Better than Tuna: Vegan Tuna Salad

Vegan Tuna Sandwich Low Angle

Vegan Tuna Salad Sandwich

We are often asked what we pack for lunch. Portable and easy meals, like the classic tuna salad sandwich, are an essential for folks heading off to school or work for the day. This chickpea vegan tuna salad is an easy, satisfying and delicious vegan alternative to the usual non-vegan sandwich fillers. Enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans, it is also much more affordable than tuna or chicken salad and can be unrefrigerated without fears about food born illnesses associated with unrefrigerated meats. Because it has a longer shelf life (in the fridge), it can be available for a weeks worth of lunches if prepared ahead. In our house, it never lasts that long!

This vegan tuna salad has been a go-to meal option in the Full of Beans household for quite a while. We have found that it doesn’t need to be restricted to sandwiches! It is wonderful as a topping for a plate of greens, on a rice cake, or straight out of the container with a fork! 


"Better Than Tuna" on toast with avocado slices, mixed sprouts and Sriracha hot sauce.

“Better Than Tuna” on toast with avocado slices, mixed sprouts and Sriracha hot sauce.

Better than Tuna Salad: Chickpea Salad
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  1. 2 15oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 3 cups cooked chickpeas)
  2. 1 shredded carrot
  3. 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  4. 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  5. Just Mayo or alternative vegan mayonaise, approximately 1/4 cup
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  8. optional: extras like mustard, dill, etc
  1. Roughly mash the chickpeas in a medium size bowl. I like to leave some chunks of the peas in the mash.
  2. Add the carrot, celery, onion, salt and pepper and mix well with a fork
  3. Add mayo to desired texture of creaminess (I find tastes really vary in this regard)
  1. It can be eaten right away, but I find that if it sits in the fridge for an hour or so the flavors meld nicely together. This works for a sandwich and is also wonderful on a bed of greens or with crackers.
  2. Options: we had a blog reader make this with several additions: dulse, relish, mustard, cayenne. They really loved it and we encourage you to take this recipe and run with it! Make it your own 🙂
  3. We happen to love adding dill to it, a heaping teaspoon is just about right!
Full of Beans

Yummy Vegan Tuna Sandwich, Ready To Eat!

Yummy Vegan Tuna Sandwich, Ready To Eat!



Georgia is an unpretentious foodie who, at 50, transitioned from a vegetarian diet to a whole foods plant based diet and is loving it. She works as a nurse, plays as a quilter, loves to run, hates to race.
She thinks dogs are actually angels (in dog suits).

This Post Has 13 Comments
  1. This is one of my favorite things. Sometimes I use soaked sunflower seeds if I forgot to soak chickpeas. It boggles my mind how much more I enjoy this even than I did what I thought was my “beloved” tuna! Such a kinder meal!

    1. Isn’t it wonderful? We feel exactly the same way about being a “kinder meal”. I was just explaining to a co-worker today about the problems with tuna, as a matter of fact, and how you could have al the taste you love without the consequences.
      – Greg

      1. Hi!
        The yield is a really good question and it depends on how you pack your sandwiches. We often make wraps, which hold more that two slices of bread, so its hard to say. Guessing, I’d estimate 8-10, but I bet 12 is possible if you put a lot of other items in the sandwich. Hope this helps!

  2. I make Chickpea salad alllll the time. I’ve never tried it with carrots – I usually use cucumber – but I will try it this way next time. Yum!

  3. Hello! Really glad I found this recipe!! And your blog! Totally going to try it! Just wondering if I were to make it without the mayo would it be okay after a few hours at room temperature (29 degrees Celsius ) thank you!!

    1. Hi Hannah, well we are really happy that you found this recipe and our blog, too!
      If you make this recipe with a vegan mayonnaise such as Just Mayo, or Veganaise, then it will absolutely be fine for several hours. Without any mayonnaise like that at all I am sure it would be fine, too. The problem with a regular mayonnaise, of course, is that it has egg in it and you have to be careful about not refrigerating foods made with that. Does this answer your question?

  4. […] Vegan Tuna Salad Sandwich from Full of Beans is amazing! I was a little nervous about this at first. I have great dislike of actual tuna salad, as a kid it was something I ate a lot of and never really liked. My hubby wanted try this vegan version so I made it and reluctantly tried it. To my surprise it is DELICIOUS definitely better than real tuna salad in my book. […]

    1. Thanks Heidy! You’re so sweet to let us know 😄. It’s a regular player in our house too! By the way, we have another “Better Than…” recipe coming up very soon, so keep your eyes open (or sign up for emails so you will know immediately 😉).

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