Vegan Tuna Salad—Made From Chickpeas!

Vegan Tuna Salad—Made From Chickpeas!

Vegan tuna salad, you ask? But how? One word: chickpeas! This versatile legume takes on the taste of the sea while delivering a protein punch. It’s perfect as a sandwich filling or on a bed of lettuce.

Not only is it vegan and gluten-free, but it’s extremely quick and easy to put together! Now you have yet another delicious option for your lunch when you get tired of the same old sandwich. 

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Chickpea of the Sea Salad Sandwiches

  • Author: Kristie Middleton
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Countertop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


Move over, tuna! The surprise ingredient in these sandwiches? Chickpeas. This versatile legume takes on the taste of the sea while delivering a protein punch. It’s perfect as a sandwich filling or on a bed of lettuce.


  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • ¼ cup of egg-free mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of pickle relish
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely diced
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon nori flakes, optional
  • 48 slices of bread or 24 whole wheat wraps
  • tomato slices, optional
  • 4 large romaine lettuce leaves


  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash chickpeas with a potato masher or fork until crumbly.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Serve immediately by making sandwiches or wraps, or refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.


  • Makes 2 very stuffed or 4 lightly stuffed sandwiches or wraps.
  • Pro-Tip: Mix in ¼ cup roasted unsalted sunflower kernels to give the salad a little extra crunch and a blast of vitamins B and E.


  • Serving Size: 2

Keywords: chickpeas, dairy-free, egg-free, garbanzo beans, gluten-free, lunch, sandwich, soy-free, vegan tuna

The Great Garbanzo Bean

Garbanzo beans (aka “chickpeas”) are a wonderfully delicious, nutritious, and versatile little legume! Loaded with plenty of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, they’re an economical choice for a filling and nourishing meal. They’re especially great for this vegan tuna salad since they take on a fishy flavor when combined with various seasonings and especially nori! Naturally gluten-free and soy-free, they’re great for those who can’t tolerate wheat or soy products as well.

So what’s with the two names, you ask? Well, the name chickpea is derived from the Latin word cicer, referring to the plant family of legumes, Fabaceae. Garbanzo beans come from the Spanish-derived word for the legume. Both words are perfectly acceptable to use! Just know that if you’re in a Spanish-speaking region, you may want to default to using garbanzo beans instead of chickpeas!

Make It a Meal

Want to make more of a meal out of your vegan tuna salad? Look below!

How to Store Your Chickpea Tuna

This chickpea tuna salad will last 2-3 days when kept in the refrigerator. It actually may taste even better the day after making it once the flavors have a chance to mix together! Freezing is not recommended.

Give this vegan chickpea salad recipe a try and let us know what you think over on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! And check out Kristie’s book MeatLess here: 

More Awesome Chickpea Recipes to Try:

Vegan Tuna Salad Sandwich recipe from Kristie Middleton’s book, MeatLess: Transform the Way You Eat and Live — One Meal at a Time, published by Da Capo Press, 2017. Photos by Michelle Cehn. Article written by Kristie Middleton and edited by Amanda Meth. Please note that this article may contain affiliate links which supports our work at World of Vegan.

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8 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Amanda · Edit

    This looks delicious and I love the inclusion of pickle relish in this recipe! Yum!

  2. This is such an amazing dish… it is delicious! I’ve served this to non-vegans who love it and can’t believe it is garbanzo beans!! Great recipe!!

  3. Chickpea salad is so delicious!! I used to love tuna fish salads growing up, but not the fishy taste. This is the best of both worlds! Super healthy, yummy, and totally without cruelty. My favorite go-to sandwich recipe!


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