Vegan “Tuna” Salad

Oh do I have a treat for you today! It’s not a fresh batch of gluten-free doughnuts, vegan cake, or a fun green smoothie, it’s tuna… vegan style.

Before you go thinking that this recipe may be a bit too granola for you, I urge you to check out the ingredients list. Everything is easy to find and the recipe couldn’t be simpler to prepare.

Vegan tuna salad will change the way you do lunch, I swear!

So, make a plan to soak sunflower seeds this weekend, make it your mission to pack these tuna collard wraps in your lunch next week, and be sure to bring a couple of extra wraps for your colleagues so you can convert them, too.

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5.0 from 3 reviews
Vegan "Tuna" Salad
Recipe type: Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 cups, 8 servings
This vegan tuna salad is made with sunflower seeds and dulse making it high in zinc, enzymes and protein!
Tuna salad
  • 2 cups sunflower kernels, soaked 24 hours
  • ¼ cup pickle juice
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon himalayan rock salt
  • ½ cup yellow or white onion, minced
  • ½ cup celery, minced
  • ¼ cup parsley, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, minced
  • 2 tablespoon dulse flakes *see note
  • 8 collard leaves
  • 4 pickles, sliced
  • 1 carrot, cut matchstick
  1. Drain and rinse sunflower seeds.
  2. Place seeds, pickle juice, lemon juice, and salt in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse 10-15 times until seeds are broken up.
  3. Drop mixture into a bowl and add remaining ingredients.
  4. Mix with a large spoon until incorporated.
  5. Wrap in collard leaves with carrot sticks and sliced pickle. To make collard wrap, lay chard leaves face down so that the stem is visible. Run a small knife along the stem to remove the bulk of it, but not so much that the full leaf separates. Divide the tuna mix and place on each leaf. Roll the leaf tightly [be gentle!] and cut down the middle. 1 large leaf will make 4 wraps. Or, you could use romaine wraps, too.
    If you can’t find dulse flakes, dulse chips could work as well. Just rip apart and grind in your coffee grinder to create flakes. You can find dulse in the ethnic isle at many grocery stores, at Asian food markets and many health food stores.

    What is your favorite healthy lunch recipe?

    In addition to my new-found love of vegan tuna salad, I also enjoy packing chicken patties, pasta salad,  or fresh grain salads in my office lunches. They’re quick, don’t need to be microwaved, and always seem to make the ladies in the office a tad envious!

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    Comments | Leave Your Comment

    1. This looks good. I love the idea of using the collard greens.

      My favorite healthy lunch is a hummus sandwich on multi-grain bread, all made fresh at home, of course.

      • Oh my goodness, I haven’t had a hummus sandwich in ages! Thanks for the reminder :)

    2. I’ve yet to try a vegan tuna salad, but this one sounds really simple! My favourite lunches are big rainbow salads with some sort of grain, a ton of chopped veggies, and usually a protein like tuna or edamame and chickpeas. I add some fresh herbs and a fruity vinaigrette, then let a huge batch sit in the fridge and take some for lunch each day. The flavour gets better as the week goes on!

    3. Haha love the comment – too “granola” for you. Great looking recipe! I really enjoy make sunflower seed pates with ginger and tamari.

      Favourite lunches.. Big salads! Gena from Choosing Raw has a great carrot curry chickpea slaw I’ve been enjoying. Quinoa usually makes it into my lunch too! Along with some avocado.

      • Oh my gosh, Gina’s slaw is amazing, right?! I’ve made it probably at least 10 times!

    4. The funny thing is that I have been working all week on creating various “tuna” salads! I made one with chickpeas and then tried white beans. My plan for the weekend was to make a raw version with sunflower seeds. Looks like you made it super easy for me! :) Love this, thank you!

      • If it weren’t for wanting to take pictures of my wraps, these would have been a hot mess…

    5. This is such a great raw recipe! Wish I had it a few weeks back when I did a 2 week raw cleanse.

      My favorite healthy lunch is 1 1/2 c. beans (any kind), 4-5 c. spring mix or greens, 1 chopped tomato, 2-3 celery sticks chopped, a sprinkling of sunflower seeds, + my favorite dressing. Easy, filling, & nutritious!

    6. I actually never liked tuna because I thought it had a weird fishy taste….I bet I’ll like this a lot more!

      My favorite go-to lunch: baked sweet potatoes with almond butter and cinnamon!

      • Yum! I’ve never added nut butter to my baked sweet potato, I bet it’d be delicious though!

    7. Do you have any alternate suggestions for the pickle juice ingredient? I suppose I could use a couple small sweet gherkins instead, but otherwise I’m just not a pickle fan at all. Looking forward to trying this soon!

      • Sure thing, Michelle! You can use white vinegar, although I’d use about half of what the recipe calls for. Enjoy!

        • I came back to this post because I *believe* it was how I was introduced to your work (via a Google search, bien sûr) – I made this eons ago, probably without the pickle juice or dulse even though I usually have both at home. BOTH me and the hubby REALLY enjoyed it. Just thought it was worth coming back and following up with a resounding “Two thumbs up!” review. :)

    8. Thanks for this amazing recipe. Not to mention how healthy it is. Who says vegan meals ae boring, eh?

      • You wont hear me say vegan is boring, it’s anything but! Have a great weekend, Dee :)

    9. um YUM. this is so creative and I can’t believe sun flower seeds can wind up tasting like tuna! It’s gotta be that pickle juice… interesting addition but sounds like it would work really well in there.

      • The pickle juice makes it, not going to lie. I add pickle juice to just about EVERYTHING.

    10. Can’t wait to make this! It sounds (and looks) amazing. I’m happy to see that it’s veganaise free too! Thanks.

    11. You are so creative! I would have never thought of this. I’m going to have to look for dulse flakes next time I’m at the store.. do they have a distinct taste? Or any benefits? Have a great weekend, Leanne! :)

      • They give the mix a fishy taste, but not the fishy you’re used to. Like ocean… hard to explain. Benefits of seaweed are vast! Probably the best benefit, in my opinion, is it’s ability to regulate your thyroid gland. All of us could use some thyroid love! Have a great weekend :)

    12. yum! this looks delicious! question. what brand of pickles is your go-to brand? so many have high fructose corn syrup or yellow dye in them…

      • Thanks, Lou. I actually make my own pickles. I make enough in the Fall that I haven’t had to worry about them in ages!

    13. Just made this today and it was fabulous! Added a bit more pickle juice and mustard/horseradish sauce for an extra kick…served on whole wheat pita chips. Yum!

      • Great call on the horseradish. I’ll have to try that next time!

    14. Hi, Leanne! Just a question: how do I substitute dulse? In my health store, they sell it only fresh (preserved with salt) and it is quite a big package, way too big for this recipe. So I was wondering how to substitute it. I haven’t the faintest idea since before reading your recipe I did not know what dulse is. Thank you.

      • Hi Giorgia – you could try nori. It wont have the same strong seaweed taste so you may have to add a bit more. Good for your for trying out new ingredients, though, that’s awesome! You can find nori in practically any grocery store. It’s the seaweed wrap used to make sushi.

    15. Love it! I was just going to ask for a substitution for pickle juice, but I just saw you answer that question. And what a great idea to use dulse for a fish flavor! I’ve been making a lot of nut meats, but haven’t tried tuna. Will try it this week! Thank you!!

    16. I tried this out– absolutely love it! Very refreshing, light, and reminiscent of tuna salad…

    17. I just made these and love it!!! 5 stars and so easy to make, just remember to soak your seeds the night before and you are good to go!

      • I’m so happy that you liked the recipe, Jessica! Thanks for reporting back :)

    18. I just tried this recipe and it didn’t quite work for me. The flavor was off – maybe my Dulse flakes were old? The texture was weird too – kind of watery. But I like the idea and am will to try again, perhaps with nori.

      • Hi Christine – I’m sorry that it didn’t work all that well for you. That’s a total bummer. Were they fresh flakes? Or had they been sitting in your pantry for quite some time? Did you soak the seeds and drain?

    19. I just made this so night and I have to say I was blown away! Not only was it easy and simple to follow it actually tasted damn good! I was a bit skeptical at first because I’ve never been a fan of the mock seafood for vegans but this actually was not all that over powering on my taste buds and the smell was bearable. I used to be an avid lover of tuna salad and this is a winner! Will definitely be making this again. Thank you so much for your wonderful and delicious recipe :)

    20. P.s I didn’t have dukes flakes but I had the dehydrated seaweed that you use for miso soup and I added that to the sunflower mix in the processor and it softened up and worked a treat :)

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