Tuna melt is a super-easy classic sandwich that’s so easy to veganize. I like to use baked tofu for vegan tuna melt sandwiches (aka “tofuna”), but you can use plant-based tuna alternatives if you prefer.
Basically all you need to do is mash (or flake) your protein of choice, slather with vegan mayo and a few extra embellishments. Top with vegan cheese, and you’ve got a lively lunch inspired by a nostalgic classic.
As I mentioned, my favorite way to make this is with baked tofu If you’re not familiar, it’s a ready-to-use, firm and flavored variety of tofu. Learn more about baked tofu here.
Or, if you want to go the plant-based tuna rout, learn about some of the top vegan seafood alternatives here. You can even use mashed chickpeas (see the variation in the Notes section of the recipe box) for this recipe. It’s flexible!
There’s no reason you can’t turn this into a quick dinner as well, served with any kind of vegetable soup. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 6 to 8 ounces finely crumbled baked tofu (see note) or plant-based tuna
- 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 2 medium celery stalks, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon pickle relish, optional (but highly recommended)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives or scallion, optional
- 6 slices whole-grain bread or 4 English muffins, split
- Thinly shredded lettuce or baby spinach
- Thinly sliced tomatoes
- Vegan cheese shreds, any variety, as needed
- Combine the tofu or vegan tuna, mayonnaise, celery, and optional relish and chives in a mixing bowl and stir until well blended.
- Toast the bread or muffins. Line with lettuce and tomatoes, then distribute the tofu mixture evenly.
- Sprinkle with vegan cheese and arrange on a platter. Microwave briefly, just until the cheese melts (start with one minute on HIGH and increase as needed).
- Serve at once, allowing 1 or 2 slices made with bread per serving, or 2 English muffin halves.
Some plant-based tuna comes already nicely flaked, but if what you’re using isn’t, simply flake a bit more with a fork. If using baked tofu, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of dulse flakes for a mildly fishy flavor, though that’s entirely optional.
Variation: Use a 15-ounce can chickpeas (drained and rinsed), mashed, in place of the baked tofu or vegan tuna.
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