Grilled Tuna Nachos

If you haven’t planned your Superbowl spread yet, I highly recommend adding these. They’re lighter nachos than you’re used to, but are full of flavor. They also look fantastic on any football-themed plate your husband might have gotten from your sister for Christmas. 🙂 For these nachos, it’s easy to prep most of the ingredients ahead of time and re-heat later. I actually did that for this post since I was cooking in the morning for the sunlight, but eating in the evening. It also made enough for us to re-heat the tuna and cheese sauce again the next night for round two.

These nachos were inspired by some blackened tuna nachos I had in South Carolina. I saw them on the menu and thought it sounded weird, but the person next to me at the bar had them and they looked delicious, so I went for it. It was a great decision, and may have changed the way I look at nachos forever. You could call it a life-changing nacho decision.

Before we start, I want to mention that the below makes enough nachos for at least four people to eat as a meal or heavy appetizer. You can halve if you’re making it for two, or double if you’re making it for a large group.

Anyway, the first step is to marinate your tuna. I didn’t take a picture of this, but you want to marinate your raw tuna steaks in some lime juice, hot sauce, garlic powder, salt, pepper and oil. While this is marinating, you prep your other ingredients:

– Finely dice some red onion
– Slice up some black olives (or just open the can you got from Trader Joes)
– Quarter some limes
– Thinly slice an avocado
– Chop up some parsley (optional)

DSC03123Look at that plate! Totes adorbs.

At this point, if you want to multi-task, you can take out the tuna (which is marinating in the fridge, right?), and grill it while you’re making the sauce. If not, make the sauce and keep it on low heat on a back burner.

As a heads up, the sauce I made for this can get a little congeal-y if you let it sit for too long, but it tastes fantastic and it’s hidden under the other toppings anyway. So let’s just pretend it’s super smooth. The reason it’s like this is because I used actual cheese (Fontina). If you want it smoother, you can use (shudder) white American cheese.

For the sauce, you first make a small roux by melting 2 tablespoons of butter in a small pot. Once melted, add 1-2 tablespoons of flour and stir, cooking for one minute. Next add in 1/4 cup of cream and stir. When it’s mixed together adding in 1/2 pound of shredded cheese,  1/2 teaspoon each of cumin, chili powder, and cayenne. Once it’s melted together add in 1/2 cup of tomatillo salsa. Adjust seasoning as necessary.

As a side note, for the salsa I used the Trader Joe’s hatch chili and tomatillo salsa. It’s spicier than regular tomatillo salsa and added a kick that I really liked. If you want yours spicer but can’t find the hatch chili salsa, add some dashes of regular hot sauce, or increase the amount of cayenne.

DSC03124For the tuna steaks, I heated up my indoor cast iron skillet with ridges. You can use a basic pan if you don’t have one, or go all out and grill outside. Before grilling, pat the tuna steaks dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and rub on some Chinese five spice if you have it. If you don’t, you can use any basic blackening seasoning. They’re different tastes, but are both pretty solid.

DSC03118Once your grill/pan is heated, sear the tuna on each side until just cooked through. Roughly chop into large chunks.

Next, assemble your plate as desired and enjoy!DSC03128

Now, instead of a cat “fact” I wanted to share this article, which is hilarious.

Grilled Tuna Nachos

As noted, this makes enough for four dinners or large appetizers. You can cut in half or easily double, etc.


For the tuna:

Two tuna steaks, raw and thawed
1/3 cup vegetable or olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, plus extra for seasoning
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice, or blackening seasoning

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1-2 tablespoons flour
1/2 pound white cheese, such as Fontina or white American cheddar
1/2 cup tomatillo salsa
1/4 cup milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon each of cumin, chili powder, and cayenne powder

For the nachos:

1 large bag blue corn chips
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1 small can sliced black olives, drained, or 1/4 cup blacked olives, sliced
1 avocado, thinly sliced
2 limes, quartered
1/4 cup parsley, chopped (optional)

1. Place tuna steaks in a ziploc bag with first five spices. Place in fridge while preparing other ingredients, or for 20-30 minutes.

2. Slice/dice/cut up other ingredients and set aside.

3. For the cheese sauce, melt butter in a small pot. Add flour and cook for one minute. Whisk in milk, then add in cheese and spices. Stir in salsa once combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

4. For the tuna steaks, heat up grill or skillet to high heat. Sear on each side then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until just cooked all the way through. Set on cutting board and roughly chop 1/2 to 1 inch pieces.

5. Assemble nachos with chips, cheese sauce, tuna, and remaining ingredients. Squeeze lime juice over nachos and enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Grilled Tuna Nachos

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