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Pan-cooked tuna steaks make a quick and easy dinner any night of the week. They take less than 15 minutes to prepare and are a healthy source of protein.

tuna steak cooked in pan w/ rice pineapple mango salsa

Should you eat tuna?

Ahi tuna is a good source of protein and is low in fat. It has a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for you, and are said to help reduce cholesterol and support heart health.

That being said, it’s important to note that it is high in mercury so you still need to be mindful of how much you consume.

How do you cook a tuna steak?

The thought of making tuna steaks can be a bit daunting. Generally, it’s found on higher-end restaurant menus and is usually served raw or simply seared (and quite rare).

As a result, I never order tuna when I go out to eat. I’m not a fan of raw or almost raw meats, though I occasionally try a bite. It took me years to even try cooking tuna steaks at home because I assumed it “had” to be eaten rare.

This is not the case, and tuna makes a very satisfying and meaty entrée that’s also quick and easy to make on a busy night. I preheat a cast iron skillet and make tuna steak in a pan on the stove to get a nice crisp exterior.

Even cooking it well-done takes less than 10 minutes to cook. You can also enjoy it rare if you prefer. In fact, I included a link to instructions for how to prepare it rare in the recipe card below.

You can also broil, grill, or air fry tuna steaks but it’s so quick and easy to make on the stove I’ve never tried those methods.

How do you make tuna flavorful?

I lightly salt and pepper each side of the tuna before cooking. Once it’s cooked I like to pair it with bright flavorful fruits or vegetables. My favorite pairing is grilled fresh or canned pineapple as detailed in the recipe card. I also like to serve with this pineapple mango salsa

Just before serving, finish it with a drizzle of wasabi lime aioli and serve with rice or quinoa and a salad for a delicious meal any time of the week.


Tuna Steak With Wasabi Lime Aioli

Pan-cooked tuna steaks take 15 minutes or less to prepare. Pair with grilled pineapple or pineapple mango salsa. Then finish with a drizzle of wasabi lime aioli.

  • Author: Heather McCurdy
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Protein
  • Method: Stovetop



Tuna Steaks

  • 1 Tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 6 ahi tuna steaks* 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Wasabi Aioli

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi
  • Juice from 1/2 lime

Grilled Pineapple

  • 61/4 inch slices fresh pineapple, peeled and cored**
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • May also use pineapple mango salsa instead.


Tuna Steaks

  1. Heat large cast iron pan over medium heat.
  2. Add coconut oil to pan.
  3. Salt and pepper both sides of the tuna.
  4. Add tuna to pan.
  5. Cook for 4 minutes on each side for tuna that is cooked through but still moist.***
  6. Remove tuna from pan, but leave pan on medium heat.

Wasabi Lime Aioli

  1. Whisk the wasabi and lime juice into the mayonnaise and set to side.


  1. Sprinkle rings of pineapple with brown sugar (see note).**
  2. Add to pan you cooked tuna in.
  3. Fry pineapple on each side until slightly caramelized (see note).****


  • *Use fresh or thawed fish.
  • **May use canned pineapple rings, but do not add additional sugar before grilling.
  • ***See here for how to pan sear tuna if you don’t want it well done.
  • ****Frying the pineapple will take a couple minutes on each side if using fresh pineapple as you want to also cook it until slightly softened. It will only take 1-2 minutes if using canned pineapple as it is already softened from canning process.

Keywords: fish recipe, tuna steak, tuna steak recipe

tuna steak with pineapple mango salsa wasabi aioli

Original post and image below originally published on October 14, 2013. Updated August 26, 2023.

Tuna Steak with Wasabi Lime Aoli over caramelized pineapple, an easy gourmet date night meal in 20 minutes or less #pinterestfoodie ~

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