Juicy Grilled Tuna Steaks

How to make the perfect grilled tuna steaks at home? Perfectly tender and juicy, every time. Tips and side dish suggestions included. 


For this ‘’ tuna batch’’ we used frozen tuna fillets that needed defrosting. If you, however can source fresh tuna fillets, the recipe would taste even better.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Juice of one lemon – for marinate
  • Olive oil,  extra virgin – for marinate
  • Fresh basil, chopped – for marinate
  • Honey, optional for marinate
  • Salt & black pepper to taste – for marinate
  • steaks tuna fish (thawed or freshly caught), about 4 oz. each,
  • Onion, for running through the grill,  cut in half
  • Olive oil – for brushing grill with


There are 2 secrets to juicy tuna steaks – marinate and marinate. Well, I guess that makes one, but comes to show the importance of marinating your steaks before grilling.

Another thing to watch for is cooking time – over cooking always results in drier, stiffer tasting steaks (that even your cat may refuse to eat). If tuna steak looks fresh and pink-ish on the the inside it’s probably ready to be served.  

A trick my father-in-law uses when preparing steak (of any sort) is to place the steaks in a glass dish with lid after removing from grill. That way the evaporating juices do not ‘’run away’’ – as a result steak becomes even more tender. Yum, yum!


Tuna species are found throughout the world’s oceans. Fisheries are managed globally by five regional fishery management organizations. If you are interested in the Tuna Conservation efforts  read on here- the PEW’s Tuna Preservation projects.  Another place to take a peak is this article on robust tuna fish stocks by the NFI.


There are many things that go well with grilled tuna steaks, however here are some of my family’s preferred side dished:

Perfectly juicy and tender tuna steaks recipe

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Juicy Grilled Tuna Steaks

The perfect juicy grilled tuna steaks with olive oil and lemon marinate. The ideal light lunch or brunch paired with potato puree or salad. 
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Servings 4 servings



  • Juice of one lemon
  • 4-6 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil minced
  • 1 tbsp honey optional
  • Salt & black cayenne pepper to taste

Fish & Grill

  • 4 steaks tuna fish approx. 100g/ (4 oz. ) each
  • ½ onion, cut in half for grill
  • 1-4 tbsp olive oil for greasing grill


  • In a small bowl combine ingredients for marinate. Then coat tuna fillets (previously thawed or freshly caught) on each side and refrigerate for approx. 30 minutes (cover with a plate or foil).
  • Preheat grill (mine is a city portable grill) and run the half onion across grill plate to coat it – let smoke ’escape’. Then, coat grill with olive oil (generously). Reduce heat to medium-high.
  • Place each fillet on the grill and turn around every 2-3 minutes. Check inside of tuna steak – if pink and tender – remove from grill and place in a glass casserole with lid. Using my grill (medium heat) tuna steaks are done in between 8-12 minutes.
  • Next, let cooked tuna steaks sit for 10-15 min in the glass casserole with lid on. That adds additional tenderness. Then serve with a favorite side dish.


TIP: If steaks seem dry -ish during cooking, coat each fillet with additional olive oil and turn around for a minute or so while still on the grill.
Keyword Grill, Seafood
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