Easy Vegan “Tuna” Melt

Friends, the perfect soup companion is here: the vegan “tuna” melt! It’s no secret we have a great love for all kinds of sandwiches, and this plant-based take on a “tuna” sandwich is no exception. It’s comforting, classic, creamy, cheesy, and made with fiber-packed chickpeas! 

Even better? It comes together in 30 minutes with just 9 ingredients you probably already have around! Let’s make lunch!

How to Make a Vegan “Tuna” Melt

This scrumptious sammie starts with fiber-rich chickpeas! They do a surprisingly good job of mimicking the taste of canned tuna and they hold their own with a hearty, nutty flavor that we really love.

First, we mash the chickpeas by hand and mix them with creamy vegan mayo, zesty dijon mustard, diced shallots, dill pickles, and the ever-essential salt and pepper! YUM.

Once mixed, the vegan “tuna” is suuuper creamy! It has plenty of saltiness and brightness to balance the richness of vegan mayo and really keeps you going back for more.

Next, we spread vegan butter on one side of our bread for extra toasty results. And yes, it’s true: Any kind of bread will work here! White, wheat, sourdough, or gluten-free all work beautifully.

Then, you can make our Easy Vegan Cheddar Cheese for extra meltiness, or use your favorite store-bought vegan cheese! 

Lastly, we assemble our vegan tuna melt right in the pan! Bread, cheese, “tuna,” bread, and flip! We like our bread toasty and caramelized, and we make sure to give the cheese time to get niiice and melty. Are you drooling yet?

We hope you LOVE this vegan “tuna” melt! It’s:

& Classic!

It’s delicious on its own but also pairs beautifully alongside soup or salad for a satisfying, protein-packed lunch or dinner!

More Vegan Sandwich Recipes

Vegan “BLT” SandwichCauliflower Banh MiChickpea Sunflower SandwichThe Best Vegan “Pulled Pork” Sandwich!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Easy Vegan “Tuna” Melt

A savory, cheesy Vegan “Tuna” Melt made with smashed chickpeas! The perfect quick lunch companion for soups and salads. Just 30 minutes and 9 ingredients required!Author Minimalist Baker Print SAVE SAVED

5 from 14 votes Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 20 minutes Total Time 30 minutes Servings 4 (Sandwiches)Course Entree, SandwichCuisine Gluten-Free (optional), VeganFreezer Friendly NoDoes it keep? 2-3 Days (filling only)

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US Customary – Metric1 batch Easy Vegan Cheddar Cheese (or sub 4-8 slices store-bought vegan cheese — we like Chao)1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, thoroughly rinsed and drained2 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise (for store-bought, we like Follow Your Heart Vegenaise)1 tsp dijon mustard1/8 tsp each sea salt and black pepper1-2 Tbsp finely chopped shallot (or sub red onion)2 Tbsp finely chopped dill pickles8 slices of bread (any style of bread will work, including gluten-free // we used average-size sandwich bread)4 Tbsp vegan butter (for buttering bread // we like Miyokos)


If you want to use the Easy Vegan Cheddar Cheese and haven’t already made it, start making it now. Then it’s sandwich time!Thoroughly rinse and drain your chickpeas and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel to remove excess liquid. Place the chickpeas in a medium mixing bowl and use a potato masher or fork to mash them until no large pieces of chickpeas remain but before it becomes too smooth or pasty — you want some texture.To the chickpeas, add the vegan mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper, shallot, and pickles, and mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust, adding more mayonnaise for creaminess, dijon for brightness, or black pepper for a kick.Heat a medium cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat.In the meantime, butter one side of each slice of bread. Once the skillet is hot, place a slice of bread butter side down in the pan, then carefully spread a semi-thick layer (3-4 Tbsp) of vegan cheddar cheese on the bread (or place a slice or two of cheese down if using store bought). Top the cheese with a heaping 1/3 cup of the vegan “tuna,” spreading it out evenly with a fork. Place another slice of bread, butter side up, on top of the “tuna.”Cook the sandwich over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, peeking at the underside of the bread to see if it’s getting nicely toasty. Once the bottom slice of bread is golden, flip! Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until both sides are nice and golden brown and crispy and the cheese appears melty and gooey (covering the pan can help melt the cheese; lower the heat as needed if browning too quickly).Repeat with remaining bread, cheese, and “tuna.” Then enjoy! These sandwiches pair beautifully with soup or salads.Best when fresh. Chickpea “tuna” can be made ahead and stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Not freezer friendly.



*Prep time does not include making Easy Vegan Cheddar Cheese.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 4 slices of Chao store-bought vegan cheese slices and Dave’s Killer Bread 21 Whole Grains Bread.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 sandwich Calories: 513 Carbohydrates: 61.4 g Protein: 14.1 g Fat: 24.7 g Saturated Fat: 12.4 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.57 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.32 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 864 mg Potassium: 310 mg Fiber: 13.8 g Sugar: 12.5 g Vitamin A: 30 IU Vitamin C: 0.4 mg Calcium: 70 mg Iron: 3.5 mg

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