12 Fresh Tuna Recipes That Are Ready in a Flash

arctic char and sesame tuna on plates
Ryan Liebe

Fresh tuna may feel like a fish that's best enjoyed when ordered at a delicious sushi spot or a high-end seafood restaurant, but there's no reason why you can't cook it at home. Here, you'll find simple preparations of grilled and seared tuna that can be turned into rice bowls, skewers, or served alongside a crisp salad.

When shopping for fresh tuna, be sure to choose a responsibly-caught option (you can always ask the fishmonger at your local market or grocery store for more complete sourcing information). Ahi tuna—also known as yellowfin tuna—is the premier fresh tuna choice and you'll find it available in loins and steaks. Our recipes will always specify exactly which cut you need.

When working with good-quality fresh tuna, the key is to prepare it so that it's just cooked on the outside but still rare and fully pink-red on the inside. Fresh tuna has a very firm, meaty texture that's similar to mahi mahi or swordfish and offers a relatively mild flavor. Fresh tuna can be expensive, so you'll best be able to appreciate the flavor when it is served rare.

Ahead, you'll find recipes where fresh tuna is served seared and dressed simply with sesame seeds, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Enjoy it on its own with a crisp white wine for a light, delicious meal you'll crave all summer long. Of course, we also have plenty of low-key weeknight specials that include tuna rice bowls, tuna steaks served with salads and grilled vegetables, fish skewers, and more. All of these recipes come together in under one hour and they're guaranteed to be the start of the show whenever you prepare them.

01 of 11

Sesame-Crusted Tuna Tataki

Sesame-Crusted Tuna Tataki on plate next to chop sticks
Ryan Liebe

It takes no time at all to put together this stunning fresh tuna dish that you can serve as an elegant appetizer or impressive main course over a bed of sticky rice. The fish is seared until it's cooked on the outside but perfectly pink on the inside.

02 of 11

Seared-Tuna Taco Bowl

purple power tuna bowl
Sidney Bensimon

This weeknight-friendly fresh tuna recipe comes together in 45 minutes and is bursting with color and flavor from tuna steaks, shredded red cabbage, black beans, cilantro, and sliced watermelon radishes.

03 of 11

Bluefin Tuna with Olive, Cucumber, and Cilantro Relish


Did someone say summer dining? Seared tuna steaks are the perfect partner for this crunchy, briny relish made of olives, cucumbers, and fresh cilantro for this fresh meal that's just right to serve al fresco.

04 of 11

Brown Rice with Tuna, Avocado, and Toasted Nori


Craving sushi? Give this rice bowl a try. It's topped with all of our favorite hand-roll ingredients: seared tuna, crunchy cucumber, creamy avocado, and toasted nori.

05 of 11

Grilled Tuna with Mediterranean Chopped Salad


Turn traditional Niçoise salad on its ear by tossing the potatoes, green beans, and tomatoes together and serving them alongside grilled tuna steaks. Briny Kalamata olives and umami-rich anchovies add extra oomph.

06 of 11

Tuna Steaks with Lemony Tomatoes and Onion


Sear tuna steaks just until browned on the outside but still deep-red in the center, then serve with a salad of sweet cherry tomatoes and red onion seasoned with lemon juice for an easy, colorful accompaniment.

07 of 11

Seared Tuna with Tomatoes and Basil

Willie Meppen

This entrée starts by searing cubes of tuna in a hot skillet, then simmering them in a rustic sauce made from caramelized onions, cherry tomatoes, white wine, and basil. The dish is excellent over soft polenta or simply served with crusty bread.

08 of 11

Tuna Steaks with Mint Sauce

Quentin Bacon

You'll want to try this genius trick for cooking tuna: Sprinkling salt in the skillet before cooking the prevents the fish from sticking without using oil. Here, we're serving the tuna steaks with a herby sauce of mint, garlic, lemon, and olive oil, similar to gremolata but with mint in place of the usual parsley.

09 of 11

Seared Tuna Steaks with Sesame Oil


Rice vinegar and toasted sesame oil seasoned with grated ginger and sliced scallions make a quick and tasty sauce for eggplant and seared tuna steaks. Steaming followed by sautéing makes the eggplant tender and delicious.

10 of 11

Grilled Tuna Skewers


Cubes of yellowfin tuna absorb the bright flavors of lime juice and cilantro in a quick marinade before hitting the grill. This healthy dinner takes just 20 minutes to prepare.

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Tuna with Orange-Pepper Salsa


Create a fresh, flavorful salsa with navel oranges, red bell pepper, red onion, and fresh mint, then spoon over coriander-spiced grilled tuna steaks for a sublime supper.

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