Tuna Steaks With Lemon Cream Sauce

Tuna Steaks With Lemon Cream Sauce

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
500 Calories
26g Fat
35g Carbs
38g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 500
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 15g 74%
Cholesterol 117mg 39%
Sodium 439mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 10g 35%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 38g
Vitamin C 181mg 903%
Calcium 126mg 10%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 1138mg 24%
*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.)

Tuna chops, or steaks, are incredibly meaty and filling cuts of fish, so much so that their texture has very little to do with what we may be accustomed to thinking of as fish, or much less as tuna. Flaky, firm, and with the perfect amount of fish flavor, tuna steaks are a nutritious meal. Easy to make, the steaks are seasoned with fresh and simple ingredients. The result is a chunky and juicy fish steak covered in a tangy and creamy lemon sauce. Perfection.

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and protein, a 100-gram piece of yellowfin tuna steak has just 106 calories but a whopping 24 grams of protein.

Be mindful that the secret to a perfect tuna steak lies in the quick-cooking method; overcooking your steaks makes them rubbery and unpalatable. Have everything you need at hand and ready, as the fish can go from your kitchen to your table in just 15 minutes. Serve with a grain salad or roasted potatoes for a fabulous dinner.


  • 8 ounces fresh yellowfin tuna (2 steaks)

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 

  • 1/8 cup sweet onions, minced

  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced

  • 1/4 cup white wine

  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste 

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained 

For Serving:

  • Fresh dill, chopped

  • Lemon wedges, or lime wedges, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Tuna Steaks With Lemon Cream Sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Sprinkle both sides of the tuna steaks with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

    seasoned tuna steaks on a plate

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Heat a heavy skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the butter, and swirl to coat the pan.

    oil and butter in a skillet

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Sear the tuna steaks until golden brown on each side, turning only once. Depending on the thickness of the steaks, you might need 1 to 2 minutes per side. For doneness, you're looking for 125 F for rare to 145 F for medium inside. Do not overcook tuna. Remove to a plate and keep warm.

    tuna steaks cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Lower the heat to medium. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan along with the onions. Gently sauté until onions are translucent.

    onions cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 additional minute, stirring often.

    onions and garlic cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Carefully pour in the white wine and lemon juice. Stir and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 to 3 minutes.

    white wine and lemon juice with the onions an garlic in a skillet

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. Add the heavy cream, return to a simmer, and cook another 3 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the drained capers.

    sauce cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  9. Plate the tuna steaks, pour the lemon cream sauce over the warm tuna, and garnish with dill and lemon or lime wedges.

    Tuna Steaks With Lemon Cream Sauce on a plate

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Can I Use Frozen Tuna Steaks?

Yes, frozen tuna is a great alternative for this and other tuna steak recipes (but it's best to choose fresh, if you can). What's most important, besides the cooking, is to thaw the tuna in the correct manner to avoid a change in texture or color. To thaw your steaks, you need to:

  • Put them in the fridge inside of a resealable plastic bag and place the plastic bag in a bowl to collect moisture.
  • Leave them to thaw overnight inside of the fridge.
  • Remove them from the bag and proceed with your recipe.

Some microwaves have a thawing setting for fish based on their weight, but the result in texture, flavor, and color is always best when thawing the tuna steaks overnight inside of the refrigerator.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Ahi Tuna Steak, Raw. FoodData Central. United States Department of Agriculture.