Vegan Tuna Melt

Satisfy your cravings with our cheesy vegan tuna melt recipe! With only a handful of ingredients, you’ll create a mouthwatering sandwich that’s perfect for any occasion.

Two halves of a sandwich are stacked, revealing vegan tuna salad and melted vegan cheese on golden grilled bread. There are potato chips in the background.

I adore this recipe because it makes me feel indulgent without any guilt. The combination of creamy chickpea salad, melty cheese, and buttery toast hits all the right spots for a comforting meal.

Ingredients & Substitutions

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

  • Vegan Tuna Salad: Make your own using mashed chickpeas, vegan mayo, and seasonings. Follow my recipe for vegan tuna salad for an easy guide. You can use cooked jackfruit in place of chickpeas.
  • Bread: Opt for whole grain or sourdough bread for added nutrition. Find it in the bakery section of your grocery store.
  • Vegan Cheddar Cheese: Look for dairy-free cheese slices in the refrigerated or specialty foods aisle.
  • Vegan Butter: Choose a plant-based butter spread, available in the dairy or natural foods section.

Buying Guide: If you’re new to vegan cooking, check out your local health food store or online retailers for specialty ingredients like vegan cheese and butter.

What Makes This Recipe Shine?

  1. Artisanal Bread Brilliance: Opt for thickly-sliced artisanal bread to achieve the ultimate gooey cheese-to-bread ratio while toasting.
  2. Heat Mastery: Maintain medium to low heat for slow, even toasting, ensuring every bite is a melty delight.
  3. Buttery Perfection: Use velvety softened vegan butter to coat every inch of the bread evenly before grilling, guaranteeing a crispy, golden crust.
A skillet holds a sandwich with buttered bread on top.

Making Vegan Tuna Melt

See the recipe card below for the full list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions. But first, let’s chat about what to expect when whipping up this tasty sandwich.

Once your butter is perfectly softened, it should spread across the bread effortlessly, creating a dreamy base for that golden, crispy crust we all love.

Keep a close eye on the timer to avoid any burnt mishaps! Use your spatula to sneak a peek under the bread and ensure it’s reaching that perfect hue.

Be prepared for a quick flip—sometimes that second side cooks up even faster! And for an extra indulgent touch, consider popping a lid on the pan to coax the vegan cheese into its full gooey glory. Curious about the magic of melting vegan cheese? Dive in for more

Marly’s Tips

  • For an even crispier crust and slightly herbal flavor, try brushing the bread with olive oil instead of softened vegan butter.
  • For extra flavor, add sliced tomatoes or avocado to your sandwich before grilling.
  • Pressing the sandwiches with a spatula while cooking helps them cook evenly and ensures the cheese melts perfectly.

Serving Suggestions

Serve these tasty sandwiches with any of the following on the side:

  • These Vegan Cauliflower Tots or Sweet Potato Tots are perfect as a side dish for any sandwich!
  • Serve with a side of crispy potato chips or a fresh green salad.
  • Pair with your favorite dipping sauce such as vegan ranch dip or combine sriracha with plant-based mayo to make a spicy sriracha mayo sauce.

Storage Tips

Store leftover sandwiches in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To freeze, wrap each sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and store it in a freezer bag for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating to serve.

More Vegan Sandwiches

If you love this vegan chickpea tuna melt, you’ll be ready for more vegan sandwiches! Try these delicious recipes:

A vegan tuna melt sandwich reveals golden grilled bread and melted vegan cheese. It sits in front of a plate with potato chips.

That’s it for this vegan tuna melt. Enjoy!

A vegan tuna melt sandwich is cut and half and the two halves are stacked, revealing melted vegan cheese and chickpea tuna salad.

Chickpea Tuna Melt

This vegan tuna melt recipe combines creamy chickpea salad with melty vegan cheese between crispy bread slices for a satisfying meal. Perfect for lunch or dinner, this sandwich is quick, easy, and packed with flavor.
5 from 2 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Resting Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 2 sandwiches
Calories: 597kcal



  • Prepare the chickpea tuna salad recipe as directed.
    A hand holds a glass bowl over mashed chickpeas and uses a spatula in the other hand to spread it over the chickpeas.
  • Butter one side of four slices of bread.
  • Spread a generous portion of chickpea tuna salad on two slices of bread. Top with 2 cheese slices. Place a bread slice on top, buttered side up.
  • Place a skillet over medium heat. Place the sandwiches on the heated skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown. Then use a spatula and carefully turn each sandwich, cooking on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown and the cheese is melting.
    A skillet holds a sandwich with buttered bread on top.
  • If the cheese doesn't melt entirely, you can place it in the microwave and heat it for 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Transfer sandwiches to plates and serve immediately.

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Calories: 597kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1681mg | Potassium: 281mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 539IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 4mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2013 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

9 Responses to Vegan Tuna Melt

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKatie Reply

    5 stars
    I love anything with chickpeas and less than 5 ingredients! Looks like a perfect lunch.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      We are kindred spirits for sure!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMaggie Muggins Reply

    I used to hate (eating) fish! I never got how people could like that fishy flavor, but to each their own. A non-fishy tuna melt is something I can definitely get behind! Sorry you got hatemail for creating yummy recipes (weirdos), some people are just haters.

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlyvegan miam Reply

    That looks sooooo miam!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I had to look this up to learn that “miam” is French for yummy. Thanks – love this expression!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBarb@ThatWasVegan? Reply

    How funny… not only did I recently make tuna melts, but I used the exact same cheese on mine as well! I think simple meals like this are just the best.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Great minds!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySommer @ ASpicyPerspective Reply

    Great appetizer!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMr. & Mrs. P Reply

    This sounds wonderful Marly! Love the golden cheese!!!

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