This mashed chickpea vegan tuna salad is a vegetarian take on the classic tuna salad. It’s the perfect plant based lunch for school, work, or a trip to the beach. It’s dairy and gluten free and ready in just 10 minutes!
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Like this avocado chickpea salad, this vegan tuna salad is easy to make and requires a few ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
I’ve never been a huge fan of mayonnaise, so I opted for some tahini and dijon mustard to give this recipe flavor and to keep it nice and moist like regular tuna salad.
You end up with an incredibly flavorful recipe that is perfect to meal prep for lunch. It’s high in protein, travels well and is so easy to make.
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas make up the base of this vegan tuna salad. We’ll be mashing them up slightly to give a tuna-y feel. You can mash the by hand (not literally, but using a fork) or add them to a food processor and pulse a few times until broken up.
- Red onion: Any type of onion (white, yellow etc.) can be use in place of the red onion, but I think red onion adds the best flavor to the recipe.
- Carrots: I suggest grating the carrots or shredding them in a food processor, but you can also chop them very finely if that’s easier for you.
- Celery: I’m not a huge fan of celery, but it adds such a nice crunch and a hint of saltiness to the recipe.
- Lemon: For a little tang.
- Tahini: Most vegan tuna salad recipes use mayo to give a creamy feel. I, however, like to keep it simple and use a few tablespoons of tahini. You can also use hummus or mayo instead if you prefer. Some brands of tahini can be really dry, I suggest a runny one to actually keep this moist.
- Garlic: I rarely make a savory recipe without garlic! It adds so much flavor in just a small amount.
- Dijon Mustard: Along with the lemon, the dijon mustard adds a little bit of tang to the recipe. It also helps moisten it and keep it creamy with the tahini.
- Salt and pepper: What is any dish without a little salt and pepper?
How to make this recipe
Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to a large bowl. Be sure to rinse them until the water runs clear and no bubbles remain.
Use a fork or potato masher to mash or pulse a few times in a food processor, being sure to leave a few chickpea chunks. I find the food processor method to be the easiest, but whatever works for you!
Grate or shred the carrots and add to the bowl. You can use pre-shredded carrots, but these tend to be a bit drier than freshly grated carrots so keep this in mind.
Finely chop the onion, cilantro, celery, mince the garlic and add to the bowl. Add in all remaining ingredients and mix well.
Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired. Feel free to add more mustard, vinegar for acidity, or more salt. I always add freshly cracked black pepper and a smidge more cilantro. If you’re one of those people who hated cilantro, feel free to leave it out.
Enjoy as is, on top of some toast, in lettuce wraps or in regular wrap!
Tips & tricks
- This vegan chickpea salad will keep in the fridge for about 5 days. Store it in an air tight container to keep it nice and fresh.
- This recipe is delicious in a wrap, as a sandwich, or just on its own! Either way, I love it with some fresh black pepper and some sprouts on top.
- It’s easiest to use a food processor to process the chickpeas, though you can also just use a fork or a potato masher. If using a food processor, you’ll want to just pulse the chickpeas a few times until they are broken up but still have a few whole pieces.
- If using chickpeas cooked from fresh, make sure they are cooked really well so they mash easily. You’ll want to use 1.5 cups for every 1 can of chickpeas.
- I like using this garlic press to make sure the garlic is very finely minced.
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Chickpea Vegan Tuna Salad
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add to a bowl.
- Grate or shred the carrots and add to the bowl.
- Finely chop the onion, cilantro, celery, mince the garlic and add to the bowl.
- Add in all remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Enjoy as is, on top of some toast, or in a wrap!