If you never thought of making your tuna salad with chickpeas, then I have got you covered with an exceptional recipe that you will find yourself making over and over again. Protein-rich tuna and fiber-rich chickpeas flavored with homemade salad dressing is the perfect quick lunch recipe.
Whether you want to turn it into a Tuna Chickpea Sandwich or keep it light over a bed of greens, there are so many possibilities. If you are a tuna fan, be sure to check out this Tuna Melt Sandwich and Tuna Steak Salad to incorporate more seafood into your life, too.
I like to think of this garbanzo bean tuna salad as a nice mix of pantry staples and fresh ingredients from the grocery store. The list of ingredients has been broken down into the dressing and the salad for ease.
To make the salad dressing, you will need:
- Mayonnaise: I like to use vegan mayo made with avocado oil (affiliate link.) However, feel free to use a brand you like.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Dijon mustard: You can use Dijon mustard, stone ground, or whole grain mustard.
- Lemon juice: As it is in any other salad recipe, freshly squeezed lemon juice provides the best flavor, and this garbanzo tuna salad is no exception.
- Red wine vinegar: A splash of vinegar helps with brightening up the flavors. You can also use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
- Fresh garlic cloves: When making salad dressing, I prefer chopped fresh garlic, but in a pinch, garlic powder would also work.
- Kosher salt + black pepper
To assemble the salad, you will need:
- Chickpeas: I used canned chickpeas as they are convenient. Of course, you can cook your own chickpeas for this recipe. If you used canned beans, make sure to drain and rinse beforehand.
- Canned tuna: When buying tuna, look for sustainably sourced wild-caught tuna in water. This has exceptional flavor, and the tuna will naturally flake when mixing the salad. Keep in mind if you use tuna packed in olive oil, you will have to adjust the quantity of olive oil in the recipe.
- Tomatoes: You can use grape, Roma, or cherry tomatoes.
- Celery stalks
- Green onions: Alternatively, you can also use a thinly sliced small red onion, or Pickled Red Onions would also work.
- Yellow bell pepper: I used yellow peppers, but any color of bell peppers would work in this recipe.
- Cucumber: Persian cucumber has a great crunch and holds up well, but a regular cucumber or English cucumber can also be used.
How to Make Chickpea Tuna Salad?
This tuna garbanzo bean salad recipe is made in a few easy steps. Simply:
- Make the dressing: Whisk mayonnaise, extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl or measuring cup.
- Prepare the salad: Place the chickpeas, tuna, tomatoes, celery, scallions ( or sliced red onion), bell pepper, cucumber, and tomatoes in a large salad bowl.
- Toss: Drizzle over the dressing and gently toss to combine.
- Serve: If you have the time, marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
How to Make Ahead and Store Leftovers
This simple chickpea tuna salad is the perfect lunch salad that you can incorporate into your weekly meal plan. I’d like to make it over the weekend as it stores well. Here’s how I like to do it:
- Make Ahead: Prepare the tuna salad as directed. If it is a part of your weekly meal prep lunches, divide it amongst small single-serve airtight containers and keep them in the fridge until ready to eat. With that being said, I usually do not keep tuna past the 3-day mark to avoid spoilage.
- Storage: Leftover tuna salad with garbanzo beans will keep in an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid for 2-3 days. If you are making this salad using greens, keep in mind that greens such as butter lettuce, and spring mix will wilt quicker than more sturdy greens such as arugula or kale.
What to Serve It With?
Tuna chickpea salad is wonderful all its own, but it can easily be elevated to the next level by serving it in any of the following ways:
- Bread: Serve it with crusty bread, like Olive Bread, or turn it into a crostini platter with toasted French baguette, cheese, and fruit. I also love it with soft pita bread or pita chips for scooping.
- Serve it with Grains: Make it the main dish by serving it with a side dish of cooked Quinoa or Bulgur wheat.
- Make it a side dish with a bowl of soup: Enjoy it throughout the summer months alongside a bowl of Basil Tomato Soup or Cold Cucumber Soup.
- Turn it into a Sandwich: Layer it between a few slices of your favorite bread (I like pita bread or brioche) or stuff it into a pita bread to make Tuna Chickpea Sandwich, along with green leaf lettuce and a tomato slice.
I suggest using sustainably sourced, wild-caught tuna packed in water for the best flavor.
A simple chickpea salad like this one is good for you because it is packed with healthy fats, protein-rich chickpeas and tuna, and fiber-rich vegetables. Not to mention, it is super filling and easy to make.
Other Lunch Salads You Might Also Like:
Need more inspiration for creative lunch salads that are also on the healthier side and packed with protein? Here are a few more ideas:
- Greek Yogurt with Chicken Salad
- Waldorf Salad with Chicken
- Kardashian Chopped Salad
- Quinoa Tabbouleh
- Caprese Pasta Salad with Pesto and Mozzarella
- Cucumber Tomato Salad
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Bacon
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Chickpea Salad with Tuna Recipe
For The Dressing
- ¼ cup mayonnaise or Greek Yogurt
- 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
For The Salad
- 1 can chickpeas 15 ounces – drained and rinsed
- 1 can solid packed Tuna in water 5-ounces – drained
- 1 cup tomatoes – grape or cherry; approximately 5 ounces – halved
- 3 tablespoons chopped celery about 1 stalk
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallions or sliced red onions
- 1 small yellow bell pepper chopped
- 2 Persian cucumbers sliced and quartered
Optional Add Ins:
- 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish or olives- roughly chopped
- 1 cup canned artichokes quartered
- 1 avocado sliced
- 2 cups salad greens such as arugula or spring mix – loosely packed
- Prepare the dressing: In a bowl or large measuring cup, whisk mayonnaise, extra virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. Set aside while preparing the salad.
- Prepare the salad: Place the chickpeas, tuna, tomatoes, celery, scallions, bell pepper, cucumber, and tomatoes.
- Add the dressing and toss to combine.
- Make Ahead: Prepare the recipe as written. If it is a part of your weekly meal prep lunches, divide it amongst small single-serve airtight containers and keep them in the fridge until ready to eat. With that being said, I usually do not keep tuna past the 3-day mark to avoid spoilage.
- Storage: Leftover tuna and chickpea salad will keep in an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid for 2-3 days. If you are making this salad using greens, keep in mind that greens such as butter lettuce, and spring mix will wilt quicker than more sturdy greens such as arugula or kale.