Vegan Tuna Salad Couldn’t be Easier with this 5-Ingredient Sandwich Spread


For years, I embraced from-scratch cooking. After all, we didn’t have much choice for convenience with dairy-free living. But these days, almost every grocery store offers an array of vegan products. Which means we can “cheat” sometimes with (typically healthy) ingredients that simplify the process. Nava Atlas embraces the easier way of today in her new cookoook, 5-Ingredient Vegan: 175 Simple, Plant-Based Recipes for Delicious, Healthy Meals in Minutes. And she has a sample recipe to share with us for “Tofuna” Sandwich Spread, otherwise known as Vegan Tuna Salad.

Vegan Tuna Salad Recipe (aka Tofuna Sandwich Spread) - a Healthy 5-Ingredient Recipe

Vegan Tuna Salad Couldn’t be Easier with this 5-Ingredient Sandwich Spread

Nava Atlas is one of the most prolific vegan cookbook authors, but she has been on a little hiatus. 5-Ingredient Vegan is her first cookbook in 5 years, and it focuses on fast and easy. The recipes not only use minimal ingredients, they’re also ready quickly – most of them in less than 20 minutes!

The 5-Ingredient Vegan Cookbook by Nava AtlasI chose this Vegan Tuna Salad recipe to feature, because I think it highlights the book well, and shows how “real” Nava is. People often think of cookbook authors slaving away in the kitchen to create celebrity-style dishes. But in reality, we’re everyday people who enjoy good food, but don’t always have time for elaborate recipes.

In 5-Ingredient Vegan Nava focuses on simple concepts, accessible and healthy convenience foods (like the baked tofu in this vegan tuna salad), and recipes that you can mix and match for any day of the week. They’re even great for dazzling unexpected guests!

I personally love tofu salad, but had never thought to elevate it with baked tofu. You can bet I will be enjoying this version soon! And if you prefer a “fishier” flavor, you might want to add some kelp sprinkles. Seaweed is a delicious addition to vegan tuna salad.

Vegan Tuna Salad Recipe (aka Tofuna Sandwich Spread) - a Healthy 5-Ingredient RecipePhoto by Evan Atlas

Special Diet Notes: “Tofuna” Vegan Tuna Salad

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.

“Tofuna” Sandwich Spread (aka Vegan Tuna Salad)
Prep time
Total time
This sandwich spread is one of my standards, and quite possibly the single recipe I make most often. If I’m having guests for lunch or brunch, I often make a batch of this no matter what else is being served. And it practically gets inhaled, every time. Use as a spread for sandwiches—closed or open-faced, or just enjoy on its own on the plate or mounded over greens. Though all you absolutely need are three ingredients, the two optional ingredients are highly recommended.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
  • 1 (8-ounce) package baked tofu (see Note)
  • ½ cup vegan mayonnaise, or as desired
  • 1 large celery stalk, finely diced
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 scallion (green part only), thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  1. Using your hands, crumble the tofu finely into a mixing bowl. Or, you can break the tofu into a few pieces, place in a food processor, and pulse on and off until finely and evenly chopped, then transfer to a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the mayonnaise and celery. Mix thoroughly. Add the scallion and nutritional yeast, if using, and stir to combine.
  3. Transfer to a smaller serving container or serve straight from the mixing bowl.
Note: Soy Boy smoked or Tofu Lin are my favorite brands of baked tofu for this recipe.

Credit: Reprinted with permission from 5-Ingredient Vegan © 2019 by Nava Atlas, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photo by Evan Atlas.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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