Artichoke “Tuna” Salad

This delicious artichoke tuna salad is perfect for spreading on crackers, loading onto sandwiches, or serving up as an appetizer at parties. Made with tender artichoke hearts that shred up to a texture remarkably similar to tuna—this is an excellent healthier option to meal prep for the week.
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Artichoke tuna salad on a sandwich layered with pickled red onion.
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If you’re craving the nostalgic taste of creamy tuna salad layered in thick between two slices of soft bread, don’t go fish- Go plants! Canned artichoke makes a stunning substitution for that characteristic tuna fish mouthfeel that’s both meaty and tender, solid yet shredded, interspersed with pops of fresh flavor. Take this family favorite in a new, more compassionate direction, that’s both tastier and healthier than the traditional recipe.

Hopefully by now you’ve already tried (and fallen in love with) our chickpea tuna salad, and maybe even this jackfruit tuna, but if you’re itching for a new tuna, this will be an exciting way to mix up this vegan tuna fish lunch staple. Let this be yet another reminder that we don’t need to turn to seafood or harm fish to enjoy you old tuna-style favorites.

Open face sandwich piled with artichoke tuna and served with crackers and pickles.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Nothing fishy: If you’re not a fan of fishy flavors, you’re in luck! This variation on the idea doesn’t taste like seafood, putting more emphasis on fresh veggies and bright seasonings instead.
  • Fiber-full: Fiber is the key to staying satisfied long after lunchtime, which makes this highly nutrition sandwich staple a great meal to tide you over through a full day of work, school, or play.
  • Super simple: If you have a can opener and a food processor, you’re in business. There’s no need for specialized equipment, fancy techniques, or rare ingredients here!
  • Keeps well: Meal planning has never been easier when you keep a batch of this “tuna” on hand. Prepare it up to a week in advance so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time living life!
  • Travels beautifully: Planning a trip out to the beach, hiking in the woods, traveling by car or airplane? There’s no bad place to take these versatile sandwiches! Wrap them tightly and keep cool, but no need to refrigerate if eating that same day.
Vegan Sandwich Recipe for veggie tuna salad made with artichokes

Key Ingredients and Substitutions

Artichoke tuna ingredients flatlay with artichokes, tomatoes, onion, pickles, celery, dill, vegan mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper.

Canned artichokes: Cleaning fresh artichokes is a pain but getting them canned makes them easy and effortless to cook with. Seek out artichoke hearts packed in water or brine, not marinated, which would add other seasonings and oil into the mix.

Vegan mayo: Whether you want to buy or DIY, vegan mayo has none of the egg and all the creamy, dreamy richness. You can find tons of plant-based options at most grocery stores in the refrigerated section, typically near the vegan sour cream, yogurt, and cheese.

Artichoke tuna salad ingredients assembled in a bowl before mixing.

Celery: Adding satisfying textural contrast throughout the creamy mixture, crunchy chunks of celery are a classic inclusion. If you really dislike celery though, you can swap them out for chopped carrots instead.

Pickles: Subtly briny, salty, and savory, simple garlic pickles can’t be beat. Bread and butter pickle could lend a sweeter flavor, or spicy pickles would be perfect to turn up the heat. Pickle spears are easiest to dice into consistent sizes for this recipe.

Red onion: Raw onion might sound harsh, but it lends a satisfying bite that becomes more mellow and mild the longer it sits. You can go for more delicate sliced scallion or shallots if you’d still prefer a less assertive onion flavor.

Finely diced red onion in a bowl.

Cherry tomatoes: Bursting with fresh flavor, ripe cherry tomatoes are like little red gems hidden within the sea of “tuna” salad. When not in season, you can omit them, or use diced bell peppers instead.

Sandwich bread: Anything goes when it comes to sandwich bread. Whole wheat, multigrain, spelt, focaccia, sourdough, rye; whatever you like is the best choice! You can also use a gluten-free bread to accommodate those with celiac disease, since the recipe is otherwise completely gluten-free.

Making the perfect vegan tuna salad sandwich on whole grain bread

How to Spice Up Your Artichoke Tuna Salad

If you’re tired of the standard seasonings, you’re in luck. Consider this a blank canvas to paint any of your favorite flavors on top of! There’s a bolder world of savory tastes waiting for you with just a few quick tweaks.

Buffalo: Add 1 tablespoon of hot sauce and top with vegan blue cheese, to taste.

Sonoma: Swap the grape tomatoes for sweet red grapes, add 1⁄4 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans, and 1 teaspoon of poppy seeds.

Tex-Mex: Replace the mayonnaise with 1⁄2 mashed avocado. Add 1⁄4 cup corn kernels, 1⁄4 cup diced red bell pepper, and 1 – 2 teaspoons chili powder.

Ideas for Serving “Tuna” Salad

If you’re big on filling but not much for bread, this incredibly versatile fishless salad will be the star of any meal! There’s more than one way to enjoy these flavors in all sorts of meals.

With crackers, chips, or cut vegetables: If you’re a perpetual snacker, this one’s for you! Treat your “tuna” salad like a dip and pair it with your favorite crunchy scoopers. Keep it light with fresh sliced cucumbers, baby carrots, or celery sticks, or use more hearty pretzels, tortilla chips, water crackers, and more. Use a variety to mix things up.

Artichoke tuna salad served in a bowl with Back to Nature crackers.

Easy Tuna Appetizer Bites: Scoop a dome of artichoke tuna salad onto crackers and top with a halved cherry tomato or a sprig of dill for an easy and fun vegan appetizer to serve at parties, holidays, or gatherings! Use a large melon baller to create elegant domes.

Vegan tuna salad appetizer on crackers with a cherry tomato

Wraps: Roll out with flour tortillas or flatbread, stuffing the edible vessel with some crisp vegetables, greens, or cooked whole grains. You can also wrap it in foil to heat it in the oven or toaster on cold days.

Leafy green salads: Get your daily greens by using them as a base for your “tuna.” As a bonus, it’s so creamy and flavorful, the dressing is already built in.

Pasta salad: Toss with al dente noodles for an instant pasta salad. Short shapes are general best, like medium shells, fusilli, penne, and bowties.

Avocado boats: Double down on those good fats by piling your “tuna” salad up high in a ripe, buttery avocado! You may need to carve out a bit of the meat to fit a bigger serving inside; save that for guacamole or smoothies later.

Lettuce cups: Keep it low-calorie by using crisp, sturdy lettuce leaves as the base. It’s like a salad you can eat with your hands!

More Lunchtime Sandwich and Wrap Recipes to Try:

Stacked Vegetarian Artichoke Tuna Salad Sandwich
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Artichoke “Tuna” Salad

4.93 from 14 votes
All the flavor of tuna salad sandwiches—without the tuna! This recipe leans on artichokes to create that tuna-like mouthfeel—which is all the usual tuna-salad ingredients for a punch of savory flavor. Whip up a batch of this flavorful vegan artichoke tuna salad to serve with crackers, in wraps, or for lunch sandwiches throughout the week!
Artichoke tuna salad on a sandwich layered with pickled red onion.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 5 servings

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 cans artichokes, whole or quartered packaged in brine, not marinated
  • ¼ cup vegan mayo
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 2 spears dill pickle, finely diced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon salt, if desired (taste first)
  • 10 slices sandwich bread
  • 5 large lettuce leaves

Instructions

  • Open the cans of artichokes and drain the water well. Use your hands to squeeze our the majority of the brine, and place artichokes into a food processor. Pulse 8-10 quick times until the artichokes look roughly shredded (should be a tuna-like consistency). Do not over-blend.
  • In a medium bowl, add the shredded artichokes, vegan mayo, yellow mustard, diced onion, diced celery, diced pickle, tomatoes, and black pepper. Mix with a spoon until thoroughly combined.
  • Lightly toast bread. For each sandwich, lay a large piece of lettuce on the bottom slice of toasted bread and top with a generous layer of artichoke “tuna” salad. Top with the other piece of bread, cut in half using a sharp knife (if desired), and enjoy.

Video

Notes

This artichoke salad stores beautifully in the fridge. You can make a batch and keep it on hand for simple vegan sandwiches all week long.

Nutrition

Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 549mg | Potassium: 699mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2052IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 183mg | Iron: 4mg
Course — Lunch
Cuisine — American
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Recipe Rating




15 comments
  1. 5 stars
    My partner recently found out they are allergic to chickpeas, so I’ve been looking for a “tuna” replacement. I didn’t think to consider artichokes.

    This was so good. I substituted the pickles for jalepeno relish for a spicy/sweet kick. Pickled red onions or pickled red cabbage, Louisiana Hot Sauce, and Takis Fuego chips are my favorite toppings for a sandwich

  2. Caleb Steel says:

    5 stars
    So good. I substituted the diced pickles with jalepeno relish for a sweet/spicy kick. My favorite toppings is pickled red onions or cabbage, takis fuego, and Louisiana hot sauce for a sandwich.

  3. Denise Siri says:

    5 stars
    WHY the need to use the term “TUNA”? It’s and Vegan Artichoke Salad Sandwich! And, I’ll bet it is so delicious!

    • Hi Denise! We use familiar terms like “tuna” because it helps people find vegan versions of the dishes they already know and love. It makes it easier for those who are new to veganism or just looking for plant-based alternatives to discover delicious recipes that replicate the flavors and textures they’re familiar with. And thank you — it is so delicious and we hope you get to try it soon 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    I just made this! So simple and delicious! Thank you 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I love artichokes so this really must taste amazing!

  6. Beatriz Buono-Core says:

    5 stars
    Never thought of making tuna salad with artichoke 😀 Love it!

  7. 5 stars
    I’ve got to give this one a try! It’s crazy that I’ve never tried artichokes before. This seems like the best recipe to get started with 😀

    • 5 stars
      So much better than tuna fish! I make chickpea tuna all the time but I was so delighted to discover this new creative way to make tuna. I think it’s even more tuna-like actually!

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve been wanting to add more artichokes to my diet and this recipe is calling my name! Looks delicious!

  9. 4 stars
    We love this “tuna” salad! Great for wraps, or just a few dollops on a bed of greens. Mmmm

  10. 5 stars
    Such a quick and tasty lunch idea! Yum!

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