Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad

Vegan Chickpea "Tuna" Salad

The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios 

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yields: 2 cups

Keep your kitchen cool and enjoy a quick lunch with this vegan chickpea "tuna" salad. It's an easy and satisfying no-cook recipe that's ideal for summer. You'll enjoy the same basic taste of a traditional tuna salad, but with a few simple changes that transform it into a light vegan meal.

In this cold salad, canned chickpeas take the place of tuna and are mashed to a similar consistency. Veganaise replaces the typical mayonnaise, ensuring that the dish is egg-free as well. Mix in the flavor combination of celery, dill, onion, parsley, and relish, and you have a tasty salad in just a few minutes. There are also lots of ways you can vary the flavor, especially since there's no tuna taste to inhibit the possibilities.

Enjoy the salad for lunch over bread or lettuce, or combine the two, add a tomato slice, and use spicy mustard or veganaise as a sandwich spread. Serve it with crackers for an appetizer or snack or take it along for a picnic.


  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 cup diced celery (about 1 to 2 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Vegan Chickpea "Tuna" Salad
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios  
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas with a potato masher or fork.

    Mashing Chickpeas for Vegan "Tuna" Salad
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios  
  3. Add the remaining ingredients.

    Mixing Ingredients for Vegan Chickpea "Tuna" Salad
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios 
  4. Mix well.

    Vegan Chickpea "Tuna" Salad
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios 
  5. Serve on bread, lettuce, or crackers.

    Vegan Chickpea "Tuna" Salad
     The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios 


  • Though the salad is intended to be a little chunky, you can use a food processor to create the chickpea mash.
  • To use dried chickpeas, soak overnight, then drain and add them to a pot of boiling water. After 5 minutes, reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour. Once cooked, 3/4 cup of dried chickpeas is equivalent to a can of chickpeas (about 1 1/2 cups).
  • Any onion variety works well. Red onion is common in tuna salad because it has a mild flavor and adds a pop of color. Yellow or white onions would add a nice bite to the salad.
  • Store the salad in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Recipe Variations

  • For a creamier salad, add more veganaise or incorporate some dairy-free sour cream.
  • Substitute spicy brown or Dijon mustard for the dill relish, or use diced dill pickles.
  • Give it a little tang with a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.
  • Add chopped capers, garlic, olives, scallion, or shallot.
  • Chopped broccoli or sweet peppers add a nice crunch.
  • Mash avocado along with the chickpeas.
  • Use other herbs and spices from your pantry. Go with an Italian herb combo like basil and oregano, or add coriander, fennel, tarragon, or thyme.
  • Spice things up with curry powder, cayenne, or red pepper flakes. A splash of your favorite hot sauce or chopped chile pepper work, too.