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I love a tuna salad (or tuna egg salad) sandwich for lunch, but there’s nothing quite like fish on the grill! This grilled tuna steak recipe comes together super fast, and it’s packed with flavor thanks to my special tuna steak marinade. It’s the perfect easy summer dinner, and quick enough for a weeknight meal.
Why You’ll Love This Grilled Tuna Steak Recipe
- Umami, tangy, and slightly sweet
- Charred outside, rare (or medium-rare) inside
- Fast 5-minute prep time
- Cooks in just 5 minutes
- Naturally gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and just plain healthy
- Quick and easy summer dinner
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for this grilled tuna steak recipe, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
Tuna steak recipes can work with several types of tuna, including ahi tuna (yellowfin), albacore, bluefin, and bigeye. Ahi and albacore tuna are the most commonly used for grilling because they have a firm texture and mild flavor that holds up well on the grill. Bluefin tuna has a rich, buttery flavor and a high fat content, while bigeye tuna is slightly milder in taste and has a slightly softer texture. Look for a bright color and firm texture, as this indicates that the fish is fresh and will hold up well on the grill.
Tuna Steak Marinade:
- Coconut Aminos – I use this as an alternative to soy sauce, but you could also use low sodium soy sauce for this recipe.
- Sesame Oil – Sesame oil pairs well with the other flavors in this dish, but if you don’t have any, you can use olive oil or another neutral oil of choice.
- Garlic – Fresh minced garlic will give your tuna steak marinade the best flavor, but you could use 1 1/2 teaspoons of jarred minced garlic for convenience if you prefer.
- Fresh Ginger – Delivers a unique, slightly spicy flavor that pairs well with the savory and slightly sweet flavors of the marinade.
- Honey – Adds a touch of sweetness. I prefer to use zero sugar honey, but regular also works.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes – For a touch of heat and spice! You can substitute with cayenne pepper or chili powder if you like.
How To Grill Tuna Steaks
This section shows how to make tuna steak on the grill, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Mix the marinade. In a small bowl, whisk together tuna steak marinade ingredients: Coconut aminos, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, honey, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Marinate the fish. Place tuna steaks in a zip lock bag and pour the marinade over them. Marinate in the refrigerator until ready to grill.
- Prep the grill. Clean the grates of your grill with an oiled paper towel. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- Grill tuna steaks. Place tuna on the grill, close the lid, and cook until the internal temperature reaches about 125 degrees F. (You can also cook on a preheated grill pan on the stovetop instead, if you don’t have a grill.)
- Rest. Transfer the fish to a plate and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.
How Long To Grill A Tuna Steak?
Grill tuna steaks for 2-4 minutes per side (2-3 minutes for 1 inch thick or 3-4 minutes for 1.5 inch thick), or until they reach an internal temperature of 125 degrees F.
Tips For The Best Grilled Tuna Steak
Now that you know how to grill tuna steak, let’s dive into some tips for achieving the perfect sear and flavor on your grilled tuna.
- Don’t marinate for too long. Normally I don’t recommend marinating fish for longer than 30 minutes (after that it can turn into ceviche from acids in the marinade), but this marinade doesn’t have any acidic ingredients, so up to 2 hours is okay.
- Grill properly. To avoid the steaks falling apart or sticking, make sure the grill grates are well oiled, preheat the grill for at least 10 minutes, and don’t flip the fish until it easily releases from the grill.
- Avoid overcooking. Tuna steaks are ideal with a rare or medium-rare inside (red or pink in the center). Otherwise they will be dry and lose flavor.
- Use a thermometer. For best results, use a regular or probe meat thermometer to check for doneness. The ideal internal temp to remove from heat is 125 degrees F.
- Let rest. Because the heat causes juices to squeeze out of the fish, allowing it to rest for a few minutes after grilling allows the fish to reabsorb some of the juices that were lost.
- Store: Wrap grilled tuna steak tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in an airtight container. It should keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Reheat: Tuna cooks quickly, so to reduce the chance of overcooking, bring it to room temperature before reheating. Then, you can reheat on the grill, in the oven at 350 degrees F, or on the stovetop over medium heat. It’s easy to overcook when reheating, so I prefer to just serve leftovers cold over an ahi tuna salad or in a Hawaiian poke bowl instead.
Can You Freeze Tuna Steaks?
Yes, tuna steaks can freeze for up to 3 months. Wrap individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place in a freezer-safe bag or container. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
What To Serve With Tuna Steak Recipes
Now that you have your tuna steak, it’s time to think about what to serve with it. These sides will complement the flavors of your tuna steak and make your meal complete:
- Grilled sides – While you have your grill going, you might as well make some grilled asparagus, tender grilled broccoli, or even grilled eggplant.
- Barbecue sides – Pair this grilled tuna steak recipe with some easy BBQ sides, like coleslaw, creamy cauliflower potato salad, or a simple cucumber tomato salad.
- Rice – You can’t go wrong with a side of rice. For a lighter side, try cauliflower rice.
- Salads – Try fresh favorites like grilled peach salad, leafy mango salad, or Asian-inspired smashed cucumber salad.
More Grilled Seafood Recipes
Check out these easy fish and seafood recipes that will take your grilling to the next level:
Tools For Grilling Tuna Steaks
Grilled Tuna Steak Recipe
Grilled Tuna Steak Recipe (Quick & Easy!)
This grilled tuna steak recipe has a seared outside, rare inside, and easy marinade for the best flavor. It cooks in just a few minutes!
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a small bowl, whisk together coconut aminos, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, honey, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Place tuna steaks in a plastic bag and pour the marinade over them. Seal the bag and turn to coat the steaks in the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.
Towards the end of the marinating time, clean the grates of your grill with an oiled paper towel, then preheat the grill to medium-high for at least 10 minutes. (You can also cook on a preheated grill pan on the stovetop instead, if you don't have a grill.)
Place tuna steaks on the grill, close the lid, and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until the internal temperature reaches about 125 degrees F (52 degrees C). (For best results, use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fish.) If you prefer the fish more done, cook for an additional 2 minutes per side.
Transfer the fish to a plate and rest for 5 minutes before slicing. (This allows the juices to redistribute for a juicy, flavorful result, and the internal temperature will rise a few more degrees.)
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Serving size: 1 tuna steak
Nutrition info uses sugar free honey, but regular works, too.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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