This vegan chickpea ‘tuna’ salad is easy to make, has a wonderful fresh texture and satisfies my comfort food craving. Whip up a batch for a hearty sandwich, salad topping, or light lunch with pita chips. This chickpea ‘tuna’ salad is plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free, and does not use vegan mayo.
90% of the time I have a salad for lunch, but lately I’ve been on a sandwich kick. Blame the running and the need for some extra carbs. And I’ve been on a bit of a nostalgia kick. Blame the “holy cow my ten-year high school reunion is coming up” and the constant texting with high school friends about who we are most curious to see how they turned out. Running + nostalgia + sandwiches = a vegan chickpea tuna salad sandwich.
When I was growing up, one dish my mom would “make” (and I say “make” because it was mostly opening a can) was tuna salad. Open can. Dump in bowl. Squirt in some mayo. Put on bread. (I tease, I love you, Mom….. but that’s really what it was like)
Now that I know about the health benefits of eating plant-based, not to mention the positive impact it has had on my athletic performance, I am trying to veganize a lot of recipes. Hence this vegan chickpea “tuna” salad version. Chickpeas have 11 gramps of protein per cup and are rich in folate. Folate helps runners keep blood cells healthy.
To make vegan tuna salad, I substituted chickpeas for tuna and made my own creamy dressing instead of mayo. Yes, I could have used vegan mayo to make the tuna salad, however my goal is to make these recipes more accessible to non-vegans. I want to use ingredients that most people would have in their kitchen so that they are inclined to make the recipe. I know that if I see an ingredient (like vegan mayo) in a recipe, I probably won’t bother making the recipe; I’ll search for something else. If that’s my reaction, then I know someone who is plant-curious will probably have the same reaction. Plus, in my opinion, what I came up with is healthier than vegan mayo and just as tasty.
Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad
First, drain and rinse the chickpeas. You can also use your own dried chickpeas. Mash in a bowl and set aside Pro tip: I like to leave some chickpeas intact for a heartier texture.
Chop your celery, carrots, shallots, fresh tarragon and parsley. Add them to the mashed chickpeas.
In a small bowl, whisk together the hummus, mustard, lemon juice, ground black pepper and paprika. Add the dressing to the filling mixture and whisk together. Pro tip: if using dried chickpeas, you may need to add more lemon juice or hummus to reach your desired consistency.
Assemble your sandwich with your favorite fixings, or top a bed of greens with a scoop of chickpea tuna salad. Makes about 4 servings.
That’s all there is to it! Vegan chickpea “tuna” salad comes together in 10 minutes or less and is way healthier than regular tuna salad. It’s full of plant-protein, essential vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats – not to mention the wonderful taste! Elevate your sandwich game to the plant-based level and try some out.
Have you ever made chickpea tuna salad? What are your favorite sandwich add-ons? If you try this recipe, let me know! Rate it, leave a comment, take a picture and tag @Rabbitfoodruns on Instagram. I’d love to see your vegan tuna salad creations!