Enjoy this vegan and gluten-free vegan Tuna Salad any time of day! Made with tempeh and filled with fresh vegetables and herbs for a light and refreshing snack. Serve it between bread with lettuce and tomatoes or as a quick grab-n-go salad.
This post was originally published on March 26, 2018.
In my pre-vegan days, I used to love tuna salad. It’s hard to imagine now but 15 years ago, when transitioning to a vegan diet, tuna salad was among the hardest food to give up. Fortunately, I learned very quickly that there is a vegan alternative to everything. In the past decade especially there has been incredible growth in vegan food options both in the grocery stores and made-at-home techniques to replicate anything.
This vegan tuna salad sandwich is no exception. It tastes even better than the way I remember tuna and no one was harmed in the making! This tempeh tuna salad is high protein, filled with flavor, super versatile, and DELICIOUS!
It doesn’t get better than that, friends!
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
Making a delicious vegan tuna salad means finding the perfect meat replacement. While there are many options, tempeh is the one that I recommend. In addition to tempeh, you will need a handful of other easy-to-find ingredients. In fact, you might already have it all on hand!
Here is everything you need.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.
- Tempeh - While I recommend tempeh, you could also make this salad with chickpeas or jackfruit. See my FAQs below to find out how to make these substitutions.
- Vegan Mayonnaise - My favorite brand is Just Mayo. It is shelf-stable and has a similar price point to non-vegan mayonnaise. However, any vegan mayo will do.
- Capers - Capers give this recipe a nice flavor of the sea. However, if you can't find them, feel free to omit.
- Pickles - Use dill pickles and avoid butter (sweet) pickles for this recipel
For this recipe, you will need basic cooking equipment including a saucepot, colander, mixing bowls, and basic kitchen utensils. (<<affiliate links)
How to Make Tempeh Tuna Salad
Step One - Boil the Tempeh
Cut the tempeh into 4 large pieces. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the tempeh. Boil the tempeh for twenty minutes. Once the tempeh is tender, drain the water and let tempeh cool for 5 minutes.
Don't skip this step! This step allows the tempeh to soften as well as removes any bitterness from it.
Step Two - Chop the Veggies
While tempeh is boiling, chopped all your vegetables and herbs. Set aside.
Pro Tip: Dice your veggies small. This allows the flavors to mix well without any big bites of veggies or tempeh.
Step Three - Mix Together
Place cooled tempeh in a medium bowl and smash it with a fork or other mashing utensil until tempeh is mostly broken apart with some larger pieces intact. Add the remaining ingredients and stir them together.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serving and Storing
Serving - For best results, let the salad set in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours before serving. This allows the tempeh to chill all the way through while letting the flavors absorb into it. Serve on two slices of bread with lettuce and tomatoes. You could also serve this salad on a bed of lettuce with fresh tomatoes.
Storing - Store salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Tips and Tricks
- Do not skip boiling the tempeh. This step allows the tempeh to soften as well as removes any bitterness from it.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as you please. This recipe is highly versatile. Feel free to add or remove any ingredients and adjust amounts according to your preference.
- Dice your veggies small. This allows the flavors to mix well without any big bites of veggies or jackfruit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why, yes it is!
Sure! If you are looking for a soy-free option, I recommend trying chickpeas or jackfruit. Substituting either is super simple. Simply drain and rinse thoroughly. Put them in a bowl. If using chickpeas, partially mash them until only a few large pieces remain. If you are using jackfruit, simply break it apart between your fingers until you reach desired consistency. Add your remaining ingredients and mix them together.
Don't want to make a sandwich? No problem! You can serve this vegan tuna salad on crackers, on a bed of lettuce, or simply straight from the bowl!
More Classic Vegan Salad Recipes
For more inspiration, check out all my vegan salad recipes.
Vegan Tuna Salad Sandwich
Vegan Tuna Salad
- 8 ounces tempeh
- ¼ cup white onions, diced
- ¼ cup celery, diced
- 2 tablespoon dill pickle, diced
- 2 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoon spicy mustard
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- pinch of cayenne
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 slices whole grain bread
- 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
- 8-12 leaves romaine or butter lettuce
- Cut the tempeh in to 4 large pieces. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the tempeh. Boil the tempeh for twenty minutes. Once the tempeh is tender, drain the water and let tempeh cool for 5 minutes.
- While tempeh is boiling, chopped all your vegetables and herbs. Set aside.
- Place cooled tempeh in a medium bowl and smash it with a fork or other mashing utensil until tempeh is mostly broken apart with some larger pieces intact. Add the remaining ingredients and stir it together. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Serve on two slices of bread with freshly sliced tomatoes and lettuce.
thanks fir this post.
I tried the chickpeas vegan tuna salad. It really was delicious!
I would like to have your advice though. I tried to bake the tuna salad in the oven as a pizza topping. The chickpeas became dry and crumbly. Do you have any recommendations?
Wilson Wright says
Who else is in love with tuna? Specially the spicy ones?
This is good
the photo thanks
soundcloud downloader says
Fantastic! I followed the recipe almost exactly, except used a bit more tempeh and mayo. The taste and texture are convincingly close to the real thing. Perfect for those who like tuna salad!
I wanted to have tempeh in a salad and used this recipe as an inspiration. I did not have a fresh lemon, so I used 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar instead. I followed the rest o the recipe. It was delicious!!! I plan to try it with fresh lemon juice next time. I plan to prepare this salad on Father's day for a family reunion. Thank you very much.
Yay! I'm glad you made it work out and enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.
The photos are beautiful and the recipe sounds so smart!
I never used tempeh much, but this is a new idea.
Jessica Lim says
This looks great as always! I saw tempeh at Trader Joe's last week and was wondering what to do with it, so I'll have to give it a try.
And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Thanks very much 🙂