Delicious Vegan ‘Tuna’ Melt Recipe

vegan tuna melt recipe - 2

A vegan ‘tuna’ melt makes for a delicious and easy meal.

Combine a vegan ‘tuna’ mix with vegan cheese for a tasty toastie.

The ingredients below will make enough for two sandwiches. You can make the filling in advance and store covered in the fridge until toasting. It’ll keep for three days.


To make 2 servings

  • 1 tin (400g) chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons vegan mayo
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and finely dicedCould swap for spring onion, celery or sweetcorn
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Bread
  • Vegan cheeseGrated
  • Vegan spread/butter

How to make a vegan tuna melt:

  1. Drain and rinse the tin of chickpeas.
  2. Using a potato masher, fork or food blender, smash up the chickpeas.
  3. Add in chopped red onion. You can also use (or add) chopped spring onion or celery, or sweetcorn.
  4. Add in vegan mayo and combine everything together with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. You could also add a pinch of paprika or cayenne pepper, some lemon juice and/or vinegar.
  5. Keep the vegan ‘tuna’ mix in the fridge, covered, until ready to make the toastie. It’ll keep for three days.
  6. When ready to make the melt, spread slices of bread with vegan butter and layer on the vegan ‘tuna’ mix and top with handfuls of grated vegan cheese.
  7. Melt a little more vegan butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry on both sides until crispy and golden.
  8. Alternatively, cook in a toastie maker or with a George Foreman Grill.
  9. Slice and serve

Make it better:

  • Enhance the ‘tuna’ flavour: To mimic the oceanic flavour of tuna, consider adding a sprinkle of kelp powder or finely chopped nori sheets to the chickpea mix. These ingredients can add a subtle seafood-like taste that enhances the overall flavour profile.
  • Vary your ‘mayo’ options: While vegan mayo is a staple in creating the creamy texture of the ‘tuna’ mix, you can also explore other options like vegan yogurt or a tahini sauce for a different taste and nutritional profile.
  • Add texture with crunch: Including finely chopped celery, cucumber, or pickles can add a delightful crunch and freshness to the mix, balancing the creamy texture of the mashed chickpeas.
  • Experiment with cheese alternatives: There’s a wide range of vegan cheeses available, from cheddar-style to smoked gouda or mozzarella. Experimenting with different types can significantly alter the flavour and experience of your melt.
  • Boost the seasoning: Elevate the mix with additional seasonings such as dill, chives, or a squeeze of lemon juice for brightness. Capers or chopped olives can also add a briny depth that complements the ‘tuna’ flavour.
  • Toastie variations: For a different take, try using different types of bread like ciabatta, sourdough, or rye to change up the texture and flavour profile of your toastie.
  • Grill it up: For an added smoky flavour, consider grilling your sandwich on a barbecue or grill pan. The charred lines will not only look appealing but also add a new flavour dimension.
  • Spice it up: If you enjoy a bit of heat, adding a dash of hot sauce, chili flakes, or sliced jalapeƱos to the mix can give your vegan ‘tuna’ melt an exciting kick.
  • Make it a melt deluxe: Add some sliced tomato, avocado, or even a layer of sauerkraut before adding the cheese for an extra layer of flavour and texture.