This vegan tuna salad recipe can be made into a vegan tuna melt or used in a tuna salad sandwich. It’s creamy, delicious comfort food that will bring you back to your childhood days of tuna sandwiches packed in school lunches.
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email below and get it sent straight to your inbox. Plus, get more amazing vegan recipes that will satisfy your cravings!
A tuna sandwich is one of those recipes that reminds me of my childhood, and for some reason, I just feel like my vegan kids need to know what one tastes like as well.
Vegan chickpea "tuna" salad sandwiches are delicious and I make them frequently as well. However, I craved the taste and texture of that classic tuna sandwich that I ate as a child.
I fiddled around with ingredients and proportions until I came up with something pretty darn close to the taste and texture that I remember! This basic recipe for vegan tuna can be used to replace canned tuna in any recipe and works great in a vegan tuna casserole too!
❤️ This recipe is
- quick and easy to make.
- packed with protein.
- gluten-free if you use GF bread.
🧾 Ingredients and substitutions
- TVP (textured vegetable protein) or Butler Soy Curls - this is a dehydrated soy protein that will absorb the flavor of any broth that you rehydrate it in. (If you use soy curls, you will have to break them into smaller pieces.)
- Water - to make the broth.
- Kelp Flakes - to give it the fishy flavor. You can also use crushed-up nori.
- Oil - to give it a little moisture and mouth feel of tuna. Any neutral-flavored oil will work or you can leave it out for an oil-free tuna.
- Salt - to give it the saltiness of tuna.
- Vegan Mayo - to make it creamy. You can use any vegan mayo that you want or easily make your own with my vegan mayo recipe. For a lower-fat version, you can use my homemade vegan sour cream instead. You can even spice it up by using vegan Chipotle mayo instead.
- Pickle Relish - for added texture and flavor. You can also use sweet relish if you prefer.
- Vegan Cheese - Use any vegan cheese that you want for a tuna melt. I like my homemade vegan mozzarella.
- Bread - Any vegan bread that you like will work.
🥄 How to make vegan tuna
Step 1 - Add 1/2 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of oil, 1 teaspoon of kelp flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to a small saucepan.
Step 2 - Heat until it boils, then turn off the heat and add 3/4 cup of TVP (or Butler Soy Curls). Stir, cover, and let it sit for about 5 minutes until it absorbs all of the water.
Step 3 - Fluff with a fork and let it cool for about 15 minutes.
Step 4 - Add vegan mayo, chopped celery, pickle relish, salt, and pepper, and stir.
Step 5 - Spread it on your choice of bread, toast, or crackers.
To make a vegan tuna melt
Step 1 - Add a meltable vegan cheese-like, vegan mozzarella, and butter on the outsides of the sandwich.
Step 2 - Grill it over medium-low heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted inside.
👩🏻🍳 Pro Tips
- Be sure to allow the TVP mixture to cool down before adding the mayo.
- Put the tuna salad on toast, on a lettuce wrap, or eat it on quinoa crackers. Whatever way you choose, it will be delicious!
🥡 Storage and reheating
Refrigerate: The vegan tuna salad will keep well in the fridge for 3 - 5 days in a sealed container.
Freeze: If you don't think that you can use up all the vegan tuna salad in a few days, store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
🌟 More vegan sandwiches
- Tofu Egg Salad
- Vegan BLT
- Chickpea Salad Sandwich
- Vegan Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
- Vegan “Fish” Sandwich
- Vegan Chicken Salad Sandwich
- Tofu Wrap
- Falafel Gyro
📌 Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for new vegan recipes!
📋 Vegan tuna melt recipe
Vegan Tuna Salad - Vegan Tuna Melt
For a tuna melt
- 1/4 cup vegan cheese like Tofutti or Daiya shreds or slices optional
- 16 slices bread of choice
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter optional (for tuna melt)
- Add 1/2 cup of water, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon kelp flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to a small saucepan.
- Heat until it boils, then turn off the heat and add 3/4 cup of TVP (or Butler Soy Curls).
- Stir, cover, and let it sit for about 5 minutes until it absorbs all of the water. Fluff with a fork and let it cool for about 15 minutes.
- Add vegan mayo, chopped celery, pickle relish, salt, and pepper then stir.
- Use as you would tuna salad.
- Store unused tuna salad in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
For tuna melt
- Put 2-3 tbsp of tuna salad mixture and vegan cheese of choice between 2 slices of bread.
- Spread vegan butter on the outsides of the bread and grill in a skillet on medium low for a few minutes on each side until golden brown and cheese is melted.
- Make sure to allow the TVP mixture to cool before adding vegan mayo.
- To make a tuna salad sandwich, put sliced tomatoes and lettuce and 2-3 tbsp of tuna salad mixture between two slices of bread.
- Vegan tuna salad will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Click the stars above or leave a comment! I'd love to hear from you!
*This recipe was originally posted on July 11th, 2017. It was updated on August 31 2021 to include new images and more detailed instructions.