No-Tuna Salad Sandwich

No-Tuna Salad Sandwich

This isn’t just any sandwich.

This is a serious sandwich (can you tell by the way I’ve door-stopped the bread?)

It’s a vegan No-Tuna Salad Sandwich; a thing to be celebrated.

We get pretty excited about sandwiches in our household, because they usually mean one thing: adventure.

Stay with me on this one…

No-Tuna Salad Sandwich

Usually if I’m making a sandwich, it’s because we have something exciting planned. Like a weekend walk across the urban marshes to say hello to the Walthamstow cows. Or a trip away to the coast with a bag stuffed full of delicious treats and a dodgy cliff path to navigate or a sand dune to scale.

And because I very rarely eat a sandwich (my weekday lunches tend to be constructed from leftovers like this Aubergine Muhammara Traybake smothered with tahini), it’s something I look forward to experimenting with when I do make one.

This particular recipe was inspired by a fantastically tasty sandwich I enjoyed eating in the International Rose Test Garden in Portland, having spent hours walking every known rain-misted trail of the Hoyt Arboretum – one of my favourite places on Earth. In fact, this photo of me on twitter was taken that day, just after stopping to chat to a local man who had the most enormous, thirsty dog (Foggy), and whose wife unbelievably grew up in our small, unknown corner of London. Madness.

No-Tuna Salad Sandwich


It was the first time I’d tried a vegan tuna sandwich, and I was impressed. I meant to take a photo of the ingredients on the wrapper, but between the rain, the mess of sauce all over my hands (and face) and the need to find a tree to shelter beneath, it just didn’t happen. So it took me a while to get around to testing my own recipe.

After a few tries with different ingredients I got to something that I think, from memory, isn’t too far off the forest-of-dreams version. In fact, if you close your eyes while you’re eating it, you really can kid yourself it’s tuna salad! I think it’s the fennel seeds, but I’m not sure.

What I am sure of though is that it’s pretty great. This No-Tuna Salad Sandwich is:

  • delicious;
  • full of different textures – it’s crunchy, saucy, fresh and a little salty;
  • made from a few, simple whole-food ingredients;
  • ready in 10 MINUTES;
  • easy to make; and
  • super filling – a little goes a long way!

No-Tuna Salad Sandwich

I made my own mayonnaise with blended cashews, some water, lemon, salt and apple cider vinegar, and it’s really tasty! It also makes the sandwich incredibly filling along with the chickpeas, so when I say a little goes a long way, I really mean it. But if you’re really pushed for time, don’t have a food processor, or would rather just scoop some vegan mayo from a jar, go ahead. I think it’ll taste just as lovely.

And if you don’t love sandwiches? This No-Tuna Salad is also great with:

  • a big bowl of fresh spinach and pickles;
  • jacket potatoes;
  • toast (add cheese!); and
  • the contents of your leftovers lunchbox.

So however you’re enjoying the long weekend (or any weekend!), remember – sandwiches should always be exciting.

5.0 from 1 reviews
No-Tuna Salad Sandwich
Preparation time
Total time
Being vegan is no reason not to enjoy a good sandwich. And this No-Tuna Salad Sandwich is made from simple, whole-food ingredients and ready in 10!
Recipe type: Main, Salad
Cuisine: 30 minutes or less, Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves: 4
  • No-Tuna Filling
  • 1 tin of chickpeas (or 100g of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight & boiled)
  • 4 spring onions (scallions)
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp (heaped) fennel seeds
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Mayonnaise
  • 80g cashews*
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp good salt
  • Other
  • Thick slices of your favourite bread
  • Fresh spinach
  • Pickles
  • Tomatoes
  1. Put the chickpeas in a bowl and lightly mash them using a fork or potato masher.
  2. Finely chop the spring onions and celery and add these to the chickpeas.
  3. Add in the lemon juice, fennel seeds, salt and pepper.
  4. To make the mayonnaise, put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend on high speed until combined (add more water if desired).
  5. Stir the mayonnaise into the chickpea mixture.
  6. Pile onto bread with your favourite salad ingredients - we love spinach, tomatoes and pickles!
*If you don't have a powerful food processor, soak the cashews in water overnight (or for at least 30 minutes to soften them up). Alternatively, use ready-made vegan mayo.




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  1. This is amazing and my new lunch obsession! I had some cashews leftover so I soaked them and chopped them and added them to the mix, this worked well too. I’ve found myself putting fennel seeds in just about everything too, they really do something to a tomato sauce.
    Thanks for the fantastic recipes. I was going through a bit of a boring and fairly unhealthy food time but have got inspired again. No more frozen vegetable burgers or peanut sandwiches for dinner!