• I will confess, though I’ve moved to a non-animal eating diet, I still miss the taste of tuna fish sandwiches. That is, until yesterday, when I discovered a recipe for fish-free tuna at the VegNews website. I was reluctant, a non-believer, you might say. After all, how the heck could chickpeas ever taste like tuna? It was only after I made this recipe that I realized that part of the reason that the tuna salad of yore tasted the way it did was because of all the other ingredients that went into the tuna salad. Long story short, ya’ gotta try this to believe it. Now, I can’t get enough of it.

    The bread that you see lovingly wrapped around the faux tuna is a Breads From Anna Herb bread mix that I made in my bread machine – in one word – delicious. And it makes great croutons too. Trust me, you will not know this is anything other than wonderful bread. Gluten free, schmuten-free. It’s great. I’m a huge fan.

    Chickpea Tastes-Like-Tuna Salad (gluten free, dairy free, vegan)
    recipe from VegNews, adapted by Ellen Allard

    15 oz can of chickpeas, drained
    2 tbsp diced red onion
    6 tbsp finely chopped celery
    1/8 tsp minced garlic
    1 tbsp fresh snipped dill (if using dried, use less)
    1 tsp celery seed
    2 tbsp finely chopped dill pickle (or use pickle relish from a jar)
    1 tbsp nori seaweed flakes, snipped into tiny pieces
    1/4 – 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    1/4 tsp ground black pepper

    The original recipe calls for mashing the chickpeas in a bowl using either a fork or potato masher. I found this very difficult so I used a food processor the second time I made this and it worked much better, pulsing it until it reached the desired consistency, being careful not to pulverize them.

    Mix the remaining ingredients in with the chickpeas. Start with the smaller amount of vegan mayo – you can always add more.

    Slather on two pieces of toasted bread, add lettuce & tomato if desired. Sliced avocado would be lovely. Couple of pickle slices. Some coleslaw. Handful of potato chips or crisp french fries. My picture above shows cold, roasted root vegetables leftover from last nights’ dinner. Yum, I’m 10 years old, back at Herme’s Deli in Lakewood, NJ, having tuna sandwiches with my mom and sisters. What a trip down memory lane!
    • BarefootMdn

      I’m going to try this.

      Chickpeas are my favorite meat substitute. I mash a can of them with shredded carrots, Italian herbs, and form them into patties. Then, I fry, broil, or grill the patties.

      Happy cooking

    • sonia sin gluten

      Hi I have a granddaughter and a blog about celiac disease, the treatment of spreading the disease worldwide.
      this direction.
      your friend


    • Ali (Whole Life Nutrition)

      I love your idea here! The snipped nori sounds great. I make my own avocado mayo that would probably work quite well. Sounds like a tasty lunch!

      -Ali :)

    • I Am Gluten Free

      BarefootMdn – sounds kind of like felafel. Yum!

      Sonia – how lucky your granddaughter is to have a grandmother to help her navigate through the world of gluten free eating.

      Ali – Avocado mayo – that sounds like a perfect addition to this recipe!

    • seamaiden

      Yum, I’ve been meaning to try this kind of recipe- I might have to start with yours!


    • I Am Gluten Free

      Seamaiden – let me know when you make it! It’s become one of our standards. My husband is even willing to eat less tuna if I have this in the frig pretty regularly.


    • Maureen "Hold The Gluten"

      Perfect for the cans of chickpeas sitting in my pantry!! I’ll definitely have to check out Breads From Anna – that bread looks delicious!

    • Anonymous

      Holy cow this is spectacular…I just made it for lunch (also missing my tuna sandwiches…but mine were in my growing up house in Queens, with my mom :-)!!)

      I left out the fresh onion it blows me up too much, I added dehydrated onion (easier on my tum and faster without tears)

      Did you invent this brilliant recipe? How much is a serving size? I just polished off the whole bowl (oyoyoy an entire can of beans. I hope I don’t crank it out later with a big old bloated belly… “I missed” my tuna sandwiches as a GF Veg Head now, (but I don’t need to anymore) but I don’t miss that bloat! 😉

    • Anonymous

      PS Sea… try it do try it. It IS amazing. :-)

      Love & light,


    • I Am Gluten Free

      Hi Anonymous,

      So glad you liked it. Yes, I did invent it. I think I culled from a bunch of different recipes and then added my own touch. It really is delicious – we had it on Passover, stuffed into large mushrooms, with a vegan tartar sauce dollop on top. It was yum!

      Thanks for stopping by!


    • The Healthy Librarian

      Hi Ellen,

      I made the tuna today & loved it–but I have a question about the nori flakes. Is there such a thing as "flakes" or did you just take a nori sheet, crumble it & snip it? The food processor tip was excellent–I'd made it in the past with the "mash" technique & your technique worked better.

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Hi Healthy Librarian,

      Yup, I snipped nori sheets into tiny pieces. Fast and easy. And gives it a sea-like taste. So glad you liked it! It’s become standard fare in our house.


    • Rumela

      Thanks a lot. This is an interesting recipe. At last I have found something interesting and unique to serve to my guests during the holidays. I am sure that they'll love this chickpea tastes with tuna salad.thank you for shearing your post.

    • The Spicy Veg

      Before I went veg, on a rainy miserable day that I didn't want to cook, tuna melts were on the menu. Yesterday was that type of day…. But now i'm veg…..

      I made this recipe, sort of. I used 1 can chickpeas, enough mayo to just coast, cayenne pepper, pickles, salt and pepper.
      The boyfriend was skeptical, and I have to admit, I was too, i usually dont like chickpeas unless they are made into hummus, but we were both blown away with how good this was.
      It was perfect on some toasted bread with a slice of veggie cheese, some french fries and a beer to end our long cold wet day.
      This is absolutely becoming a staple in my kitchen.

    • I Am Gluten Free

      Rumela – you're right to think about making this for guests. Whenever I've served it, people are stunned by how much it resembles tuna.

      The Spicy Veg – isn't it great to try new things that are kind of sketchy, and then have them turn out great! So glad you liked it! I haven't made it in awhile and your comment reminded me to do so. I just baked some yummy GF bread – will have to make some yummy sammies tomorrow for lunch.

    • Andrea B.

      Thank you for this recipe! I have this chicken salad recipe that I used to make that I use chickpeas in now, but this one really did taste like tuna!

      My sis and I love it! We had with oven baked potato wedges and homemade ketchup, yum! 😀 I did add some orange bell pepper though and I didn't have any nori but it still took my back I loved tuna before. I will keep this in my rotation, so thanks. It tastes good on salad sprinkled with paprika too.

    • http://www.RockinOutGreen.com Shira

      yumm. i made it today, i didn't have the dill, but i added a few spoonfulls of apple cider vinegar and mixed it all together with diced radish, red pepper, carrot, celery and only a touch of veganaise since the chic peas were so creamy. thanks gluten free diva!

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