Vegan tuna salad in a croissant with lettuce, tomato, and banana peppers

How to Make the Best Realistic Vegan Tuna Salad

I love a versatile recipe, and this vegan tuna salad is just that. It can be eaten in a sandwich, on cucumber slices for a quick, lighter snack, or with crackers as a dip. This mock tuna salad looks, feels, and tastes incredibly realistic to the real thing. It is also easy and quick to make, which I know we can all appreciate!

Vegan tuna salad on slices of cucumber

What do you use in place of the tuna?

For the tuna, I tear hearts of palm into small chunks to replicate chunks of the meat and mix it with smashed chickpeas. The chickpeas act as a filler and a slight binder for the salad. Hearts of palm might sound like an exotic ingredient, but it’s just the edible bud of palm trees and can be found in most grocery stores. These two ingredients together make a perfect canned tuna-like look and texture!

Meatless tuna dip with crackers

How do you make the vegan tuna salad taste fishy?

I combine the chickpeas and hearts of palm with rice vinegar, lemon juice, miso paste, old bay seasoning, and dulse granules. Dulse is a red seaweed and is the main ingredient that gives this salad its fishy flavor. If you cannot get your hands on dulse granules, you could always substitute it for equal parts nori powder. Take a sheet of nori and blend it in a coffee grinder to create a powder! This combination of ingredients replicates the flavor of fish, and then I add in staple tuna salad ingredients: vegan mayonnaise, celery, red onion, sweet relish, and garlic!

Showing what the plant-based tuna salad looks like on a cracker

What do I pair with this vegan tuna salad?

One of my favorite ways to eat this vegan tuna salad is to add it to a sandwich! I like to use good quality bread or a croissant. Then I will fill it with lettuce, the mock tuna salad, tomato, and pickled banana peppers or dill pickles! It is SO tasty. For a lighter, fresh snack, I will pop the salad onto thick slices of cucumber. And if I’m feeling ultra lazy, I will scoop crackers into the salad and eat it like a tuna dip!

If you make my realistic vegan tuna salad recipe, don’t forget to post a picture to Instagram, tag me @chefsummerstorm, and #gardengrub so I can see your recreation!

Vegan tuna salad in a croissant with lettuce, tomato, and banana peppers

How to Make the Best Realistic Vegan Tuna Salad

Author Chef Summer Storm – garden grub
This vegan tuna salad looks, feels, and tastes extremely realistic. It's easy and quick to make and can be eaten in a sandwich or as a dip!
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Salad, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 3 cups

Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • To a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the rice vinegar, lemon juice, miso paste, old bay seasoning, and dulse granules. Mash with a fork until smooth.
  • Now add the chickpeas into the bowl and smash them with a fork. You want to smash all of the chickpeas, so there are no whole chickpeas in the salad, but also avoid over-mashing them as you do NOT want this to turn into a puree.
  • Then, using your hands, break the hearts of the palm into the bowl. The pieces should resemble chunks of tuna meat, so aim for about 1-inch pieces.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and stir until well combined.
  • Enjoy this salad in a sandwich, on slices of cucumber, or as a dip for crackers!
Keyword chickpeas tuna, faux tuna, meatless tuna, mock tuna, plant based tuna salad, vegan tuna, vegan tuna salad, vegetarian tuna salad, vegetarian tuna substitute
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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