Grilled Tuna Kebabs


In case you haven’t heard, we’ve been having some awfully weird weather here in Northern California. It’s been windy, rainy, and (gulp) cold for weeks.

I’ve been walking around in denial, refusing to wear long pants—shorts only please—or socks, even though it’s in the 40s at night. The denial extends to my grill. I don’t care if it’s raining dagnabbit! I have a grill and I’m going to use it, even if I have to bundle up under my rain parka to do it.

For your enjoyment today are grilled tuna kebabs (prepared under said rain parka) with assorted vegetables, which marinated for several hours in a rosemary garlic olive oil marinade.

We had originally intended to use swordfish, but fresh tuna steaks were on sale at the market and we couldn’t resist. You could use any meaty fish for these kabobs. Bon appétit!

Grilled Tuna Kebabs Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Marinating time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4

You can use either double skewers or single skewers. Single skewers are easier to load, but the food rotates around them making them more difficult to turn. Double skewers are a little trickier to load, but the food stays on them better.

If you are using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for an hour or more before cooking to help prevent them from catching fire on a hot grill.


  • 1 1/2 pounds tuna, swordfish or sturgeon steaks
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 small onion (sweet if available)
  • 6-10 large button mushrooms
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges

Marinade Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves

Don't add vinegar or lemon to the marinade or you'll "cook" the fish!


1 Cut into bite-sized pieces: Cut all the fish and veggies into similar-sized pieces; this helps everything lay flat when it is on the grill.

2 Marinate the fish and vegetables: To make the marinade, purée the onion, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil while puréeing, continue to purée until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.

Coat the fish and veggies in the marinade. Set in the fridge for at least an hour and up to overnight.

3 Thread onto skewers: When skewering the fish and vegetables, pierce the fish against the grain, and select pieces of veggies that are close to the same size as your fish. This is important, because if the pieces are different widths, some things will be charred and others undercooked.

You also want to be careful when loading up the skewers; it's easy to stab yourself by accident!

grilled-tuna-kebabs-method-1 grilled-tuna-kebabs-method-2

Alternate pieces of fish with pieces of various veggies, leaving a little space between everything. Don’t crowd the skewer, or the parts that are touching will cook too slowly.

Note that by threading the skewers with assorted veggies and fish, some things will be cooked more or less than others, as some things take longer to cook than others.

If you want all of your items to be cooked perfectly, use a separate skewer for the onions, one for the tuna, one for the bell peppers, etc. Put the onions and bell peppers down first because they take longer to cook.

4 Grill on high, direct heat: Prepare the grill for high, direct heat. Clean the grates and wipe them down with a paper towel that has been dipped in vegetable oil. Lay the skewers on the grill.

Don't move them until the fish pieces are well browned on one side, about 3-6 minutes.


Then using tongs, carefully turn the skewers over and cook them until they are seared on the other side.

Serve hot or at room temperature. Drizzle with lemon juice or serve with lemon wedges.

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  1. Jane

    I’ve made these 3 times in the past month, and tomorrow night will be 4. The marinade is heavenly, and it’s so nice and quick on a weeknight. Thanks!

  2. MC

    Okay I finally made these and they were SOOOOOO good!! We are definitely having grilling weather in Folsom now! We will be having these a few more times before this summer is over!

  3. ann

    I made these last night — delicious! I know it’s a simple recipe, but it would not have occured to me to combine the ingredients that way for the marinade, or to include the onions on the skewers. Thanks!

  4. Jill Silverman Hough

    It’s been similarly cold in Napa, Elise, although this weekend was nicely summery – I’m sure it was the same in Sacramento, too!

    MC beat me to it, asking about where you got the skewers – thanks for the link. I make a similar recipe, using tapenade, homemade or even store bought, for the marinade. I serve tapenade-laced tabbouleh along side – bet your marinade would also be great stirred into tabbouleh!

  5. Ardorpes

    Where did you get those skewers? they are soo good :D

    Aren’t they cool? I found them at ~Elise

  6. Kristen (wwfoodie)

    LOVE the idea of double skewering. I have never seen that trick before and frankly the problems with single skewers are one reason I tend to shy away from them. But who doesn’t love food on a stick? Thanks! I am going to try these for the Memorial Day cookout!

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