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Easy Chickpea Tuna Salad (No-Tuna)

This fabulous Chickpea Tuna Salad recipe is from Cathy Fisher with Straight Up Food. Made with chickpeas, fresh vegetables, and seasonings, this vegan tuna is going to delight your taste buds!

chickpea tuna salad on a bed of fresh spinach and sliced tomatoes
Photo Credit: StraightUp Food

I love a good vegan sandwich, and this mock tuna salad is one of the very best! With celery, red onions, avocado, fresh basil, and cashew mustard dressing, this vegan tuna salad is absolutely delicious.

“Garbanzo beans are an ideal substitute for canned tuna when it comes to creating a health-promoting tuna salad. You can serve this vegan tuna salad by itself or on top of a green or spinach salad, spooned into romaine or endive leaves, or as a filling in steamed corn tortillas”, says recipe creator, Cathy Fisher.

Chickpea salad in lettuce wrap with sandwich in background

At my own house, we’ve been known to make this recipe to serve on sandwiches for a quick lunch. Sometimes we use bread and other times it is a lettuce leaf to make more of a wrap-type meal.

Ingredients

  • Chickpeas- Use canned chickpeas or make your own fresh from scratch in your Instant Pot.
  • Avocado- Adds a creamy delicious texture and flavor.
  • Celery- Diced small is perfect for adding just the right crunch.
  • Onion- Cathy uses red onion that adds beautiful color.
  • Fresh basil- Finely chopped it gives this dish a lovely flavor.
  • Cashew Mustard Dressing- It’s super easy to make in minutes in your blender.

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

How to make chickpea tuna salad

Begin by placing all of the dressing ingredients (water, cashews, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, garlic, and kelp, if using) into a food processor and set to the side for at least 15 minutes so the cashews can soften. A bean masher, potato masher, or fork also works well. I sometimes even use my Vitamix.

vitamix with ground chickpeas

Place the garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) into a food processor and pulse until the beans are broken but still flaky. Do NOT over blend.

Transfer the beans to a large bowl and add the diced celery, red onion, basil, and avocado and stir well.

Chickpea Avocado Salad being mixed in bowl with avocado shell on table

Blend the dressing ingredients until smooth adding a little water as needed. Stir the dressing into the salad until well blended and serve.

Recipe from Straight Up Food Cookbook and is called No-Tuna Salad. It is published with permission.

Serving suggestions

This terrific vegan tuna can be served in a number of different ways. Recipe author, Cathy Fisher doesn’t use any bread but likes to serve this recipe in large green leaves.

  • Sandwiches- Make a sandwich and add leafy greens.
  • Wraps- Scoop into a large romain or endive leaf.
  • Tortillas- Pack a few spoonfulls into a corn tortilla.
  • Salad- Serve alongside your favorite green salad.
  • Crackers- Smear this vegan spread onto some oil-free crackers like Mary’s Gone Crackers.
  • Bagel- It’s also terrific served on bagels with spinach leaves and tomatoes.
a hand holding a bagel filled with chickpea tuna salad

Pro tips and substitutions

  • Kelp granules- Adding kelp lends a seafood flavor to this salad though it is optional.
  • Lower fat content- Substitute 3/4 to 1 cup cooked white beans for the cashews to lower the fat content of the dressing.
  • Lower Sodium- To avoid excess sodium, look for canned beans with no added salt or cook your beans from scratch.
  • Vegan mayonnaise- Add homemade vegan mayo to sandwiches to push this recipe over the top.
  • Store- Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

About the Chef

headshot of cathy fisher

Cathy Fisher is the author of the cookbook, Straight Up Food, full of recipes made of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, with no added refined salt, oil, or sugar (and gluten-free). But make no mistake: these 100% plant-based dishes will still be full of flavor, richness, and sweetness!

Cathy’s specialty is giving traditional dishes makeovers so that they look and taste as close as possible to the originals. She has been plant-based since 1999 and is a culinary instructor at the McDougall Program (Dr. John McDougall) and the TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California. 

Follow Straight Up Food:

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chickpea tuna salad on a bed of fresh spinach and sliced tomatoes

Easy Chickpea Tuna Salad

Yield: 5 cups
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This fabulous Chickpea Tuna Salad recipe is from Cathy Fisher with Straight Up Food. Made with chickpeas, fresh vegetables, and seasonings, this vegan tuna is going to delight your taste buds!

Ingredients

  • 2 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, chopped (optional)

Cashew-Mustard Dressing

Instructions

  1. Begin by placing all of the dressing ingredients (water, cashews, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, garlic, and kelp, if using) into a food processor and set to the side for at least 15 minutes so the cashews can soften. A bean masher, potato masher, or fork also works well. I sometimes even use my Vitamix.
  2. Place the garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) into a food processor and pulse until the beans are broken but still flaky. Do NOT over blend.
  3. Transfer the beans to a large bowl and add the diced celery, red onion, basil, and avocado and stir well.
  4. Blend the dressing ingredients until smooth adding a little water as needed. Stir the dressing into the salad until well blended and serve.

Notes

Recipe from Straight Up Food Cookbook and is called No-Tuna Salad. It is published with permission.

Pro tips and substitutions

  • Kelp granules- Adding kelp lends a seafood flavor to this salad though it is optional.
  • Lower fat content- Substitute 3/4 to 1 cup cooked white beans for the cashews to lower the fat content of the dressing.
  • Lower Sodium- To avoid excess sodium, look for canned beans with no added salt or cook your beans from scratch.
  • Vegan mayonnaise- Add homemade vegan mayo to sandwiches to push this recipe over the top.
  • Store- Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215Total Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 101mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 3.4gSugar: 3.8gProtein: 7.3g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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