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Creamy, full of texture, and super delicious, this Vegan Chickpea “Tuna” Sandwich is one of my favorite meals. It’s also super easy to make with just a handful of ingredients.
Before I become a vegan, I really love tuna. Actually, both my twin sister and I did. We often enjoyed it in Chinese omelet or sandwiches. At the beginning of my transition to a vegan lifestyle, I thought that I would never taste the flavor of tuna again, which was fine because if that meant less animal harm, I wouldn’t regret it.
But I was wrong, not about the regret because I don’t regret it at all. It’s about the fact that I still can taste the flavor of “tuna”. Well, at least in a very similar way. That’s this one!
It’s not 100% the same. That’s for sure. But this chickpea “tuna” really reminds me of the flavor of tuna sandwiches and makes me satisfied.
Ingredients You Need
Because we (Taiwan) are in lockdown, I cannot get some fresh ingredients very easily, so I just make a minimalist version with only a few ingredients.
- Cooked Chickpeas: I usually cook chickpeas myself because it’s cheaper and I eat chickpeas almost every single day. But you can totally use canned one for a more convenient route.
- Onion: Red onion is the best choice because it will give the mixture a slightly pinky look that mimics tuna. But if you like me who don’t have red onion at hand, white or yellow onion will work fine. And chop it roughly or finely according to the texture you want.
- Lemon Juice: I like to use a little lemon juice to give it a tangy flavor.
- Black Salt: also known as Kala Namak, which is a pink-look salt that has a very special, almost “eggy” taste. You can use regular salt if you don’t have it, but I highly recommend adding it to your pantry.
- Yellow Mustard: The tart and tangy flavor from yellow mustard really accentuate the “tuna” flavor.
- Coarsely Ground Black Pepper: For me, black pepper is a must in this vegan “tuna”. And I usually add A LOT, more than this recipe calls for. So adjust the amount to suit your appetite.
- Vegan Mayo: I was about to say this is optional, but I think it’s not after a second thought. The creaminess the sweetness from the mayo will bring this “tuna” sandwich to the next level.
How to Make Vegan Chickpea “Tuna”
There are two ways to make this vegan chickpea “tuna.” Both are pretty easy.
Food Processor: If you have a food processor, just add all ingredients except vegan mayo into it and use “pulse” to bring them together. If you want your chickpea “tuna” chunky, which is what I like, just pulse a few times to check the texture. Pulse longer if you want it to be smoother. Then use a spatula to mix in vegan mayo.
By Hand: Not literally use your hand, but just use a fork or a potato masher to mash the chickpeas first, then add the rest ingredients and mix them all together.
Then spread the mixture on your toasted bread, add ketchup if you like (me like it!), and enjoy!
You can definitely add more toppings like tomatoes and some greens to this sandwich. But due to the special situation, I’m in (lockdown/quarantine), let’s just be a minimalist. (But I did add a small salad on the sides for the overall presentation.)
This is one of the simple dishes that I enjoy very much, especially in spring and summer. I hope you will like this vegan “tuna” sandwich, too! If you make them, let me know by leaving a comment down below or tagging me on Instagram! (@barrelleaf)
More simple vegan meals:
Simple Vegan Chickpea “Tuna” Sandwich
- Add all ingredients except vegan mayo into a food processor. Use “pulse” to chop them and bring them together. If you want your chickpea “tuna” chunky, which is what I like, just pulse a few times to check the texture. Pulse longer if you want it to be smoother.
- Scrape down the sides. Then use a spatula to mix in vegan mayo.
- Use a fork or a potato masher to roughly mash the chickpeas.
- Add the rest ingredients and mix them all together.
- Toaste the bread and spread the mixture on a slice of bread. Add ketchup and other greens/fruits if you like. Then place the other slice of bread on top. Enjoy!
- *Onion: Red onion is the best choice because it will give this chickpea “tuna” a pinky look that resembles real tuna. White or yellow onions will work fine but they won’t have the same look. If you want your chickpea “tuna” to be smoother, chop the onion finely. Also, if you don’t like the onion too spicy, soak them in cold water for 15 minutes before using them.
- Storage: You can make the chickpea tuna mixture ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3~4 days.