Vegan Tuna – Another great use for chickpeas!

Chickpeas are a wonder ingredient in the vegan pantry. They have so many uses – Chickpea Stew, the leftover water can be used to make Yorkshire Puddings and meringues, they make delicious Hummus, etc. I also saw recipes for a vegan tuna that can top your jacket spuds or fill sarnies. No, I haven’t completely lost my mind! This is an actual thing in the vegan community. I was sceptical to begin with, especially as I never liked fish in the first place. When the Teen was younger I would make him tuna sandwiches for school but would recoil if any touched my fingers as I loaded it onto the bread :p

Squeamishness aside, using vegan mayonnaise as a basis for the ‘sauce’ worked very well. I also used some dried seaweed to add to the ‘sea’ taste but this is optional. Others use Nori for that too. Mr. Canny said it was like heaven so I must have done a pretty good job of replicating it 🙂 I added a handful of frozen baby corn to make it more realistic.

The Teen would only try it when I used the dressing to cover Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Chicken  – which is suitable also for vegans, too. As tuna is often referred to as the ‘chicken of the sea’ it made sense this would work. He was taken aback at how easy it was to make such a convincing replacement using a few clever ingredients. He can now have his favourite Tuna Jacket Potato at home without any animal suffering. The ‘chicken’ is flaky in texture like the fish. All I did was substitute a handful for the drained chickpeas.

Vegan Tuna

1 tin of chickpeas, drained (Don’t forget to save the liquid to use later!)
3 tbsp vegan mayonnaise. I use Follow Your Heart.
1 spring onion, finely chopped
15 capers, finely chopped
2 tsp of nutritional yeast
1 ½ tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp. of dried seaweed or Nori (optional)
A pinch of salt and pepper to season

    • Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then coarsely mash them with a fork. 
    • Add all remaining ingredients into a bowl and mix to combine.
    • Add the chickpeas (or Linda McCartney Chicken, if using instead) and mix together. Use a fork to mash up the chickpeas. You want a coarse consistency.
    • Serve on whatever you choose. It works well on jacket potatoes or on fresh bread with lettuce and tomatoes.

Using the Vegetarian Chicken will probably be better – in my opinion, at least- for those like my son who really miss Tuna. You have to admit it looks pretty realistic too, flecks of seaweed aside. This can be prepared in advance and used within a few days if stored in an airtight container. I found this gives the flavours time to develop.Tried this recipe out? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Pip x


  1. Mandy

    Made this today, minus the seaweed. Delicious 👍

    Thank you for the recipe Pip x

    1. Emma Phillips (Post author)

      It works well with or without the seaweed, to be honest. Pleased you enjoyed it x


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