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This is an elegantly simple way to cook ahi tuna steaks that any restaurant would be jealous of! Serve with soy sauce or your favorite dipping sauce.

Recipe Summary

5 mins
2 mins
7 mins
2 servings

There's no need to head to a fancy seafood restaurant to get your ahi tuna steak fix. Instead, try this top-rated ahi tuna steak recipe that comes together in just seven minutes — no, seriously, all you need is seven minutes.

How to Buy Ahi Tuna

There are two types of ahi tuna you can buy: bigeye tuna and yellowfin tuna. Bigeye tends to have a buttery taste, while yellowfin has a milder flavor. Both types of ahi tuna can be used for this recipe. 

You should always buy sashimi-grade or sushi-grade tuna if you plan to eat it raw. This means the fish market has deemed it safe to eat raw.

How to Make Ahi Tuna Steak

Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks on blue plate with sauce

Ahi tuna steaks are extremely easy to make, mostly because they are served rare or medium-rare — they only need to be lightly seared for about one minute on each side. 

Ahi tuna has a mild flavor, so you'll want to make sure you season it before cooking. This recipe seasons the tuna steaks with salt and cayenne pepper, plus sears them in a pan with butter, olive oil, and whole peppercorns. You could also season your ahi tuna steaks with a simple sauce (like teriyaki sauce, orange sauce, or soy sauce).

How to Cook Ahi Tuna Steaks

The best way to cook ahi tuna steaks is in a pan on the stove, but you can also sear them on the grill, or even bake or air fry them.


Cooking ahi tuna steaks in a skillet is the preferred method because it will sear the steaks just enough to leave them raw in the center but create a crispy crust on the outside. Sear the steaks in a pan with butter, olive oil, and peppercorns for about 30 seconds to 1 ½ minutes on each side, depending on your desired level of doneness. 


Season the fish then place them on a preheated grill at high heat. Grill each side for about 2 minutes, until they are charred on the outside but remain raw on the inside.


Bake seasoned ahi tuna steaks in the oven at 450 degrees F for eight to 10 minutes. Feel free to flip the steaks halfway through the bake, but it's not necessary.

Air Fryer

Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F, then air fry the seasoned ahi tuna for four minutes.

Nicole's Best Ahi Tuna Tips 

Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks on plate with green garnish, side salad, and rice
Credit: Allrecipes Video

Culinary producer Nicole McLaughlin (a.k.a. Nicole McMom) says these ahi tuna steaks are "the best way to get a fine-dining experience in your own home." Here are some of her favorite tips and tricks for an impressive entree every time:  

· You don't want to mask the tuna's natural fresh flavor, so Nicole likes to simply season it with just salt and cayenne pepper.
· There are two secrets to a perfect sear every time: You need very high heat (higher than you think, according to Nicole) and a very dry surface. The tuna can't be too dry before it hits the skillet, so give it a pat with a paper towel if you're unsure. 
· Since oil has a higher smoke point than butter, it's perfect for searing ahi tuna steaks — but, if you're like Nicole, you might want to add a little butter anyway for extra flavor.

Can You Freeze Ahi Tuna Steaks?

Yes, you can freeze ahi tuna steaks both raw and cooked. 

For raw ahi tuna, first, wrap the fish in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil or place it in a zip-top bag to seal it. Freeze for up to three months. If you remove ahi tuna from the freezer and don't end up using it, you cannot freeze it again. Ahi tuna should never be frozen again if previously frozen.

For cooked ahi tuna, freeze the leftovers in an airtight container or wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in a zip-top bag. Freeze for two to three months.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"Quick, easy and delicious. Served the tuna steaks on a bed of homemade mango, cucumber salsa with a side of grilled sweet corn. The sweetness from the corn combined with the citrus from the salsa enhanced and balanced the flavors from the tuna and chili powder," says moto guzzi.

"This is simply wonderful. The tuna melts in your mouth if cooked as directed. The peppercorns add just the right amount of heat," raves Janice W Davis

"I made this exactly as the recipe was written and it turned out great! We usually grill tuna steaks, but it is easy to overcook them on a grill. I felt I could control how rare the steaks were done by searing them in the pan. Be sure to have the pan hot before adding the steaks. Quick and easy...I'll use this method again and again," according to Mrs Z.

Editorial contributions by Bailey Fink


Original recipe yields 2 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Pat tuna steaks dry and season on both sides with salt and cayenne pepper.

  • Melt butter in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and pepper corns; cook until peppercorns soften and pop, about 5 minutes.

  • Gently place seasoned tuna in the skillet and cook to desired doneness, anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes per side.

  • Slice tuna into 1/4-inch thick slices to serve.

Cook's Note:

Use sushi-grade tuna if you like your tuna on the rare side.

Nutrition Facts

301 calories; protein 33.3g; carbohydrates 0.7g; fat 17.8g; cholesterol 71.4mg; sodium 1033.6mg. Full Nutrition