Seared Ahi Tuna with Chimichurri Sauce, Arugula and Avocado

Seared Ahi Tuna with Chimichurri Sauce, Arugula and Avocado |

We all indulge on weekends, am I right? I can’t be the only one who finds herself flipping pancakes and making hearty, egg-laden brunches, with perhaps some baking thrown in for good measure? Oh, and don’t forget the wine. It wouldn’t be a good weekend without a glass or two (or three, don’t worry, I don’t judge).

By Monday, I’m ready to get back on track, to detox, to return to normal. But this weekend, we had a head start.

Seared Ahi Tuna with Chimichurri Sauce, Arugula and Avocado |
Seared Ahi Tuna with Chimichurri Sauce, Arugula and Avocado |

On Sunday, the topic of the evening’s dinner was discussed. “Seared tuna,” my husband requested; he was intent on a simple seared tuna, fresh and ruby colored. “Do you mind if I try something different with it?” I queried — we often fall back on one of our favorite preparations, and as delicious as it is, I wanted to pare down even more, as it tends to dirty up my stove with splatter and makes the house smell (albeit a delicious smell) for days. “What do you think of Seared Ahi Tuna with Chimichurri Sauce, Arugula and Avocado?” I asked. I figured the chimichurri with clinch the deal.

And it did.

Seared Ahi Tuna with Chimichurri Sauce, Arugula and Avocado |

With a refrigerator full of gorgeous fresh herbs and tender baby arugula, I wanted to try Eric Ripert’s version of a chimichurri – more salsa than sauce. Of course, I fussed with it a bit – I went heavier on the cilantro than the parsley, as I always prefer my chimichurri that way. And I thought it could use a little more heat, so a pinch of cayenne and a dose of crunchy jalapeño sounded like a good idea.

Seared Ahi Tuna with Chimichurri Sauce, Arugula and Avocado |

Sunday supper came about in mere minutes – and with a quick sear on both sides, I found myself plating the slivers of gorgeous tuna in minutes, resting it on a willing bed of baby arugula and perfectly ripe avocado. A generous drizzle of the vibrant chimichurri, and each bite was velvety, crunchy and bright – just as a spring Sunday dinner should be.

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Seared Ahi Tuna with Chimichurri Sauce

Yield: Serves 4-6.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

One of the best things about a seared ahi tuna is that it cooks so quickly, dinner is never a long wait away. This is a hearty salad that pairs velvety smooth tuna with the vibrant flavors of a crunchy chimichurri, fresh peppery arugula and buttery avocado. In other words: I love it so.


1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 small red onion, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped basil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 1-lb sushi-grade tuna steak
6 oz baby arugula
2 avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced


In a small bowl, stir 1/3 cup of olive oil with the cilantro, red onion, jalapeño, sherry vinegar, basil, parsley, garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Season both sides of the tuna generously with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non stick pan over high heat. Sear the tuna, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into thin slices.

In a medium bowl, toss the baby arugula with about 1/2 of the chimichurri sauce. Place a handful of arugula on salad plates, and top with the the slices of tuna and avocado. Dress with more chimichurri sauce and serve with any remaining sauce on the side.

Adapted from Seared Tuna with Chimichurri Sauce and Greens by Eric Ripert, Food & Wine (July, 2004).

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by Liren Baker on April 16, 2014

48 Responses to “Seared Ahi Tuna with Chimichurri Sauce, Arugula and Avocado”

  1. Ramya April 17, 2014 @ 5:34 am (#

    very good and easy recipie with tuna. loved it.

  2. Heidi @foodiecrush April 17, 2014 @ 6:34 am (#

    Positively perfect for Sunday or any other old day o f the week. Your tuna looks gorgeous and I love the idea of chimichurri to spice things up.

  3. marcie April 17, 2014 @ 8:13 am (#

    This dish looks so fresh and vibrant, and I’m a huge fan of chimichurri and arugula! Looks delicious. :)

  4. cheri April 17, 2014 @ 9:26 am (#

    I pinned and printed! This salad is perfection, the way it looks and the ingredients used. MY husband would love this!

  5. Christina @ but i'm hungry April 17, 2014 @ 11:16 am (#

    Love the idea of pairing chimichurri with the seared tuna. Love this for a quick, but elegant weeknight meal. YUM!

  6. Meredith In Sock Monkey Slippers April 17, 2014 @ 11:27 am (#

    Simply Stunning!

  7. Maria | Pink Patisserie April 17, 2014 @ 1:24 pm (#

    Just gorgeous on so many levels Liren! I see this dish in my very near future!

  8. Carol at Wild Goose Tea April 17, 2014 @ 8:20 pm (#

    Gorgeous looking salad with a very nice array of flavored ingredients. Definitely a different treatment of seared tuna and looks like a successful one too.

  9. Lauren @ Living the Savory Life April 17, 2014 @ 9:11 pm (#

    I think I need to have this! And soon! Your Chimichurri looks amazing!

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  11. Laurie {Simply Scratch} April 18, 2014 @ 6:53 am (#

    Gorgeous, Liren! I don’t think I’ve seen a more stunning thing!

  12. Denise April 18, 2014 @ 2:52 pm (#

    Chimichurri is a favorite to serve alongside grilled meats in our house, but haven’t tried with fish. Cannot wait to try it out!

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  14. Averie @ Averie Cooks April 19, 2014 @ 8:39 am (#

    Liren your photos never cease to amaze – so breathtaking! Pinned!

  15. Rebecca {foodie with family} April 21, 2014 @ 5:52 pm (#

    What a perfect date night recipe for my husband and I!

  16. Paula - bell'alimento April 22, 2014 @ 5:30 am (#

    After a week of over indulging this is so welcoming!

  17. Elma April 22, 2014 @ 7:12 am (#

    Hello dear! I am totally in love with your posts. Gorgeous and delicious recipes!
    Take a look at my blog as I also do cooking and photography posts:

    Thanks doll and have a great day!

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  19. Becky April 22, 2014 @ 10:26 am (#

    Seriously, this has my mouth watering! I love seared tuna and with avocado and chimichurri it would be just divine! Great spring recipe!

  20. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles April 22, 2014 @ 5:32 pm (#

    This is gorgeous. How I’d love a plate all for myself!

  21. ATasteOfMadness April 24, 2014 @ 2:38 pm (#

    Oh wow. If I didn’t have such a huge lunch, I would be making this right now

  22. Steve Desmonds April 24, 2014 @ 5:12 pm (#

    That Looks so Good! fresh, and vibrant, delicious. :)

  23. Fanny April 25, 2014 @ 12:41 pm (#

    This looks so good :) Amazing photos, and im sure it tastes amazing aswell. Can´t wait to try this out :)

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  29. Marjolein May 5, 2014 @ 2:06 am (#

    Looks very nice, and great pictures by the way.! Can’t wait to try this. And I love tuna.

  30. Phoebe Lapine @FeedMePhoebe May 5, 2014 @ 8:47 am (#

    This is such a beautiful and fresh looking salad, and so perfect for spring!

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  32. Haley May 24, 2014 @ 10:23 pm (#

    So delicious and light. Made this tonight for the boyfriend and he loved it. Followed the recipe to a tee and wouldn’t change a thing. So wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

    • Liren Baker replied: — May 25th, 2014 @ 9:28 am

      I’m so glad you and your boyfriend enjoyed it, Haley! Thank you for coming back and letting me know!

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  34. KEISHAinc August 20, 2014 @ 8:42 pm (#

    Never have I thought I would ever cook Ahi Tuna, but after seeing this recipe and the images… OMG! Plus, the dish seems so simple to pull together. I will definitely try this one.

  35. Diane September 13, 2014 @ 5:06 pm (#

    As I read other reviews everybody talked about how “pretty” it was (and it is) but I wanted to know what it would taste like. My husband and I are doing a very carb restricted diet for the next couple of months so I am really trying hard to find good flavorful recipes that will fit. This one is a real winner. Will definitely make it again.

    • Liren Baker replied: — September 13th, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

      Diane, that means so much, thank you! I’m glad that you and your husband have found a recipe that will help you in the coming weeks!

  36. Amy September 17, 2014 @ 6:01 pm (#

    This looks amazing! I plan on making it this weekend. Is there a grain that you think would pair nicely with this? My initial thought was quinoa might work.

    • Liren Baker replied: — September 17th, 2014 @ 10:19 pm

      Hi Amy! Hope you enjoy it! Grains that could work with this dish – yes quinoa would be great, also farro, corn, and barley. I hope this helps!

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