Tu-no Salad Wraps

Chickpeas—aka garbanzo beans—are a perfect plant-based substitute for canned tuna when it comes to creating a healthier version of tuna salad. For this recipe, the tuna salad is wrapped in warm corn tortillas and collard green leaves.

2 cans chickpeas/garbanzo beans
4 ribs celery, diced
½ red onion, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or other fresh herb of your choice)
¼ cup chopped curly or Italian parsley
1 avocado, small diced (optional)
1 bunch collard greens
1 package corn tortillas

½ cup raw, plain cashews (or other nut) soaked in ½ cup water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons apple cider or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared/wet mustard
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1-2 teaspoons kelp powder (optional)

1. Place the nuts for the dressing in your blender and add the ½ cup water. Set aside and let soak while you are chopping and preparing the other ingredients.

2. Place the drained chickpeas into your food processor bowl and pulse briefly, just until beans are broken up and sticking together slightly (around 6 pulses). Scrape into a large bowl and toss with the celery, onion, basil, parsley and avocado (if using).

3. Blend the dressing ingredients (soaked nuts and water, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, garlic powder and kelp powder, if using) in a high-speed blender until smooth. Add this to the bowl of beans and vegetables, and mix thoroughly. Serve in corn tortillas or wrapped in collard green leaves. (To prepare leaves: after washing and trimming off end stem, place each leaf in boiling water for 2-3 minutes to soften; remove, drain and pat dry before filling and wrapping. Tuck ends in as you roll, then cut in half to resemble sushi rolls.)

Notes: For a salt-free mustard, look for Westbrae Natural brand. / For salt-free canned beans, look for Eden or Whole Foods brands. / Meyer lemons are great to use when they are in season. / Look for corn tortillas that are made with only corn, water and lime as their ingredients. / Adding kelp powder gives the salad a slight fishy flavor. Find kelp powder in the bulk herb section of health food stores.

Preparation: 15 minutes; cooking: just a few minutes for the collard leaves; serves: 6

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  1. Hi … tried the Tu-No Salad last week with my sister who started eating a plant based diet just 10 days ago. Delicious! Simple to make and yummy all by itself, in lettuce wraps, or topping a salad. I plan to make more this week and my sister is taking the recipe home to use for her family.
    Thanks, Cathy!

  2. That’s great! Thanks for the feedback! This is such a satisfying recipe, everybody usually likes it :)

  3. Love this! And it’s SOOO gluten free (except I just have to make sure that the tortilla or wrap is GF). Thanks!

  4. Amazing dish. It’s the only way I can describe it. Made some a few days before 4th of July and my wife raved about it. So I made a double batch for a 4th party along with homemade corn tortillas, which I baked into chips. I had none left when the party was over and had numerous people ask for the recipe.

  5. I’m just curious how you prepared the corn tortillas here. I always have such a hard time with them. They look fried?

    • Hi Gina, I bought those, and heated them briefly on both sides to soften and warm them (in a skillet). Sometimes I put them in the toaster too, and just rotate the tortilla halfway through.

      • Mandy Mauerman says:

        What brand tortilla do you use?

        • Hi Mandy, any brand that is just organic corn, lime, water, a little salt or no salt. :)

          • We found some in the freezer section but used em for something else. We just made these tonight with collards for lunch tomorrow but we just had to try one. I was skeptical but oh my god! These are amazing! I’m on my third week eating plant strong and was getting bummed about plain boring stuff. This recipe just saved me. Literally jumping up and down excited. Thank you so much!

  6. I just made this, and it turned out awesome! I’ve been craving a “chicken” salad type thing lately, and didn’t want to approach that with TVP. Chick peas saved the day, again!

  7. I made this tonight… OMGosh, YUMMY!

  8. I’m usually quite skeptical of any sort of mock meet-type dish, but realized that I love all the ingredients in the tu-no salad, so I figured I’d give it a try! To save some time and effort, I chopped the onion and celery by pulsing it a few times in the food processor and then put it in my bowl before pulsing the chickpeas. Saved lots of time and tears (from the red onion, haha). I passed on the kelp because I didn’t like tuna before going vegan so I didn’t think that the fishy taste sounded appealing at all. I put this on corn tortillas with sliced tomato and spinach for a delicious dinner last night. This is for sure going to be added to my collection of go to recipes, and will come in handy particularly in the summer time when I don’t want to heat up my boiling hot Chicago apartment by using the stove or oven! Cathy, your recipes haven’t let me down yet – love them all!!!!

  9. You made this at our cooking class at True North in October 2012. I couldn’t try it then because I was fasting. So I finally got around to making it and wish hadn’t waited so long. It was absolutely amazing! This will be great even for my non-plant-based friends in the summer, but I won’t be waiting that long to make it again! Thanks, Cathy!

  10. I’ve made this a couple of times now and really enjoy it. Instead of using celery, I use about half an apple, chopped. This is something my husband likes, too. Thanks!

  11. Emma Rasmussen says:

    Thank you so much for your recipes :) this one is now a favorit standard in my kitchen. I made the tortillas with organic wholegrain flour, water and a little salt… Very simple, took a little time to roll and bake them, but they freeze well. ;)

  12. This sounds amazing! Just wondering, would the mixture/dressing keep in the fridge for a few days ok? Just me eating so love meals that last a few days!

    • Hi, I think it might separate a little and then you’d just need to remix it with a fork. Or you can keep some separate from the dressing, and blend them when you’re ready to eat them. Maybe leave any avocado out too until you’re ready to eat it; avocado tends to get really soft and brown over time. :)

      • Just a tip! If you store the cut avocado in an airtight container, it will stay green for days! I have some airtight tupperware I use, sometimes also putting them in a plastic baggie. Guac stores well in old salsa containers.

  13. So, so good! I got this recipe while staying at TrueNorth, although sadly, I missed your cooking demo that day. Anyhow, I’ve had the Tu-no salad both over mixed greens and in an Engine 2 gluten-free wrap, and either way, it’s delicious!

  14. Made this today and it was amazing! Totally hit the spot! I subbed cilantro for the basil (it was all I had). This is definitely going in the weekly lunch rotation!

  15. Rita Nesel says:

    Hi Cathy .. this remains one of my favorites … wondering if you mixed the avocado with the dressing (rather than diced with the chickpeas) if that would provide the flavor without the browning problem? Have you ever tried that? I’m preparing this for a hiking club potluck (after a hike) so can’t do the avocado ahead of time. Hate to leave it out (so yummy).

  16. I didn’t have basil and my avocado was a tad firm, but I was REALLY hungry to try this recipe anyway! It was quite tasty — and I would imagine even better still with a creamier avacado. Because it made so much, 7 wraps, and I don’t think they’ll freeze well, I’ll be taking lunch to 5 co-workers tomorrow!

  17. I just made this for lunch and it was sooooo good! Since it was only for 2 of us I did halve the ingredients and it was perfect for 2 large wraps each. I used Ezekiel wraps layered with leaf lettuce then the Tu-no mix. I had just a bit of shredded carrots left in my fridge so I added that to the Tu-no and it was very colorful. This will be in rotation frequently at my house! Thanks for all your delicious, healthy recipes.

  18. This recipe was great! My boyfriend was very skeptical about this, but I made a few adjustments, and he ended up loving it! I added some chopped sweet gherkins, omitted the onion (Bf not a fan of raw onion), and about 3 oz of extra firm tofu to make the sauce a bit creamier. Thanks so much for sharing this delicious recipe!

  19. Rita Nesel says:

    Hi Cathy… just back to let you know I tried mixing the avocado with the dressing. Both the color and flavor over the next few days were normal – very tasty – had the richness of the avocado without the browning when it’s added separately.

  20. Thank you so much Cathy for this recipe! It was so much like eating a tuna salad (which I used to love), that I almost cried. I used lime juice instead of lemon (didn’t have any), and I ate it on homemade GF bread. I love your website! Thanks for your generosity in sharing all this wonderful recipes.

  21. Did you use all of the dressing on this one batch? I put in about half and it is quite moist. Thought I had avocado – but I don’t – waaaahhhhh! But still quite delicious – thank you, as always!

  22. Cathy, I didn’t think this recipe would work well, but wow…it’s great. My husband asked for a second wrap…that was a first! I thought I had celery but didn’t, so I used mushrooms instead. Thanks. I think I’ll try the apple idea next time too.

  23. Doreen Karp says:

    Great recipe for a sandwich or topping on a salad!!

  24. I have made a number of your recipes and all have been very successful. I almost didn’t try this recipe, as I am not a fan of garbanzo beans. Well, I surprised myself. This was great! I will definitely make it again.

  25. Stephanie says:

    Please tell me what other beans I could use instead of garbanzo beans. Have you ever experimented with a substitution? Thanks.

    • I haven’t, but you might try kidney (red or white) or black. It would work with any bean, but garbanzos are the same color as canned tuna and oddly, have a similar smell (kind of), so that is why they are used. :)

  26. Made and ate this one today. Again, very good!

  27. This is one of our ‘go-to’ recipes and is one of our favorites! We eat it without tortillas just over lettuce or all by itself! We love this! Thanks, Cathy!

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