Cebolada de Atum (Tuna with Onions and Bell Peppers)

Tuna is locally caught along the Algarve in Southern Portugal, and so the local cuisine also includes recipes for tuna. Cebolada de atum is one of the most common dishes. The name “cebolada” refers to the onions in the dish and there are many variations of this recipe. I tried the dish at restaurant Ponto de Encontro in Tavira and their version included bell pepper and the tuna was braised. Braised tuna doesn’t sound as good as it actually was, as it was tender and juicy. This was probably due to the quality of the tuna; I suspect it was from the belly and therefore fatty enough. You could also just sear the tuna and keep it rare inside, and still serve it with the braised onions and bell peppers.


For 2 servings

300 grams (.66 lb) fresh tuna

2 large onions, sliced

2 bell peppers (I used 1 red and 1 yellow), in strips

600 grams (1.33 lb) waxy potatoes

1 ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced

1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

fresh rosemary

1 Tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley

1 bay leaf

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

120 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine

extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Slice the onions. Clean the bell peppers and cut into strips.

Preheat the oven to 225C/440F. Peel the potato and cut into wedges. Toss the wedges with olive oil until they are covered on all sides. Arrange the potato wedges on a baking sheet lined with oven paper.

Bake the potatoes for 15 minutes at 225C/440F, then turn them.

Continue baking the potatoes until they are golden brown and cooked through, about another 15 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the tuna. Cut the tuna into serving pieces and pat them dry with paper towels. Season the tuna with salt on all sides.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and sear the tuna on both sides over high heat. Take the tuna out of the pan and reserve.

Add the onions to the same pan without cleaning.

Stir over medium heat until the onions are translucent.

Add the bell pepper strips.

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add a bay leaf and rosemary…

…and the thinly sliced garlic…

…and the tomato. Stir to incorporate.

Add the white wine. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until the wine has been reduced by half.

Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the peppers are tender but still firm to the bite.

Add 1/2 tablespoon of white wine vinegar.

Turn off the heat and add the tuna.

Cover the tuna with the tomatoes and bell peppers.

Cover and allow the tuna to stew in the warm sauce for a couple of minutes, if you are going for stewed tuna.

Take the tuna out of the pan.

Bring the sauce to a boil, then turn off the heat.

Arrange the potatoes and half of the peppers and onions on preheated plates.

Arrange the tuna on top of the peppers and onions, and cover with the remaining peppers and onions. Garnish with parsley and more rosemary.


Eggplant  is a prominent ingredient in Italian cooking, and it is prepared in many ways. These eggplant balls are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, with a lot of flavor, and are a great vegetarian appetizer or main course.

10 thoughts on “Cebolada de Atum (Tuna with Onions and Bell Peppers)

  1. This recipe is new to me and will be most useful indeed ! I love tuna but usually eat it very much on the rare side. Also do use all the vegetables you have , perhaps even more simply prepared. Have not combined the two but shall ! To my way of thinking the tuna should be cooked almost to ‘done’ in this instance . . . keeping it juicy but in line with the rest of the ingredients . . .


    1. Ciao Paola, ci sono tante ricette per il tonno con sapori forti come salsa di soia oppure semi di sesamo. Forse il sapore del tonno non e’ cosi’ delicato? Anche in questo caso secondo me il sapore del tonno non e’ nascosto.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wilde je toch weer vertellen (al eens eerder gedaan) dat ik zowel de Nederlandse als Engelstalige site heel regelmatig gebruik en er zeer over te spreken ben. Heb de link aan heel wat vriendjes doorgestuurd. Mijn complimenten! Groeten, Eric


    Liked by 1 person

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