Chickpea Tuna Salad
Please join me for our latest episode of the hit series Easy, Healthy Lunches You’ll Thank Yourself for Later, Chickpea Tuna Salad.
This easy Chickpea Tuna Salad is a colorful mix of fresh summer vegetables and two staples you can always (and I mean ALWAYS) find in my pantry: canned chickpeas and canned tuna.
Yes, canned tuna. This is not a vegan tuna substitute recipe (if you are looking for something with the texture of tuna salad but that is fish-free, check out this ultra tasty reader favorite: Chickpea Salad Sandwich).
Maybe I spent too much time at the nerd table in middle school with the other kids who shared my misfortune of needing braces and glass at the same time, but I have a deep appreciation for ingredients like canned tuna that are often passed over.
Not only is canned tuna an inexpensive, healthy source of protein, healthy fats, and Omega-3s, but also its flavor is actually quite pleasant when you pair it with the right ingredients to balance it out. Think fresh, bright, creamy, and crunchy.
This Chickpea Tuna Salad is all of the above!
About this Chickpea Tuna Salad Recipe
To give the Chickpea Tuna Salad freshness and crunch, I added lots of crisp veggies like bell peppers and cucumbers. Bold arugula forms the base of the salad and livens things up, while red onion gives the salad just enough edge to keep it interesting.
For the dressing, I used a simple blend of lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. It’s easy and exactly what the Chickpea Tuna Salad needs.
To finish the Chickpea Tuna Salad, you’ll want to add a handful of feta (it’s nice and creamy), along with a shower of parsley for a final burst of freshness. Toss it together and you have a tuna and chickpea salad that can hold its own (and dare I say outtaste) any premade salad you’d find in a grocery store case.
Thanks to protein + fiber-rich chickpeas and protein-rich tuna, this Chickpea Tuna Salad is plenty filling enough to be a whole meal on its own. Like this Moroccan Chickpea Salad and this Mediterranean Chickpea Salad (two of my other favorite easy, healthy chickpea recipes), it’s easy to pack and take to work for lunch too.
The chickpea salad will last several days in the refrigerator. The arugula does get quite wet/soft as it sits, so if that bothers you, you can prep the salad and include everything but the arugula, then add the arugula only to the part you will be enjoying that day.
If your Chickpea Tuna Salad leftovers lose some of their punch (the flavor of the lemon in the dressing tends to fade over time), just wake them back p with a quick squeeze of lemon juice, or make a little extra dressing to serve with the salad leftovers later on.
Chickpea Tuna Salad
For the Chickpea Tuna Salad
- 1/2 small red onion — thinly sliced, about 1/2 cup
- 1 15-ounce can reduced sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes — halved
- 1 large seedless English cucumber — halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices (I leave the peel on)
- 1 red bell pepper — cored and cut into 1/4 inch strips, then cut into halves (or thirds if very long)
- 12 ounces solid pack albacore tuna in water — wild caught if possible
- 3 cups arugula
- 1/4 cup parsley — finely chopped
- 1/4 cup Feta Cheese
For the Dressing
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice — from about 1 large lemon
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic — minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Place the red onion in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad (this preserves its flavor but takes off some of the harshness...and the continual red onion after taste).
To a large mixing bowl, add the chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, and bell pepper. Drain the tuna and flake into the bowl. Add the arugula.
Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. (You can also shake them all together in a mason jar with a tight fitting lid). Drizzle enough over the salad to moisten it, then toss to coat. Sprinkle the feta and parsley over the top, then toss lightly again. Taste and add additional salt, pepper, or dressing as desired. Enjoy!
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. The arugula does wilt as it sits, so if you'd like to preserve its texture, store the arugula separately, then mix it with only the portion of the chickpea/tuna mixture you plan to eat that day. I also like to wake up my leftovers with a little extra dressing or squirt of lemon juice and a pinch of kosher salt.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 (of 4), about 2 cups with all dressing added) — Calories: 360, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Carbohydrates: 26g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 29g
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