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Chickpea of the Sea – Vegan Tuna Sandwich

Quick and easy vegan mock tuna salad (aka the chickpea of the sea!) is a yummy main for a sandwich or salad!

Two chickpea sandwiches stacked on top of each other, filled with the chickpeas, lettuce, and red onion slices.

This vegan chickpea of the sea is ready in less than 20 minutes! With the canned chickpeas, creamy dressing, and how quick and easy it is to make, this is one recipe that will become a weekly go-to lunch recipe! Great for meal prep, picnics, BBQs, and so much more. 

My favorite way to enjoy this sandwich is in between two slices of hearty bread, but this is also delicious as a filling in lettuce wraps, on top of a salad, or as a dip for crackers. 

Why You’ll Love this Sandwich 

  • Quick and easy to make 
  • No weird ingredients 
  • Egg free, Dairy free, Gluten free, Nut free

Ingredients 

Here is a quick rundown of what ingredients you’ll need for this vegan mock tuna salad. See the recipe card for the exact measurements. 

Ingredients for chickpea sandwiches in various glass bowls and plates on a wood table. Black and white labels have been added to name each ingredient.
  • Chickpeas: I use canned chickpeas as they are convenient. Of course, you can cook your own chickpeas for this recipe. If you use canned beans, make sure to drain and rinse them. 
  • Salad ingredients: Celery, red onion, with optional tomatoes or cucumber 
  • Dressing ingredients: Hummus, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic powder, salt and pepper 
  • Serving ingredients: Serve with hearty breads, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, and pickles! 

Variations

  • Optionally, you can add a sprinkle of dulce seaweed for a little more sea flavor. 
  • Add more vegetables: Add a handful of veggies like cooked corn, green peas, or make it more Mediterranean inspired with drained and rinsed artichoke hearts. 
  • Fresh herbs: Finish the sandwich with a sprinkle of fresh dill, fresh parsley, fresh basil, or all three. 

Instructions 

Make sure to check out the recipe card below for the full recipe and ingredient list.

First, mash the chickpeas. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas (about 1 ½ cups total). Mash the chickpeas with a fork or a potato masher. You want the chickpeas to be more “smushed” rather than totally mashed. 

Mashing chickpeas in a glass bowl that is on a wood table. A green spatula is mashing them.

Tip! If you struggle to digest beans, you can boil the canned chickpeas for 20 minutes to make them even more tender and easier to digest. Drain, rinse, and let them cool before making the rest of the recipe. 

Next, mix the dressing together. In a medium sized bowl, combine the hummus, with the lemon juice and garlic powder. Add in the maple syrup and dijon mustard and whisk well. 

Then, chop all the celery and red onions. 

Mixing the dressing in one glass bowl and the salad ingredients in another glass bowl on a wood table.
A glass bowl on a wood table is filled with the finished and fully mixed chickpea sandwich mixture. A green spatula is mixing the chickpea.

Finally, mix everything together. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings to how you best enjoy them. 

Now it’s ready to enjoy! You can eat this right away, but I love to let it chill in the fridge for a few hours to blend the flavors together. 

What to Serve It With? 

Just as many different ways you eat tuna salad, you can enjoy this chickpea salad. 

  • Bread: Serve it with a hearty and crusty bread, or turn it into a crostini platter with toasted French baguette. This also is yummy in a pita pocket! 
  • Serve it with Grains: Scoop onto a pile of cooked quinoa or rice. 
  • Make it a side dish: Serve along side a bowl of roasted tomato basil soup in the cold months. 
  • Enjoy it right out of the bowl 
Two chickpea sandwiches stacked on top of each other, filled with the chickpeas, lettuce, and red onion slices. Salt and pepper shakers are in the background.

How to Store + Make Ahead 

Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

Make Ahead: Prepare the chickpea salad as directed. If this is part of your weekly meal prep for lunch, divide it amongst small single-serve airtight containers and keep them in the fridge until ready to eat. That said, I don’t like to keep this past the 3-day mark to avoid spoiling. 

I don’t recommend freezing this recipe. 

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Two chickpea sandwiches stacked on top of each other, filled with the chickpeas, lettuce, and red onion slices.

Chickpea of the Sea – Vegan Mock Tuna Sandwich

Quick and easy vegan mock tuna salad (aka the chickpea of the sea!) is a yummy main for a sandwich or salad!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dinner ideas, quick meals, side dishes
Servings: 5 sandwiches
Calories: 196kcal

Equipment

  • Mixing bowls
  • Mixing spoons
  • Measuring cups / spoons
  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board

Ingredients

  • 15 oz chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup hummus
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup red onion diced
  • 2 ribs celery diced
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Mix the dressing. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the hummus, lemon juice, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  • Mash the chickpeas. Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas to a large bowl. Using a fork or potato masher, smash the chickpeas. Add the chopped red onion and celery.
  • Mix and serve. Pour the dressing over top of the salad. Mix well and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

  • How to Store + Make Ahead 
    • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
    • Make Ahead: Prepare the chickpea salad as directed. If this is part of your weekly meal prep for lunch, divide it amongst small single-serve airtight containers and keep them in the fridge until ready to eat. That said, I don’t like to keep this past the 3-day mark to avoid spoiling. 
    • I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
  • Variations 
    • Optionally, you can add a sprinkle of dulce seaweed for a little more sea flavor. 
    • To add more omegas into this meal, add up to 1 tablespoon of hemp hearts. 
    • Add more vegetables: Add a handful of veggies like cooked corn, green peas, or make it more Mediterranean inspired with drained and rinsed artichoke hearts. 
    • Fresh herbs: Finish the sandwich with a sprinkle of fresh dill, fresh parsley, fresh basil, or all three.

Nutrition

Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 335mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 39IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 3mg
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