Putting together Registered Dietitian Desiree Nielsen's Chickpea Sandwich

There is nothing more satisfying — or more comforting — than a vegan chickpea tuna sandwich! It’s so easy: just 5 core ingredients and 5 minutes to make. All the flavour you crave, and high in filling fibre and plant-based protein. Is there anything that chickpeas can’t do?

If you’re anything like me, there were only two major sandwiches in your childhood: egg salad and tuna. I mean sure, maybe a grilled cheese or two, but these were the fancy sandwiches that made me actually like sandwiches because I was hearing none of that cheese and tomato variety. It actually took me until I was an adult to fully appreciate the beauty of a good sandwich, like my Shiitake BLT in Eat More Plants Cookbook…but now I can’t get enough of ‘em!

I’ve already got a tofu egg salad on the blog so I thought it was time to give you my no-fail chickpea tuna recipe too. If these plant-based recipes don’t convince you that you can do ANYTHING with plants, I’m not sure what will! Not only does this vegan tuna sandwich have all the flavours you expect from traditional tuna salad..but the dietitian in me humbly points out that it also has plenty of fibre to feed your gut microbiome…which is something that regular tuna can’t match!

Ingredients for Registered Dietitian Desiree Nielsen's Chickpea Sandwich

Chickpea Tuna Ingredients + Substitutions

At its core, chickpea tuna is just 5 ingredients: chickpeas, vegan mayo, rice vinegar, salt + pepper. Then you can swap ingredients and flavours or add whatever elements you love!

  • chickpeas: this is one of the only non-negotiable ingredients. Other beans and legumes will not create the same texture.
  • vegan mayo: mayo is going to contribute a lot to the flavour of this dish, so make sure you have one you love. In my opinion, Hellman’s vegan is the best storebought (not sponsored!) and if you want to make your own from avocado oil, I’ve got a 3 minute version using aquafaba in Eat More Plants. Use more or less mayo depending on how saucy you like your tuna.
  • rice vinegar: I love rice vinegar to add a subtle tang that really makes this taste like tuna. If you don’t have rice vinegar, you can absolutely use apple cider vinegar but you want to use less, taste, and adjust as it has a stronger flavour.
  • salt + pepper: again, taste your chickpea tuna and add more salt + pepper as desired. It will make a huge difference!
  • add-ins: add in whatever veg you normally do to your tuna sandwiches, like diced dill pickle, celery, onion or shallot! I like something with a bit of crunch for added texture.

How to Make a Chickpea Tuna Melt

Love a tuna melt? Chickpea tuna totally works for that! Just top bread, open faced, with chickpea tuna and your favourite melty vegan cheese and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet under a broiler for 1-2 minutes until the cheese melts. 

How to Store Vegan Chickpea Tuna 

Chickpea tuna keeps really well for 3-4 days, in a resealable container in the fridge, so it’s great for meal prep. I recommend erring on the side of using slightly less mayo for longer storage, and adding a bit more before serving, to freshen up the texture.

Serving Suggestions 

Serve these sandwiches on your favourite whole grain bread, crackers or buns…but if you want even more fibre and protein, I highly recommend using 100% sprouted grain bread. 

You could even add a scoop to a salad plate or place it on a snack board in place of meats or pâté.

This chickpea tuna also tastes great curried: add ½ teaspoon (2 ml) of curry powder to the mix! 

Registered Dietitian Desiree Nielsen's Chickpea Sandwich Recipe

More Healthy Vegan Sandwiches

Putting together Registered Dietitian Desiree Nielsen's Chickpea Sandwich

5-Minute Vegan Chickpea Tuna

With all the flavour you crave, these comforting vegan chickpea tuna sandwiches are so easy to make and high in filling fibre and plant-based protein.
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Ingredients

Chickpea Tuna

  • 1 14 oz can no-salt-added chickpeas (or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas), rinsed and drained
  • cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or 2 tsp apple cider vinegar)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pepper, Freshly cracked
  • ¼ cup red onion or shallot, finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced

For the Sandwich

  • 4 slices your favourite regular or gluten-free bread, (I like sprouted grain or sourdough)

Instructions 

  • Use a small food processor to pulse up the chickpeas a few times, then add them to a medium bowl. Or smash them by hand in the bowl with a fork.
  • To the chickpeas, add mayo, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Stir in onion and celery. Taste, adjust salt and pepper to your liking or add another splash of rice vinegar for more tang.
  • Lightly toast your bread, if desired. Divide chickpea tuna between 4 slices of bread. Top with another slice, or serve open-faced for smaller appetites.

Notes

Chickpea tuna keeps really well for 3-4 days, in a resealable container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
I recommend erring on the side of using slightly less mayo for longer storage, and adding a bit more before serving to freshen up the texture.