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This Vegan Tuna Sandwich is satisfying, delicious, and completely customizable. It takes just 20 minutes to prepare and it's perfect for make-ahead lunches.
My mom always packed my lunch growing up and I really loved it. A few times, she packed me a tuna sandwich and although it was delicious, it made quite an offensive odor at lunchtime, and the other kids let me know it. That wasn't fun, so we reserved them for home enjoyment after that.
This Vegan Tuna Sandwich is just as creamy, tangy, and delicious! It's not missing a thing except that fishy smell.
I've been packing this is my son's lunch and he comes home with an empty lunchbox every time. He loves it! It's protein-packed and nutritious, so I feel good about sending him to school with it.
Does Vegan Tuna Taste Fishy?
The mixture doesn't taste fishy at all on its own, but I prefer a subtle ocean-like flavor, so I add a small amount of seaweed such as Kelp, Dulse, or Nori. Don't worry though, your sandwich won't stink as tuna does, so it's a great sandwich to take to work or school.
However, if you're not into ocean flavor, you can omit the seaweed and add a sprinkle of Old Bay Seasoning. It's delicious!
Does it have the same texture as tuna fish?
It doesn't have the same texture as tuna, but it's pretty close. I use a combination of shredded hearts of palm and chickpeas to replicate the flaky fish texture and it works nicely. Plus, the chickpeas add a nice dose of protein.
This mixture is very similar to my popular Vegan Crab Cake recipe and I also use it for Vegan Crab Bites. It's easy to adjust and can be used for a variety of recipes, too. It truly is the best replacement for that flaky fish texture!
Ingredients and Add-In Ideas
🌟 This is a quick overview with step-by-step photos. For the complete ingredient amounts and instructions, scroll down to the recipe card below.
Here are additional add-in ideas so you can customize the mixture to your liking.
- Green onion
- Bell pepper
- Olives, capers, or pepperoncini
- Fresh dill or parsley
- Old Bay Seasoining, cumin, cayenne pepper, or smoked paprika
- Sunflower seeds
How to make a Vegan Tuna Sandwich
- As a salad topper
- In a sandwich
- With crackers or veggie sticks
- In lettuce wraps
More Vegan Seafood Recipes to try
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Vegan Tuna Sandwich
- 15.5 ounces canned garbanzo beans , drained and rinsed
- 14.4 ounces canned hearts of palm , drained and rinsed, then cut in half lengthwise
- ⅓ cup vegan mayo , more to taste
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic , more to taste
- ½ teaspoon dried dill , more to taste
- ½ teaspoon sea salt , more to taste
- Fresh ground pepper , to taste
- 6-8 slices of bread (gluten-free if preferred)
- 3-4 pieces butter lettuce or preferred lettuce
- 1-2 large tomatoes , sliced (optional)
- 6-8 small pickle slices (pickle chips) (add to toothpick on top or put inside sandwich)
- Mixing Bowl
- In a food processor add the garbanzo beans and hearts of palm together. Pulse 4-5 times to shred it up enough to break down the beans, but don't pulse too many times or it will turn to mush (scrape sides as needed). It should have a tuna-like consistency. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine mayo, garlic, dill, salt, pepper, and optional Old Bay and Dulse/Kelp granules. Now add the garbanzo bean/hearts of palm mixture and optional celery, and onions. Combine well. Taste and add more seasoning or mayo if preferred.
- Line a slice of bread with lettuce and tomato, then spread the mixture on the other slice. Close the sandwich together and cut diagonal. Use a toothpick to secure each half and add a pickle slice on top, if preferred. Repeat with the additional sandwiches. Serve with potato chips and enjoy!
- This recipe will yield about 3-4 sandwiches.
- 'Tuna' mixture add-in ideas: (just pick a few) diced pickles, chopped olives, or chopped pepperoncini, jarred jalapeño slices, fresh-cut parsley or dill, sliced green onion, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika or cumin, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1-2 teaspoons dijon mustard, relish, squeeze of lemon, capers, sunflower seeds, fresh jalapeño (diced and deseeded).
- Sandwich add-on ideas: sliced avocado, thinly sliced red onion, vegan cheese, shredded purple cabbage, thinly sliced carrots, sprouts, sliced cucumbers, sliced bell pepper.
- If you can't find kelp or dulse flakes/granules, you can crumble up a small snack-size piece of nori for an ocean-like flavor.
- The mixture will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-5 days stored in an airtight container.
- If you don't have a food processor, you can use two forks to mash and shred the mixture into a tuna-like texture.
- If you want to make this recipe oil-free, you can use my Vegan Mayo Recipe instead.