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Air fryer tuna panini

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My air fryer is a source of great joy. In just a few minutes I can make a hot, tasty lunch, in a rush, and for less money than turning on the oven too. One of the lunches that I love to make would have to be a panini. They are really versatile, as you can use any filling you like. This air fryer tuna panini is one of my favourite panini fillings and is really simple to make.

This takes just a couple of minutes to prepare and I sometimes make 2-3 at a time, leave them in the fridge wrapped in foil and then just enjoy one each day. It takes next to no time to whip up a batch of these and is a super filling lunch in a rush.

Other panini fillings that I enjoy making are air fryer cajun chickenair fryer peri peri chicken or even just air fryer bacon and sausages. A nice bacon, sausage and egg wrap is always a winner too! 

A filling lunch is a good way for me to have a productive afternoon, especially one that is packed full of protein. As I’ve got two daughters to run around, and work from home, I need all the help I can get with staying full until dinnertime and getting through the busy witching hour!

The ingredients that you add to your tuna can be based on your own preferences, but I love this particularly recipe and follow it regularly. I’ve used shop bought panini, for convenience, but you can make your own of course too.

Scroll down towards the end of this post for my air fryer tuna panini recipe card so you can get started with making this delicious treat right away!

An air fryer tuna panini, cooked, cut in half, on a white plate, with halved cherry tomatoes on the side.

Ingredients for air fryer tuna panini:

Serves 2

2 paninis

80g tuna flakes

1 lemon

1/2 tsp dried thyme

30ml mayonnaise of choice

25g grated mature cheddar

Air fryer grilled ham and cheese sandwiches cut in half and stacked up on a wooden chopping board

Method for air fryer tuna panini:

Mix together the tuna, juice of 1 lemon, dried thyme, mayonnaise and grated cheddar.

Cut the paninis horizontally.

Spread the filling on one side of each panini.

Place the top on.

Pop into the air fryer basket.

Set the temperature to 180C (355F) and cook for 7-8 minutes until the panini is crispy and the filling is piping hot.

Serve with your choice of salad, crisps or just a few fresh tomatoes and enjoy.

Bacon, sausage and egg wrap

Looking for some different suggestions for your air fryer tuna panini? 

You can mix it up with different sauces, such as sweet chilli, chutney, tomato & chilli salsa, mustard or even a pickle relish,.

If you want to mix it up cheese wise then Parmigiano-Reggiano is a welcome addition, as is mozzarella, chilli cheddar or even cheese sauce.

Can you make a tuna panini in the Ninja Foodi?

Yes you can! I made this panini recipe in my Ninja Foodi OL750UK using the air fryer setting and using the timings and temperatures that you see in this post. 

Air fryer grilled cheese sandwich

Want to have an extra crispy panini?

I love to spread on a little butter, light mayonnaise or 1 calorie cooking spray. This helps to crisp it up beautifully and gives it a lovely crunchy bite.

Can you use frozen panini? 

Absolutely. I’ve done this myself multiple times. I do love to make these fresh, as I feel that gives the best results, so if you can just look to remove from the freezer a minimum of 10-15 minutes before, just to help them soften up a little.

If you’re very short on time just go ahead and assemble using frozen panini and then add 2-3 minutes to the cooking time to ensure it is cooked throughout.

Two air fryer pizza bagels, decorated with cheese and mini pepperoni pieces, on a wooden chopping board.

Something to note about air fryer recipes is that all air fryers have different sizes, depths and as such the cooking times can vary. All air fryer recipes on this website are intended as a guide, and not a guarantee that the timings will be perfect. Enjoy!

Can you reheat a tuna panini in the air fryer?

Yes. Make sure that food is piping hot before serving, which should go without saying, and ensure that you’re only re-heating one time.

I find that 5 minutes at 200C (390F) is perfect for re-heating a panini, but this depends on the thickness of the panini, and whether it has been squashed down in a panini press the first time it was cooking.

Check back after 3 minutes – just to make sure it isn’t burning.

What is the best cheese and ham for a tuna panini? 

I love a simple cheddar, a higher strength one, either sliced or grated and piled high in the bread. Here are some other suggestions for cheeses, while this is for grilled cheese it would work great for paninis too.

A cheese and bacon quiche (quiche lorraine), whole, on a wooden serving tray

What to serve with a tuna panini?

We keep it really simple with a side salad, serving of fruit, some air fryer roasted tomatoes or just a little cucumber and cherry tomatoes.

In the past I have reduced down my pasta sauce in the past to make a delicious dipping sauce, pizza sauce style. 

If you want to make it a little bit of a more substantial meal then why not consider adding some air fryer frozen french fries, air fryer cheese fries or even homemade air fryer chips

Are tuna paninis healthy?

Tuna is a great source of protein, with healthy unsaturated fats and lots of omega 3 fatty acids. This makes it a great occasional lunch choice for me.

Three air fryer hasselback potatoes that have been cooked in the air fryer in a red stoneware baking dish from Le Creuset

How to cook a tuna panini in the air fryer:

Air fryer tuna panini

A delicious tuna panini, packed full of cheese, cooked in the air fryer

Course Side Dish
Cuisine British
Keyword air fryer, sandwich, tuna
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Servings 2 paninis
Calories 414 kcal
Author Katykicker

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 2 paninis
  • 80 g tuna flakes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 30 ml mayonnaise of choice
  • 25 g grated mature cheddar

Instructions

  1. Mix together the tuna, juice of 1 lemon, dried thyme, mayonnaise and grated cheddar.
  2. Cut the paninis horizontally.
  3. Spread the filling on one side of each panini.
  4. Place the top on.
  5. Pop into the air fryer basket.
  6. Set the temperature to 180C (355F) and cook for 7-8 minutes until the panini is crispy and the filling is piping hot.

Note: All calorie information is for demonstration purposes only and is based on the specific uncooked ingredients that I used when creating the recipe.

If you enjoyed this post I’d love it if you could pin it on Pinterest!

An air fryer tuna panini, cooked, cut in half, on a white plate, with halved cherry tomatoes on the side.
Recipe Rating




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