This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Make your own vegan tuna from 7 ingredients! This flaky, flavorful plant-based tuna has a delicate sea taste that will bring back memories of the real thing. Use it as a base to make tuna salad, incorporate it in pasta dishes, or use it in wraps and sandwiches!

Vegan tuna in a small bowl.

Before diving deeper into this recipe, you might be wondering. Does it taste exactly like tuna? Honestly, no, but it gets very close and I truly believe this recipe is one of the best alternatives to tuna that you can find.

Please note that this recipe is for making vegan tuna, not tuna salad. It means you can use this vegan tuna as a base for many other dishes!

⭐️ Why You Should Try It

  • Flaky and chewy. This plant-based alternative to tuna is definitely not your traditional vegan tuna made with chickpeas or heart of palms! It has a flaky and slightly chewy texture that closely resembles shredded tuna.
  • Delicately infused with a hint of the ocean. By incorporating seaweed-infused water, this vegan tuna recipe boasts a subtle fishy flavor that is reminiscent of real tuna.
  • Versatile. Make a big batch of this plant-based tuna and use it throughout the week in salads and sandwiches, or add it to your Buddha bowls!
  • High-protein. Each serving of 1/4 cup packs over 7g of protein!
Ingredients like TVP, oil, nori, nutritional yeast, and salt.

🌿 Ingredient Notes

Here is what you will need to make vegan tuna:

  • TVP slices – Textured vegetable protein slices make the base of this tuna. You must absolutely use thick TVP slices for this recipe. There is no alternative. This type of TVP has many different fibrous layers that, once processed, create a flaky texture. You can find TVP slices online or in some Asian stores, sold in the dry section.
  • Nori – To add a sea flavor. You can use nori, kombu, or dulse.
  • Lime juice – For a hint of sourness. Alternatively, you can use white vinegar.
  • Oil – Essential to add richness and fattiness.
  • Nutritional yeast – For umami.
  • Salt and sugar – To season. Do not omit the sugar, as it plays a crucial role in balancing the overall flavor.

🥣 How to Make It

1. Soak the TVP

  1. Rehydrate the TVP. Add the textured vegetable protein slices to a large bowl and cover with hot water. Let the slices rehydrate for about 30 minutes or until completely soft.
  2. Rinse it. Next, rinse the slices 3-4 times under cold water, squeezing them to eliminate the soybean flavor.
  3. Squeeze. Finally, squeeze each slice between your hands to remove as much water as possible.

2. Make the seaweed water

  1. Cut the nori. Cut the nori into small strips and add them to a small bowl.
  2. Cover with water. Cover with warm water and let the water infuse for about 30 minutes.
  3. Strain. Finally, strain the juice using a fine-mesh sieve and discard the nori.

3. Process

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor. Transfer the TVP slices to a food processor fitted with the slicing blade. Add seaweed water, oil, lime juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and sugar.
  1. Pulse a few times. Process the mixture for 3-4 seconds or until it resembles shredded tuna. At this point, you can taste it and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
Shredded vegan tuna in a food processor.

📔 Tips

  • Do not make any substitutions. I advise against making substitutions in this recipe, especially for the TVP slices. This recipe won’t work with other types of textured vegetable protein, such as soy curls or soy chunks.
  • Weight the TVP. I recommend weighing the TVP slices for accuracy, as their sizes can vary across different brands. Use a kitchen scale for measuring.
  • Add chopped seaweed. Add finely chopped nori to the tuna if you want a stronger sea flavor. Be aware that it will obviously alter its color.

🍅 Variations

To make the most of this vegan tuna recipe, we recommend seasoning it before incorporating it into your dishes. Here are a few ideas for you to try.

Tomato Tuna

Packed with tomato flavor, this version almost tastes like pizza! Use it on toast, as a topping for sushi, or stir into pasta salads.

  1. Make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1/4 tsp oregano, and a pinch of baking soda (to reduce the bitterness of the tomato paste).
  2. Toss to coat. Add 1/4 cup of vegan tuna and toss to coat it with the sauce. You can enjoy it immediately or let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator for a deeper flavor.

Tuna Salad

The perfect addition to sandwiches!

  1. Make the dressing. In a small bowl, stir 1/4 cup vegan mayo, 1 tbsp minced onion, one minced clove of garlic, 2 tbsp chopped celery, 1 tsp sweet pickle relish, and a pinch of ground black pepper.
  2. Toss to coat. Add 3/4 cup of vegan tuna and toss to coat it with the dressing.
  3. Assemble. To make tuna sandwiches, lightly toast the bread. Next, arrange a few lettuce leaves on top of a slice of bread. Top with the tuna salad and close the sandwich.
Vegan tuna in a bowl topped with fresh parsley.

🍚 Where to Use It

This vegan tuna is incredibly versatile and can be used in a multitude of dishes!

  • Sandwiches: Either as is or combined with mayo and pickles, this tuna will add texture, flavor, and protein to your sandwiches.
  • Salads: Combine it with chopped red bell peppers, tomatoes, red onions, cucumber, fresh herbs, and vinaigrette for a fresh Mediterranean-inspired salad.
  • Sushi: Use as a filling for maki or as a topping to inari sushi.
  • Pasta: Incorporate it into hot pasta dishes or pasta salads.
  • Rice: Stir into fried rice or use it as a topping for steamed white rice.

❄️ Storing and Freezing

  • To store: You can keep this vegan tuna in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
  • To freeze: Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

💬 FAQ

Can I make this in a blender?

A blender won’t be able to shred the tvp slices evenly. You must use a food processor for this step.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Unfortunately no, since it seems all brands of tvp slices contain gluten.

I hope you are going to give this vegan tuna a try, as I truly believe it’s one of the best alternatives out there! It’s super flaky, high in protein, and tastes quite close to the real thing!

⭐️ Did you like this recipe? Let us know in the comments below, and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Vegan tuna sandwich with lettuce and cucumbers.
full of plants in envelope

Want to Save This Recipe?

Enter your email below & we’ll send it straight to your inbox! Plus, you will receive new recipes every week!

Save Recipe

I’d like to receive more tips & recipes from Full of Plants.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recipe

Vegan Tuna

5 from 3 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Make your own vegan tuna from 7 ingredients! This flaky, flavorful plant-based tuna has a delicate sea taste that will bring back memories of the real thing. Use it as a base to make tuna salad, incorporate it in pasta dishes, or use it in wraps and sandwiches!
Prep Time : 10 minutes
Resting Time : 30 minutes
Total Time : 40 minutes
Servings 1.5 cup
Calories 119 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 8 large large TVP slices
  • 1/2 sheet of nori seaweed
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil
  • 2 tsp lime juice or white vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Instructions
 

  • Rehydrate the TVP. Add the textured vegetable protein slices to a large bowl and cover with hot water. Let the slices rehydrate for about 30 minutes or until completely soft.
  • Rinse it. Next, rinse the slices 3-4 times under cold water, squeezing them to eliminate the soybean flavor. Finally, squeeze each slice between your hands to remove as much water as possible. Set aside.
  • Make the seaweed water. Cut the nori into small strips and add them to a small bowl. Cover with 1/4 cup of warm water and let the water infuse for about 30 minutes. Finally, strain the juice using a fine-mesh sieve and discard the nori.
  • Add all of the ingredients to a food processor. Transfer the TVP slices to a food processor fitted with the slicing blade. Add seaweed water, oil, lime juice, nutritional yeast, salt, and sugar.
  • Pulse a few times. Process the mixture for 3-4 seconds or until it resembles shredded tuna. At this point, you can taste it and adjust the seasonings to your liking. The vegan tuna is now ready to use!
  • You can keep this vegan tuna in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Notes

  • Do not make any substitutions. I advise against making substitutions in this recipe, especially for the TVP slices. This recipe won’t work with other types of textured vegetable protein, such as soy curls or soy chunks.
  • Weight the TVP. I recommend weighing the TVP slices for accuracy, as their sizes can vary across different brands. Use a kitchen scale for measuring.
  • Add chopped seaweed. Add finely chopped nori to the tuna if you want a stronger sea flavor. Be aware that it will obviously alter its color.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25 cup | Calories: 119 kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.7 g | Protein: 7.98 g | Fat: 7.5 g | Saturated Fat: 0.7 g | Sodium: 194 mg | Potassium: 11.3 mg | Fiber: 0.1 g | Sugar: 3.4 g | Calcium: 4 mg | Iron: 0.2 mg
Course : Appetizer, Condiment
Cuisine : American
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
Share this recipe!

About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

Learn more ➜

Leave a Comment

Subscribe
Notify of
Did you make this recipe? Rate it!




17 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

5 stars
This is a new taste for me an my family. A healthy one. Thank you for sharing.

I haven’t seen TVP for a long time. I know you cautioned against substituting ingredients, but I’m wondering about using canned jackfruit. It’s bland and when pulled apart has a somewhat fish-like texture.

Is there any reason that this wouldn’t work with TVP chunks?

Can you advise what brand of TVP slices you use? I can’t wait to try this but I am struggling to find slices.

This recipe looks great! I clicked on the TVP link (12th January) but it went to a protein powder. Do you have a particular brand of TVP slices that you use?

My Asian store did not have the TVP so I bought what your recipe links to on Amazon. The pieces are similar but smaller than what you picture. The recipe says to weigh the TVP for consistency, which would help, but there are no weight numbers given. I know 8 pieces will not be enough with the product I bought. Could you please add a weight estimate for the TVP? Thanks!

5 stars
I didn’t see the 86g. Thanks!

I would like to use this technique, using the plant protein I linked off your post from Amazon, for making a ‘shredded pork’ for pozole. Do you think it would work? Of course the seasoning would be different, just not sure how it would hold up in a soup or stew. Do you have any suggestions?

5 stars
I didn’t have any nori so I used wakame. My plants strips are more the size of silver dollars than patties so I had to eyeball that. Regardless of my tweak this was super yummy. I do at fish and honestly, would prefer this to canned tuna anytime.