Chickpea "Tuna"

The one thing I have really missed since going plant-based is a good tuna-mayo! For the first year after switching to a plant-based diet I thought that there can't be any healthy plant-based alternative to tuna mayo, I mean, what can replace that fishy taste that you get from tuna? And then I realized that it's not the fish I miss, but rather the delicious sauce that it comes in and the flaky texture which makes for a great sandwich topping or baked potato filling. And so, I created chickpea "tuna". A healthier tuna-mayo alternative which has all of the flavour and enjoyment of tuna mayo but with none of the mercury, saturated fat and sodium. Plus the chickpeas add plenty of good plant proteins, iron, fibre and B-vitamins so you get even more nutrients in!

This recipe is great as a high-protein sandwich or cracker topping for kids or for getting legumes into fussy eaters who don't love eating whole beans. 

Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Chickpea Tuna (2).jpg

For my patients on calorie-controlled meal plans:

1 x 184g serving of this recipe =

  • 1 legume servings
  • 1 1/2 fat servings
  • 1 1/2 veg servings

It all starts with...


  • 4 cups tinned/ cooked chickpeas
  • 2 large carrots
  • 4 dill pickled cucumber
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 small celery sticks
  • 1 handful fresh dill
  • 1 handful fresh parsley

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup pickle juice/ brine from the pickled cucumbers
  • 3/4 cup egg-free lite mayonnaise (Trim or B-well reduced oil) 
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 sheet of nori
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp paprika for topping


  1. Add your chickpeas into an electric chopper or food processor and pulse until the chickpeas look flaky. Don't pulse for too long as the chickpeas will begin to blend into a paste and won't have the texture of tuna. If you don't have a food processor, you can do this step by hand using a potato-masher.
  2. Empty the mashed/ flaked chickpeas into a mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Finely chop the carrots, pickles, onion, celery, dill and parsley and add these to the chickpeas. To save time, you can use your food processor or chopper to chop the veg for you. Again, just pulse until finely chopped,  being sure not to blend the veg.
  4. Mix the veg in with the chickpeas and set aside.
  5. For the sauce: add the pickle juice, mayo, mustard, nutritional yeast and nori into your blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Pour the sauce over the chickpea mixture and mix through. Top with salt, pepper and paprika and serve inside a sandwich, on a whole-grain cracker, on top of a salad or stuffed in a baked potato.