Tuna with Parsley and Capers

Tuna with Parsley and Capers

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Tuna with Parsley and Capers is a delicious and easy way to prepare tuna steaks. The parsley, caper, and lemon sauce enhances the flavor of the tuna remarkably well and gives this simple dish stunning appeal that you would expect from fine dining.

Serving Tuna with Herbed Brown Rice

(Post modified on 2/9/24.)

My daughters tend to frown on tuna, especially canned. I grew up eating canned tuna, and I like a tuna salad sandwich, or even on lettuce leaves. When I had a chance to buy tuna steaks at the grocery store, I didn’t hesitate. The trick with Ahi Tuna is to only cook it for a little bit. You don’t want to overcook it or it will be tough. But when seared correctly, it’s so tender and delicious. And when you add the caper lemon sauce to the tuna, it transports the dish to a whole new level. Quite delicious!

I was first introduced to capers a few years ago when preparing sandwiches for a tea party and fell in love with their tart, briny flavor. Apparently, capers are grown in the Mediterranean and in arid to semi-arid countries. This green, unripened flower bud from the caper bush is considered “fruit,” and like olives, are pickled and salty.

Recipe for Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches

Capers are wonderful in Egg Salad or in seafood dishes, such as my Smoked Salmon Mousse Sandwiches. You may even use the brine in dressings for salads. However, I think they really shine in this tuna recipe. I love how their tartness pairs with the lemon and tuna. So good!

 

View More Seafood Recipes

 

Ingredients for Tuna with Parsley and Capers

(See the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)

The Sauce

  • capers, drained
  • garlic
  • lemon zest
  • red pepper flakes
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

Tuna Steaks

  • tuna steaks (4-5 oz each)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

 

Instructions for Making This Recipe

Ingredients to Make the Parsley-Caper-Lemon SauceTo begin, gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

 

Prepare the Caper Sauce

Using a knife and cutting board, chop the parsley. Mince the garlic.

Zest the lemon with a fine-edged grater to make 1 teaspoon. Squeeze the lemon to make 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

Mashing Capers in Mortar and PestlePlace the capers, minced garlic, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes inside a mortar bowl. Mash the ingredients with pestle to make a loose paste.

Mixing in the Parsley, Lemon Juice, and Olive OilTransfer the capers to a small bowl, and add chopped parsley and lemon juice. Stir in the kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil to finish the sauce. Set aside.

 

Cook the Tuna

Pat the tuna steaks with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Brush each with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

It’s not necessary to use fresh tuna for this recipe. Here in Kansas, our seafood comes frozen, and I’ll often buy Ahi Tuna Steaks from Sam’s Choice or from Aldi. 

Heat a large cast iron skillet (or grill) on medium-high heat. Brush the grill with olive oil.

Cooking Tuna on Cast Iron Grill PanAdd tuna steaks to the pan and sear on each side for 3-4 minutes, brushing with more oil before turning.

Putting Cross-Hatch Marks on the Tuna - Lodge Grill PanIf desired, turn steaks 90 degrees to create cross-hatch marks. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent the skillet from getting too hot. Steaks should be opaque and slightly pink in the center. Do not overcook the tuna or it will be tough.

I like to use my cast iron grill pan to cook the tuna, in order to leave cross-hatch marks on the steaks for a more appealing presentation.

Featured Image - Recipe for Tuna with Parsley and Capers

To serve, place tuna steaks on individual plates and spoon the Parsley-Caper-Lemon Sauce over the steaks. Garnish with fresh parsley is desired.

This recipe will serve 4 people. Serve tuna steaks with Herbed Brown Rice and a green vegetable such as petite green peas, asparagus, or Skillet Gnocchi and Brussels Sprouts. 

View more Seafood Recipes Here. Browse Main Dishes Here. 

 

Recipe for Tuna with Parsley and Capers

Tuna with Parsley and Capers

Here's a delicious and easy way to cook tuna. The Parsley, Caper, and Lemon Sauce remarkably enhances the flavor of the tuna. I give this one 5 stars!
5 from 2 votes
Print Rate Pin Recipe
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Capers, Cast Iron Cooking, Parsley, Tuna Steaks
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 
 

Parsley Caper Lemon Sauce

Tuna Steaks

Instructions

  • To begin, gather all your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Prepare the Caper Sauce

  • Using a knife and cutting board, chop the parsley. Mince the garlic.
    Zest the lemon to make 1 teaspoon. Squeeze the lemon to make 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
  • Place the capers, minced garlic, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes inside a mortar bowl. Mash the ingredients with pestle to make a loose paste.
  • Transfer the capers to a small bowl, and add chopped parsley and lemon juice. Stir in the kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil to finish the sauce. Set aside.

Cook the Tuna

  • Pat the tuna steaks with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Brush each with olive oil on both sides.
  • Sprinkle with kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Heat a large heavy skillet (a cast iron grill pan works great) on medium-high heat. Brush the grill with olive oil.
  • Add tuna steaks to the pan and sear on each side for 3-4 minutes, brushing with more oil before turning. If desired, turn steaks 90 degrees to create cross-hatch marks.
    Adjust the heat as needed, if the skillet gets too hot. Steaks should be opaque and slightly pink in the center.
  • To serve, place tuna steaks on individual plates and spoon sauce over the steaks. Garnish with fresh parsley is desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 1044mg | Potassium: 411mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3562IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 2mg
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4 thoughts on “Tuna with Parsley and Capers”

  • 5 stars
    This recipe is actually very Italian. My hubby makes a similar sauce/dressing for steak fish like tuna and swordfish called salmoriglio. It doesn’t have capers or red pepper but the rest is the same. However, capers with fish is very Southern Italian. There capers grow wild and it’s common to see people picking them by the roadside! We love them and use them a lot. Next time I have fresh tuna I want to try your sauce.

    • Thanks for the information, Jacqueline! How fun to be able to pick capers along the roadside! I hope you will enjoy this dish as much as we do.

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