These fish free sandwiches are made from mashed chickpeas, which create a flaked consistency somewhat similar to tuna. Vegan tuna is perfect in sandwiches, wraps or on crackers and is ready in 10 minutes or less!

sandwich with tuna like spread and tomatoes

I was a really picky kid when it came to food, but one thing I would always eat was a tuna fish sandwich. I grew up eating it, whether it was at home from a can, or at Subway.

Since I’m vegan, of course I don’t eat tuna anymore. I haven’t in over a decade now! I don’t really miss it, but sometimes I crave a sandwich like I remember from my childhood.

This chickpea based vegan tuna completely satisfies my cravings, and then some! I hope you love it as much as I do.

How to make it

  1. Drain and rinse your chickpeas and add them to a bowl.
  2. Mash the chickpeas with a fork or a potato masher. You don’t want any whole beans left, or very few.
  3. Add your chopped dill pickles, celery, vegan mayo (store bought or use my homemade version), and a little soy sauce/tamari.
  4. Stir. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

collage of how to make vegan tuna salad

That’s it! It really couldn’t be easier or faster to make.

My whole family loves this recipe! It’s great for packing in a lunch box, bringing to a picnic, or just as a quick and easy 10 minute meal on busy weeknights. I probably make this once a week, especially in the summertime.

Does it taste like fish?

NO! Not at all. It would be weird if it did. But it does have a wonderful, flaky, creamy texture and a pickly, savory flavor that I think you will fall in love with. And if you are new to giving up fish, it just might help you along.

If you really want a “fishier” flavor, crumble up a sheet or two of nori seaweed and add it in with the rest of the ingredients. I don’t personally prefer this, but you might love it!

tuna spread on a piece of bread with chips in background

Want more classic sandwiches made vegan?

close up of a sandwich with mushy spread

square image of a sandwich with tomato slices

Vegan Tuna Sandwich

These fish free sandwiches are made from mashed chickpeas, which create a flaked consistency somewhat similar to tuna. Vegan tuna is perfect in sandwiches, wraps or on crackers and is ready in 10 minutes or less!
5 from 23 votes

Ingredients

  • (2) 15-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 medium dill pickles, chopped small
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped small (optional)
  • 3-4 tablespoons Vegan Mayo, | homemade or store bought
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, or tamari for gluten-free
  • For serving: bread, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, red onion, avocado, mustard

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas with a potato masher (or fork) until they are mostly mashed. You can leave a few beans whole if you'd like.
  • Add the pickles, celery, 3-4 tablespoons of vegan mayo and soy sauce or tamari. Stir well to combine. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes if you can, to let it get cold and let the flavors come together.
  • Serve with bread, mustard, lettuce, tomato slices, red onion and avocados if desired. Or serve on a large green salad, or in a wrap, or on crackers.

Notes

  1. May omit celery if you have picky kids or just don't like it. I usually leave it out because I have one celery hating kid.
  2. Instead of chopped pickles, you could also use 1/4 cup dill pickle relish (or sweet pickle relish).
  3. Nutritional information is for the vegan tuna only, not including bread or whatever you serve it with. 
  4. If you want a "fishier" taste, crumble up a sheet or two or Nori seaweed and add it in. I don't personally love this, but if you are looking for a more fishy taste, it will certainly do it!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 281kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 316mg, Potassium: 440mg, Fiber: 11g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 77IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 76mg, Iron: 4mg

*This recipe was originally published in May 2018, and has been republished with new photos and writing. The recipe itself is the same.

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