Vegan Tuna Wraps are perfect for lunch on those hot summer days when it's too hot to cook! They travel well, so you can take them with you for lunch at the office or a picnic in the park. They make a great light dinner, too. Made with sunflower seeds, this healthy raw dish is super easy to make. This vegan tuna salad recipe is vegan and gluten-free.
Tuna salad sandwiches were a mainstay in my diet throughout my younger years – especially when I was a teenager and figured out how to make it on my own. It was also one of the first foods I gave up for ethical reasons. After reading about the dolphins being caught and killed in the tuna nets, I stopped eating it. (I’m not sure why I was concerned about dolphins and not tuna fish, but we all have to start somewhere, right?)
Vegan tuna was also one of the first recipes I learned to make when I went meat-free. It's super easy to make with chickpeas, and I also sometimes like to make it tofu. Several years ago I was on a raw foods kick, and I started making it with sunflower seeds, based on a recipe from RAWvolution by Matt Amsden.
Raw Sunflower Seed Tuna Wraps
I don't eat raw foods as much I did back then, but I do like to make more raw dishes in the summertime, when it's too hot to cook and I don't want something heavy in my belly. These raw sunflower seed tuna is a summertime favorite. I usually eat it with sliced veggies wrapped up in a collard green leaf. Collards are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, and they're tough so they hold up nicely in the place of a slice of bread or a tortilla.
I've taken these vegan tuna wraps to potlucks and they've been a big hit. They travel well, so back when I worked in an office, I would take them for lunch occasionally, and they were a hit with my omnivore coworkers, too.
How to Make Raw Vegan Tuna Wraps made with Sunflower Seeds
This recipe is really easy to make!
- First you make the mayo by placing all of the ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender and process until smooth and creamy.
- Next you place sunflower seeds in your food processor, and process until they’re ground into small pieces. Add the celery, scallions, dulse, and dill pulse a few times to mix everything together.
- Then you combine the mayo and sunflower seed mixture in a large bowl. If you don't want to dirty another dish, you can do so right in your food processor bowl.
- Now you take a large collard leaf and cut off the stem. Using a sharp knife, you carefully shave off the thick part of the stem from the back of the leaf, making it easier to roll up. You can also use the knife to score what’s left of the stem, making it more pliable.
- Finally you place the sunflower seed mixture, some of the red pepper, carrots, and avocado on the leaf, towards the top. Starting with the top edge that has the filling, carefully roll the collard leaf, as you would a tortilla, tucking the sides in as you roll.
Raw vs. Roasted
While this recipe will work with roasted cashews and sunflower seeds, but raw, unroasted, and unsalted work best. Raw nuts and seeds are softer and easier to blend than the roasted variety. I've also found that using the roasted type can change the taste of the recipe, giving it a slightly burnt flavor.
Even though I have a Blendtec, I soak my cashews for at least hours before I blend them in recipes such as this one. Sunflower seeds should be soaked for about 4 hours before using them, to help them blend better. Make sure you drain and rinse your cashews and sunflower seeds before using them in the recipe.
How to Customize this Recipe
It's easy to make this recipe your own!
- The dusle flakes give it a little bit of a fishy taste, but if you’re not a fan of seaweed, you can omit it and just add a little more dill.
- If you're sensitive to nuts, you can use my homemade silken tofu mayonnaise or store-bought vegan mayo.
- You can serve your vegan tuna in a tortilla or on bread, rather than a collard wrap, if you prefer.
- If you're not in the mood for a wrap, you can pile your vegan tuna on top of a salad.
- More veggies, such as finely diced carrots or red onion, can be added to your vegan tuna.
Raw Sunflower Seed "Tuna" Wraps
For the Mayonnaise
- ½ cup raw cashews soaked for at least two hours, rinsed and drained
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
For the Salad
- 1 ½ cup raw sunflower seeds soaked for at least four hours, rinsed and drained
- 2 celery stalks sliced
- 2 scallions sliced
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh dill chopped
- 2 teaspoons dulse or kelp flakes
- 8 large collard green leaves
- 2 carrots shredded or grated
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 avocado thinly sliced
- Add all of the mayonnaise ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender and process until smooth and creamy.
- Place the sunflower seeds in your food processor, and process until they’re ground into small pieces. Add the celery, scallions, dulse, and dill pulse a few times to mix everything together.
- Place the sunflower seed mixture and mayo in a large bowl and mix to combine.
- Take a large collard leaf and cut off the stem. Using a sharp knife, carefully shave off the thick part of the stem from the back of the leaf, making it easier to roll up. You can also use the knife to score what’s left of the stem, making it more pliable.
- Place the sunflower seed mixture, some of the red pepper, carrots and avocado on the leaf, towards the top.
- Starting with the top edge that has the filling, carefully roll the collard leaf, as you would a tortilla, tucking the sides in as you roll. Repeat with the remaining leaves.
More wraps you might enjoy include:
- Sushi Wraps
- Curried Mango Chickpea Wraps
- Grilled Eggplant Wraps
- Thai Tempeh Lettuce Wraps
- Vegan Shawarma