Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad

June 6, 2014

Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad - Peaceful dumpling

Growing up, tuna salad was a big thing in my family. Probably because it was easy to make, didn’t require cooking, and could be thrown between two slices of bread for a quick and hearty meal.

Reminiscent of summer days, and also childhood lunches, the tuna salad concept has made a comeback for me. In the most dolphin-safe way possible, I’ve eliminated the tuna and replaced it with chickpeas.

The best thing about chickpea tu-no (as I like to call it) is that it can be incredibly versatile.  My fiancé claims that it reminds him more of the chicken salad sandwiches that he ate as a kid, so we’ve adapted in many different ways, from curry to waldorf.

Using just the basic ingredients in the recipe, you can swap out savory items like capers and replace with raisins or grapes, add curry powder for a bit of a spicy Indian-inspired kick, or doll it up with additional fresh herbs, cucumber and tomato for more of a Mediterranean vibe.

The vegan chickpea tuna salad is easy to throw together, requires no cooking, which makes it perfect for hot summer days when you don’t want to turn on the stove. Plus, with Father’s Day coming up, it’s a great item to pack for a picnic with dad.

I like to stuff my tuno salad between bread or in a tortilla for a wrap, roll it up in nori for a vegan sushi alternative, scoop it over arugula for a hearty salad, or eat it with crackers for a protein packed snack.

Chickpea Tuno Salad 

1 ½ Cup cooked garbanzos, (or 1 can drained and rinsed)
1/2 small red onion, diced
1-2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced or shredded
1 Tablespoon capers, drained
1 teaspoon dried dill
3 Tablespoons vegan mayo
1/2 Tablespoon dijon
1/2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kelp powder 1 teaspoon dulse flakes
sea salt & pepper to taste

1. Place diced onion in a small bowl and submerge in a mixture of two parts apple cider vinegar and one part water. Allow to soak for at least 30 minutes, then drain and set aside. They should be a bright pink color and will be sweeter with less of that strong onion bite. 

red onion by Christine Oppenheim

2. Using a food processor fitted with the S-blade, grind chickpeas until flaky. Transfer to a bowl. You may also use a potato masher, or your hands instead of food processor for chunkier texture.

chickpeas by christine oppenheim

3. Add remaining ingredients a mix well with a fork to incorporate. Season with salt & pepper.

vegan chickpea tuna by Christine Oppenheim



Also by Christine: Sprouted Mung Bean Collard Rolls

Spring Quinoa Salad

How to Spring Clean Your Pantry


Photo: Christine Oppenheim


Christine Oppenheim is a natural foods chef, trained through Bauman College. Residing in Santa Monica, CA, she offers vegan personal chef services, cooking instruction, and holistic wellness coaching. Christine prepares meals that are centered on whole grains and organic, seasonal fruits and vegetables, with a focus on utilizing alternative ingredients to convert classic recipes into versions that are compatible for restricted diets (i.e. gluten free, soy free, no refined sugar). She teaches people how to easily incorporate delicious, healthy, plant based foods into their diets and make simple lifestyle changes to increase energy, control weight, reduce stress and regulate digestion. Follow Christine on Instagram @veggiefixation.


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