This refreshing and flavorful Vegan Ceviche is a delicious but fishless version of a traditional Peruvian dish. It makes a great appetizer or meal, especially for a gathering, when served with tortilla chips or in lettuce cups.
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Hey Internet, I’d heard this buzz a while ago about ceviche, back in the omni world I used to live in, before it was “I’m gonna veganize everything” when I learned to cook. I always loved fish and seafood, though I must admit I have never tried authentic ceviche.
Traditional Peruvian ceviche is a seafood dish made from raw fish that gets cured in lime or lemon juice, and is seasoned with peppers, and commonly served in a slaw or salsa type application with fresh vegetables.
There have been many different takes on ceviche, but from what I gather, there’s usually the main component (fish, or hearts of palm in our case) with some kind of onions, peppers, tomatoes, sometimes avocado, and commonly a sweet fruit to balance the flavor palate.
So for my vegan ceviche recipe, we’re going to use all of those things plus a few others to give it a truly delicious flavor like mango for sweetness, avocado for creaminess, cucumber for freshness, and cilantro for a pungent flavor (leave out if you don’t like it).
This dish is a fantastic appetizer, side dish, or even a meal when paired with some great tortilla chips (I love these Late July Jalapeno Lime chips or it’s also great in little lettuce cups, on crackers, in tortillas or taco shells… or with a spoon!
I know, you’re thinking that hearts of palm aren't fish, so how’s it gonna taste like it?
Well, hearts of palm already has an oddly seafood-ish undertone in its flavors, so if you complement it by adding a pinch of salt, some lime or lemon juice, and a pinch of dulse flakes (which are a type of seaweed, but I’ll get into those later), you’re really going to have an amazing seafood-like flavor.
I did something similar in my vegan lobster rolls recipe and vegan fish tacos recipe, both of which are made with hearts of palm. I use similar flavors in a few chickpea dishes as well, like my vegan tuna melts and my vegan tuna casserole.
Alright, enough yapping. Let’s talk about what’s in this thing.
What You’ll Need
- Hearts of Palm: These are usually found canned or jarred in the canned vegetables or pickles aisle of grocery stores, or you can buy hearts of palm online. If you don’t want to use them for whatever reason, you can substitute chickpeas.
- Veggies of choice: I used red onion, cucumber (I used two medium Persian cucumbers, but you can either use a thin skinned cucumber (like a seedless or English cucumber) or peel a regular one as the thick skins can be too tough.), orange bell pepper, cherry or grape tomatoes (I find large tomatoes too liquidy, and store-bought ones often don’t have much flavor), avocados (optional, but they add a nice creaminess) and jalapeno. Feel free to use spicier peppers or omit, but I loved the flavor of jalapenos in my ceviche. And use whatever veg you like.
- Mango: A touch of sweetness is wonderful in this. It really balances out all the flavors. Pineapples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, apricots, etc. would all also work in place of mango.
- Lime juice: Lemon juice will also work, but lime is particularly nice here.
- Sea salt: Use the salt of your choice, and use less if needed. We like pink Himalayan salt because of the flavor but also because it’s not as salty as regular salt, ya know?
- Cilantro: It’s optional but it adds a LOT of awesome flavor here. If you or anyone you’re serving this too doesn’t like cilantro, sub another herb like parsley or dill, or just leave it out. Mr. Zardyplants (my husband) does not like cilantro, so I usually just add it to my portion.
- Dulse flakes: Again, optional, but if you’d like there to be a slight seafood flavor as is traditional for ceviche, I highly recommend dulse flakes. You could alternatively use kelp flakes.
How to Make Vegan Ceviche
This is just one of those recipes that is so easy I feel ridiculous writing instructions for it. However, I have a few tips on how to make it last depending on when you plan to serve it, etc.
- Drain the hearts of palm and cut them in half lengthwise and then into ¼-inch thick half moons. If you bought salad cut, you can just cut them into smaller chunks. Add to a large bowl.
- Cut up the rest of the elements of your salad and add to the bowl. If you are adding avocado, I do recommend adding it right before serving.
- Into a small bowl or measuring cup, squeeze the lime juice and add the salt and dulse flakes (if using). Stir well and add it to the bowl of hearts of palm and everything else. Stir well.
- Add chopped cilantro if you’d like. You can also just put it in a separate bowl and let everyone serve themselves, so if someone’s not a cilantro lover they can still eat the dish.
- Serve with tortilla chips or in lettuce leaves/boats and enjoy!
- I recommend serving this immediately for the freshest veggies. If you are not serving it right away, store the dressing separately, and toss right before serving. If the avocado is mixed in and you’re storing leftovers, place all the leftovers in a container and squeeze a little extra lime juice over the top, it will help prevent the avocado from browning. Refrigerate 1-3 days in an airtight container.
More Vegan Recipes Perfect for a BBQ or Gathering
Vegans love cookouts just like omnis do, but it can be difficult for a vegan to show up to an omni gathering with nothing to eat. This vegan ceviche is perfect for vegans and non-vegans alike.
Want to do an all-vegan BBQ or cookout? Try some of these recipes:
- Vegan Sausage or Vegan Pigs in a Blanket
- Vegan Lobster Rolls
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad with Lemon Miso Tahini
- Vegan Philly Cheesesteak
- Vegan Ranch Pasta Salad
- Sweet Potato Hummus Salad, part of my free e-cookbook you can get by signing up for my weekly newsletter
Oh and a few desserts?
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. Mr. Zardyplants loves it too. It’s a great summer recipe and doesn’t heat up your kitchen.
This vegan ceviche is:
- And perfect for a quick and easy lunch or dinner, but impressive enough to serve guests!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!