My new and improved vegan chickpea tuna salad recipe is made with whole foods. As I look back on my former recipe for chickpea tuna salad, I realized I needed to update the ingredients for better health and wellness. For that reason, my new vegan chickpea tuna salad not only tastes better, but it's also even more healthy than the first version.
When I was looking through my old recipes, I found recipes where I used Vegenaise, which I haven't used in years. Since learning and growing as a plant-based foodie, I removed many processed foods I initially used when first transitioning. Now, making my own cashew mayo or Vegan Sour Cream has really changed my outlook on cooking. This version of my vegan chickpea tuna salad recipe is much better than the old version, as it has more healthy ingredients and no processed foods.
When I was little, my grandma used to stuff tomatoes with tuna salad. Of course, I wasn't fond of tomatoes because I was a kid. Honestly,
I think it was her way of "hiding" vegetables in our food (she wasn't very good at it, I might add). So my sister and I scooped the tuna salad from the tomato and left that beautiful red tomato with leftover tuna sitting on the plate. Luckily, I grew out of my dislike of tomatoes. Today, I eat tomatoes at least once a day.
But don't forget about a chickpea tuna sandwich.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE TEXTURE OF THE CHICKPEAS
Unlike my Vegan Chicken Salad, the vegan chickpea tuna salad recipe has a different texture. Vegan Chicken Salad, for instance, is much more chunky than the chickpea tuna salad.
I use my food processor on pulse mode to mash all the chickpeas to get the right texture. Although some chickpeas can remain in halves, you want most mashed completely. Do not, though, over pulse and end up with chickpea paste. I learned another little trick to pulse one can of chickpeas, not to overcrowd the food processor.
WHY MAKE YOUR OWN MAYO?
Despite the convenience of buying store-bought vegan mayo, the homemade version not only tastes better, it just is better! For example, I buy raw cashews in bulk, if I need them or not. In fact, I have been known to search my local Sprouts and other organic market ads, and when they are on sale, I buy an obscene amount.
There are, though, tofu mayo recipes out there, but I prefer to use cashews. ½ cup of raw cashews, make an entire batch of vegan mayo, so if you are concerned about fat content, the ½ cup of nuts goes a LONG way.
And, making cashew mayo is simple. Who doesn't like simple? If you own a high-speed blender (my favorite is the Nutribullet), making mayo takes 5 minutes.
DOES VEGAN CHICKPEA TUNA SALAD TASTE FISHY?
Of course, chickpea tuna salad isn't fishy. In fact, I wasn't fond of fishy tuna salad before I transitioned to a plant-based diet. Instead, chickpea tuna salad has a wonderful, flaky, creamy texture and a slight taste savory flavor of the sea.
And if you are new to plant-based eating, it just might help you along the way. I use Dulse and Old Bay Seasoning to get the slightest "sea-like" flavor, or any creole seasoning will do.
WHAT IS DULSE?
Dulse is a variety of seaweed that resembles leafy red lettuce when fresh. Its flavor will definitely remind you of the ocean — its minerality makes it a great stand-in for salt.
The benefits of Dulse include, for example, high levels of protein and fiber. Dulse is a nutrient-rich red alga that has become increasingly popular in health food circles due to its numerous nutrition properties. As a result, more and more experts advise people to implement sea greens into their diets, including dulse.
Here are some great ways to incorporate dulse:
- Mix flaked dulse into homemade salad dressings.
- Use dried flakes on top of popcorn.
- Add strips of whole-leaf dulse to your favorite pickled vegetables.
- Sprinkle flakes over your vegan poke bowl
- Steep whole-leaf dulse in water for a restorative and savory “tea.”
- Mix flaked dulse into homemade bread dough.
- Add to a bowl of ramen.
- Sprinkle flaked dulse over a baked potato to amp up the flavor of a classic.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU ADD TO YOUR CHICKPEA TUNA SALAD?
You can also add any vegetables you want to my vegan chickpea tuna salad recipe. Celery, and yellow onion, for example, are a must. But feel free to add any chopped vegetables you enjoy, like red peppers, or many people add capers as well.
For instance, I make a Vegan Curry Chickpea Sandwich Spread recipe seasoned with curry powder. You can also add fresh dill to give it a more Mediterranean flair or spice it up with red pepper flakes and chili powder. The choice is yours.
SERVE IT UP IN DIFFERENT WAYS
In an attempt to avoid bread, I often serve chickpea tuna salad inside a carved-out tomato. All you need is a large, hothouse tomato and a paring knife.
Then, gently cut the top off the tomato, and about ¼ inch from the outside of the tomato, carve around the inside. Next, use a spoon to scoop out any excess tomato flesh, and add heaping spoonfuls of chickpea tuna salad.
Or, serve chickpea tunas salad in a pita with your favorite veggies.
If filled tomatoes aren't your thing, then serve it with greens in a bowl, or eat it with rice crackers. Any way you choose to eat this fabulous chickpea tuna salad, give it a try; you won't be disappointed. Not only is chickpea tuna salad a great meal to take to work or eat at home, but you can also make it the day before and grab it on the way out the door.
I made my son a chickpea tuna salad melt on whole-grain bread with Havarti Follow Your Heart cheese slices. And he wanted a second sandwich. Kid tested; mother approved!
Any way you eat it, chickpea tuna salad never disappoints.
What can I put on chickpea salad?
- The answer is pretty much anything. Serve it on crackers or celery. As I noted, it tastes great inside a tomato or red or green bell pepper. It tastes fabulous on apple slices as well. I even love dipping homemade potato chips into my chickpea tuna salad.
How does chickpea tuna taste?
- Chickpea tuna salad has a wonderful, flaky, creamy texture and a slight taste savory flavor of the sea. However, it doesn't taste fishy at all!
How to make a chickpea tuna salad sandwich
- Use your favorite bread, wrap, or pita (toasted or untoasted)
- I love tomatoes slices, cucumber slices, micro-greens, lettuce, and dill pickles.
- Place a generous portion of vegan chickpea tuna salad in between the bread and vegetables.
- And enjoy!
- Other great additions: shredded carrots, sliced red or green bell peppers, jalapenos (for a little heat), mild banana peppers (for the less daring), and some even like to add a thin stripe of mustard.
- Be adventurous
Do you love vegan sandwiches? Then, give these sandwich recipes a try.
- French Dip Sandwiches
- Portobello Mushroom Sandwich
- Italian Sandwiches
- Vegetable Sandwich
- Pulled Pork Sweet Potato Sandwich
- Vegan Egg Salad
- Vegan Chicken Salad
- Curried Chickpea Salad
Chickpea Tuna Salad
- 30 ounces chickpeas rinsed and drained
- ½ cup celery diced
- ¼ cup yellow or green onion diced
Chickpea Tuna Salad Dressing
- 2 Tablespoons capers optional
- ¼ cup chopped parsley optional
- 2 Tablespoons Dulse Flakes or crumbled seeweed paper
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
- ½ cup vegan cashew mayo
Chickpea Tuna Salad
- Rinse and drain chickpeas and put them in a food processor with a large blade.
- Pulse until partially mashed (some will still be in halves); you don't want it mushy.
- Add celery, onions, parsley, and seasonings.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together ½ cup cashew mayo or vegan mayo of choice with dulse flakes, capers (if using), parsley, and Old Bay seasoning.
- Stir dressing into the chickpea salad and refrigerate until ready to eat.
- Using large hothouse tomatoes (firm and large), cut the top off the tomato
- Using a paring knife, carefully remove the tomato's inside by cutting gently in a circle around the inside of the tomato about a ¼ inch away from the skin.
- Remove the inside of the tomato. It should appear like a small bowl.
- Lay, opening side down, on paper towels to get rid of an excess moisture
- Now, fill your tomato with chickpea tuna salad
- OTHER SERVING OPTIONS
- Eat on top of greens
- Eat on a sandwich, wrap, or inside pita bread
- Make a tuna melt with whole grain bread and your choice of vegan cheese (i used Follow Your Heart Vegan Cheese Slices)
- Serve with crackers instead of bread.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂
Why when I hit PRINT, nothing happens? It just directs me back to the top of the page.
Hi Terri, I'll let my tech guy know. Thank you for letting me know.
Thanks for sharing going to be making this recipe soon.
Hi Sherba, let me know if you like it! Enjoy!
I think that would be a nice hors d’ouvre if you used cherry tomatoes. Also should taste great in a jacket potato.
What a great idea for an appetizer. I've never tried it in a potato, but that sounds wonderful as well. Let me know if you try it.
Kathy, you said 2T of dulse flakes. Is that from the bag that you show? It is whole leaves. Do you just grind it dry?
Hi Judi, yes! You can grind them in a small food processor, or I just put them in a bag and use a mallet to crush them up. You can also use seaweed sushi sheets if you don't have dulse.
This was the perfect quarentine lunch! I used what I had on hand- a jalapeno, apple, capers, and some artichoke hearts. I also used a potato masher instead of food processor and boiled the cashews instead of letting them soak overnight. Thanks for the recipe.
Hi Georgia, I love the name quarantine lunch! I'm so glad you liked it, and I hope you are well and doing okay at this difficult time. I am loving cooking while I have so much time on my hands. I appreciate your feedback. Stay well!
Kathy....was wondering if you could share the Korean restaurant you went to in Michigan. I live in the Ann Arbor area and would love to check it out. Thanks so much ❤️. Melanie
Of course, I will share. I miss going there. The husband and wife who own it are so sweet. It is right behind the Mongolian BBQ in Novi (the office building behind, on the main floor). https://www.yelp.com/biz/bi-bim-bab-novi?osq=bibimbap
43155 Main St
Novi, MI 48375
Can't wait to try this. Check this "Use your hand to add additional no the top and forma rounded all type top."
Thanks. I don't know how I missed that 🙂