Vegetarian ‘Tuna’ Salad Sandwich (Recipe)


There’s a lot to dislike about tuna even if you do eat fish. If you’re avoiding the stuff for health, safety, environmental or animal welfare reasons, but still crave tuna salad sandwiches, try out this vegetarian alternative. Chickpeas stands in for the meat, and vinegar for the flavor.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Makes enough “tuna” for about 4 sandwiches.


For Chickpea Spread:

  • 1 15 Ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 Cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons umeboshi vinegar*
  • 2 Teaspoons celery seeds
  • 1 Rib celery, sliced
  • 2 Scallions, sliced
  • Freshly ground pepper

For Sandwiches:

  • Whole grain bread
  • Butter lettuce

* You can find this vinegar at well-stocked grocery stores and Asian markets. You can also substitute rice,cider or red wine vinegar, but you may want to add a little salt to the mixture.

1. Pulse chickpeas in a food processor 2-3 times, until roughly chopped. Add mayo, mustard, vinegar, celery seeds, celery, scallions and freshly ground pepper to taste. Pulse an additional 2-3 times.
2. Assemble sandwiches. Spread chickpea mixture on one slice of bread, and top with lettuce and a second slice of bread.

Recipe Credit: Atma Jo Ann Levitt via the Kitchn.

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Christine Jones
Christine J2 years ago

Sounds good. I do miss the convenience of tuna, and it'd be nice to have a change from peanut paste, vegemite, etc.

For those who get hot under the collar about "mock" animal foods, don't worry about it. After all, the first person to make a sausage probably got the idea from looking at a banana, and we don't fret and stress and tell meat eaters to call their sausages "fake bananas". A rose by any other name etc.

A F.
Athena F4 years ago

Groovy, thanks!

Sandi C.
Sandi C4 years ago


Moni Ka
Monika K4 years ago


Chazz York jr
Chazz York4 years ago

Bravo, and a million that is right, so thank yous! It does my heart good to read your comment. You can be on my friend list any time you want. Not even kidding.

David S.
David S4 years ago

If veganism is called a cult, I'd rather be part of a cult that promotes health and happiness for all animals than the meater cult which promotes torturing and killing innocent animals. The mentality of people who deny the health benefits and morality of veganism are akin to people of the past who were against civil rights, against workers rights, against women's rights and the list goes on. Veganism is the future, a form of evolutionary cultural common sense.

Amandine S.
Past Member 4 years ago

Thanks for the post.

Chazz York jr
Chazz York4 years ago

There is a huge difference between the taste and texture without killing an animal for it, and killing the animal for it. You can pretend that is dishonesty all you want but that just makes you wrong. and I am vegan and not in a cult. How is it cult behavior to feel empathy for the animals being killed and having the desire not to take part in killing them or eating them? As far as the ducks and so forth you speak of, they are also victims. If it wasn't for the pollution they are stuck swimming in, they would not be able to spread a disease which would not exist. I am however being neither dishonest or anti vegan to refuse to eat animal flesh and use animal products, but instead to find vegetable ways of creating tastes and textures for my consumption. That is just common sense in light of my wishing not to take part in the animal abuse. My family eats meats and I don't condemn them for it because they aren't condemning me for being vegan. You do have a backward way of looking at that.

Lloyd H4 years ago

Chazz, first off no Vegan totally committed to the morality of the cause of Veganism can actually own a CAT as a pet, unless yours is hunting for all of its own food outside you are purchasing animal flesh for the cat to eat. Then there is your total hypocrisy of "Creating foods for texture and flavors..." the names, textures and flavors of animal flesh that your cult decries so loudly but evidently does not want to give up or your could do without the name, the flavor and texture. Now about food borne illnesses, fact the e-coli and salmonella strains found on melon rinds are specific to the melons and not from other contaminations. Then there is the fact that unless you can find a way to keep all wild ducks and geese etc. out of lakes and rivers, from flying over fields and feeding in them you can not keep salmonella and several other food borne illnesses out of veggie crops.

Chazz York jr
Chazz York4 years ago

Dale is correct, my vegan lifestyle is definitely no cult. I do feel it prudent to add one thing to the conversation. The heading or title at the head of the page is: "Vegetarian ‘Tuna’ Salad Sandwich (Recipe)" The word Vegetarian at the beginning of the title alone detracts from the claim of lies or misleading dishonesty. Since vegetarians don't eat meat a logical or well informed person would hear the title with out even seeing it written and still know it is a mock 'Tuna Salad' sandwich. That boils down to common sense and a bit of simple awareness. If it were titled with a different heading than Vegetarian than Yes that would be a lie or misleading, But it isn't so it is not a lie or misleading, and therefore not an actual offense.