This vegan tuna melt recipe is made with tasty vegan tuna salad and topped with melted vegan cheese between two slices of bread. It’s like a vegan grilled cheese sandwich with a delicious chickpea tuna bonus!
A tuna melt is merely a grilled cheese sandwich with tuna salad. Believe it or not, it’s so easy to veganize this favorite comfort food sandwich. Simply substitute chickpea tuna salad and use vegan cheddar slices and you’ll be so glad you did!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Use thickly-sliced bread to help the cheese get gooey while the bread is toasting
- Keeping the heat on medium to low helps toast the bread slowly, allowing the cheese to melt more evenly
- Use softened vegan butter to spread it more evenly across the soft bread before grilling
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- Vegan tuna salad — Follow my recipe for vegan tuna salad that uses chickpeas.
- Bread — Use your favorite dairy-free sandwich bread, such as whole wheat or sourdough.
- Vegan cheddar cheese slices — I prefer vegan cheddar, but there are so many tasty vegan cheeses these days. Substitute your favorites!
- Vegan Butter — We’ll use vegan butter to toast the bread. You can use storebought dairy-free butter or margarine or make your own vegan butter.
For an even crispier crust and slightly herbal flavor, try brushing the bread with olive oil instead of softened vegan butter.
How to Make Vegan Tuna Melt
- Prepare the vegan tuna salad recipe.
- Butter one side of four slices of bread.
- Make sandwiches by spreading vegan tuna salad on two slices of bread. Top with cheese slices. Place a bread slice on top, buttered side up.
- Cook sandwiches in a heated skillet over medium heat until golden brown on one side.
- Use a spatula to gently turn each sandwich.
- Microwave the sandwiches for up to a minute to encourage the cheese to melt even more.
- Transfer sandwiches to plates and serve warm.
Store leftover sandwiches in an airtight container in the fridge. To serve it, heat it up in the skillet until the bread is toasted.
Serve these tasty sandwiches with any of the following on the side:
More Vegan Sandwiches
If you love this vegan chickpea tuna melt, you’ll be ready for more vegan sandwiches?!Try these delicious recipes:
That’s it for this vegan tuna melt. Enjoy!
Chickpea Tuna Melt
- Prepare the chickpea tuna salad recipe as directed.
- Butter one side of four slices of bread.
- Spread a generous portion of chickpea tuna salad on two slices of bread. Top with 2 cheese slices. Place a bread slice on top, buttered side up.
- Place a skillet over medium heat. Place the sandwiches on the heated skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown. Then use a spatula and carefully turn each sandwich, cooking on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown and the cheese is melting.
- If the cheese doesn't melt entirely, you can place it in the microwave and heat it for 30 seconds to a minute.
- Transfer sandwiches to plates and serve immediately.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2013 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.