Looking for a vegan alternative to tuna mayo? Look no further than this chickpea tuna mayo! This creamy chickpea salad is delicious and very easy to make. Plus, it's a great way to get some extra protein and veggies into your diet.
It's May, the middle of springtime, and the time to bring on all those tasty salads to your potlucks, get-togethers, and meal prep sessions.
I grew up eating tuna salad on top of patacones (green plantain fritters) for dinner. That was the easy dinner we all loved and the one that demanded less effort from mom.
We needed to re-create the perfect comfort food chickpea tuna salad recipe for this apparently healthy dinner to the veganized healthified version of it... and I am happy. Today I told Joaquin that this is my definition of comfort food.
Comfort food means something different for everyone. The food brings you home and that you could easily remember if mom, dad, or grannies made for you.
This vegan tuna salad tastes the same as the canned tuna version and is the base for many other summer dishes and meal prep lunches, just like our grill-friendly vegan chickpea burgers (you don't want to miss them!). My parents made pasta, squash, and many other combinations with tuna salad. Stay tuned; I'll share the veganized version of all of them soon.
You will only need some pantry staples to make the best tuna chickpea salad.
- chickpeas (cooked or canned)
- vegan mayonnaise
- fresh lemon juice
- apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper to taste.
To make a chickpea tuna salad, we replace the canned tuna with chickpeas, keeping some of its texture, and then use the same ingredients you would use in your regular tuna salad recipe.
Start by finely chopping the celery, shallot, and capers.
Coarsely mash the cooked or canned chickpeas.
add all the ingredients into a medium bowl
mix everything until you have a creamy consistency
make your sandwich adding salad greens and sliced tomatoes
Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Capers - instead of capers in brine, you can use pickles or kalamata olives, green olives, or just exclude them.
- Bread - use gluten-free buns instead of rye bread to make this gluten-free. We also love using our vegan buns to use this vegan tuna salad as the filling for bite-sized appetizers.
- Shallots - the fresh shallots can be replaced with chopped red onion, white onion, or yellow onion.
- Mustard - feel free to use dijon mustard; they both work.
- Apple cider vinegar - red wine vinegar also works well.
- Chickpeas - the garbanzo beans can be replaced with white beans (cannellini beans). Just be sure to minimally mash them as they can be even softer than chickpeas.
Tip: white beans make fantastic chickpeas replacement, primarily if you don't process chickpeas well. We even used them to make chickpea-free hummus, and they work perfectly.
Making this mock tuna salad is easy and can be fully customized to your liking.
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes instead of black pepper if you want to make it super spicy. We like black pepper better because it simply elevates the flavor without making it spicy.
- More veggies - serve your vegan tuna salad as an appetizer, over radicchio, arugula, leafy greens, or romaine leaves; reduce the carbs content of your dish.
- Kid-friendly - place the chopped shallots or onion to soak in water with a drop of vinegar to lower its intensity for at least 15 minutes. Two hours for maximum results.
- Fishy - if you miss some of the sea flavors, add some finely chopped nori algae (seaweed).
- Creamier - we like using just about the right amount of vegan mayo, 2 tablespoons as the recipe is written; add a third for an even creamier result.
- Extra texture and flavor - add chopped sun-dried tomato.
See more dips and spreads that work wonders in sandwiches on our website!
Bowl - you can use a small bowl, the one you use for your granola, but use a large bowl if making a batch of celery chickpea salad.
Fork or potato masher - if you are making a small batch, the most practical thing is to use a fork; otherwise, a potato masher can save you some minutes. If you plan to make a huge batch, an immersion blender (affiliate link) or food processor (affiliate link) can help; just ensure to use the pulse mode; you don't want to over-blend the chickpeas. They would lose their texture and become a cream.
Store this vegan mock tuna in the fridge. Suitable for 2-3 days.
You can freeze your vegan tuna salad in an airtight container, but it doesn't stand up well to freezing for more than 3 months.
💭 Top tip
Do not over-mash the chickpeas. You want them to reassemble the tuna texture; otherwise, it will look more like crumbly hummus, which we love but is not what we aim for here.
🥢 How to serve
Appetizer - on top of lettuce, radicchio, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, or pita chips. Sprinkle some fresh parsley on top.
Lunch - make a sandwich with rye bread or your favorite crusty bread like an Italian Artisan bread loaf.
Salad - make a tasty salad combining the chickpea mixture in a large mixing bowl with cooked elbow pasta and romaine lettuce. You can drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top.
🥗 Calories chickpea salad
Calories: 288 kcal
Carbohydrates: 31 grams
Protein: 10 grams
Fats: 13 grams
If you’re looking for a delicious, vegan way to add some extra protein to your day, give our chickpea tuna mayo recipe a try and enjoy its fresh flavor in endless combinations.
Not only is this dish packed with plant-based protein, but it’s also incredibly easy to make and absolutely delicious. In just minutes, you can have a hearty meal that will help you easily meet your daily protein goals. So what are you waiting for? Give this vegan chickpea tuna mayo a try today!
Other recipes, including healthy garbanzo beans and powered with plant protein that you can find on this site, are our easy hummus recipe, the roasted red peppers hummus, vegetarian ceviche, and the saffron garbanzo beans stew made in only one pot.
⭐ If you try this recipe, let us know! 💬 Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag us @ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad Recipe
- Finely chop the shallot, celery stalk, and capers.
- Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Use in a sandwich or combine it with elbow pasta, or make bite-size appetizers with radicchio or romaine lettuce.
🌡️ Food safety
We sometimes take for granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience, that the average visitor may not. Add to or remove the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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