Lemon Pepper Grilled Tuna

Lemon Pepper Grilled Tuna

The Spruce / Danielle Moore

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
357 Calories
8g Fat
1g Carbs
66g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 357
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 107mg 36%
Sodium 502mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 66g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 1211mg 26%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These simple grilled tuna steaks with lemon pepper take just minutes to prepare and cook. The combination of lemon pepper, which is a specific seasoning, with tender grilled tuna is really wonderful.

This is a dish that you can make year-round. In the summer, use an outdoor charcoal or gas grill. In the winter, or when the weather is not suitable for outdoor grilling, use a cast-iron grill pan on the stovetop. 

Both frozen and frozen tuna is suitable for this recipe. Use fresh tuna immediately after you buy it. Let frozen tuna slowly thaw in the fridge, or, to speed up the thawing, place the sealed bag in a bowl of cold water. 

You can buy ready-made lemon pepper seasoning or make your own lemon pepper spice mix from scratch. The recipe also calls for lemon juice and lemon peel to up the lemon flavor. 

If you have the time, give the tuna the full two hours to marinate. Longer marinating will not only intensify the taste but also help the fish from turning dry on the grill, which can easily happen with tuna because it’s a very lean fish. 

It is usually recommended to grill tuna to medium rare doneness. Rather than going by time, which depends on the thickness of the tuna, use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness. For food safety reasons, we suggest to always cook tuna to at least 140 F, which is medium. 

If you prefer your grilled tuna well done, it might be a bit dry. You can counter this by adding a sauce, such as lemon caper sauce

If there are any leftovers, use them in any recipe that calls for canned tuna, for example to make parmesan tuna sandwiches, or in a niçoise salad. Leftovers keep in the fridge for three to four days.

For side dishes, serve the grilled tuna with a mixed green salad tossed with mushrooms, avocados, and cherry tomatoes, and some savory scones or dinner rolls.


  • 4 (6- to 8-ounce) tuna steaks

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Lemon Pepper Grilled Tuna ingredients

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  2. Combine the oil, lemon juice, lemon pepper, salt, and lemon peel in a small bowl and mix well.

    Combine the oil, lemon juice, lemon pepper, salt, and lemon peel in a small bowl

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  3. Rub marinade into the tuna steaks. Cover and refrigerate the tuna for 1 to 2 hours.

    Rub marinade into the tuna steaks

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  4. Cook on a ​2-sided grill for 2 to 3 minutes per each 1/2 inch of meat thickness, until done as desired. You can also cook on charcoal or gas grill, or on a cast-iron grill pan on the stove, 5 to 8 minutes, turning once, until done as you'd like.

    Lemon Pepper Grilled Tuna on a grill pan

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore