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‘Chickpea Of The Sea’ Tuna Salad Sandwich

Chickpea Tuna Salad – This classic vegan ‘tuna’ salad is the BEST and so easy to make! It’s a fan favorite and loved by all types of eaters!

head on view of vegan chickpea tuna salad.

This ‘Chickpea of the Sea’ Vegan Tuna Salad Sandwich is easy, healthy, delicious and sustainable!

Of course, it’s not going to taste exactly like tuna, but it will give you the mouth feel and fullness that its predecessor, the ‘tuna salad’ sandwich, gave you. Add some nori sheets or flakes to add more of a sea flavor.

This is a wonderfully simple mock vegan ‘tuna’ salad that can be served in a variety of ways! Enjoy it alone, on crackers, with leafy greens, or fresh veggie slices for scoopers.

My favorite part of sharing recipes, is trying all these different foods and sharing them here in hopes to inspire others looking to make changes seeking new inspiration. It’s not difficult eating a plant-based diet – in fact, it’s a joy!

I never tire of these simple recipes and I hope you like this easy chickpea tuna salad as much as I do!

top down view of ingredients used to make vegan chickpea tuna salad.

Ingredient Notes

Here is everything you’ll need to make the best chickpea tuna salad. Includes optional add-ins as well.

  • Chickpeas – Ues canned or freshly cooked.
  • Onion – Use red or green (scallions) both work great.
  • Celery – Adds a nice texture, but can be optional.
  • Vegan Mayo – This will be the binder, you can sub with thinned hummus as well.
  • Salt + Garlic Powder – Salt brings out the flavors and garlic powder is a flavor booster.
  • Nori Sheets – An optional way to add ‘sea flavor’.
  • Chia Seeds – Will add a dose of heart-healthy omega’s that’s also found in tuna.
top down view showing the process of mashing chickpeas with items surrounding.

How Do You Make Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad?

  • Roughly mash the chickpeas; about 3/4 of them are good, with the back of a fork or potato masher. Mashing the chickpeas helps hold the salad together; once the binder is added and the ingredients are all mixed, it will be a nice thick mixture.
top down view of ingredients added to mashed chickpeas with squeeze of lemon being added.
  • Next, add the celery, onion, garlic powder, vegan mayo (or hummus mix), lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and mix well, adding any extra ingredients you like to taste. Alternatively, you could use a food processor, starting with the beans, pulse a few times, add the remaining ingredients, and pulse again a few times until the desired consistency.

That’s all it takes to make this delicious recipe. It’s healthy, versatile, quick, easy, and delicious!

This vegan chickpea tuna salad sandwich is my kind of wonderful!

Top Tips

  • Change up the binder. I love using thinned plain hummus in place of vegan mayo. If using store-bought hummus that is thick, add a few heaping tablespoons to a small bowl and whisk in 1 tablespoon of water at a time until desired thinness. It works perfectly!
  • Add a sea flavor. Try adding a little seaweed, such as a sprinkle of dulse flakes or crushed nori sheet, to the mix for a taste of the sea.
  • Add heart-healthy omegas. Tuna is full of omega; add 1 tablespoon or so of hemp hearts or chia seeds to the no-tuna mix for added nutrients.
  • The recipe can easily be doubled. The one shown is a double batch. Feel free to double up; you’ll be glad to have leftovers.

top down view of bowl with freshly made vegan chickpea tuna salad.

How To Store + Meal Prep

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, in a covered container. Stir well before using.
  • Meal prep: For meal prep, make the salad as directed and store it in the refrigerator. Meal prep with leafy greens, or make sandwiches or wraps.
head on view of two halves of vegan chickpea tuna salad stacked.

Serving Suggestions

This vegan tuna salad is versatile and can be served as is or used as a filler. Here are a few of my favorite options:

  • Salad: Serve with leafy greens as a salad.
  • Wraps: It’s great for making tortilla wraps, tucking into pita bread, or making lettuce wraps.
  • Sandwiches: It’s perfect as a sandwich filler or served as an open-faced sandwich. Try it with this homemade Artisan Bread!
  • Crackers: Scoop up with a variety of crackers, pita chips, or rye crisps. Try these gluten-free Almond Flour Crackers.
  • Veggie sticks: It’s delicious with fresh vegetable sticks for scooping. Use red bell pepper, celery or carrots, cucumber, zucchini, etc.

More Easy Chickpea Salads!

Because you can never have too many variations of creamy mashed chickpea salads, try these other wonderful recipes. You may just find a new favorite for the meal rotation!

top down view of healthy vegan chickpea tuna salad wraps on a plate.

If you try this vegan tuna salad recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.



5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 86 reviews

This is a great mock ‘tuna’ salad sandwich using chickpeas. Alternately, serve this as lettuce wraps or use sliced vegetables like bell pepper and cucumber as scoopers.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 10 min
  • Yield: Serves 3
  • Category: Salad, Entree
  • Method: mix
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


  • 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • juice of 1/2 lemon + some zest if you like
  • 1/41/3 cup of vegan mayo (or 3 – 4 tablespoons hummus or white bean hummus + 23 tablespoons water)
  • 1/4 cup celery (about 2 small stalks, leaves ok too), chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion (about 1/2 small), chopped
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • himalayan salt & cracked pepper, to taste
  • dash of cayenne, optional

Other optional ingredients:

  • crushed nori sheets or dulse (seaweed)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or hemp hearts for some omega 3 & 6
  • sweet or dill pickle relish

To Serve

  • 6 slices whole grain, sprouted whole grain flourless or artisan bread, to serve
  • leafy greens, to serve
  • nori sheets, to serve (optional)
  • pickles, optional


Mash chickpeas: Drain and rinse chickpeas, place in a medium-size bowl, and roughly mash about 3/4 of the chickpeas with the back of a fork or potato masher until desired consistency.

Assemble salad: Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well, adding any extra ingredients you like. Alternatively, you can use a food processor to start with the beans, pulse a few times, and add the remaining ingredients, pulsing again a few times until the desired consistency.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Ways to serve:

  • Serve on bread of choice, along with some leafy greens and the optional 1/4 sheet of nori.
  • For a gluten-free meal, you can also serve it on bibb or romaine lettuce like a wrap instead of bread.
  • Try serving with sliced fresh scoopable veggies like cucumber, red bell peppers, zucchini, etc.
  • Lastly, pair it with your favorite crackers.

Salad serves 3 generously.

Store: Leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 6 days. Stir before serving.


If using thick store-bought hummus, thin it with water, adding 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring, and repeating until desired consistency. This will make for a really nice, creamy binder. If using the hummus recipe link in the ingredient list, omit the cumin.

The chickpea of the sea salad is great on leafy greens as a wrap. It’s cool and crunchy!

Nutrition facts are for the salad only (bread not included). Using the right bread may add another 10 grams of protein. Not too bad for a vegan sandwich!

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  1. This was fabulous! I even forgot to mash the chickpeas and didn’t add any extra ingredients. I served it on gf toast and romaine lettuce cups. So quick and easy! Now it’s gone and I can’t wait to make it again. Thanks so much!

  2. I love it! Spread some on a matzo cracker and ate it like a slice of pizza

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thank you for sharing, Sue!

  3. Made this recipe a few times now and it’s still my go-to. Super easy to make, packed with protein, and delicious. What’s not to love? Highly recommend :)

    1. Ursula Dixon says:

      I love this recipe it is quick, easy and very delicious. Thank you for sharing.

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