This Vegan Tuna Salad Recipe is quick, simple, and super healthy. This can be served on a sandwich, on open-faced toast, wrap it in lettuce, or just eat it with a spoon. It is truly amazing!


Is tuna salad on your list of things to make? Or have you tried tuna salad made with chickpeas? Or perhaps you crave a hearty chickpea salad sandwich.

While doing some grocery shopping I got a sudden craving for tuna salad. There are plenty of recipes on here for various mayo-based salads, such as Vegan Macaroni Salad, Chickpea Salad, Vegan Egg Salad, and Potato Salad, but I specifically wanted tuna.

This vegan tuna salad is adaptable, easy to prepare, and a great alternative to seafood, no matter how you serve it.  It’s a fantastic fish-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan tuna salad option.

If you want to eat more healthily, you should try this healthy chickpea salad.

As more people become aware of the dangers of eating tuna because of the high levels of harmful mercury found in the fish’s flesh as a result of our contaminated oceans, demand for healthier seafood is growing.

Here comes the chickpea!

My simple vegan chickpea “tuna” salad has the same flavor and texture as tuna fish salad, but without the mercury. It’s high in plant protein and quick to prepare for lunch during the week. I usually double the recipe because it keeps well for several days in the fridge.

You may serve this vegan tuna salad on a sandwich, on open-faced toast, wrap it in lettuce, or just eat it with a spoon. It is truly excellent.

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What Is Vegan Tuna Salad?

Recently I made Fish Tacos using hearts of palm, so I figured I could do something similar to get the texture.

For the taste, I used Old Bay and celery seed, but the effect was fairly mild, so I added half of a nori seaweed sheet, which turned out to be the key ingredient.

Nori is the type of seaweed used to wrap sushi and therefore is the easiest to find here in America (read more about nori here).

There are other types of seaweed that may have a better flavor or are already in flakes, but I wanted to use something that would be easily found even in most Walmarts, and also that I had myself.

As I was thinking about my experimental recipe, mashed up hearts of palm with mayonnaise didn’t sound the best or most filling,

So I decided to pureé chickpeas to give them to somebody. Served with bread or crackers, it’s a perfect hearty snack or lunch.

tuna salad sandwiches on a black marble background with a black and white stripe napkin

What Makes It A Vegan Tuna?

Vegan tuna made from chickpeas is a great substitute, and you’d be surprised at how much it resembles real tuna.

Adding creamy vegan mayo to mashed chickpeas makes a perfect tuna mayonnaise-like texture. With a sprinkle of nori flakes for an authentic sea flavor.

Ingredients Descriptions:

Chickpeas: This recipe incorporates chickpeas, as do many other faux tuna salads. They break down in a food processor and help make the hearty, crumbly basis of this salad.

Hearts of Palm: Chickpeas aren’t the only component of this salad’s foundation. The remaining half is made up of palm hearts. Heart of palm is offered in the can and they are made from the heart of certain palm trees. They have a delicate flavor and are similar to artichokes in appearance, but their texture is smoother. They have a nearly buttery interior and a faintly nutty flavor, and their soft yet rather solid structure makes them an interesting alternative to seafood.

Celery Seeds + Celery Stalk: Celery is one of the most traditional ingredients in tuna salad, but I’m using celery twice because I’m trying to replicate the flavors of tuna without using tuna. Celery stalk and celery seeds are used in this dish. Most grocery shops carry celery seeds in the spices/seasonings department, which lends an American flavor to a variety of recipes (think tuna salad, chicken soup, and corn chowder). They add a subtle vegetal flavor to the vegan mayo, which helps to balance off its rich creaminess.

Nori seaweed: A fun way to add a little ‘sea flavor’ to your dish.

Vegan mayo: Because traditional tuna salad uses mayo! In addition, the filler needs something to hold it together. I used homemade vegan mayo.

Onion powder: Adding onion powder adds a more savory flavor to this salad.

Salt + garlic powder: To enhance the flavor of food, add salt and garlic powder to your food.

Old Bay seasoning and Cayenne pepper: Old bay seasoning and cayenne pepper are the perfect combinations of spices for the most amazing flavor.

vegan tuna ingredients

How To Make Vegan Tuna Salad?

  1. Add chickpeas, celery, nori, and other seasonings to a food processor. Blend until the chickpeas, celery, and nori are completely dispersed into small pieces. At this point, the consistency should be crumbly.
  2. Add vegan mayonnaise and process until the mixture turns creamy. Add salt and optional pepper as needed and taste to see if the seasoning is satisfactory.
  3. If it tastes slightly over seasoned, remember you will be adding the hearts of palm last.
  4. Add the hearts of palm (cut into pieces if you bought whole hearts, not salad cut).
  5. Pulse for a few seconds, stopping to mix the sides into the middle, until the hearts of the palm are in pieces, resembling tuna flakes.
  6. Be careful not to over pulse, because you don’t want the hearts of the palm to be completely pulverized.

Suggestions for Serving

This vegan tuna salad is adaptable and may be used as a filler or served on its own. Here are a couple of my personal favorites:

  • Salad: Serve as a salad with lush greens.
  • Wraps: Use it to make tortilla wraps, tuck into pita bread, or make lettuce wraps.
  • Sandwiches: This is an excellent filling for sandwiches or served as an open-faced sandwich.
  • Crackers: Scoop with a choice of crackers, rye crisps, or pita chips
  • Veggie sticks: For scooping, it’s wonderful with fresh veggie sticks. Red bell pepper, carrots or celery, zucchini, cucumber, and other vegetables can be used.
  • Fruits: It’s also delicious with fresh fruit!

How Long Does Tuna Salad Last?

This will last for about a week in the refrigerator in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

Make it ahead and have it for making quick lunch sandwiches with lettuce and tomato, to eat as a snack with crackers, or whatever else you’d use tuna salad for.

If you are looking for a vegan tuna salad that will appease your cravings for an all-time childhood favorite. For your kids’ lunches, you’ve definitely found it here. Using a mix of spices, chickpeas, and hearts of palm.

Recipe Variations Or Substitutions

Vegan tuna salad may be made with a variety of plant-based items in addition to chickpeas! Other vegan tuna salad variations include:

  • Jackfruit — Because of its meaty texture, jackfruit may be used to make a delicious vegan tuna salad. Simply sauté it shortly before mixing it with the remaining ingredients!
  • Artichokes — Artichokes are a fantastic gluten-free and soy-free alternative to tuna. This recipe for artichoke tuna salad sandwiches comes together in a matter of minutes with the addition of vegan mayo and chopped vegetables.
  • Tofu — Tofu can be used for almost anything, even preparing a vegan tuna salad. Simply cut it into smaller pieces, add your favorite vegetables like celery, season with vegan mayo and a splash of seaweed for a fishy flavor, and serve!

Recipe Notes

  • Switch out the binder. I like to use vegan mayo, but you can use thinned plain hummus. For thicker hummus that you buy from the store and need to thin, add two or three tablespoons of the store-bought hummus to the bowl and whisk in one tablespoon of water every batch, mixing until you get the appropriate consistency. It works perfectly!

          Greek yogurt is also good and my favorite.

  • Add a flavor of the sea. You can add some dulse flakes into the mixture for a flavor of the sea instead of nori sheets.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart. Tuna is high in omega-3 fatty acids; you can add 1 tbsp. of chia seeds to the mix for additional nutrition.
  • Chickpeas: If you prefer dried chickpeas to canned, soak them overnight, drain them, and then bring them to a boil in a large pot. Reduce the heat to low after 5 minutes and cook for around 1 hour. Once cooked, ¾ cup dried chickpeas are comparable to 1 ½ cup canned chickpeas.
  • Ensure that your chickpeas are at room temperature before mashing, as they will be mashed more easily!
  • The next day, this tuna mix tastes even better. You can add chopped red bell peppers, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and more to it if you want to.
  • It’s simple to double the recipe. You may double the recipe; you will appreciate the leftovers.

Other Vegan Fish Recipes

Here Are Some Amazing Vegan Sandwiches Recipes

vegan tuna sandwiches

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Vegan Tuna Good For You?

Yes, it is healthful because it is normally made with chickpeas and occasionally palm hearts, both of which are nutritious. Of course, there are no actual tuna fish in this dish.

What Does It Taste Like?

Because of the seaweed nori, mayo, and celery, vegan tuna salad has a taste that is comparable to tuna. The texture is also fantastic.

What Are Heart Of Palm?

Hearts of palm are vegetables obtained from the inner cores of palm trees. They are sliced into cylinders and stored in water or brine. They have a milder flavor than artichokes. They’re usually found in the can vegetable section. They’re loaded with beneficial nutrients, including protein and fiber. I frequently purchase mine at Walmart because they are reasonably priced.

How Do You Mash Chickpeas?

You can mash them with a potato masher, a fork, or a food processor. When working with a large number, a food processor is an excellent choice.

Are Chickpeas Vegan-Friendly?

Definitely, it is good for you because it has a lot of plant-based protein and is filling and satisfying. It can also be used in a lot of different recipes.

What Is Nori (Seaweed Sushi)?

Nori is a type of dried seaweed sheet created from red algae that dries to a dark green color. It’s commonly used as a sushi wrapper, snack wrapper, or seasoning wrapper.


Nori is a Japanese seaweed that comes in a 7′′ × 8′′ sheet and is widely used in onigiri rice balls and sushi rolls. Strips, shredded, flaked, and powdered are some of the other available forms. They are available in grocery stores in packs for culinary purposes.

Is Seaweed Nori Sushi Vegan?

Many vegans eat nori and other seaweeds, despite the fact that nori’s production entails some animal exploitation.

Where Can I Buy Nori?

They are accessible at the majority of Asian grocers, Whole Foods, and a variety of regular grocers. You can also get them from Amazon.

Why Will You Like This Vegan Tuna Salad Recipe?

Now that I’ve given you a full overview of the ingredients, let’s speak about why I adore this Vegan Tuna Salad and believe you will as well!

  • It’s really easy to make, requiring only 5-7 minutes and a food processor.
  • This vegan tuna salad tastes just like the real thing. It also doesn’t hurt any fish, and it’s a lot more environmentally friendly than eating real tuna. And it is mercury-free.
  • It’s easy to make a large quantity of this salad and have it for lunches all week long.
  • It satisfies any craving for seafood, animal proteins, umami, and so forth. Simply delightful!
  • It makes an excellent packed lunch, whether you’re at school or at work!

If you like and enjoy this recipe, please leave a comment to let me know your feedback.

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(Per serving)
  • Energy: 152 kcal / 635 kJ
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Carbs: 10 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Ready in: 10 min
  • For: 8 Servings


Sandwich Fixings Ideas

  • 1 cup green leaf or Romaine lettuce, cut into thin slices
  • Instructions

    1. Add chickpeas, celery, nori, and seasonings to a food processor. Blend until the chickpeas, celery, and nori are completely dispersed into small pieces. The consistency should be crumbly.
    2. Add mayonnaise and process until the mixture turns creamy. Add salt and optional pepper as needed and taste to see if the seasoning is satisfactory. If it tastes slightly over seasoned, remember you will be adding the hearts of palm last.
    3. Add the hearts of palm (cut into pieces if you bought whole hearts, not salad cut). Pulse for a few seconds, stopping to push the sides down, until the hearts of palm are in pieces, resembling tuna flakes. Be careful not to over pulse, because you don't want the hearts of palm to be completely pulverized.
    4. This will keep for about a week in the fridge. Make it ahead and have it for making quick lunch sandwiches with lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, carrot and tomato, to eat as a snack with crackers, or whatever else you'd use tuna salad for.
    Recipe author's Gravatar image

    Dev Marie

    Hi there, I’m Dev, Chief Editor here on Healthier Steps, a Jersey girl now residing in Florida, and a first-generation Jamaican immigrant. As a passionate foodie adventurist, I love to create comfort dishes using exotic ingredients from all over the world.