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Vegan Tuna Melts stacked on top of each other.

Easy Vegan Tuna Melt Sandwiches

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Sandwiches 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


A healthy twist on a true classic, these Easy Vegan Tuna Melt Sandwiches make a great lunch. Made from plant-based ingredients and takes 15 minutes or less to make!


Units Scale


  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (15-ounce can) (see note 1 for substitutes)
  • 1/3 cup vegan mayo (store bought or my healthy tofu mayo) or tahini
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon dulse flakes, optional (see note 2)


  • Sliced bread
  • Store bought vegan cheese slices or 1/2 batch Melty Vegan Cheddar (see note 3)
  • Vegan mayo or vegan butter for the bread
  • Sliced tomato or other veggies, optional


  1. Mash your chickpeas with the back of a fork. If you find them hard to mash, microwave them for a minute or two to soften them. I mash them so that there are no whole chickpeas but they're not completely puréed. Mash to the consistency you like.
  2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients for the vegan tuna including spices and vegan mayo or tahini.
  3. For the bread, coat one side of each slice with either some of the vegan mayo or some vegan butter or margarine.
  4. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Alternatively you can use a panini press/griddler and that also works well for this recipe.
  5. Place one slice of bread coated side down. Now place the cheese (note that if you are using store bought cheese, the closer it is to the heat source, the more likely it is to melt. One trick is to add an ice cube or two into the pan next to the sandwich, then add the pan's lid on top. This helps the cheese melt better. If you're using my homemade cheese, it doesn't matter what order you do this in) on the bread.
  6. Add a generous amount of vegan tuna on top, flattening it gently. Add on any other sandwich elements like thinly sliced tomato, and finally top it with the other slice of bread, coated side facing up (facing away from the sandwich).
  7. I like to use a very thin nonstick spatula for this next step: gently compress the sandwich, then you can quickly but gently slide the spatula underneath the sandwich and then carefully using the other hand flip the sandwich over to cook the other side (like a grilled cheese). Don't stress if it falls apart a little. Use tongs to put it back together or wait and do that once the bottom of the sandwich is cooked. Repeat with any other sandwiches you wish to make.
  8. Serve your vegan tuna melt immediately and enjoy.
  9. For storing, I'd store the vegan tuna separately in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Make your vegan tuna melt sandwiches immediately before consuming.


  • Note 1: You could use white beans but they would have a somewhat different texture (softer). Other options include crumbed firm tofu, TVP, young green jackfruit (canned), or a prepared vegan meat substitute (like vegan chicken that you purchase from the store, then add the same seasonings as in the recipe).
  • Note 2: Dulse flakes give our vegan tuna melt an actual tuna flavor. You can omit them or you can use kelp granules, torn up nori sheets, capers (I'd mash them up), or white miso paste. You could also use a teaspoon of ume plum vinegar to add a bit of seafood flavor.
  • Note 3: If you can't find a vegan cheese you like at the store, I suggest you try one of my homemade ones. You can alter the flavor to your liking, and they're already melted so you don't need to fuss. I'd recommend either my melty vegan cheddar or my melty vegan mozzarella. They each only take around 5 minutes to make!
  • Note 4: Nutrition information does not include bread.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Stovetop, Panini Press
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Sugar-Free, Soy-Free, Lunch, Chickpea Tuna, Plant-based, Chickpea Tuna Melt