend poaching the salmon. There is a link to that recipe in the recipe description as well.

  • Mila

    hi Olga i just found ur website and i love it! 🙂
    i love to cook!!! 🙂
    u tebya takie klasnie retsepti! 🙂
    i will start making them today! cuz my husband loves russian food! vkus detstva

  • Suma

    These look so good! One question though, doesn’t the cooked salmon get a bit tough and chewy the next day? Is there a trick to keep the leftover salmon moist and tender?

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