Pasta Salad with Fresh Tuna – Gourmet Make-Over!

Gourmet Tuna Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad with Fresh Tuna is a gourmet twist on a classic favorite. Read on and SHARE the recipe.

Pasta Salad with Fresh Tuna

Why not impress your friends and family by serving Pasta Salad with Fresh Tuna at your next summer gathering? You will find familiar ingredients like pasta, veggies, tuna and mayo-based dressing, but that’s where the comparison ends. This recipe swaps elbow macaroni for farfalle (bow tie pasta.) Traditional celery and onions are swapped out for artichoke hearts, capers, and chives. There is also a tarragon and Dijon-flavored dressing which adds a delicious gourmet flair.

Last, but certainly not least, tuna steak takes the place of the traditional canned tuna. While not a fan of sushi, I do enjoy a nice pan-seared tuna steak. The great news is that this tuna cooks up in just minutes. Then after resting for 5 minutes, it’s thinly sliced and fanned across the top of the pasta salad. You can choose to present this salad in a serving bowl, or arrange it on individual plates. It looks great either way.

Lunds & Byerlys REAL FOOD magazine – a Great Resource!

This recipe originated from the Lunds & Byerlys REAL FOOD magazine.  My version includes a few tweaks, so I encourage you to check out the original recipe as well. I’ve been picking up this great complimentary magazine at the store for years.  Now you can also enjoy their online eBook version as well. Of all the magazines I’ve cooked from, REAL FOOD is the one I’ve turned to the most frequently over the years for great recipes and entertaining ideas. 


Pasta Salad with Fresh Tuna

Serves 4-6


  • 1/2 lb pasta farfalle (bow tie) or cavatapii (corkscrew)
  • 1/2 c. mayo
  • 1/4 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. champagne or other wine vinegar (I used white balsamic)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 1/2 salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and sliced into small wedges
  • 2 tbsp. freshly snipped chives, plus additional for garnishing
  • 3/4 c. seeded chopped tomatoes
  • 1 lb. fresh tuna fillet(s) (thawed if using frozen)
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil


  • Bring large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well and let cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine the mayo, yogurt, vinegar, mustard, tarragon, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper and stir to mix. Add the pasta, artichokes, capers, chives and tomatoes. Note - I found it worked best to stir the pasta into the dressing before it cooled to the point it starts to stick together.
  • Pat dry the tuna fillet(s) and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds, then place the tuna in the hot pan. Sear on each side for about 2 minutes, until browned but still pink in the center. Transfer the tuna to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing across the grain into thin strips. Serve the pasta with the tuna spread across the top and sprinkle with additional chives if desired. Enjoy!


Adapted from Lunds & Byerls real food Summer 2017 magazine - Cavatappi with Creamy Tarragon Dressing and Fresh Tuna


2 thoughts on “Pasta Salad with Fresh Tuna – Gourmet Make-Over!

  1. Brad would love this if I substituted gluten free pasta. I’m a little scared of cooking tuna I’ve never done it. But it looks delicious

    • I was surprised actually how easy it was to pan sear the tuna fillet. You should give it a try. That’s what cooking is all about. Trying new things! 😊

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