Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Salad | Vegan Recipe

This vegan chickpea ‘tuna’ salad is one of my favorite plant-based recipe swaps and tastes amazing in sandwiches, salads, and even by itself.

Stack of chickpea tuna sandwiches filled with avocado, tomato and lettuce

Tuna salad has been popular here in the US for more than 100 years and continues to be loved the world over. In this recipe, we’re leaving the fish alone and substituting it for a plant-based stape: chickpeas. In this post, I’ll show you how to make a chickpea ‘tuna’ salad that’s protein-rich, creamy, and yummy however you choose to eat it. 

Ingredients for Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Salad

Traditional tuna salad is made from two things: tuna, and mayonnaise. This upgraded chickpea ‘tuna’ salad has a few more additions to add some extra oomph to the flavor, all of which are readily available in most grocery stores. 

Ingredients to make chickpea 'tuna' salad
  • Chickpeas: I used canned chickpeas for this recipe for convenience, but you could also use fresh cooked. 
  • Vegan Mayonaise: Vegan mayonnaise will give the chickpea salad that deliciously creamy, rich texture that we’re looking for. 
  • Onion: We’ll use a little finely diced onion to bring out the flavor of the other ingredients. 
  • Lemon Juice + Dijon Mustard: Lemon juice will add welcome tartness to the creamy flavor of the chickpea ‘tuna’ salad, while dijon mustard adds depth. 
  • Celery Stalks and Dulse Granules: Celery is the ultimate savory flavor for plant-based recipes, while dulse granules add umami and a little hint of the sea. 
  • Dill Pickle: The tangy, briny flavor of dill pickle helps replicate the traditional flavor of tuna salad. 
  • Salt + Pepper: To season. 
Bowl of chickpea 'tuna' salad showing ingredients

How to Make Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Salad

One of the things I like best about this recipe is how incredibly simple it is to make. In fact, you can make it in just two steps!

Step One: Rinse and drain the chickpeas then transfer them into a bowl. Mash roughly with a fork until about ¾ of the beans are crushed.

Step Two: Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use the salad. 

Chickpea 'tuna' salad in a bowl

Recipe Swaps

Chickpeas: You can swap the chickpeas for cannellini beans, great northern beans or navy beans (haricot). 

Dill Pickle: Dill pickle relish also tastes great in this recipe! You could even add 1-2 tablespoons of finely chopped brined capers for an added salty/brine-y taste.

How to Serve Vegan Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Salad

  • Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Salad Sandwich: Load your slices of bread up with your chickpea ‘tuna’ salad, along with any combination of shredded lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, and avocado. 
  • ‘Tuna’ Melt: Add a couple of scoops of chickpea ‘tuna’ salad to plant-buttered bread, then top with a slice of vegan cheese. Grill until golden on both sides.
  • Open sandwich or crackers: Top your bread or cracker with a scoop of chickpea ‘tuna’ salad and any combination of a lettuce leaf, tomato, cucumbers, and avocado.
  • As a salad: Add a scoop of chickpea salad to your favorite mixed vegetables or green salad for a yummy light lunch. 

How to Store

Keep your salad in the fridge until it’s time to serve. Store any leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge and consume within 3 days.

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Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Salad | Vegan Recipe

  • Author: Rachel Steenland
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Quick and easy VEGAN chickpea ‘tuna’ salad recipe for the ultimate plant-based sandwich! Add to sandwiches, salads, or crackers.


  • 1 can chickpeas (15 ounces), drained
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 whole dill pickle, finely diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dulse granules
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a bowl, roughly mash chickpeas with a fork or potato masher. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir till combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 3 days.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: chickpea tuna salad

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Rachel Steenland

Rachel Steenland

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