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Tuna Burgers
Vegan Style

See below for a gluten free option!

Tuna Burgers Vegan Style

One of the blogs I follow regularly is The Vegan Dietitian, written by Virginia Messina.  One of her posts mentioned the tuna burgers she made as a child.  This recipe was originally published in Betty Crocker's Cook Book for Boys and Girls.  (NOTE:  this is a large file ... 8.65MB)  This apparently is now in the public domain, and if you are of a certain age (as I am!!) and enjoyed cooking as a child, I am sure you will remember this book.

The meat version of the tuna burgers is on page 103 of this cookbook (page 102 of the pdf file).

Virginia Messina posted a vegan version of this tasty sandwich, and besides bringing back a flood of wonderful childhood cooking memories, it also turned out to be an easy to fix, tasty sandwich.

Vegan Tuna Burgers

Virginia Messina

1 15-ounce can or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup cubed yellow vegan cheese
½ cup vegan mayonnaise
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp kelp granules
5-6 whole wheat hamburger rolls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Process the chickpeas in a food processor until coarsely chopped.  Or you can do this by hand with a pastry blender.  Be careful not to over-process; the chickpeas should not be pureed.

Add the rest of the ingredients (except the burger rolls, of course) and mix by hand to blend. Spread the mixture on the bottom halves of the rolls and cover with the tops. Wrap each burger loosely in aluminum foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. The inside should be hot and a little melty and the roll should be toasted.

Brenda's notes:

While most (all?) store bought vegan cheese is rather horrible eaten by itself or as a main ingredient, in this recipe I really did not mind it at all, since it is such a minor ingredient. 

UPDATE (5/4/10):  I have finally found Daiya cheese for the first time in the area where I live, after hearing about it for a while now on the web.   This is a genuinely GOOD tasting vegan cheese!! I even enjoyed it straight out of the package!  One of the first things I made after I bought my first bag was this recipe!!

For the mayo, I used Follow Your Heart's Veganaise, but if you want to go with a lower fat one, I think this one would work great with its overtones of apple cider vinegar and mustard.

Gluten Free Option:

Since the filling itself is gluten free, any gluten free bread would work for this.  A particularly tasty one to use is Bryanna Clark Grogan's recipe for chickpea flatbread.  See her blog post where she has photos of this, as well as a history of this food item.

Gluten Free Tuna Burgers


Bryanna Clark Grogan
Serves 6

This from her cookbook Nonna's Italian Kitchen.

You can sprinkle the top with chopped garlic and rosemary, thyme or sage before baking, if you like. Other options are thinly sliced onions or green onions, or even slices of baby artichoke.

For use with the Tuna filling, above, I just added 3/8 tsp. garlic powder, in lieu of the crushed garlic to the ingredients below.

1 1/2 cups chickpea flour or plain besan
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 tsp. salt
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
OPTIONAL: 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 hours before cooking, mix the water and chickpea flour in a medium bowl, cover, and let stand in a cool place for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 475° F (450° with convection). Coat a 14" pizza pan (or an 11 x 15” rimmed cookie sheet) with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

Stir the salt and pepper (and optional garlic, if using) into the batter, which should be like a pancake batter (add water if too thick). Pour the batter into the pan and drizzle with the remaining oil. (If you like, sprinkle with some of the items suggested in the text, above.)

Brenda's Note:  I sprayed the baking pan with Pam Spray, and just whizzed 2 Tbsp. olive oil in with all the other ingredients, using a stick blender to fully incorporate the oil.  I did not drizzle any over the top.

Bake for 10 minutes, then place under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the top. Grind more pepper on top, if you wish, and cut into wedges to serve. Serve hot.

For the Tuna Burgers ~~~

Bake this in a rectangular pan, then cut in half or quarters.  Spread the "tuna" filling over half, and top with the other half.  Bake as directed in the recipe, by wrapping the filled flat bread in foil, and baking at 350° for 15-20 minutes --- until the bread is crispy on the outside, and the filling is hot.

Gluten Free Version of Tuna Burger

Then slice into serving pieces and serve!

Gluten Free Tuna Burgers

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