Vegan tuna mayo (aka tuna salad) is easy to make, healthy and a great meat-free alternative to fish. The texture comes from mashed chickpeas (garbanzo beans) so it's a nutritious sandwich filling with loads of fantastic flavours.
This recipe sounds a bit bonkers, but trust me. It's delicious.
In this Vegan Tuna Salad, the chickpea filling is made of mayo, capers and a few ingredients that when mashed together is a tasty plant-based substitute for tuna salad.
It may not taste exactly like fish (I'm not sure of many vegans who would want that!), but it's a great substitute and the chickpea filling is to-die-for.
Do you get into lunch ruts? I do.
I'll spend a week having the same thing every day, from salad or smoothies to soup (check out my epic list of vegan soup recipes) or a sandwich.
I also quite often whip up my beloved Spanish beans in just 15 minutes or eat it as leftovers.
My usual vegan sandwich filling is hummus and grated carrot, but again, I get into a food rut with that.
I also love a vibrant rainbow vegetable sandwich.
Lately, I've been loving vegan tuna sandwiches (aka vegan tuna salad sandwiches).
I know, it sounds rather bizarre, but mashed chickpeas/garbanzo beans make a fantastic base for flavourings and give the filling density and a wonderful tuna-like texture. Trust me.
Sure, it's not going to be exactly like tuna.
But it has a lovely umami flavour and thick texture that's delicious in sandwiches.
You can add crumbled nori seaweed for a 'fishy' taste, or leave it out and let the red onions and capers add the deeper flavour.
Be sure to also check out my Vegan Fish and Seafood Recipes.
Wondering how to make a vegan tuna salad sandwich? It's easy.
See those ingredients above? Just mash them all up together and then spread them onto your bread.
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) - substitute white beans if you'd like.
- Vegan mayo
- Onion - white or red.
- Spring onions (scallions)
- Salt and pepper
These ingredients are all optional, but really take it from a chickpea sandwich filling to a more umami tuna-esque flavour
- Nutritional yeast - the flaky stuff from the health food store.
- Soy sauce
- Nori seaweed
Are you unfamiliar with those little green things above? They're capers. Little pickled balls of deliciousness.
If you don't have them to hand you can leave them out, but I adore their flavour and love them in vegan tuna mayo.
They're easy to find in supermarkets, but you could substitute with finely chopped gherkins/dill pickles.
I also like to sprinkle a little vegan parmesan cheese on this vegan tuna sandwich. It only takes a few minutes to whiz the cashews and spices together and it's tasty on salad, stews, pasta etc...!
You can also make it ahead and keep it in the fridge for a few days. Letting it sit allows the flavours to really develop.
Looking for more tasty sandwich recipes? Try these!
Roasted Vegetable Sandwich
Rainbow Vegetable Sandwich
Vegan Lobster Roll
Take a look at my other vegan recipes, including cakes, breakfasts, main meals, stews and snacks.
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Did you make this vegetarian tuna recipe?
Please let me know how this vegan chickpea tuna recipe turned out for you! Leave a comment and star rating below and share a picture on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #veggiedesserts.
Vegan Tuna Mayo (aka tuna salad) Sandwich
- 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) 400g/15oz can
- 3 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon red onion finely chopped
- 1 spring onion (scallion), finely chopped
- 15 capers finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 ½ teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon crumbled dried nori seaweed (optional)
- Small pinch salt and pepper
- Tomatoes sliced
- Bread of choice
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then coarsely mash them with a fork.
- Add all remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
- Serve on bread with salad leaves and tomatoes.
- !Note: if gluten-free choose gluten-free mayonnaise and soy sauce.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.
Tuna fish have got faces. Anythingwitha face cannot possibly be vegetarian
Yup! That's why there are no fish in this recipe. It's called that to give readers an idea of the sort of flavor/texture to expect.
Really tasty, am new to veganism so had to use vegetarian mayo as a stop gap while waiting for online delivery. Not going to shops at the mo due to shielding.
Also not too many ingredients, unlike some vegan recipes 😊
Amazing sandwich filling. I love the addition of capers. Delicious. Thank you so much.
Love this! Thanks so much for the great idea! I've been missing tuna salad for years and this really hits the spot. The the idea to use capers is great (though I usually add some dill pickles for old time's sake, too).
Really good recipe - I didn't have all the ingredients and it still tasted great! Cant wait to make it again 🙂
Really nice! I added all the optional ingredients and it was so good.
I didn't realise you could get vegan mayo. The nori adds an interesting 'sea' flavour I bet
We have just started to eat less meat in our house as I found we were eating the same meals week after week. I'm surprised at how versitle chickpeas are. They can seriously do anything!
Don’t forget to save the liquid from the can, you can whisk it up to make vegan meringues.
This would be so perfect for lunch today! Yum!
What a great alternative to tuna! We cannot wait to try this as we're really trying to eliminate animal protein from our diet. 🙂
This was delicious! I made it as I'm doing veganuary. Will be making it again soon.
Quite tasty, but nothing like tuna. Much better with some toasted and crumbled nori seaweed in it.
I found this recipe looking for Veganuary recipes. It's my first vegan lunch and I must say that I LOVE this sandwich. So tasty.
What a genius idea for a sandwich and I must look out for this bread as it looks really good!
I love chickpeas, but never really thought to use them as sandwich filler - I actually sill have some capers, need to try this combination 🙂
Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet
What a beautiful vegan lunch!
That looks like a really delicious sandwich filling! Do you call it vegan tuna mayo because the flavour and texture are reminiscent of it? I think I'd enjoy it in its own right as a delicious chickpea and caper sandwich filling! So good!
Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes
Really love this idea of a vegan tuna may. Chickpeas are such a versatile product to keep in your kitchen cupboards.
I regularly buy Genius products from my local supermarket, especially like their range of bread. I love fish and am very intrigued to how a vegan version will taste, hope to find out soon!
I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the word 'tuna'. My brain didn't register the vegan bit first. I was never a fan of fish, even before I became a vegetarian, but this filling sounds great.
Bintu - Recipes From A Pantry
Great take on a vegan 'tuna' sandwich. Great alternative to fish.
peter @Feed Your Soul Too
It is amazing how you adapted the chickpeas to look just like tuna. This looks like a very satisfying sandwich.
Awesome idea to use chickpeas! YUMMY
ooo, this sounds delicious! My friend is vegan and she is always on the look out for new recipes! I'll point her to this post! xx
Yum, I bet this is delicious and a nice alternative to tuna. I always get into lunch ruts, just eating toast and not much more!
wow! The chickpeas tuna sandwich looks so delicious! This will surely make a wholesome breakfast..
Shelma @ Yummy's the word
oh wow! very interesting! I've never put chickpeas on my sandwiches!
Reading this makes me hungry!
I am not usually a sandwich person but this recipe sounds very delicious.
Cathy @ Planet Veggie
I love chickpea tuna! I add nori to it for a fishy taste 🙂