Enjoy this 10 Minute Chickpea Tuna Salad for a wholesome, make-ahead lunch or satisfying snack. Easy to make and filled with protein-rich ingredients, this tuna and chickpea salad will bring freshness and variety to your healthy meal routine.
Why You'll Love this Chickpea Tuna Salad
Meet my new go-to lunch! This simple salad leans on pantry staples such as chickpeas and canned tuna for a speedy weekday meal. Chickpeas are also super affordable, high in protein and fiber, and an ideal choice for meal prep lunches because of how long they keep.
The pantry ingredients are tied together with a light, lemony dressing and fresh herbs for brightness and crave-worthy flavor. I love adding chopped red onion and dill, however the add-ins are super versatile. You can also add red bell pepper, chives, and/or celery for crunch.
Thanks to its high-protein ingredients, this salad is filling enough to stand on its own for a lunch you’ll look forward to all morning. And just like my Fiesta Mango Quinoa Salad, it lasts for 3 days refrigerated, meaning you prep it today, and enjoy leftovers on repeat.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:
- Chickpeas: Rich in protein and fiber, plus super affordable, chickpeas are a star in this salad. You can choose to peel off the loose "skin" surrounding the chickpeas, if desired, however I don't mind leaving them on.
- Canned Tuna: When purchasing canned tuna, look for the words “pole-and-line caught” on the label for the more sustainably-caught fish. My personal favorite is Wild Planet brand, which you can find at most well-stocked supermarkets. You can either use skipjack or albacore here–just make sure it’s packed in water and not oil.
- Mayo: I use avocado oil-based mayo, such as Chosen Foods brand. Alternatively, you can use plain, full-fat Greek yogurt.
- Mustard: I spoonful of Dijon mustard adds zesty bite to the salad. You can also use a whole-grain mustard, or any other variety you have on hand.
- Herbs: I love using chopped fresh dill for light notes of anise. Other options for this salad are parsley, tarragon, or chives.
- Onion: Red onion adds zippy bite and crunch to the salad. I also love throwing in some chopped red bell pepper and/or celery for extra crunch.
- Lemon: A one-two punch of lemon zest and juice adds bright, fresh flavor.
Step 1: Prepare Dressing
Combine mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl; whisk to combine.
Step 2: Combine Tuna, Chickpeas, and Dressing
Drain and rinse chickpeas, and dry with a clean kitchen towel. If desired, discard loose skins, and transfer chickpeas to a medium bowl. Add tuna, dressing, celery, onion, capers (or olives), and fresh dill; stir to combine.
How to Serve Chickpea Tuna Salad:
- Right out of the Bowl: This salad is plenty filling on its own, or served with whole-grain crackers or pita chips.
- Chickpea Salad with Avocado: Add chunks of fresh avocado and halved cherry tomatoes for additional servings of healthy fats and pops of color.
- Chickpea Salad Sandwich: Stuff tuna and chickpea salad inside a halved pita or whole-grain roll for a chickpea salad sandwich.
- With Fresh Greens: Served over a bowl of fresh spinach, arugula, or romaine and drizzle with your favorite dressing for a satiating salad.
- Chickpea Salad Wrap: Tuck salad into a flour tortilla, fill with greens and mashed avocado, roll up, and enjoy!
What Can I Substitute for Mayo in Tuna?
I typically use an avocado oil based mayo in tuna and chickpea salad, such as Chosen Foods brand. However, if you're not a mayo fan, here are a few alternatives.
- Plain, Full-Fat Greek Yogurt: Ultra-creamy and delightfully tangy, Greek yogurt is arguably the best mayo substitute.
- Mashed Avocado: A newly popular alternative, avocado has a mild flavor and creamy consistency when mashed.
- Hummus: A spoonful of plan or garlic hummus is also a great option!
- Pesto: For a jolt of herbaceous flavor, add a scoop of classic pesto or sun-dried tomato pesto.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips:
- To Make Ahead: Add everything except the tuna to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate up to 2 days ahead.
- To Store: Store leftover salad in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
More Healthy Salad Recipes to Try:
Honey-Roasted Chickpea and Avocado Salad
Quinoa Southwest Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing
Easy Lemon Artichoke Orzo Salad
Thai Butternut Quinoa Salad
If you give this recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.
10 Minute Chickpea Tuna Salad
- Mixing bowls
- 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt and black pepper
- A few dashes of hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Cholula) optional
- 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas
- 1 (5-oz.) can tuna (packed in water), drained
- 3 Tbsp. finely chopped celery
- 2 Tbsp. minced red onion
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 Tbsp. roughly chopped capers, green olives, or relish
- Serve over arugula with a drizzle of olive oil, or spread on whole-grain bread for a sandwich, or simply enjoy with whole-grain crackers or pita chips.
- Combine mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and hot sauce (if using) in a small bowl; whisk to combine.
- Drain and rinse chickpeas, and dry with a clean kitchen towel. If desired, peel and discard loose skins, and transfer chickpeas to a medium bowl. (I like to mash some of the chickpeas with a fork to help the salad better stick together, however this is optional.)Add tuna, celery, onion, capers (or olives), fresh dill, and dressing; stir to combine. Serve in a sandwich or wrap, over a bed of arugula, or with crackers.
Absolutely love this salad! Great to bring to work. The tip below about the gherkins sounds great and I think a boiled egg would also be nice in it but the salad in itself is already delicious!
Hi Aisling - I'm so glad you enjoy this one! Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a review!
This is fantastic! I've made other chickpea tuna salads but this is by far the best.
I made a few substitutions based on what I had on hand... subbed red wine vinegar for the lemon juice, skipped the celery, and subbed a chopped gherkin for the capers. I mashed about half the chickpeas and highly recommend doing so. Thanks for such a great recipe!
Hi Kimberly - I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! Thank you for leaving a review!
This was delicious, simple & easy to make! I added a little crumbled feta into the mix and used kalamata olives instead of capers. Served over arugula with a drizzle of EVOO and extra salt and pepper. Thanks!