The Absolute Best Cheeses To Add To Your Tuna Salad

If you've ever sampled a white clam pizza, a bagel with cream cheese and lox, or oysters Rockefeller, to name a few examples, then you know how beautifully cheese can pair with seafood. However, you might also be aware of the common culinary trope that states never to mix fish and cheese. According to Atlas Obscura, this "rule" is flagrantly disregarded in traditional dishes from all over the world, and yet somehow remains common knowledge; the site states that the original interdiction on this often-delicious combination arose in Italy, where "Italians are very religious about mixing cheese and fish or seafood, it just isn't done," as Italian cookbook author Julia della Croce told the outlet.

But those of us outside Italy know that plenty of types of fish can more than hold their own against cheese, with perhaps one of the most illustrative examples of this synergy being the humble — and delicious — tuna melt. A delicious mashup of a grilled cheese and a tuna salad sandwich, the diner classic features tuna salad heaped on good bread with cheese and then griddled until the cheese goes all melty (via The Spruce Eats), or alternatively served open-faced after a quick trip under the broiler (via Martha Stewart). If you're craving a tuna melt, or want to whip up a cold tuna salad and cheese sandwich, these are the very best cheeses to pair with the canned staple.

Mild cheeses make the ideal partner to tuna salad

Although we can't agree with the common prohibition on mixing fish and cheese, it's definitely a good idea to select a mild cheese when setting out to make a tuna melt or a cold tuna salad sandwich. According to The Cheese Empire, a creamy cheese with good melting properties that doesn't have too strong a flavor is the best way to go, with the outlet citing mozzarella, cheddar, and Gruyère as excellent choices to layer onto a tuna melt (or a toastie, as grilled cheese sandwiches are dubbed in the UK).

If you prefer a cold tuna salad sandwich, then fresh, unaged cheeses make a perfect neutral-but-creamy option to pair with your fish. According to The Cheese Empire, a nice schmear of cream cheese is a great addition to a tuna salad sandwich, while Simply Recipes suggests mixing cottage cheese right into the tuna salad for extra creaminess and richness. So if you love tuna salad and you love cheese, take heart in the knowledge that the two can always be combined in one epic sandwich.