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. rnesel says

    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. says

    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.

    • says

      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 says

            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!

  3. Yvo says

    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!

  4. Bonnie says

    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!!!!

  5. Jill says

    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!

  6. says

    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!

  7. 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. 😉

  8. MariaMac says

    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!

    • says

      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. :)

      • Ale says

        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.

  9. says

    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!

  10. Mo says

    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!

  11. 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).

  12. Diane says

    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!

  13. KimM. says

    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.

  14. says

    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!

  15. 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.

  16. Marilyn says

    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.

  17. Susan says

    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!

  18. Sandi says

    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.

  19. says

    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.

  20. Stephanie says

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

    • says

      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. :)

  21. Kathleen says

    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!

  22. Kris McCormack says

    Another great recipe, Cathy! Thank you! This is one of my husband’s favorite summer dishes. I’ve been making it about once a week. And I love Bonnie’s idea (in the comments above) about using the food processor to pulse the onions and celery…

  23. Kris McCormack says

    I should have added to my 8/18 comment, that since I am not eating nuts these days, I use white beans for the cashews in the dressing, and increased the garlic,mustard, and lemon juice a bit. And, my husband gets avocado on the side. Totally delicious!

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