Keep your kitchen cool and enjoy a quick lunch with this vegan chickpea “tuna” salad. It’s an easy and satisfying no cook recipe that’s ideal for summer. You’ll enjoy the same basic taste of a traditional tuna salad, but with a few simple changes that transform it into a light vegan meal.
In this cold salad, canned chickpeas take the place of tuna and are mashed to a similar consistency. Vegenaise replaces the typical mayonnaise, ensuring that the dish is egg free as well. Mix in the flavor combination of celery, dill, and onion, and you have a tasty salad in just a few minutes. There are also lots of ways you can vary the flavor, especially since there’s no tuna taste to inhibit the possibilities.
Enjoy the salad for lunch over bread or lettuce, or combine the two, add a tomato slice, and use spicy mustard or Vegenaise as a sandwich spread. Serve it with crackers for an appetizer or snack or take it along for a picnic.
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
- 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon capers (optional)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bread or lettuce leaves for serving
How to Make:
1. Mash the Chickpeas:
Start by placing 2 cups of cooked chickpeas (or 1 can, drained and rinsed) into a large bowl. Use a fork or a potato masher to gently mash the chickpeas. Aim for a mixture that has some partially whole chickpeas for added texture.
2, Add the Flavorful Ingredients:
Into the bowl of mashed chickpeas, add 1/4 cup of vegan mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons each of finely chopped red onion, celery, and dill pickle. I added the cappers for a little more flavor too. These ingredients will provide a burst of freshness and crunch to the salad. If you desire an extra cheesy flavor, you can include 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast as well.
3. Enhance the Flavor:
Incorporate 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder and onion powder into the mixture. These spices will add depth and a savory touch to the vegan “tuna” salad. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste preference.
4. Mix and Chill:
Thoroughly mix all the ingredients in the bowl until well combined. Ensure that the flavors are evenly distributed. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the salad for at least 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the salad to chill.
5. Serve and Enjoy:
Once chilled, your vegan chickpea “tuna” salad is ready to be savored. Serve it on your favorite bread as a delightful sandwich or enjoy it on a bed of crisp lettuce leaves for a lighter option. Feel free to personalize your creation by adding toppings like tomato slices, avocado, or sprouts to enhance both the flavor and presentation.
POPULAR CHICKPEA TUNA ADD-INS:
Try adding any of these to your mock tuna salad to add even more flavor and flair!
- chopped bell pepper
- shredded carrots
- hot sauce or sriracha–kick it up a notch!
- diced cucumber
- fresh parsley
- chopped walnuts
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.
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR RECIPE:
- 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.
NUTRITIONAL BREAKDOWN OF THIS VEGAN CHICKPEA TUNA SALAD:
Per serving (serving size: half of the recipe):
- Calories: Approximately 300-350 calories
- Total Fat: Approximately 10-15 grams
- Saturated Fat: Approximately 1-2 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
- Sodium: Approximately 400-500 milligrams
- Total Carbohydrates: Approximately 40-50 grams
- Fiber: Approximately 10-12.5 grams
- Sugars: Approximately 5 grams
- Protein: Approximately 10-12 grams
This vegan chickpea “tuna” salad offers a wonderful alternative to traditional tuna salad while providing essential nutrients and incredible taste. This recipe showcases the versatility of chickpeas, transforming them into a plant-based delight that is both satisfying and healthy. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or simply seeking new culinary experiences, this salad is sure to impress. Give it a try and indulge in a delicious, cruelty-free twist on a classic dish.