Juicy Grilled Tuna Steaks

How to make the perfect grilled tuna steaks at home? Perfectly tender and juicy! Tips and side meal suggestions included. 


Grill season is approaching (happy dance). But wait, I know someone who is even more excited –that would be my 2 year old! He loves it when we get the grill out, even attempts to do it on his own, thank goodness for kitchen cabinet child locks.

What I still cannot determine is what his favorite part of the grill experience is – helping daddy set up the grill (before it gets turned on) or the fish tasting part …

Perfectly juicy and tender tuna steaks recipe

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.

MAKING TENDER TUNA STEAKS: 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 is the 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.  Another 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 tender. Yum, yum!

SUSTAINABILITY: 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.

SIDE DISHES AND COMBINATIONS:  We usually enjoy fish of all sorts with potatoes, green salad (like our spring feta and spinach salad), glazed carrots (our skinny honey glazed carrots recipe)  or sautéed veggies (like our Mediterranean mushrooms with thyme). It’s also a perfect light lunch idea to take with you in the office.

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. 
CourseMain Course
CuisineAmerican, Mediterranean
KeywordGrill, Seafood
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings



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

Fish & Grill

  • 4 steaks tuna fish, defrosted or fresh
  • ½ yellow onion head for grill, cut in half
  • 1 tbsp olive oil for grill


  • Cover your tuna fillets with marinate on each side and refrigerate for 30 min (recommended). I use cooking brush to coat.
  • Preheat your (electric) barbecue grill and grease with olive oil. Coat the grill plate with the half onion head (optional but tasty) and let smoke ’escape’.
  • 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 (mine looks like this). Using my grill (medium heat) tuna steaks are done in between 8-12 minutes.
  • Then 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 while cooking, coat each fillet with additional olive oil and turn around for a minute or so while still on the grill.

Recipe Notes

For my best tips on making tender tuna steaks + sustainability resources, please go to text before recipe above.
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