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Carrot Chickpea Tuna Melt

This Carrot Chickpea Tuna Melt is tasty, comforting and gets extra bonus points for being oh-so-easy to make. Mashed chickpeas and shredded carrots are mixed with creamy vegan mayo, ume plum vinegar for tang, and briny dulse seaweed. Enjoy the carrot chickpea tuna as a salad, or use it to make an amazing vegan melt! It’s so easy to make––and devour.

Carrot Chickpea Tuna Salad

Chickpeas are the best!

What can’t you do with chickpeas? This hearty bean is such a great vegan alternative to tuna!

Also called garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, plant-based protein, and fiber and offer a variety of significant health benefits such as:

  • Weight management
  • Digestion
  • Reducing your risk of disease

Let’s talk ingredients

You’ll be familiar with most of the ingredients in this recipe, but there are two very special (yet easy to find) ingredients that may be new to you: ume plum vinegar and dulse seaweed. More on those below.

Spicy and Sweet, Ume Vinegar

Ume plum vinegar is a briny and tart vinegar made in Japan from umeboshi plums and shiso leaves. It’s super salty, yet with fruity undertones. It’s the absolute best vinegar for any kind of vegan or chickpea tuna salad because of its briny flavor.

Ume Plum Vinegar is my favorite vinegar. In addition to this carrot chickpea tuna, it can be used in sauces, salad dressings, soups, and as a general replacement for salt. Look for it at your local health food store, or online ($4.40).

Sprinkle of Dulse Seaweed Flakes

When you want a vegan recipe to taste like “seafood”, add dulse seaweed! This super briny sea vegetable tastes just like the ocean. It adds depth, and even a slight smokiness to your recipes.

Dulse is a great source of iodine, a trace mineral that is needed for healthy thyroid function. Iodine is quite difficult to get with a vegan diet––unless you consume iodized salt, which I recommend. Seaweed is a great wholesome source of this important nutrient.

Be sure to buy dulse flakes for this recipe, and other on my blog. However, you can skip dulse in this dish, and it will still be delicious. Look for dulse at your local health food store or online ($6.93).

Carrot Chickpea Tuna Melt

Make it Melt

I created this recipe for a collaboration with Food 52, but before then, I had never used my vegan tuna salad for a vegan melt. I had always eaten it as a sort of chickpea salad. And to be honest, I had never even had a tuna melt! But now I am a super fan! This vegan tuna melt is one of my new favorite healthy-ish comfort foods.

I say healthy-ish because processed vegan mayo and vegan cheese aren’t the most wholesome ingredients, but who cares. This thing is delicious!

To make an amazing vegan tuna melt:

  • Use really good sourdough bread. The amazing flavor will complement the carrot chickpea tuna so well. Gluten-free sourdough bread works too.
  • Choose a sliced vegan cheese rather than shreds. I love Field Roast’s Chao Cheese slices and Follow Your Heart’s slices. Any variety will do. When it melts it’s like an ooey, gooey, stretchy, cheesy sauce in every bite.
  • Add some veggies. Now that I’m a vegan tuna melt connoisseur, I like mine with a slice of tomato, and always a sprinkle of fresh dill. It is also delicious with a few slices of onion, or a little avocado.
  • Butter your bread. For the best result, butter each slice of bread, or use a drizzle of olive oil before assembling and toasting the sandwich.

That’s a wrap

Before I give you the recipe, here are a few more ways to enjoy this carrot chickpea tuna salad:

  • Healthy wrap: Fill the wrap with the chickpea salad, and loads of vegetables like peppers, cucumber, red onion, and lettuce.
  • In a salad: Make any salad an entree with a scoop of this vegan tuna. It is high in fiber and protein, and the texture is delicious with raw greens and lettuce.
  • Lettuce wraps or cups: Make pretty appetizers or party hor d’oeuvres by filling lettuce leaves.
  • Serve on toast with avocado for a quick and easy snack or light lunch.

More Chickpea Recipes

Carrot Chickpea Tuna Melt
4.38 from 8 votes

Carrot Chickpea Tuna Melts

Comforting, full of flavor, and easy to make. These Vegan Carrot Chickpea Tuna Melts are the perfect healthy-ish lunch or dinner treat.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 food processor optional


  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (by hand or food processor)
  • 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup vegan mayo
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp ume plum vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 2 tsp dulse seaweed flakes
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill, minced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Vegan butter or olive oil, for toasting the bread
  • 8 slices sourdough bread
  • 4 to 8 slices of your favorite vegan cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Place the chickpeas in a bowl and mash with a fork.
  • Stir in the carrots, vegan mayo, mustard, ume plum vinegar, celery seeds, and dulse seaweed flakes. Season with more ume plum vinegar and salt, to taste.

Food Processor Instructions

  • Shred the carrots in the food processor using the fine shredding attachment. Replace the attachment with the regular blade, and pulse to mince the pieces smaller.
  • Add the chickpeas, vegan mayo, mustard, ume plum vinegar, celery seeds, dulse, and dill to the processor and pulse until the chickpeas are chopped but still chunky. The texture should resemble tuna salad.
  • Season with more ume plum vinegar and salt to taste.

No Equipment Method

  • Place the chickpeas in a bowl and mash with a fork.
  • Stir in the carrots, vegan mayo, mustard, ume plum vinegar, celery seeds, and dulse seaweed flakes. Season with more ume plum vinegar and salt, to taste.

Assemble the Melt

  • Butter the slices of sourdough bread, then top one slice with a slice of vegan cheese and a scoop of the chickpea and carrot mixture. Top off the sandwich with the other slice of bread, then bake on a parchment-lined sheet pan for about 10 minutes, or until the bread is toasty and the cheese is starting to melt. Serve warm.
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Jenne

I’m a Georgia Peach living in Los Angeles (by way of NYC), with an insatiable love of sweet potatoes, travel, animals, and cooking. On Sweet Potato Soul you’ll discover hundreds of delicious and easy-to-make vegan recipes.

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  1. Love this recipe! I’ve tried several variations of this recipe from other blogs, but I never thought of adding shredded carrots! It is now my go-to chickpea sandwich filling.

  2. One I Never imagined I would become vegan, then I did. I never thought about a chickpea until your Amazing cookbook. Then, I made this sandwich the other day and I must say, this was by far the best melt I’ve ever had. I’ve gone back to this recipe for lunch more than once. My daughter (8) and I love making various dishes from your book. Two of her favorites; your cheddar-chive biscuits, and lentil meatballs. She is adamant that she is not vegan. She has no idea just how vegan she is. Thank you for sharing your gift, it’s changing my Life