Have you ever tried a Chickpea "faux tuna" Salad? Gluten-Free and plant-based, it's savory, creamy, crunchy, salty and delish! Plus, it is perfect for a packed lunch because it keeps well and stays fresh!
Packed Lunch: Chickpea “Tuna” Salad
Easy, Flavorful, Nourishing and Satisfying!
Update August 2020: We aren’t making many packed lunches these days, but this Chickpea Tuna Salad is a good idea anytime!
We are especially loving it in on these hot Summer days because it has the best flavor profile — savory, creamy, crunchy, salty and delish!
Continuing my series on packed lunch ideas with one of my go-to packed lunches!
I constantly get requests for lunch ideas. On Instagram stories, I share my lunch almost daily— usually a big hearty salad, repurposed leftovers, or quesadilla. But when I need to PACK lunch, this is my favorites!
A little background… While my husband loves tuna salad, I haven’t eaten tuna in years for a variety of reasons, but love the idea it! There’s something about the combination of creaminess, saltiness and crunch that’s so satisfying!
Enter Chickpea “Tuna” Salad!
It’s a faux “tuna” salad that I personally love more than the original and even have my husband hooked!
It’s flavorful, nourishing, satisfying and delicious!
And it makes the best lunch!
It comes together quickly, can be made ahead and keeps well! As in, it travels well and is great in warm weather since there is nothing to “go bad” in the heat, although I always recommend keeping in a cooler or refrigerator depending on where we’re going.
Plus, just like tuna salad, it works equally well on a sandwich, atop a salad, served in a lettuce wrap or with crackers.
This version is based on one from my friend Corey @thevegansix and is packed with veggies!
As an aside, if you don’t know Corey definitely check out her Instagram feed. She’s the mom of 4 kids and she and her husband are raising a Vegan family. But she really believes in sharing her knowledge of and excitement for plant-based living so that everyone can enjoy plant-based meals even if they are omnivores. Her recipes are easy and tasty!
Back to the Chickpea “Tuna” Salad.
Here is what you’ll need, 8 real whole food ingredients: 1 can chickpeas, red onion, celery, carrot, dill, Vegan mayo (or any mayo if you’re not following a vegan diet), Dijon mustard, a lemon for fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Together is has that creamy, salty and savory flavor you want from a “tuna” salad, plus crunch from the veggies. Plus it is packed with nutrients and filling!
And it couldn’t be easier to make!
All you do it place chickpeas and the chopped veggies and seasonings in a large bowl and gently mash everything together with a fork until the chickpeas are mostly crushed.
Serve with your favorite greens or crackers or make into a sandwich and enjoy!
When I eat is as part of a salad, I generally just squeeze some fresh lemon juice on the greens and it’s super flavorful because of the chickpea salad.
When I made this lunchbox, I decided to include romaine which could be used as a salad or as mini romaine boats/ wraps, crackers for some salty crunch (they also work great as little scoopers for the salad), plus some additional veggies for crunch and of course some fruit and a sweet treat!
The sweet treat I opted for was our favorite Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. They have the perfect sweet and salty flavor for dessert, plus just a little chocolate…. need I say more?
Smashed chickpeas, lots of veggies and simple seasoning make this gluten-free and plant-based salad a win! Whether you're adding a big scoop to greens or using it as a sandwich filing, it's easy, nourishing, satisfying and delicious! Perfect as part of a packed lunch because it stays fresh!
Author: Healthy Gluten-Free Family
Recipe type: Lunch, Dinner, Veggies
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free
Serves: 2-3 servings
Chickpea Tuna Salad
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
¼ - ⅓ cup red onion, diced (start with ¼ cup add more to taste)
¼ - ⅓ cup celery, diced (start with ¼ cup and add more to taste)
¼ cup carrot, diced
2-3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 heaping tablespoon Vegan Mayo (or regular mayo)
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (start with 2 tablespoons, add more to taste)
Hi! My name is Karen, and I’m the mom in our Healthy Gluten-Free Family. My posts and pictures here and on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter are labors of love that allow me to share a very personal journey with you, one our family has taken together — learning, experimenting and sharing how to raise a healthy happy gluten-free family. Read more ...