Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Stuffed Avocados
Chickpea ‘Tuna’ Stuffed Avocados- finely chopped chickpeas, toasted sunflower seeds and crunchy bell pepper make for a delicious vegetarian version of tuna salad. Stuffed inside of a creamy avocado, it’s a quick and easy meal that’s healthy and satisfying! (vegan, gluten-free & grain-free)
The first time I tried chickpea tuna (or mock tuna) was at a vegan place called Nature’s Express in Berkeley. Brandon and I were sitting at a table outside eating our sandwiches and enjoying the beautiful weather when we heard a couple of girls walk out of the restaurant laughing about how ridiculous mock tuna salad sounded.
Being a vegetarian for almost ten years has made me forget how foreign some plant-based foods sound to the average omnivore. At this point I’m so used to this lifestyle that it feels like it’s just the norm. But when I hear things like that, especially in a hippie-friendly city like Berkeley, it makes me realize that it’s not as common as I thought.
Moments like that make me feel even more fortunate to have this space to connect with you, my precious veggie-loving readers. I’m grateful that so many of you are open-minded enough to try things that might sound a little weird to most people. Because you don’t know what you could be missing out on unless you give it a chance, right?
Sadly the vegan restaurant is now closed but their chickpea tuna melt left an everlasting impression on me. This recipe is a similar spin on their version but instead I served it stuffed inside of an avocado to spare a few carbs.
The base is made from finely chopped chickpeas and toasted sunflower seeds which together give it a pleasant, slightly chewy texture. Diced red bell pepper and green onion give it a little crunch. Then a combination of dairy-free mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, garlic powder and lemon juice offer a creamy, tangy flavor that is hard to resist.
I love serving it stuffed inside of an avocado but if you find that to be too cumbersome you can always serve it in a bowl (or on a sandwich) with diced (or sliced) avocado on top.
Chickpea 'Tuna' Stuffed Avocados
Yield: 6 avocado halves
Prep Time: 20
Cook Time: 5
Total Time: 25
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 small red bell pepper, cored and diced
- 3 green onions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch salt & pepper
- 3 ripe avocados
In a large pan, add the sunflower seeds and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, until light golden brown. Shake the pan intermittently as they’re cooking to allow them to toast evenly on each side. Set aside to cool.
Next add the drained garbanzo beans and sunflower seeds to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. See picture in post as an example.
Scoop the chickpea mixture from the processor to a medium size bowl then add the diced bell pepper and green onion. Stir-in 2 tablespoons non-dairy mayo, 1 teaspoon mustard, juice of 1 lemon, garlic powder and a pinch of salt & pepper. Mix until well-combined. Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Stuff each side with the chickpea mixture, serve and enjoy!
If you want to prepare them ahead of time, store the chickpea mixture sealed in a airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Wait to cut ad stuff the avocado until ready to serve. Alternatively, if you find it too difficult to eat out of the avocados, you can dice the avocado and serve it with the chickpea ‘tuna’ in a bowl.
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #makingthymeforhealth. I love hearing your feedback!
It is so easy to forget what it’s like to live a processed food life and how different that is from eating healthy. These are lovely and honestly I never heard of a mock tuna, but I know I would love them. Huge chickpea fan here!
Yay for chickpeas! :)
Even though I eat tuna on occasion, I would totally eat this in place of real tuna salad because I absolutely love chickpeas! This is such a great idea, especially in the avocado, and those girls have no idea what they’re missing. l0l I’m totally trying this out. :)
They really don’t! Even if you like tuna, it’s still a nice way to mix things up every now and then. Thanks Marcie! :)
This looks like exactly what I need right now. I overindulged a little too much over the long weekend and I need some healthy nourishment! And the protein in this will keep me way more satisfied than a green juice or salad. This will be perfect for my work lunches this week – thank you Sarah!! :)
I’m in the same boat, Melissa! I ate a s’mores the size of my head yesterday and while it was most definitely worth it, I could use some more of these stuffed avocados right about now. ;)
I totally feel ya on this. Just this weekend I was spending the weekend at my Aunt and Uncle’s house and they thought that the avocado ice cream recipe I recently posted sounded so strange. Then I made it for everyone and they liked it. Love it when that happens! :)
This mock tuna salad looks delicious. I love how you served it in a avocado too!
I would have happily eaten your avocado ice cream! It looked so good!! :)
Some of the best “tuna” salad I’ve had has been mock vegan tuna salad, haha! There’s a natural food store (New Moon) in Truckee that makes “tuna” salad using nuts and seeds and it’s soooo good! I’ll definitely have to try your chickpea version – with an avocado boat, of course!
Aw man, just another reason for me to go back to Truckee! Love that place.
I’ve actually never heard of mock tuna before, but I’d take it over real tuna in a heartbeat. And I know exactly what you mean about being so grateful to have the online healthy foodie community! Sometimes I forget that not everyone is as open to or familiar with the healthier substitutions, but hopefully they’ll come around because they don’t know what they’re missing.
This looks awesome! I love all of your recipe ideas. Even though I’m not a vegetarian, I love my veggies and always appreciate a tasty, meat-free dish. I’ll frequently goes days without eating meat on accident, but for some people ( Riley ) it’s unthinkable not to have meat.
These are almost too pretty to eat!!! ALMOST ;)
My word, this is so fast and easy to whip up! I can see how versatile this is and predict this will be a most beloved recipe here on your blog! Take on a picnic, weekday lunch, whip it up when you need a quick dinner… SO good, Sarah! And I get it.. about being vegetarian. When I walk by the meat department, it seems like a very foreign area and one that I have no interest in visiting. The lifestyle is still a minority, yet it is growing! :D Thank you for this deliciousness!!
This recipe looks awesome! Thinking of making this at the weekend ready for the week ahead! :)
You would think with the amount that I eat avocados I would have stuffed them before! But nope, never! It’s madness! Must try these! They sound awesome!
I love how you used sunflower seeds and stuffed the chickpea tuna into avocado halves. I love avocado & have been using it in meals pretty much every day!
And yes, isn’t it funny how things that are normal for us veggie heads are completely foreign to others? I was talking to a few people from the midwest over the holiday weekend who said that they had never had an avocado before moving to California, and that their relatives think the food here is “weird” because it’s not typical unhealthy southern crap. I was all, “Say what?!! They’d never heard of kale before visiting you here?” Haha.
I love clean eating recipes like these- this looks delicious and such a protein packed swap for vegetarians :)
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I’ll be making this soon. I’ve been making a mock tuna for sandwiches for years. I include a crumbled 1/2 sheet of nori to the mix and occasionally, a little kelp powder.
I love that idea! Gives it a nice boost of healthy fats too!
Love this recipe! Whipped it up in no time. Even my meat-eating partner couldn’t get enough of it. ;)
I can’t tell you how happy that makes me! Thanks Alissa! :)
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Another great recipe!!! This was so good. Had it over avocado then salad another day. Great meal prep option since it keeps a few days. Definitely adding into my rotation!
For several years I have been making almost the same recipe. The difference is that I add chopped finely nori. About 1 to 2 tablespoons full is all that would be needed for this recipe. Gives it the “fish” flavour that some people may like.
Very good. I’m a picky eater who sux at cooking and I was able to succeed.
Well that’s good to hear, lol! Thanks for the review!
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I loved it thank you! Added red chili flakes for picante
I love this recipe! It’s a great main dish for vegan meal prep. I usually make the filling and either have it on a sandwich or over a bed of crisp romaine lettuce with some avocado on top. I can’t believe how close to a tuna salad this tastes to me. I also add some diced celery and a little Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning. The toasted sunflower seeds do so much for this dish.
This recipe gives me a great way to use up the vegan mayo I make (with the aquafaba from my chickpeas!)