Craving tuna? You’ll love this vegetarian Chickpea Tuna Salad recipe, a plant-based option featuring that same classic savory, tangy flavor!
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.
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!
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.
Step 2: Chop the veggies
Finely chop the onion, celery, and capers.
Step 3: Assemble the dish
Stir everything together, adding a pinch of salt and pepper as needed to suite your taste.
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.
- Mama’s Famous Bean Salad
- Bulgur Salad with Feta and Pomegranate
- Sweet Potato Salad with Quinoa and Hummus Dressing
- Chickpea Corn Salad
- 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
- 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.