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This vegan chickpea tuna salad recipe will wow everyone! Perfect as a sandwich, on top of crackers or straight from the spoon. Prepped in just 15 minutes and can be made for a simple lunch or dress it up for a fun appetizer for your guests!

Vegan chickpea tuna salad in clay bowl topped with chopped dill.
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I am not vegan, but this vegan chickpea “mock tuna” salad is probably one of my all time favorite salads.

Does it actually taste like tuna salad? No, not as in the actual fish.

But it does have all of the flavors people love about tuna in a vegan, plant-based variation. And it is so good that I have had many meat eaters over the years RAVE about this salad!

Chickpeas are just so brilliant and I use them in everything from Chickpea Blondies to Protein Cookie Dough. The garbanzo bean is quite a remarkable little bean! And it is also AMAZING in this Chickpea Avocado Salad–I could literally go on and on!

Why You Will Love This Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad:

  • It is so simple to make! This vegan chickpea tuna salad is insanely simple to whip up. The toughest part is mashing the chickpeas but really, that is not much effort at all in the end. Mash and then stir everything together.
  • It’s great for meal prepping. If you like to prep for the week on Sundays or over the weekend, this vegan tuna salad is great. It will keep in the fridge for about 5 days. Prep it once and eat off of it for days.
  • It’s great served so many different ways. While this salad is great as is, straight from the dish, there are so many ways to serve it. Scoop it on crackers, serve in lettuce wraps, have it as a sandwich. You can serve it as a mock tuna melt as well if you are feeling super fancy!
Bowl with vegan tuna and spoon scooped in.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • chickpeas: You want them to be pre-cooked and cooled or from the can. The mashed chickpeas are what really binds the vegan tuna salad together. Feel free to use a potato masher, fork or food processor. You can remove the chickpea skins if they bother you, but it is not necessary. I find it to be way too tedious to even attempt!
  • vegan mayonnaise: There are both shelf stable and refrigerated kinds. Again, if you don’t have any, you can certainly use regular. Regular mayo is the only thing that will make this recipe not vegan, but it still will be super delish!
  • celery: Gives this salad just the right amount of crunch!
  • red onion: Take it or leave it. My husband isn’t a fan so I typically go pretty light if I know he will be eating this as well. Oh wait, who am I kidding, he wouldn’t touch this recipe–I just meant for other recipes with onion.
  • capers: I 100% believe it is the capers that MAKE this tuna salad recipe. They give it that tuna like flavor for real. I even added extra the last time I made this!
  • lemon juice: Freshly squeezed is always ideal, but you can use the stuff in the jar if that is what you have!
  • dill: fresh dill for the very best chickpea tuna salad. The flavor is incomparable. If you can’t get a hold of fresh, you can use dried for sure, just won’t be quite the same. For dried dill, use about 1 teaspoon to start and adjust to taste.
  • salt and pepper: I add in the end to taste.
Ingredients needed to make vegan chickpea salad laying on counter.

How to Make This Chickpea Tuna:

It doesn’t really get much easier, friends. All you have to do is mash the chickpeas and then mix everything together.

I imagine the mashing of the chickpeas is the most challenging to do when making this salad, so you can also pop them in the food processor and pulse a few times to mash them up instead.

Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. If the salad seems drier than you prefer, add more vegan mayo!

Recipe Tips:

  • There are two ways to mash up your chickpeas that I find easiest. One is to use a potato masher. This is what I typically opt for. Another option is to use a food processor and pulse until the chickpeas are broken down, but with chunks still in the mix. A fork will work as well, but I don’t find it to be the best tool.
  • Use fresh dill if possible. I know I already said this, but I find the difference in flavor between fresh and dried dill is major. The dill is a big part of the flavor of this salad so that’s why I find it so important.
  • Allow this chickpea tuna to chill before serving. To allow the flavors to really meld together, let the salad chill for at least about 20 minutes before serving.

Storage Instructions:

To store this chickpea tuna salad, simply place it in an air tight container for up to 5 days. I find the second day to be the very best for this recipe because the flavors have plenty of time to really soak in.

While I don’t suggest freezing this salad, it can still be done. I feel like the flavor is just not the best after it has thawed, but it is still edible. You can freeze in an air tight freezer safe container for up to 3 months. I suggest using a sturdy container and not a freezer bag of any kind.

Crackers lined on white plate with vegan tuna on top.

Try adding any of these to your mock tuna salad to add even more flavor and flair!

  • chopped dill pickles
  • chopped bell pepper
  • diced hard boiled egg (will not be vegan, of course, anymore)
  • shredded carrots
  • dijon mustard
  • hot sauce or sriracha–kick it up a notch!
  • diced cucumber
  • avocado
  • fresh parsley
  • chopped walnuts

If you can make a vegan mock tuna salad, then you have to be able to make a mock chicken salad, right? I am very interested in trying this Sonoma Chickpea Chicken Salad as well as this Classic Chickpea Chicken Salad. I just have to know!

Other vegan recipes:

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5 from 10 votes

Easy Vegan Chickpea “Tuna” Salad

This vegan chickpea tuna salad recipe will wow everyone! Perfect as a sandwich, on top of crackers or straight from the spoon. Prepped in just 15 minutes and can be made for a simple lunch or dress it up for a fun appetizer for your guests!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 c vegan mayonnaise, regular mayo will work as well
  • 2-3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/4 c red onion, diced small
  • 1-2 tsp capers
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2-3 T fresh chopped dill
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
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Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, using a potato masher or other similar tool, mash chickpeas well until mashed with some chunks throughout. You can also do this in a food processor.
  • Add in all other ingredients and stir well to combine. Adjust seasoning as desired.
  • Chill for 10-20 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy on a sandwich or however you would usually have tuna salad.

Notes

  • There are two ways to mash up your chickpeas that I find easiest. One is to use a potato masher. This is what I typically opt for. Another option is to use a food processor and pulse until the chickpeas are broken down, but with chunks still in the mix. A fork will work as well, but I don’t find it to be the best tool.
  • Use fresh dill if possible. I know I already said this, but I find the difference in flavor between fresh and dried dill is major. The dill is a big part of the flavor of this salad so that’s why I find it so important.
  • Allow this chickpea tuna to chill before serving. To allow the flavors to really meld together, let the salad chill for at least about 20 minutes before serving.
  • This chickpea tuna salad can be stored in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days. I have eaten off of this salad for days on end and it has kept very well.

Nutrition

Calories: 243kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 73mg, Potassium: 335mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 52IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 54mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




36 Comments

  1. Kim says:

    5 stars
    Sooooo good! I added shredded carrot and a bit more lemon and dill… only cause I am obsessed ☺️
    I’m hubby even enjoyed this!!!
    We love it so much!!!!
    Thank you for this crazy and healthy recipe!!!!

    1. Lorie says:

      Oh great idea on the shredded carrots! So happy you loved it!

  2. Merilynn says:

    5 stars
    YUMMY!

    1. Lorie says:

      I could not agree more!

  3. Kathleen says:

    YUM! I’m trying to add more beans to my diet. This will be a permanent addition to my lunches.
    Thank you

    1. Lorie says:

      Love to hear it! This is my meat and potato loving dad’s favorite dish–so I think that says a lot!

  4. Lynn says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe! Perfect as written. I also made a version for an event that added tuna and dill pickle. Thank you for posting!

    1. Lorie says:

      Ohhhh, that sounds so amazing! Dill pickles are going to be in my next batch 100%!

  5. Cindi Doleshal says:

    5 stars
    I am a newbie to the vegetarian life-style.
    I just made this for the first time and it is amazing, even to a newbie! Thank you for this recipe I will absolutely make it again, soon!

    1. Lorie says:

      Yay Cindi!! I make this recipe often for my meat loving husband and dad and both love it so I feel like that is always a great sign. Hope you enjoy it again and again!!!

  6. Janet says:

    Just made this tuna salad and it is amazing! This is a MUST do everyone! Absolutely delicious. Thank you!!!

    1. Lorie says:

      Yay! So glad you love it. This is one of my FAVORITE recipes of all time!

  7. Tracee says:

    5 stars
    We love this and we aren’t vegan or vegetarian! I’m making this soon for a dear vegetarian friend and am going to tweak it by: adding a mashed up hard boiled egg, some old bay seasoning, and serving it on whole grain bread with sunflower sprouts. I excited just thinking about it!!

    1. Lorie says:

      Oh my gosh Tracey that sounds amazing!!! Going to do that as well soon! Thanks for the tip

  8. Becky says:

    What is the serving size for this recipe, please?

    1. Lorie says:

      Hi there! A serving size is probably about 1/2c-2/3c depending on your needs and your appetite!