Tu-no salad on a bed of arugula with tomatoes

Chickpea Tu-No: Vegan Tuna Salad

  • Author: Joan Gregerson
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 4.5 cups 1x


This chickpea tuna-alternative is packed with tons of fresh veggies, plus a creamy, spicy sauce to pull it all together. This is a 100 percent unrefined plant-based party in your mouth!

For a hearty lunch, serve one cup of Tu-No on a bed of greens with slices of tomato.



Tu-No Filling:

  • 3.5 Cups (2 15.5-ounce cans) of cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, reserve liquid
  • 2 Cups diced cucumber (1 cucumber), remove and reserve seedy pulp
  • 1 Cup diced celery (3 stalks celery)
  • 1/2 Cup diced onions (4 green onions or 1/2 red onion) 
  • 1 Cup diced red bell peppers (1 large or 4 mini)
  • Black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste

May-No Sauce:

  • 1/3 Cup (2 ounces) cashews, soaked for one hour and drained
  • 2 Tbsp prepared Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (juice from 1/2 lemon)
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Seedy pulp from 1 cucumber
  • 2 tsp no-salt spice mix 
  • 2 tsp Sea Kelp crystals (or 1 Tbsp of crushed seaweed), optional
  • up to 1/2 Cup reserved liquid from chickpeas, for desired consistency 

Greens and Tomatoes:

  • 8 Cups fresh arugula
  • 4 sliced plum tomatoes


Soak cashews: To soak, put cashews in a small bowl. Cover with plenty of water and set aside. If possible, soak cashews for 3 hours or longer. Otherwise, just soak them until needed for the may-no sauce in a few minutes. 

Pulse chickpeas: Drain chickpeas, reserving liquid. Use fork to mash chickpeas partially. Or, put chickpeas in food processor and pulse a few times until the garbanzos are roughly chopped. Stop and scrape bottom and sides to prevent accidental hummus! 

Prep veggies: Rinse all veggies under cold running water. Cut cucumber lengthwise in half. Scoop out seedy pulp. Reserve for sauce. Finely dice: cucumbers, celery,  onion, and red bell pepper, all as similar size. For more zing, add a spicy pepper such as Serrano or jalapeno if you like it hot!

Mix filling: Add veggies and roughly chopped chickpeas to large bowl. Rinse food processor bowl.

Make “may-no” sauce: Drain and rinse soaked cashews. Add to clean food processor bowl. Add mustard, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and seedy cucumber pulp. Process for one minutes to check consistency. 

Mix: Pour may-no sauce over filling and stir until well mixed. 

Plate: Scoop one cup of tu-no onto 2 Cups of fresh arugula with 1 sliced tomato. Enjoy!



“From the sea” flavor comes from the mixture of lemon juice, a no-salt spice mix and seaweed. For the no-salt spice mix, use Bragg Sprinkle 24 Herbs and Spices, Old Bay Seasoning or any other spice mix you like. 

Filling variations: Experiment with varieties and quantities of chopped veggies. Add Serrano pepper, jalapeno pepper or red chili flakes, if you like it hot! 

Keeps in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Keeps in freezer for up to one month. If freezing, consider adding cucumber and celery later to retain crrrrunch. 

  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Food processor
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 Cup

Keywords: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, salad, lunch, quick, raw