Ensalada de atún vegetariana

Vegetarian Tuna Salad — what’s that all about? Well, there’s no actual tuna in this recipe, but we’ve got a reminiscent tuna-flavored salad using chickpeas in place of the tuna!

We love replacing meat with plant-based options in some of our favorite recipes — like replacing meat for chickpeas in these vegetarian gyros or replacing meat with black beans & corn in these healthy tacos.

Vegetarian Tuna Salad

A good tuna salad has always been one of my favorite go-to lunches (with this avocado tuna salad mixed in for variety). I’m sure my adult addiction to tuna salad came from my mom making it so frequently growing up. The other day, when chatting with my sisters, somehow tuna salad came up. Truly, our conversations are very exciting 😉

With a few vegetarian sisters, I asked if they missed tuna salad sandwiches and instantly this idea was born — tuna salad without tuna!

So, inspired by this recent chickpea salad sandwich creation, I decided to use chickpeas as the tuna replacement and add in all my other favorite tuna salad additions. The result? The absolute best vegetarian “tuna” salad — so much flavor, texture, and tang! Plus, it couldn’t be easier to make. We’re obsessed with this plant-based, vegetarian alternative!

Quickest Possible Prep

I wanted this recipe to be as simple as possible, so instead of finely chopping a bunch of veggies, we throw everything in the food processor to do the work for us!

Check out the photo collage below to see how simple this recipe is to make — we add the veggies first and pulse to chop those, then add the chickpeas, pulse to chop, and finally add in the dressing which we pulse to integrate. Such simple prep!

Let’s chat chickpeas

Chickpeas are the “secret” ingredient replacing tuna, and it’s pretty incredible how meaty this vegetarian tuna salad ends up tasting. It’s hard to believe the filling is basically just veggies and chickpeas. And while it may seem like we’re missing out on protein, chickpeas are actually loaded with plant-based protein which ensures this “tuna” salad is very satiating. A few chickpea tips:

QUICK TIP

Obsessed with chickpeas? We can’t get enough! Try some of our other favorite chickpea recipes like this chickpea curry,General Tso chickpeas, chickpea salad, or this sweet potato coconut curry soup.

The other ingredients in Vegetarian Tuna Salad

There aren’t too many other ingredients in this recipe, but below are a few notes about some of the other ingredients.

QUICK TIP

Adjust flavorings to personal preference. We love the strong complementary flavors of lemon and Dijon in this recipe. If you don’t love either flavor, simply leave them out. This recipe is very forgiving, so as long as quantities remain somewhat consistent, feel free to switch out herbs, spices, or other additions for ones you like more.

Vegetarian Tuna Salad Serving Suggestions

More delicious vegetarian options

Vegetarian «Tuna» Salad

Vegetarian tuna salad — what’s that all about? Well, there’s no actual tuna in this recipe, but we’ve got a reminiscent tuna-flavored salad using chickpeas in place of the tuna!

Vegetarian «Tuna» Salad

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Vegetarian tuna salad — what’s that all about? Well, there’s no actual tuna in this recipe, but we’ve got a reminiscent tuna-flavored salad using chickpeas in place of the tuna!
Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course, Salad, Sandwich
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword vegetarian tuna salad
Prep Time 15minutes
Total Time 15minutes
Servings 4servings
Calories 161kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $6.12

Ingredients

  • 1can (15.5 oz.)chickpeas (garbanzo beans),drained & rinsed
  • 1/3cup EACH:celery, parsley
  • 1/4cup EACH:bread & butter pickles, red onion
  • 1tablespoonlemon juice,plus 1/2 teaspoon zest
  • 1/3cuplight mayonnaise(we love Best Food’s/Hellmans)
  • 1teaspoon EACH:Dijon mustard, olive oil
  • 1/2teaspoon EACH: garlic powder, onion powder
  • Fine sea salt & pepper

Instructions

  • CHICKPEAS PREP: Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas. Thoroughly dry; I do this by adding them to a salad spinner — quick and easy!
  • CHOPVEGGIES: Coarsely chop celery (2-inch pieces), rip off parsley from the bunch, coarsely chop red onion. Now measure all these ingredients to get correct quantities as listed in the recipe card and add everything to the food processor along with the drained bread and butter pickles (Note 1). Pulse to chop until finely chopped, about 20-30 seconds. Use a spoon to scrape down edges if needed and pulse again.
  • ADD CHICKPEAS: Add dried-off chickpeas. Pulse to coarsely chop, 10-20 seconds. Again use a spoon to scrape down edges as needed. Add in remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper (I add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.) Pulse until just combined. Taste and adjust any seasonings to personal preference.
  • SERVE: Serve on toasted bread with your favorite sandwich toppings (we like lettuce & tomatoes) or in butter lettuce leaves. Or on crackers or with veggie sticks — whatever you’d like!
  • STORAGE: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Give it a quick stir before serving up leftovers.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: This is a very tangy tuna salad which is how we love it. If you’d like less tang, reduce or leave out the pickles and dijon mustard.

Note 2: Calories do not include the bread or other toppings as those will vary.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 5.7g | Fat: 7.8g | Cholesterol: 3.2mg | Sodium: 485.4mg | Fiber: 5.2g | Sugar: 3.8g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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