Chickpea tuna salad sandwich served on a white plate

Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad Sandwich


This mouth-watering sandwich is a vegan take on the classic tuna salad sandwich. This chickpea tuna salad is super simple to throw together, requires 9 ingredients, and makes great leftovers.

Chickpea tuna salad sandwich served on a white plate

I love finding ways to veganize recipes that I used to enjoy prior to going vegan back in 2013. There are endless options available today to replace animal-based products in recipes and luckily this is an area that is only going to continue to grow. My hope here is to show you how easy it can be to create vegan meals that you love.

The “tuna”/ “toona” / “Chuna” in this recipe is Chickpeas.

Bowl of chickpeas

Chickpeas are a cost-effective and nutritious food, providing fiber, protein, potassium, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and selenium. The chickpeas can be from a can or cooked from dried. If you use canned chickpeas for this recipe you will save 2 tablespoons of aquafaba, which is the viscous liquid found in the can of chickpeas. If you decide to cook your chickpeas from scratch, just use the cooking water. This adds necessary moisture to the chickpea tuna salad sandwich spread. To get the perfect consistency, use a potato masher and/or fork (or both) to smash the chickpeas into a flaky texture that resembles tuna.

Chickpeas mashed with a potato masher to resemble the consistency of tuna

Mayonnaise is a crucial ingredient for traditional tuna salad. Regular mayonnaise typically contains egg however there are several egg-less brands available, such as Follow your Heart Vegenaise and JUST Mayo, that provide the same deliciousness and consistency. You won’t miss the egg, trust me.

The diced celery, red onion, and pickle pack necessary crunch and flavor. Without these guys, our vegan chickpea tuna salad would be mush.

Mashed chickpeas, diced red onion, celery, and pickle and vegan mayo in a stainless steel bowl, not yet mixed together

Finally, you will add a little salt and pepper to taste! And that’s it my friends, we have our chickpea tuna salad. Ideally make this a day in advance to allow the flavors to marry. 

Vegan chickpea tuna salad in a stainless steel bowl.

There is something so satisfying about creating and consuming a good sandwich.

Here are 3 steps you can follow to build a great sandwich:

1) First, start with a high-quality bread that pairs well with the
sandwich you are making.  A sandwich with a high moisture-content like
this vegan chickpea tuna salad is going to be best served on a hearty bread
that is has a dry, dense consistency vs soft, spongy bread. There are endless
bread options to choose from, with both whole-grain and gluten-free options. Now, to toast or not to toast?! I am team toast, but you do you.

2) Next, select your toppings. You can be as creative as you want or keep it basic. Examples: greens (lettuce, spinach, arugula), tomatoes, sliced radish, pickles, cucumbers, shredded cabbage slaw, roasted red peppers. Fresh spinach and tomatoes were the toppings used to build this chickpea tuna salad sandwich but feel free to change it up. 

3) Finally, the icing on the cake… err sandwich is all about the condiments! Spreads like vegan mayo or pesto are two of my favorites. But lettuce not forget the wide array of mustards, BBQ sauces, salsas, vinaigrettes, and/or hot sauces that are available to take your sandwich to the next level. This vegan chickpea tuna salad sandwich was intentionally kept quite simple with a vegan mayo being used to create the recipe.  

Fresh spinach, sliced tomatoes and red onion

Open-face vegan chickpea tuna salad sandwich with spinach, sliced tomato, and red onion

Ingredients

  • Chickpea tuna salad:
  • 2-15.5 ounce cans of chickpeas, drained* (*Save 2 tablespoons of aquafaba)

  • 2 tablespoons aquafaba

  • 1 cup diced celery (okay to use some stalks with leaves on them) 

  • ½ cup diced red onion

  • ½ cup diced dill pickles (3 spears)

  • ¾ cup vegan mayo

  • Salt and black pepper – dash, to taste

  • Sandwich fixings:
  • Bread

  • Sliced tomato

  • Fresh spinach

Directions

  • Add chickpeas to medium mixing bowl, mash with potato masher/fork until a flaky texture is achieved.
  • Mix in rest of the ingredients: diced onion, celery, and pickle, vegan mayo, aquafaba, salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to container with a lid and let chill in the refrigerator.
  • Serve on bread of choice with sliced tomato and fresh spinach or whatever toppings your heart desires.

The chickpea tuna salad will last for ~3-4 days in the refrigerator.

This chickpea tuna salad would also be great served:

  • On a bed of greens/in a salad
  • With pita chips
  • In a wrap

Let me know if you try this delicious recipe!

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