Searing tuna steaks is one of the best ways to cook them. With a delicious Italian marinade and 10 minutes of cooking time, you can make these Italian tuna steaks that are full of flavor and perfect on their own or with a side of Italian white beans.
One of my absolute favorite Italian foods is tuna (tonno in Italian). The Italians have so many ways to cook tuna and Italian tuna steaks are at the top of my list.
This simple dish is one that I learned to cook in Italy. My favorite hilltop town that my family and I stay in when we are there is called Cetona and it has a wonderful weekly food market. The fishmonger drives in from the coast with the freshest seafood that is available each week.
Tuna is often abundant along the Italian coast and this seared Italian tuna steak recipe was what he recommended I cook when I purchased the fresh tuna. It is pure simple Italian cooking at its best and so delicious.
I love cooking it because it is so easy and the perfect quick meal that I can cook up for my family after a long day exploring the Tuscan countryside when we are too tired to eat out.
How to sear Italian tuna steaks
Before searing those tuna steaks, the first thing you want to do is get that delicious Italian flavor infused into the tuna steaks. To do this you make a really simple Italian marinade for the tuna.
It is just garlic, lemon, olive oil and salt. I do like to add parsley if I have it.
Let those tuna steaks sit in the marinade for about 30 minutes so the flavors infuse into the tuna. Once that is done, you preheat a flat bottom pan over medium heat and then sear the tuna for about 3-4 minutes a side depending on how well done you like your tuna steaks.
I like to let my pan preheat for a good few minutes before searing to make sure the pan is nice and hot and evenly heated.
My family prefers I sear the tuna steaks for 2-3 minutes per side which will leave some pink in the center. Cook this to your preference though.
What to serve with Italian tuna steaks
We often eat these seared Italian tuna steaks on their own, depending on how much we ate earlier in the day. If I want a bigger meal, we might add:
- Angel hair pasta with tomatoes and herbs. Italians love their tuna and tomatoes together and this pasta is a great way to do it. It is similar to making my Italian pasta with tuna and tomatoes.
- A side of ciabatta garlic bread. We love slicing up this tuna and serving it on top of that delicious garlicky bread.
- As a side to Cannellini beans with tomatoes or Swiss chard and white beans.
My tips for this recipe
- Choose the freshest tuna you can find. You can use ahi tuna, yellowfin tuna, or sushi-grade tuna for this recipe.
- Let the tuna marinate for the full 30 minutes for the best flavor.
- Enjoy these Italian tuna steaks with a nice glass of Italian Gavi white wine. My favorite!
More Italian recipes
If you love these Italian tuna steaks, you may also like these:
Pan-Seared Italian Tuna Steaks
- 2 tuna steaks about one inch thick. Yellowfin or Ahi tuna are perfect.
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 lemon cut into quarters
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoon olive oil plus a little extra for cooking
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Italian parsley minced (optional)
- Add all of the ingredients for the marinade into a bag and mix well.1 lemon, 3 cloves garlic, 3 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon Italian parsley
- Add the tuna steaks to the bag and mix around so they are well coated.2 tuna steaks
- Seal the bag and allow the tuna steaks to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat a large flat bottom pan on the stove over medium heat.
- Heat the pan for a few minutes.
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil and the tuna steaks to the pan and sear for 2-3 minutes per side depending on how pink you like your tuna in the center.
- Remove from the pan and serve with lemon on the side.1 lemon