Delicious Chickpea Tu-“No” Salad

Chickpeas are the base for this classic plant-based spin-off of (fish-based) tuna salad. This tu-“no” salad recipe is simple, delicious, and customizable! Combine chickpeas and pinto beans, mix chickpeas and black beans together, or keep it simple and use just chickpeas.

Don’t have chickpeas? Substitute for all pinto beans, or mix 1 cup of hummus with a can of un-mashed pinto beans. Let me know the types of substitutions you make in the comments.

For the dressing, I whipped up tahini, lemon, and mustard with white vinegar and liquid aminos. Liquid aminos can be substituted for soy sauce or tamari if needed. The mustard adds a unique flavor to the dressing, so choose your favorite dijon mustard (or other type of mustard) and please don’t omit this ingredient.

Happy cooking!

Delicious Chickpea Tu-“No” Salad

Print Recipe
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword Plant-Based, Tu-“No” Salad, Tuna Salad, Vegan, WFPB, Whole Food Plant-Based
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6



  • 2 cans chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 3 carrot
  • 3 celery stalks finely diced
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced

Tahini Dressing

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp date syrup or paste (or sub maple syrup)
  • 2 tsp kelp granules (optional)


  • Slices sprouted whole grain bread for serving as a sandwich
  • 1 ripe avocado sliced


  • Prepare the ingredients by draining and rinsing the chickpeas, grating the carrots, dicing the celery and red onion, and slicing the cherry tomatoes.
    For the dressing, mince the garlic cloves.
  • Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and mash half of them with a fork or a potato masher.Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl.
  • To prepare the dressing, add tahini, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, date syrup, liquid aminos, minced garlic cloves, and kelp granules to a jar and whisk until combined. Add water to thin if desired.
  • Mix the dressing with the tu-"no" salad. Serve with bread as a sandwich, by itself in a bowl, or as a topping on green salads. Top with sliced avocado and enjoy!


The kelp granules are completely optional and make the salad a bit more tuna-like. Try out the kelp granules for yourself if you can find them at a health food store (and afford them…).
This recipe is inspired by Straight Up Food’s tu-no salad recipe with mashed chickpeas and a cashew-based dressing. Straight Up Food is the blog and cookbook of Cathy Fisher, a culinary instructor in Santa Rosa, CA.
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