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In this vegan version of a tuna salad sandwich, the tuna salad gets extra tang and flavor from pickles and capers. Serve between two slices of your favorite hearty bread for a simple yet satisfying meal.

Note: Mixture will keep covered in refrigerator for 4-5 days, making it great for quick, weekday lunches.

From Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking

Ingredients

For the salad:
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon or spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup diced pickle
  • 1 teaspoon capers, drained and loosely chopped
  • Healthy pinch each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon roasted unsalted sunflower seeds (optional)
For Serving:
  • 8 slices whole-wheat bread
  • Dijon or spicy brown mustard
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomato, sliced
  • Red onion, sliced

Instructions

  1. Place the chickpeas in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork, leaving only a few beans whole.
  2. Add tahini, mustard, maple syrup, red onion, celery, pickle, capers, salt and pepper, and sunflower seeds (if using) to mixing bowl. Mix to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Toast bread if desired, and prepare any other desired sandwich toppings (such as lettuce, tomato, and onion).
  4. Scoop a healthy amount of the chickpea mixture (about ½ cup) onto one slice of bread, add desired toppings and top with second slice of bread. Repeat for additional sandwiches.

Comments (95)

(4.82 from 67 votes)
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Lake Eckhart4 days ago
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I love this and added dried nori seaweed broken up to give it a sea flavor like fish.

Cheryl J2 weeks ago
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I’ve made this recipe several times, each time I alter the recipe. This time I used chickpeas that I just cooked in my instant pot. Easy to mash while warm and taste better than canned. No tahini – used vegan mayo instead. No capers – used lots of diced banana peppers instead. Also had fresh dill on hand so I added finely chopped fresh dill. Delicious on celery sticks, bread, homemade lentil flatbread, rice cakes. So good!!

LindaB3 weeks ago
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So good! We make this every few weeks. We use green olives instead of capers and put on pumpernickel bread. Delicious!

alys1 week ago
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Amazing amazing go to recipe! Love to sub out Dijon for other varieties, like truffle Dijon!

Christi McCann3 weeks ago
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Oh My Goodness!!! This is just what my tastebuds have been missing! Thank you so much for your creative expertise. My skills lie outside of the kitchen, but following FOK recipes are a breeze even for someone like me. This particular recipe is forgiving if you substitute ingredients because of an understocked kitchen. This will be a regular in my growing vegan meal plans. Thank you!

AW3 weeks ago
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I made this today without the tahini only because I didn’t have any and our grocery store was out of it. It was delicious!! I squeezed half a lemon into it and added just a touch of olive oil (which I know is not recommended), and it was awesome. I plan to add it to my salad for dinner this evening as well.

Bill4 days ago
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Great recipe is especially tasty on a sandwich with humous harissa and lettuce.

Deb3 weeks ago
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The first batch I made by the recipe – amazing! Second batch I used extra capers, relish in lieu of pickles, no peanut butter, a few tablespoons nutrional yeast, less maple syrup and I added chopped figs! They add unexpected flavor and texture.

Chris4 weeks ago
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Made it twice already! Change it up a tad to suit my ingrediants on hand and it’s very forgiving.

Laurie2 weeks ago
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The recipe didn’t call for peanut butter?

Mariann4 weeks ago
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Add crumbled Seaweed Snacks to the mix or Kelp powder for the fish taste.

Kathi MacNaughton4 weeks ago
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This was delicious, but I’m sorry I added the sunflower seeds. They were like eating sticks… yuck. I tried it by itself, on cucumber slices and on toasted Dave’s bread. Hubby didn’t like it, but I’ll make it every week!

Monica2 weeks ago
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Maybe you used sunflower seeds in the shell? These should be shelled.

Annette1 month ago
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Delicious!!! I make this salad often. Great on bread, rice crackers or just on it’s own. Even without the capers it’s good. My secret is also Polish style dill pickles I get at Big Lots and little bit of the juice from the jar, plus date syrup instead of maple syrup. I also add a little tofu mayo I make to make it more creamier. Thank you!☺

Gabriela1 month ago
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This is amazing! I have added a teaspoon of sriracha mayo to the mixture tho and it was so delicious it surely will be my go to breakfast. So quick and easy to make too 🙂

Joanne1 month ago
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I love this filling for sandwiches…I make it for my daughter’s lunch and serve to non-plant based friends as well…no complaints. It’s versatile, if it’s too dry or too wet you simply have to adjust…you can add other things to it as well, I happen to like it pretty much as posted. I use homemade or store vegan mayo, hummus and/or tahini…whatever I choose. Following a WFPB plan will do away with the need to calorie count and so much more, in my opinion.

Dianne DelReyes1 month ago
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What can I substitute chick peas for? I can’t eat them

Yogirider1 month ago
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White beans

Mom2 months ago
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It was great!

Sherri2 months ago
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This is unbelievably delicious. It is hearty, filling, I don’t even need the bread, I was eating it out of the bowl! Would also be great on celery sticks. I want to eat this every day.

P. Fazio2 months ago
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This is favorite FOK recipe so far! I thank God for my taste buds when I eat this.

Philip Fazio1 month ago
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I do not know but you can add up the total calories as you add items into the mixing bowl then weigh the total end result in grams. Then take total calories and divide by total grams, then multiply the result by 100 and you’ll have your answer.

Joe2 months ago
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What is the calories per 100 grams?

Monique G2 months ago
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super tasty

Laura Jansky2 months ago
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I have the FOK app and love the recipes, especially this one but I need the nutritional information. Is there anywhere we can find the break down?

Michele C2 months ago
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I use my Fitness Pal to record recipes. It gives a the breakdown per serving.

Michele2 months ago
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Minor adjustments to the recipe after reading through the comments. Skipped the sweetener, used homemade hummus instead of tahini (since it was in my fridge), extra lemon juice, dash of old bay and a touch of water and pickle brine for moistness..served on toast with some romaine….delicious!

Meri1 month ago
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Lots of fat calories- 390 from the tahini alone. Much more than 10% of the entire recipe so not a healthful choice unless you modify.

Sherri2 months ago
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I noticed that it seized up a bit the next day, sterling your pickle brine idea!

Kelly3 months ago
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This is so good! I could seriously eat this every day.

Stephen G3 months ago
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Delicious! This spread is the perfect blend of creamy sweet tanginess that will be my new favorite lunch item! It’s easy and quick, highly recommend!

Ken Hulme3 months ago
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This has NOTHING TO DO WITH TUNA!! Stop trying to make PBWF sound like mainstream dishes!

Why not just call it Vegan Sandwich Spread.

Carla1 month ago
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I follow Danny’s thinking. With my transition to a plant based diet, this wording helped my to try this recipe and to see options that I miss from my old “go to” recipes.

Wendy2 months ago
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Who cares what they call it.. if you dont like the name call it want you want to. Jeez people.

Danny2 months ago
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It is supposed to mimic the dish… people looking for healthy alternatives can relate to this kind of recipe, so the name helps break the barrier to entry.

Rebecca3 months ago
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Why not just call it chick pea sandwich spread?

LuLu3 months ago
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So nice to find a tuna recipe (no tuna), w/o mayo. Tks. Delish!!

Skye L Gibbins3 months ago
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This is actually very tasty (forget expectations of tuna flavor). Mine came out very crumbly, so I added a little lemon juice. Great on toasted rice cakes, with tomato on top!

Angela3 months ago
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It’s just okay. It’s a little sweeter than I like. If I make it again I’ll probably leave out the maple syrup.

Jacqueline3 months ago
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Tastes pretty good but it doesn’t taste anything like a substitute for tuna. If you don’t expect it to taste like tuna, then it’s pretty tasty!

Gill3 months ago
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This was nice but was not quite to my taste. I made it exactly to the recipe and I will make it again but will make some changes. The texture, ingredient proportions and nutritional content were just right (excluding the syrup which I don’t think is needed at all). It made a good filling in a wrap and a pitta bread and wasn’t too sloppy. The flavour was good but I thought it could be improved and it tasted a bit sweet to my taste because of the agave syrup. I don’t think it’s necessary in this recipe and I would omit it next time. The mix lacked a bit of acidity and next time I might add a bit of lemon juice, zest of lemon or some preserved lemon. Some chopped fresh parsley or coriander stirred in would also be good. I would recommend the recipe to vegan friends as a handy mix to store in the fridge as it can easily be adjusted to personal taste.

Marc3 months ago
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What type of pickle?

Rich1 month ago
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Really?? Just use whatever kind you like.

Adam3 months ago
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Why, kosher dill of course…lol

Ms Mili3 months ago
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Loved it!!!

Stephanie3 months ago
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So easy to make, and it’s delicious! We almost always make a double batch of this, and we make it frequently. It’s one of our all-time favorite FOK recipes.

Diane3 months ago
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A couple of years ago I got to the point where I didn’t really like tahini. Although I love raw and roasted almonds, I don’t particularly care for almond milk. And I much prefer peanut butter over almond butter any day for sandwiches. So anyway, the last time I made this recipe (last week) I used almond butter instead of tahini. Maybe my tastebuds are off but to me, it has a light neutral flavor and I much prefer it over tahini. And I agree, this is one of my favorite recipes.

Diana3 months ago
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I so appreciate your comment. Now I feel I can make this and enjoy it. Never thought about almond butter.

Meira3 months ago
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I am allergic to sesame and am frustrated when so many vegan/vegetarian/healthy recipes, like this one, call for tahini. I was happy to see your response. I am also allergic to peanuts, but enjoy sunflower seed butter, almond butter and cashew butter. I will have to try that in this recipe. Great idea!!

Marlene3 months ago
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My husband who is not vegan likes this. I think it is a great healthy substitute for tuna salad. My children and grandchildren don’t mind it either

Kim Seeman3 months ago
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Absolutely love this one!

Cathy3 months ago
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What is in your tahini

Jamian3 months ago
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Very refreshing

Marie-Louise3 months ago
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Really really good! To make it a more creamy, I added a bit of the caper brine and a bit of lemon juice. Oh, and fresh dill on top!

Jean3 months ago
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Very good, but don’t call it “tuna” fish salad. Consider it somewhat like it but very different – and delicious- had to stop husband from eating the whole bowl!

smh3 months ago
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@ Denis, Then call a tuna sandwich a microplastic contaminated with harmful chemicals sandwich, cuz that is what it is!

Jen3 months ago
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The title says “No-tuna,” so your complaint is invalid. Also, if people want to call it vegan tuna, they can; things like that can help people transitioning from an omni diet to a plant-based one find something they might like that’s kind of like what they’re used to, even if it doesn’t taste exactly the same.

Denise Siri3 months ago
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I SO agree! Why does vegan food have to imitate carnivores? Call it a bean sandwich cause that is what it is!

Karla3 months ago
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Delicious. My favorite way to eat this is as a topping to a bowl of baby arugula. I don’t have capers, I do add red bell pepper if available. Makes a fine sandwich when on the go.

Jane3 months ago
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Adding red bell pepper is a great idea, thanks!

Meghann3 months ago
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So glad a friend recommended I try this. Super simple (& most of ingredients I had on hand already), keeps well in the fridge for a great make ahead, delicious meal or snack 🙂

michele3 months ago
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I serve this on toasted naan, delicious!

Nicole D.3 months ago
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Such an easy recipe! Delicious and creamy!

Merry3 months ago
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So good! Great for lunch and making ahead of time.

Kari3 months ago
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So so good and I consider myself a carnivore!

I like a good bite so I cut back the sweetener to .5 tbsp me did a full tbsp. Roughly of mustard and some pickle brine as well. I also subbed garlic salt for sea salt.

Great on toasted bread; and with fresh sliced cucumber for a crunch.

ReFrank3 months ago
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A household weekday staple – we always throw in the sunflower seeds and toast the bread.

rachelle3 months ago
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My favorite everyday recipe!!!

JY3 months ago
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Super easy and tasty recipe! Amazing it tastes so good without any oil. I dress it up with radish slices and cherry tomato halves and often eat it in a butter lettuce cup.

KDNYC3 months ago
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Delish. I used half the tahini and skipped the maple syrup and seeds. Added some fresh dill. Might add a bit of lemon juice next time. Very tasty with toasted sprouted grain bread, and good for a salad bowl.

Suzanne Priolo3 months ago
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You would LOVE “Garden Veggie Chickpea Salad Sandwich” by Peas and Crayons. Check it out!

Rhonda3 months ago
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Absolutely delicious! I put most of the mixture into halved mini sweet peppers for snacking and lunches for this week but I would certainly serve this in sandwiches to my non-wfpb lunch guests.

Terri J.3 months ago
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Made this easy recipe this weekend and it is already gone! My husband and I both missed tuna salad sandwiches and this left us completely satisfied! I added a little chopped apple, which I used to put in my tuna salad, and it was great. This will be one of my go-to recipes!

KEK3 months ago
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I use my own pickle relish. You could use whatever pickle you prefer I should think.

Cindi M.3 months ago
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Perfect if you feel it ain’t lunch if it ain’t a sandwich . I think this would really help people with the transition to WFPB eating from the standard American diet.

Elise Donalson3 months ago
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Love this recipe & use it regularly. It makes a great sandwich!! I also experimented with adding a few cooked red potatoes and slightly increasing the amounts of mustard, celery, onion, pickle and capers. It turned the dish into a potato salad – with protein, which was a fun variation.

Evan3 months ago
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A delicious and easy vegan lunch.

Jennifer3 months ago
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So satisfying!

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Dana Shultz

Dana Shultz is the recipe developer and co-author of the Minimalist Baker, a website devoted to simple cooking, which she founded with her husband, John. All recipes require 10 ingredients or less or 30 minutes or less to prepare. She is the author of Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking and the 31 Meals Cookbook.

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