Squash and “Tuna Melt” Casserole

published Jul 13, 2021
summer
Squash and “Tuna Melt” Casserole

We've captured the classic tuna-melt flavor and paired it with a nutritious summer squash for a dish that's equal parts delicious and healthy for you.

Serves4

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Credit: Laura Dart and A.J. Meeker

Let’s all just acknowledge that we love tuna melts, shall we? Here we capture the tuna-cheese flavor combo that is so good, and apply it to summer squash as a way to make a tuna melt more nutritious … and summer squash more flavorful!

Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons is Kitchn’s July pick for our Cookbook Club. See how you can participate here.

Squash and “Tuna Melt” Casserole

We've captured the classic tuna-melt flavor and paired it with a nutritious summer squash for a dish that's equal parts delicious and healthy for you.

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    firm small summer squash (aim for different shapes and colors)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 bunches

    scallions, trimmed (including 1/2 inch off the green tops), thinly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon

    fresh thyme leaves

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    dried chile flakes

  • 2 (5-ounce) cans

    oil-packed tuna

  • 1 1/2 cups

    shredded good-quality extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Trim off the ends of the squash and halve lengthwise (with round or pattypan squash, cut through the “equator”). Salt the squash on their cut faces with 2 teaspoons salt and leave to drain for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours (if for more than 2 hours, transfer to the refrigerator).

  2. Heat a big glug of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions, thyme, chile flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several twists of black pepper. Cook until the scallions are soft and fragrant but not actually browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Take them off the heat, and when cool enough to taste, adjust the seasoning with more of any of the spices or the thyme.

  3. Heat the oven to 450°F.

  4. Spread the squash cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet (or two, if needed, to avoid crowding). Roast until slightly shrunken and browned on the cut sides, on the way to tender, but not at all mushy. Cooking time will depend on the size and shape of your squash, but for a typical slender 6-inch zucchini, this should take about 15 minutes. (Leave the oven on.)

  5. Arrange the squash pieces in a baking dish that will fit them all snugly in one layer, this time cut side up. Distribute the scallions over the surfaces. Flake and crumble the tuna in an even layer over the scallions and then top evenly with the cheddar.

  6. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is nicely melted and beginning to bubble and brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

  7. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Excerpted from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Laura Dart and A.J. Meeker.