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Chickpea Tuna Salad

Craving tuna? You’ll love this vegetarian Chickpea Tuna Salad recipe, a plant-based option featuring that same classic savory, tangy flavor!

A bowl of chickpea tuna salad with two slices of celery and a piece of lettuce on top

Protein? Check. Veggies? Check. Flavor? Check. Savory but with a side of slight tanginess? Check.

Basically, chickpea tuna salad checks all the boxes. It’s light and fluffy but totally hearty and perfect for enjoying as a filling, satisfying lunch.

Oh, and there isn’t actually tuna in it. Instead, we’re mashing up chickpeas to achieve the same texture and using mayo, mustard, and vinegar to get that rich flavor!

It’s the perfect transition meal for the colder days ahead and it’s great for enjoying when you need something quick and easy. Basically, you need this vegetarian tuna salad in your life, ASAP.

A bowl of chickpea tuna salad with two slices of celery and a piece of lettuce on top

Ingredients in chickpea tuna salad

Everyone loves a good tuna salad from time to time, but sometimes being plant-based can make you feel left out! Not anymore. This chickpea tuna salad is the perfect solution, capturing that classic tuna tang to a T. Here’s what you’ll need!

  • Chickpeas: The star of the show, 1 can of chickpeas! You can also soak your own for a more affordable option.
  • Red Onion: ¼ cup of finely chopped red onion adds zingy crunch. White or yellow onions can be used in a pinch.
  • Celery: ¼ cup of finely chopped celery adds even more crunch and flavor.
  • Capers: A teaspoon of finely chopped capers transforms the chickpeas into tuna. Don’t skip these!
  • Mayonnaise: What tuna salad is complete without mayo? We’ll be using ¼ cup, and feel free to use a plant-based alternative if desired.
  • Dijon Mustard: For that signature tuna salad tang, add 1 tsp of Dijon mustard.
  • White Vinegar: White vinegar will be the second “tang” component. Use 2 tsp.
  • Salt and Pepper: Finally, add salt and pepper to taste!
A bowl of chickpea tuna salad with two slices of celery and a piece of lettuce on top

How to make vegan tuna salad

This 3-step tuna salad couldn’t be simpler. The most time consuming part is simply chopping the veggies, which means that this recipe requires a grand total of only 5 minutes to create! It’s the perfect quick lunch option.

Step 1: Prep the chickpeas
First, drain the can of chickpeas and roughly smash them with a fork or your fingers.

15oz of chickpeas in a glass bowl
Mashing 15oz of chickpeas with a fork

Step 2: Chop the veggies
Finely chop the onion, celery, and capers.

A bowl filled with diced red onion, celery, and capers, mashed chickpeas, mayonnaise, and dijon mustard

Step 3: Assemble the dish
Stir everything together, adding a pinch of salt and pepper as needed to suite your taste.

A bowl filled with mixed together diced red onion, celery, and capers, mashed chickpeas, mayonnaise, and dijon mustard

How to serve vegetarian tuna salad

Chickpea tuna salad can be enjoyed the same way you’d enjoy regular tuna salad! You can eat it on a sandwich, a salad, with crackers, or even in lettuce boats.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy this dish, however, is in a Chickpea Tuna Melt. Oh my gosh, is it a treat. It’s made by assembling the tuna salad atop yummy slices of sourdough and adding mayo, tomato slices, and sharp cheddar cheese. Stick it in the oven or a panini press, and you have a seriously mouth-watering melt!

More hearty salad ideas

I’m all for a big, hearty salad, which is why these recipes are some of my favorite.

A bowl of chickpea tuna salad with two slices of celery and a piece of lettuce on top

Chickpea Tuna Salad

Craving tuna? You'll love this vegetarian Chickpea Tuna Salad recipe, a plant-based option featuring that same classic savory, tangy flavor!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes, Snacks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chickpea tuna, chickpea tuna salad, vegan tuna salad
Diet: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Occasion: 4th of July, Birthdays, Game Day
Time: 15 minutes or less, 30 minutes or less, 45 minutes or less
Prep: 5 mins
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Sarah Bond
5 from 2 votes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas 425 g
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion about ¼ of a medium onion
  • ¼ cup finely chopped celery about ½ a stalk
  • 1 tsp finely chopped capers
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise can sub plant-based mayo, 50 g
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard 5 g
  • 2 tsp white vinegar 10 mL
  • Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Smash: Drain the can of chickpeas and roughly smash the chickpeas with a fork or your fingers.
  • Chop: Finely chop the onion, celery, and capers.
  • Assemble: Stir everything together, adding a pinch of salt and pepper as needed to suite your taste.

NOTES

Serve this Chickpea Tuna Salad anywhere you would traditional tuna salad – on a sandwich, salad, with crackers, or in lettuce boats!
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Hi, I’m Sarah!

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Recipe Rating




  1. Simon Beckett says:

    I love the tuna salad and the dish looks yummy. Definitely try the dish for my lunch!!! Thank you for the great recipe Sarah!

    1. Sarah says:

      Yay! Would love to hear how it goes! 😀

  2. Amber says:

    This is delicious! I love the dijon addition! Thank you!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it, thanks for letting us know how it went! 😀

  3. Kara Halsey says:

    Wheres the Tuna??

    1. Sarah says:

      This is a vegetarian “tuna” recipe 😀 But give it a go, you’d be surprised how closely this resembles tuna salad!

  4. Angie Lawrence says:

    This Chickpea Tuna Salad was delicious! What a nice surprise and filling. Thank you a bunch.5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it! Enjoy!

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