Vegan Tuna Salad

This vegan tuna salad recipe uses mashed chickpeas combined with vegan mayo, mustard, and seasonings to make the perfect vegan sandwich spread. It’s like tuna salad without the tuna! It’s so good you’ll make it time and time again.

A vegan tuna salad sandwich has lettuce and sliced tomatoes on it. There's a bowl of potato chips in the background.

This vegan tuna salad sandwich makes a vegan twist on a popular, yet fishy kind of sandwich. Just another example of how you can be vegan and enjoy a variety of tasty dishes!

I had to make a tuna vegan sandwich to solve this dilemma.

Now I’ve got a way to have “Tuna” salad… and eat it too. No more gross, fishy taste and no heavy ecological toll on the ocean too! What’s the secret? Garbanzo Bean Tuna Salad!

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Mashed chickpeas create the perfect texture for this sandwich spread
  • Using miso paste creates an umami flavor, very similar to the version you may have eaten made with fish
  • Chopped bell peppers add pops of color and texture throughout.
Ingredients are displayed on a white background. The labels read, "chickpeas, miso, celery seed, vegan mayo, garlic powder, pickles, green onions, salt, mustard, and bell pepper."

What You Need

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.
  • Chickpeas — Also known as garbanzo beans, you’ll need a 15-ounce can
  • Mustard — I prefer yellow mustard, but brown mustard works here too.
  • White miso paste — I prefer using miso paste to add that umami flavor. You can buy miso paste in health food stores, Asian markets, and sometimes even the health food section of grocery stores will have it. If you can’t find it, it’s ok to leave it out.
  • Vegan mayo — I frequently use Hellman’s Vegan Mayo, but you can substitute some cashew cream or even mashed avocado.
  • Green onion — I prefer green onions because of their mild flavor and texture. You can substitute chopped yellow onion.
  • Red bell pepper — You’ll need just a bit of red bell pepper, which you can use from a large red bell pepper or a mini one.
  • Garlic powder — I like garlic powder for its mild flavor and minimal hassle. You can substitute a chopped clove or two from garlic confit. You can even use a fresh garlic clove minced finely.
  • Dill pickle —  You can substitute a sweet pickle or even relish works too.
  • Celery seeds — I like adding a few celery seeds, or you can substitute a half cup of chopped celery.
  • Sea salt — If you’re not using miso paste, you may need to add a bit more salt.

How to Make Vegan Tuna Salad

It’s easy to make this vegan tuna salad. Let’s begin!

  1. Mash the chickpeas with a fork or potato masher, until most are broken down.
    A hand holds a fork mashing chickpeas in a bowl.
  2. Make the sauce by stirring together the mustard, mayo, and miso paste until well combined. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
    Ingredients like vegan mayo, mustard, and seasoning in a glass bowl.
  3. Pour the sauce over the mashed chickpeas and stir until combined.
    A hand holds a glass bowl over mashed chickpeas and uses a spatula in the other hand to spread it over the chickpeas.
  4. Chill the salad by transferring it to a lidded container and refrigerating for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Serving Suggestions

There are plenty of ways to serve this tasty vegan tuna salad:

  • Sandwiches — Add this spread over a slice of bread and add your favorite toppings like lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and even more condiments. Serve it open-faced or add another slice of bread on top.
  • Salads — Add dollops of this spread to your favorite salads, like vegan wedge salad or vegan Caesar salad.
  • Soft Tacos — Serve this spread on a soft corn tortilla with a drizzle of sriracha on top. It’s a delicious, gluten-free way to eat it!
  • Wraps — Use this vegan sandwich spread on tortillas to create wraps. Be sure to add some yummy extras, like vegan cheddar shreds, chopped onions, salad greens, and more.

Storage Tips

Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Be sure to stir it before spreading on sandwiches or adding to salads.

Frequently-Asked Questions

How does chickpea tuna salad taste?

A vegan tuna salad recipe with chickpeas tastes amazingly like a regular tuna salad. The combination of other ingredients, including mayo, mustard, onions, and pickles, adds the familiar flavors you’re used to and the mashed chickpeas add the texture!

What can I put chickpea tuna salad on?

Serve this chickpea tuna salad on a bun or bread for a tasty plant-based sandwich. You can also serve it as a dip with chips or crackers. Place a dollop on soft corn tortillas or you can also serve it on a salad.

Vegan Sandwich Spreads

There are lots of options when it comes to making your own sandwich spreads:

Vegan Tuna Salad is so easy to make and so incredibly satisfying. It’s my summer staple dish, especially for lunch. Interestingly enough, it has the same color, the same, look, and even a similar texture to a tuna salad, but (thank goodness) the vegan version comes sans the fishy taste!

More Vegan Sandwiches

If you love vegan sandwich recipes, be sure to give these a try:

A bowl of vegan tuna salad has leafy green lettuce and a tomato in the background.

That’s it for this vegan tuna salad recipe. Enjoy!

A vegan tuna salad sandwich has lettuce and sliced tomatoes on it. There's a bowl of potato chips in the background.

Vegan Tuna Salad

This Vegan Tuna Salad Sandwich makes a vegan twist on a popular, yet fishy kind of sandwich.
4.80 from 5 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 200kcal


  • 15 oz can chickpeas garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • ½ cup vegan mayo
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped dill pickle (relish works too)
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  • In a medium bowl, mash the chickpeas with a fork. They don't need to be all completely mashed, but mostly.
  • In a small bowl, combine the mustard, mayo and miso paste and stir together until well combined. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
  • Pour the mayo mix over the mashed chickpeas and stir until combined. Transfer to a lidded container and refrigerate for about 10 – 15 minutes before serving.

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For the miso, Westbrae Mello Miso is my favorite and is sold at our local grocery store.
Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 975mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 2.4mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1.2mg

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.


26 Responses to Vegan Tuna Salad

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCarla Reply

    5 stars
    This is my favorite vegan tuna recipe!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJessie Kehoe Reply

    5 stars
    I love it! Now i dont know if i made this wrong, but i get more of an egg salad sandwich vibe from this recipe (which was a super nice suprise). I put it on sliced bread and mash a half an avocado on each sanwich. Makes for a delicious sandwich when i am at work. Going vegan has been delicious thanks to you!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJessie Kehoe

      5 stars
      I should note that i left out the relish, onion, and pepper.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Ahh, I see! I think leaving out the relish and onion would definitely add more of a tuna salad experience. Also, I have tried this and it works, but if you want to add a few pieces of nori (the sheet you use for sushi…you can buy them in the Asian aisles of most grocery stores), it will definitely add more of a tunafish flavor! I would start with just tearing off a few little bits and stirring that throughout, because it can add a strong flavor. Then add more if you like it!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyChapli Kabab Recipe Reply

    4 stars
    This sounds looks amazing. Spicy recipe. Vegan Tuna Salad dish is my favorite dish.I made many from these recipes. last night I made Chapli Kabab recipe from one of the best cooking website sharing a link with you: ( ).

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLana Reply

    instead of white miso I use seaweed flakes, it makes it taste like fish, if you like the ‘tuna’ taste, its amazing and tastes really good

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Lana – love these substitutions for a “fishier” Vegan Tuna Salad!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyC-Faye Reply

    Hands down, the best “untuna salad” recipe I’ve tried! Thank you!! I think the miso is key, and the celery seeds add so much too! I made it with dill pickles and also the Veganaise-like recipe (but lower fat, and cheaper!) from melomeals! It was so delicious that the omnis cleaned it out before I got seconds! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCyn Reply

    What kind of mustard? The spice or the condiment?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Just regular condiment mustard. Of course, if you prefer you could use a dijon…

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlydavid Reply


    These were amazing. I made them for my wife and son and they loved them. I put it on toasted squaw bread and topped it with some finely sliced peperoncinis.

    Have you ever put capers in there or used dill pickles instead?

    Thank you so much.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I have not tried using capers or dill pickles. My family doesn’t like either, but I do! In fact, the original recipe called for dill pickles, I just happen to like the sweet a little bit more. Maybe because my mom used sweet pickles in potato salads and things like that. You know what? I’m going to give the dill pickle version a try the next time. Great idea!

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJeanette Reply

    What a tasty vegan tuna salad recipe, without the fishy smell!

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyIlke Reply

    I love fish but not tuna sandwiches! But I love chickpeas! You found a great way to overcome the fishy smell 🙂
    Hope you are doing great, Marly!

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