Recipe Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad Sandwich

Serve up this timeless ‘tuna’ salad sandwich with a surprising plant-based swap!

September 07, 2022

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Silver Hills Bakery

A quick, healthy, and satisfying lunch has never been easier! And it’s all thanks to this quick no-cook recipe for a Vegan Chickpea Tuna Salad Sandwich! Serve up the simple, satisfying nostalgia of a timeless tuna salad sandwich with a powerful plant-based alternative!

Canned chickpeas replace the tuna in this creamy cold salad—and they’re mashed to a similar texture. With no extra time or effort required, you can skip the fish for something just as speedy and satisfying!

Chickpeas are packed with plant-based protein and plenty of fibre to fill you up and keep you going all afternoon. Plus, they’re cheap, and easy to find at your local grocery store—making this the perfect plant-based, nutrient-dense star for a satisfying sandwich. Feed a family of four for lunch—or make a week’s worth of lunches for one with time (and change) to spare.

This recipe is just as fast, filling, and budget friendly as the classic that inspired it—so you can fall in love with this version for all the same reasons, and then some! Vegan mayo replaces the traditional mayonnaise, making the dish egg-free. Combined with a flavourful mix of greens, with celery, dill pickles, red onion, and garlic powder you can whip up a tasty vegan tuna salad sandwich in a matter of minutes!

Recipe Details

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For the Vegan Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Salad Filling:

  • 1 can (435 g / 15.5 oz) chickpeas , drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup red onion 1 small or ½ medium onion, (or see tip), finely minced
  • ¼ cup celery (about ½ inch stalk), chopped into ¼ inch dice (or smaller if preferred)
  • ¼ cup vegan mayo
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup dill pickles (optional) chopped into ¼ inch dice (or smaller if preferred)

For the Sandwich:

  • 8 slices Squirrelly Bread (or your favourite Silver Hills Bakery sprouted bread)
  • 8 pieces lettuce or leafy greens (we used butter lettuce)
  • 1 tomato , sliced
  • To taste salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp hemp hearts (optional) (for a boost of Omegas)
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional) (for an added kick)


For the Vegan Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Salad Filling:

  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas and add to a medium sized bowl. Using a fork or potato masher, lightly mash chickpeas. Your goal is to break up the chickpeas, so they are creamy but still have some texture. Do not purée. (Stop mashing when you still have a good portion of rice-sized chunks in the mix).
  2. Finely chop red onion, celery, and pickles, add to bowl.
  3. Add the vegan mayo, garlic powder, salt and pepper to bowl.
  4. Mix all ingredients together until evenly coated. Add more mayo, seasoning, or ingredients to taste until desired consistency is reached.

For the Sandwich:

  1. Grab 2 slices of Squirrelly Bread (toast first if desired).
  2. Next, layer a piece of butter lettuce on one slice of bread.
  3. Add a generous amount of the chickpea “tuna” salad over the butter lettuce.
  4. Top with a slice of tomato, and place the remaining slice of bread on top. (Repeat for as many sandwiches as you need now, or refrigerate remaining filling).
  5. Enjoy!

Try these handy tips!

  • Serve with a side of zip! Side this sandwich with sliced (or whole!) pickles for zesty contrast. Pair with classic carrot and celery sticks for crunch. Or add a pile of Salt & Vinegar chips to your plate for zip!
  • Please picky eaters. Hold the tomato. Leave off the lettuce. Go light on the onions (or swap the red onion for 3 or 4 green onions for a less oniony bite). This versatile recipe is easy to adapt to all the tastes at your table—it’s just as satisfying flying solo between two slices as it is topped with tasty veggies.  
  • Satisfy with a swap. For a heartier sandwich sure to satisfy the appetites of growing kids, ravenous teens, and hungry grown-ups alike, trade the Squirrelly Bread for one of our Sprouted Everything Bagels!
  • Customize it your way! Not a red onion fan or want a milder, more kid-friendly option? Swap the 1/2 cup of minced red onion for 3 - 4 green onions, thinly sliced.
  • Make it a melt! With a few tweaks you can turn this easy recipe into a satisfying chickpea ‘tuna’ melt. Skip the lettuce and tomato. Toast your bread(or try it on a Silver Hills Bakery Sprouted Everything Bagel to make it extra satisfying!). Top it with a generous portion of chickpea ‘tuna’ salad filling. Top with a slice of your favourite meltable plant-based cheese and melt in a toaster oven or under the broiler. Serve open-faced.
  • Meal prep for a week of lunches. Leftover filling—or a double-batch made ahead for near-instant lunches—will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 – 6 days. Stir before serving.

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