Crazy simple tuna(less) salad

9 Feb

Nothing fishy here!

All of the sea taste you love, none of the sand in your shorts.

Tuna salad was one of my favorite foods before I became vegan, so I was delighted to find that my attempt at a plant-based recreation was 1) so similarly tasty and 2) so simple.

Not only are chickpeas (also known by their pro wrestling name: garbanzo beans) free from tuna’s fat, cholesterol, mercury and ecological destruction, they are packed with fiber and protein — and they’re cheaper!

The key to giving a from-the-sea flavor to this completely land-based dish is two-fold: sea kelp and dill. Dill you can find in any grocery store. Whole Foods will have powdered sea kelp, but I ordered mine from Amazon because I just can’t handle those narrow aisles.

The produce section at Whole Foods.

The produce section at Whole Foods

This dish is absolutely delicious and crunchily satisfying on toasted bread dressed with vegan mayo. Try adding a slice of tomato, if that’s your bag. Or you could add a dollop to a salad, or use it as a cracker spread.


  • 32 ounces garbanzo beans, cooked or canned and drained
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 dill pickle spear
  • 1/4 medium red onion
  • 3-4 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tsp powdered sea kelp
  • 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill

How to make not-tuna salad:

If you’re using a food processor…

  1. Slice or dice the onion, celery and pickle into the food bowl, then dump them out and set them aside.
  2. Add the chickpeas, mustard, salt, sea kelp, lemon and mayonnaise, and pulse until the mixture is as combined and chunky/smooth as you want it.
  3. Now add the onion, celery and pickle back in, as well as the dill, and pulse until just combined.

If you’re not using a food processor…

  1. Dice the onion, celery and pickle and finely chop the dill.
  2. Place all your ingredients in a big bowl, and mash with a fork or potato masher until the mixture is the consistency you want.

When you’re done, just pop the salad in the fridge to chill for at least 15 minutes, and sprinkle a little more fresh dill on top before you nosh.

Crazy simple and yummtastic, right?

Bon appetit!


2 Responses to “Crazy simple tuna(less) salad”

  1. Vegan Flavorista February 12, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    This recipe sounds delicious and easy to make. Thanks for the post!

    • Bridget February 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

      I think so. 🙂 Thanks for reading.

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