High-Protein Tuna Chickpea Salad: Lunch in 5 Minutes

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ELIZABETH

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Tuna Chickpea Salad on toast by elizabeth rider

This healthy High-Protein Tuna Chickpea Salad is my current go-to for a quick high-protein, high-fiber meal prep lunch!

As someone who’s dedicated over a decade to teaching the joys of home cooking, I’ve found that the best meals often come from simple ingredients, a bit of creativity, and an intention to nourish our bodies. While I love Mom’s Classic Tuna Salad, this recipe ups the fiber and turns plain ‘ol tuna salad into a complete meal.

This healthy High-Protein Tuna Chickpea (aka Garbanzo Bean) Salad is a dish that’s as delightful to eat as it is easy to make. It goes to show that nutritious, flavorful meals can be a staple in your kitchen with minimal effort.

(Note: Chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same thing and words can be used interchangeably.)

Tuna Chickpea Salad in bowl elizabeth rider

Let’s Talk Protein Benefits

This Tuna Chickpea Salad is a powerhouse of nutrition, combining the lean protein from albacore tuna with the fiber-rich chickpeas, making it a perfect choice for anyone looking to fuel their body with quality ingredients. Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth, while fiber aids in digestion and keeps you feeling full longer, helping to avoid those mid-afternoon snack cravings.

A typical 5-ounce can of tuna has about 33 grams of protein, while a 15-ounce can of chickpeas contains about 25 grams of protein. All in, this recipe contains approximately 58 grams of protein. Split into 2 servings, that 29 grams of protein per serving! Or, split into 3 servings, that’s roughly 20 grams of protein per serving.

As a health coach, I teach my clients not to obsess over numbers. Aim for 20-30 grams of protein in all of your main meals, but don’t become obsessive about counting things. This recipe is an example of how you can aim for a high protein goal to maintain muscle mass without being obsessive or restrictive. If you want to learn more about this, check out my “30-Minute Nourish to Flourish: High-Protein, High-Fiber Eating for Everyday Health” Workshop for premium newsletter subscribers.

This meal prep recipe is easy to tweak and make your own. You can even leave out the tuna and use 2 cans of chickpeas for a plant-based meal, or skip the chickpeas altogether and use 2 cans of tuna if beans aren’t for you. I like the combo of both, which, in my opinion, creates the perfect high-protein, high-fiber meal prep lunch.

Ingredients

See the printable recipe card below for full details and instructions.

  • 1 can (5 ounces) albacore tuna, drained (142 grams)
  • 1 can (12 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed (340 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons Veganaise or mayo (45 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish (~10 grams)
  • 1/4 cup minced celery (from 1 stalk) (25 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot or red onion (30 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt (1.5 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (0.5 grams)
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill (~3 grams)

How to Make It

YouTube video

You can make this in a food processor like I do in the recipe video (above), or mash it with a fork in a bowl and mix it with these steps:

  1. Flake the Tuna: Open and drain the tuna, then flake it in a medium bowl with a fork. Push it to the side to make room to mash the chickpeas
  2. Mash the Chickpeas: Add the chickpeas next to the tuna and lightly mash them. This adds texture and fiber.
  3. Create the Dressing: Mix Veganaise, relish, salt, and pepper on the side of the bowl. This technique makes for an easy blend.
  4. Combine: Add the celery, red onion, and dill (if using), then mix everything until well combined. Adjust seasoning to taste.

If you use a food processor, be sure to leave some texture.

Tuna Chickpea Salad Ingredients in bowl Elizabeth Rider

Variations and Tips:

  • Plant-based? Omit the tuna and use 2 cans total of chickpeas, and use plant-based mayo.
  • No sweet pickle relish? A dash of honey and chopped pickles can substitute. Or, if you don’t like the slightly sweet flavor, use chopped pickles instead.
  • Can I make this ahead? Absolutely, that’s the point! It keeps well in the fridge for 4 days.
  • Best way to serve? It’s versatile! Enjoy it on toast, with leafy greens, any type of crackers, on celery, or by itself.
Print
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Tuna Chickpea Salad Recipe Elizabeth Rider 5

High-Protein Tuna Chickpea Salad

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
  • Total Time: 5-10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Discover how to make a quick, nutritious, High-Protein Tuna Chickpea Salad with this easy recipe. It’s perfect for a healthy meal prep lunch or dinner!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 can (5 ounces) albacore tuna, drained (142 grams)
  • 1 can (12-15 ounces) chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed (340 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons Veganaise or mayo (45 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish (~10 grams)
  • 1/4 cup minced celery (from 1 stalk) (25 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot or red onion (30 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt (1.5 grams)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (0.5 grams)
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill (~3 grams)

Instructions

Option 1: Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until combined. Maintain some texture; do not over puree.

Option 2: Make it by hand in a medium mixing bowl:

  1. Flake the Tuna: Open and drain the tuna, then flake it in a bowl with a fork. Push it to the side to make room for the chickpeas.
  2. Mash the Chickpeas: Add the chickpeas next to the tuna and lightly mash them. This adds texture and fiber.
  3. Create the Dressing: Mix Veganaise, relish, salt, and pepper on the side of the bowl. This technique makes for an easy blend.
  4. Combine: Add the celery, red onion, and dill (if using), then mix everything until well combined. Adjust seasoning to taste.
YouTube video

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  1. Varnamala says:

    This was delicious and easy to pull together. The flavors blend together well. I’ll be making this all summer!

Hi, I'm Elizabeth

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