Yellowfin Tuna Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto and Dates

This Yellowfin Tuna Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto and Dates recipe is a flavorful way to bring Mediterranean flair to your table.

If you’re looking to transport your taste buds to the shores of Spain or the beaches of Greece, one of the best places to start is with the Mediterranean Diet. Renowned chef Geoffrey Zakarian recommends these tips to help home cooks elevate their dishes and easily incorporate the popular diet into everyday cooking.

Reach for Pantry Staples

There’s no single definition of the Mediterranean Diet, but it’s high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil and seafood. By keeping your pantry stocked with canned versions of ingredients like beans and fish you can easily add them to your favorite dishes.

Add Seafood.

Eating more seafood is one of the leading principles of the Mediterranean Diet. Tuna salad is one tried-and-true dish that can help incorporate fish into your menu. To make it more nutritious, opt for tuna that’s packed in extra-virgin olive oil, so you don’t have to add much mayo to the base. For example, Genova Premium Tuna provides a tasteful addition to recipes and is high in protein, a great source of omega-3s and has a uniquely rich and savory flavor that offers a taste of the Mediterranean in every bite.

Yellowfin Tuna Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto and Dates

    Prep Time: 20-30 minutes

    Cook time: 20-25 minute

    Servings: 4

Yellowfin Tuna Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto and Dates Ingredients

    2 cans (5 ounces each) Genova Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil, drained

    1/2 cup pine nuts

    4 cups arugula

    1 garlic clove

    2 tablespoons butter (optional)

    1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus additional for garnish (optional)

    2 lemons, zest only (optional)

    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    8 ounces whole-wheat orecchiette

    1/2 cup jarred sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped

    1/2 cup dates, pitted and quartered

    1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

    1/4 cup dill, chopped (optional)

    1/4 cup parsley, chopped (optional)

Yellowfin Tuna Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto and Dates Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 F.
  • On a sheet tray, toast pine nuts 8-12 minutes, or until golden. Set aside to cool.
  • Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Prepare ice water bath by filling large bowl with cold water and ice. Stir arugula into boiling water and cook until bright green and tender, about 30 seconds. Drain arugula, immediately shock in ice water and set aside to fully drain; cover with towel.
  • In blender or food processor, add arugula; garlic; pine nuts; butter, if desired; Parmigiano-Reggiano; lemon zest, if desired; salt; and pepper. Puree on high, incorporating olive oil to desired thickness.
  • Place pesto in bowl and cover tightly to avoid discoloring.
  • Bring large pot of salted water to boil.
  • Add pasta and return to boil, stirring occasionally. Taste pasta for doneness 2 minutes earlier than package instructions. Once cooked, drain and transfer to large bowl. Do not rinse.
  • Add pesto gently until evenly distributed. Fold in tuna, sun-dried tomatoes, dates and olives.
  • Divide between shallow bowls and finish with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano, dill and parsley, if desired.


Quick & Easy Recipes You Might Also like


Visit for more recipe inspiration.

Genova Tuna


Subscribe to Receive our Gourmet Recipes

Yellowfin Tuna Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto and Dates - Easy and Delicious Dishes

World-renowned chefs with an extraordinary passion for food share their passion on These chefs make great cooking easier than imagined. Each gourmet recipe features expert advice and an easy-to-make recipe. Exactly what you need to transform your home cooking from acceptable to delectable