Plant-Based Chickpea Tuna Salad

BY : PUBLISHED : May 30th, 2012 UPDATED: August 5th, 2022

From the author, David Sterkel: One of my favorite picnic foods is my very simple and affordable "chickpea tuna salad.” This can be eaten as a salad, a sandwich, panini, or right out of the mixing bowl. This recipe keeps quite well for several days, so make a large batch and eat away!

From Plant-Based on a Budget:

This chickpea tuna salad is one of our favorite lunch options when short on time. You can prepare it the night before and just fill in your sandwiches right before lunchtime the next day. Such a lifesaver when it comes to busy days and those “having lunch at your desk” situations.

Serving bowl and small bowl filled with chickpea tuna salad.

How To Prepare Plant-Based Chickpea Tuna Salad

Making a chickpea tuna salad is very simple. You start by processing the chickpeas on your food processor until broken up (or mash them with a fork) and start seasoning them with the veggies, spices, mustard, and vegan mayonnaise. Adjust the seasonings according to your taste and voila! You’re ready to enjoy a delicious plant-based tuna salad.

How Long Does it Keep?

We would love to fill you in a little secret: When it comes to this vegan salad, the next day is even tastier. Believe it or not, storing your salad in the refrigerator overnight will take its flavor to the next level because it allows the flavors to marry Try it and let us know what you think!

When it comes to how long you can keep your chickpea tuna salad, we think between 3 to 4 days in an airtight container is best.

A Super Versatile Filling

Even if you immediately associate tuna salad with a sandwich, there are many other ways you could enjoy it. This recipe would be great to fill up some hollowed tomatoes or iceberg lettuce cups. You could also try adding it inside a pita, or simply eating it with some tortilla chips! These ideas would be perfect for a hot summer day!

Recommended equipment:

Chickpea tuna salad on a sandwich on a white plate.

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

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Plant-Based Chickpea Tuna Salad

David Sterkel
This chickpea tuna salad is a great option for a quick lunch. It's the perfect recipe to prepare in advance to make sandwiches or eat as a salad throughout the week. Enjoy!
4.60 from 20 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 227 kcal
DIET Vegan


  • 2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas
  • 1 large bunch of green onions or red onion
  • 4 ribs of celery with the leafy tops, if available
  • 1 to 2 large dill pickle s, depending on preference
  • cup of vegan mayo
  • 3 tablespoons of mustard your favorite type
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated garlic or 1 minced clove
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste


  • Start by draining the chickpeas and adding to a food processor (you can also break them up by hand with a fork). Wiz the beans for 1-2 seconds and repeat until the beans are broken up (do not cream or mash, just break them up). This should take no more than 6-8 seconds in the food processor. Move to a large mixing bowl.
  • Dice the celery with the leafy tops, add to the mixture. Chop the green onions and pickles and add. Now, slowly combine the rest of the ingredients to taste. Some will like more “mayo” some will like less. I like less with extra mustard!
  • Once the “tuna” is done, chill it for an hour. I like to serve mine over a ciabatta roll with tomatoes, and avocados. I also usually sprinkle some diced jalapeno for a little kick!



When it comes to how long you can keep your chickpea tuna salad, we think between 3 to 4 days in an airtight container is best.


Calories: 227kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 8gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 1912mgPotassium: 272mgFiber: 7gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 111IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

Disclaimer: Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.


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About David Sterkel

Plant based foodie, running, cooking, trash TV- all things that describe me! I enjoy cooking quick and easy meals that are healthy and inexpensive. Happy reading!

View all posts by David Sterkel

Reader Interactions


  1. Allie Anderson says

    Yummy “tuna” salad! This is an easy salad to make and I love eating it on toast! I would put about half the amount of salt, but other than that, it’s great!

    • Andrea White says

      Definitely hits the spot! I love it for a quick and easy lunch for the week!

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