This Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad Recipe is a close vegan replacement to actual tuna salad. It’s tangy, thick and makes a mean chickpea tuna salad sandwich.
Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad Recipe
I give this vegan chickpea tuna salad recipe an 8/10 in the “fooling someone” category and a 9.5/10 on the flavor matching. It tastes ridiculously close to the real thing.
My husband who can reach for a real tuna fish salad sandwich whenever he’d like to says it’s a 10/10 on flavor matching. So you be the judge! I just wanted to be super honest that it’s really, really close. But just a tiny bit different from the real thing.
Either way it will TOTALLY take care of your cravings. 100%. And it’s totally vegan and actually not half bad for you!
Tips for making this Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad Recipe:
- You can skip the bell pepper and celery without it affecting the flavor too much, those are there mainly for the crunch.
- Don’t skip the red onion, it’s very important to making a convincing “tuna salad” flavor.
- If making this a day or more ahead, add a little more mayo the day of serving just to mellow out the flavors a bit since the flavors intensify as the salad sits.
The skin separating from the chickpeas is what gives it a texture similar to an actual tuna fish salad. The hand mashing takes a few minutes, but is definitely worth the effort to mash them well so you get the right texture.
What Is Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad?
Vegan chickpea tuna salad is my spin on traditional tuna salad, but with vegan ingredients. If you eat vegan, you already know that tuna isn’t vegan. I used to eat tuna salad sandwiches all the time and knew that I didn’t want to completely give it up. So I was on a mission to create my own version without any tuna.
While I will still have tuna here and there, I wanted a much lower cost version too. So, with my quest for more meatless meals, vegan chickpea tuna salad was born. And boy oh boy, am I glad it was. It’s packed with flavor and really has a texture similar to actual tuna.
What Kind Of Nutrients Are In Chickpeas?
You’ll be happy to know that chickpeas are loaded with lots of good-for-you nutrients your body needs. This chickpea tuna salad has iron, protein, folate, copper, phosphorus, and manganese. Plus, studies show that chickpeas are ideal for keeping you full longer. So eat this chickpea tuna salad, and you don’t have any guilt if you are trying to eat healthy.
Optional Chickpea Tuna Salad
Honestly, this chickpea tuna salad is so yummy that I can eat it with a spoon and never think twice about it. However, sometimes I feel like trying out some different things, so I wanted to share those with you.
- Lettuce Wrap – Skip the bread and use large pieces of lettuce instead. Fold it up like you would a burrito and dig in. It’s a nice little added crunch and tastes excellent.
- Capers – If you want a bang for your buck, toss in a tablespoon or two of capers. They will add some zip to the tuna salad, that’s amazing!
- Tomatoes – Chop up some cherry or grape tomatoes and add to the mixture. Or just lay a slice of tomato on your sandwich. It’s a great way to add more nutrients and flavor.
- Cucumber – Dice up a cucumber (removing the seeds) and toss it into the chickpea tuna salad mixture. It’s mind blowing good!
- Pickle – Cut up a dill pickle and mix in the tuna salad. My recipe already has pickle juice and dill weed, so it makes sense to stick an actual pickle in there too.
- Seeds – Add in some sunflower seeds for some extra crunchy goodness. Or sprinkle them on top right before serving.
- Avocado – If you don’t have access to vegan mayo, no problem! You could easily swap it out with mashed avocado instead. It’s creamy, smooth, and a compliment to the other ingredients.
Keep in mind if you add in or omit any of the ingredients, the nutritional information will be different.
Can You Eat Canned Chickpeas Raw?
Yes, canned chickpeas have already been cooked, so they are completely safe to eat right out of the can. They do not need to be cooked or even warmed up.
How Do You Store Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad?
Refrigerate the vegan chickpea tuna salad when you are done with it. Keep it in a container that has a tightfitting lid. It will last 3-4 days in the fridge and, in some cases, even longer. Just look it over and make sure there is no mold, and it smells good. If you notice any strange odors, then it’s begun to spoil and should be tossed. Thankfully, you can whip up a new batch in minutes.
More Vegan Recipes To Try:
- Vegan Crockpot Refried Beans – Vegan or not, these crockpot refried beans are so delicious and can be eaten alone or used as a base for other recipes. Since this freezes so well, you can rest assured that making a batch will never go to waste!
- Easy Vegan Buddha Bowl – Buddha Bowls are so much fun as they can easily please everyone as you pick your own ingredients. They are hearty and filling for lunches or a light weeknight dinner.
- Homemade Tahini Recipe – This homemade tahini is super easy to make and is the base for the best hummus. Don’t miss that one! Depending on how long you cream this, it can be a little chunky or smooth as peanut butter – which is the general way to do it. Either way, catch this burst of protein that is hot in recipes right now.
- Homemade Vegan Spaghetti Sauce – This quick to make sauce is hearty and filling. You can make it ahead of time and just add noodles later for an excellent weeknight meal prep dinner. Make a few batches to store in freezer safe gallon zip lock bags!
Chickpea Tuna Salad
- 2 15 oz. Cans Chickpeas
- 1/4 cup Chickpea Liquid saved from can
- 1/2 Orange or Red Bell Pepper thinly diced
- 1 Individual Stalk Celery thinly diced
- 1/4 cup Red Onion chopped
- 2 tbsp. Dill Pickle Juice
- 3 tbsp. Lemon Juice fresh squeezed
- 1/4 cup Vegan Mayo
- 1 tsp. Spicy Brown Mustard
- 1/2 tsp. Dill Weed
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Lettuce of choice for serving, optional
- Sandwich Bread for serving, optional
- Sliced Tomato for serving, optional
- Drain chickpeas. Save 1/4 Cup liquid from can. Add chickpeas and liquid to a large bowl.
- Mash with a potato masher, pressing firmly and using a rocking motion to mash chickpeas. Then use a fork to mash chickpeas more finely.Tip: This step can take about 8 minutes to get a good mash. It’s worth taking the extra time to make sure the chickpeas are mashed well. The skins separating from the mashed chickpeas is what gives it a “tuna fish” type of texture.
- Once mashed, add all other ingredients and mix well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Optional: Lightly toast bread. Place enough lettuce to cover a slice of bread. Smear a portion of chickpea tuna salad over lettuce. Top with bread.