This vegan tuna salad is a super delicious tuna alternative that’s made with mashed chickpeas plus a few other wholesome ingredients. If you loved classic tuna salad, this vegan version is a must try.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Naturally high in protein. Young jackfruit is a popular choice for making vegan tuna salads, but it contains very little protein. We’re using chickpeas instead. 1 can of chickpeas contains close to 60 grams of protein and makes a much better vegan meat substitute in terms of protein content and mimicking the nutrition profile of real tuna.
- Ideal for meal prep. This tuna salad can be made up to 3 days in advance and spread on a sandwich or wrap the night before. Great for college students, work lunches, or picnics.
- Good for beginners. If you’re new to a plant-based diet, vegan recipes like this one are a great place to start. They’re fool proof and easy to make with a few simple ingredients. Don’t forget to check out my Youtube Channel where I’ve shared hundreds of other plant-based recipe ideas and cooking tips!
- Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans, this legume is an absolute favorite of mine in a plant-based diet and is the perfect replacement for tuna. When mashed, it has a flaky texture and tastes even better to me than the real thing.
- Vegan mayo: Regular tuna is made with egg-based mayonnaise, so I simply swapped it with vegan friendly mayonnaise. There are many store-bought brands available today so use any brand you can find – Follow Your Heart (called Earth Island in Canada!) is one of the originals.
- Shredded Carrots: Adds a boost of nutrition and additional texture.
- Green onion: Adds an onion flavour that’s more mild than raw red or yellow onion.
- Golden raisins: The sweetness balances the savoriness and . If you’ve never tried this combo, don’t be afraid to try it. It’s absolutely delicious!
Optional Salad Additions
As is, this vegan tuna salad is delicious and will satisfy a tuna craving. But depending on your personal taste buds, you may want to add a few of these popular tuna salad ingredients to boost the flavour and switch things up.
- Red onion – raw red onion will add a fresh bite and extra tang to the sandwich. If using, I’d recommend omitting the green onion and finely dicing so it will blend in well.
- Dijon mustard – another tangy, sharp flavour profile. Add it to the tuna salad or simply spread it on your slices of bread before building your sandwich.
- Nori sheets or dulse/ seaweed flakes – these ingredients will add a fishy, sea flavour. A little goes a long way, but can really help make this vegan alternative taste like traditional tuna salad if you grew up loving that fishy flavour!
- Relish – either sweet relish or tangy pickle relish are good options. Use your favorite!
- Soy sauce – If you love a savory tuna salad, a small splash of soy sauce can help add saltiness and umami flavour.
- Fresh herbs – Ingredients like fresh dill would be delicious and add a bright, celery-like flavour.
How to Make Vegan Tuna Salad
- First, drain and thoroughly rinse the chickpeas. If you enjoy baking, I highly recommend reserving the liquid the canned chickpeas were stored in (aquafaba) and using it to make these delicious Brown Sugar Blueberry Crackle Bars or Vegan Blondies.
- Mash the chickpeas and vegan mayo together. I find this easiest to do using a potato masher, but you can also use the back of a fork or evenly lightly pulse it in a food processor until broken down.
- Add shredded carrots, green onion, and golden raisins. Stir to combine then sprinkle with black pepper and mix again.
- Serve. I like to serve this vegan tuna salad on whole wheat bread or wrapped in a tortilla or spinach wrap.
Ideas for Serving
This vegan tuna salad is hearty enough to enjoy as a standalone sandwich or wrap, but if you’re packing it for a quick lunch, check out my Lighter Lunch/Snack Ideas and my tips on How to Plan a Vegan Packed Lunch. You can’t go wrong serving with your favorite fruit, potato chips and dill pickles!
If you’re looking for a vegan tuna melt recipe, you’ll LOVE these Herbed Chickpea “Tuna” Focaccia Sandwiches. Their made with melty vegan cheese and are to die for!
How to Store
If you’re planning to make this vegan tuna salad for meal prep, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also pack a lunch the night before and spread the tuna salad up to 12 hours in advance on bread or a wrap. To help prevent your sandwich or wrap from turning soggy, toast the bread beforehand, or place a light layer of lettuce between the slice of bread and the tuna salad to act as a barrier.
Similar Vegan Sandwiches to Try Next
- Vegan Cajun Mac Chicken Sandwich
- Vegan Cheesy Chopped Chicken Sandwich
- Vegan Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Tofu Parm Sandwiches
- Monte Cristo Sandwich