How To Make the Best Easy Tabouli Salad Recipe (aka Tabbouleh) (2024)

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Tabouli Salad is a light and refreshing grain salad that works beautifully next to all kinds of meats or Mediterranean dishes. Made with bulgur wheat, tomatoes, English cucumbers, parsley and mint. This side dish is very easy to make and is delicious during the hottest months of the year.

Serve this Tabouli Salad Recipe along side Greek Marinated Chicken, Lemon Dill Hummus and Homemade Naan Bread for a healthy Mediterranean feast. If looking for a wholesome comfort meal, serve with the Best Rib Eye Steaks and Sourdough Garlic Bread.How To Make the Best Easy Tabouli Salad Recipe (aka Tabbouleh) (1)

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How To Make the Best Easy Tabouli Salad Recipe (aka Tabbouleh) (2)

Tabouli Salad (aka Tabbouleh)

Tabouli Salad is a middle eastern grain salad that has gained popularity here in the states because it so easy to make and very tasty. Made from bulgur wheat, cracked whole-grain kernels of wheat that are partially cooked and then dried. As a result, cooking this grain is very simple.

The hardest part of making this side dish is finely chopping the parsley, mint and green onions. Because of this, I highly recommend having a good quality and comfortable chefs knife.

Note: My set of Chicago Cutlery Knifes has been in my kitchen since the 1990’s and I absolutely still adore these knifes. Additionally, they are very comfortable to use.

Ingredients Needed

How To Make the Best Easy Tabouli Salad Recipe (aka Tabbouleh) (3)

  • Bulgur Wheat- This is the brand I used and it was extremely easy to prepare.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil- A good quality olive oil will have an expiration date.
  • Lemon Juice and Zest- Adding the zest gives the salad an extra layer of brightness.
  • Garlic
  • Salt (not pictured)- My favorite all time salt.
  • Nutmeg (not pictured)- Adds a sweet and aromatic depth.
  • Chili Powder (not pictured)- Using Real Chili Powder adds a robust undertone.
  • Green Onions
  • Flat Leaf Parsley (aka Italian Parsley)- This is the type of parsley I prefer. (See section just below.)
  • Fresh Mint- Gives the salad a bright freshness.
  • Roma Tomatoes- Use ripe but firm tomatoes. Firm tomatoes helps to prevent the salad from becoming too watery.
  • English Cucumbers- These are less watery than traditional cucumbers. If using traditional cucumbers peel and deseed before finely chopping.

Italian Parsley (Flat Leaf Parsley) vs Curly Leaf Parsley

To begin with, either type of parsley can be used with success. However, many people do tend to enjoy the taste and texture of Italian parsley over its curly counterpart. Therefore I do recommend sticking with Italian Parsley for this recipe.

When looking for Italian parsley at the grocery store it will often be located next to the fresh bunches of cilantro. For many, the two look identical. The main way to know the difference it that Italian parsley will have flat pointy leaves. Cilantro, on the other hand will have more rounded leaves.

How To Make the Best Easy Tabouli Salad Recipe (aka Tabbouleh) (4)

Close up of Italian Parsley Leaves.

Bulgur Wheat

As mentioned above, bulgur wheat iscracked whole-grain kernels of wheat that are partially cooked and then dried. Because of this it is a very fast grain to cook. However, looking at all the different recipes on the internet on how to cook bulgar wheat and it starts to feel like a daunting task.

A helpful rule of thumb is if buying prepackage bulgar, follow the instructions on the package.

If buying bulgur in bulk, add the 1/2 cup bulgar with 1 cup of water (1:2 ratio) and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook on low heat for approximately 12 minutes or until bulgar is tender. Drain of excess water.

For this recipe I used the Food to Live brand of bulgar. Their instructions called for bringing water to boil in a tea kettle and then pouring the boiling water over the bulgar and letting it sit for 7 minutes.

Step By Step Instructions

  • Whisk lemon juice into olive oil.How To Make the Best Easy Tabouli Salad Recipe (aka Tabbouleh) (5)
  • Add salt, nutmeg, chili powder, lemon zest and garlic to vinaigrette and whisk.How To Make the Best Easy Tabouli Salad Recipe (aka Tabbouleh) (6)
  • Cook bulgur wheat following instructions on the package.How To Make the Best Easy Tabouli Salad Recipe (aka Tabbouleh) (7)
  • Once cooked and strained of excess water, add vinaigrette to bulgur. How To Make the Best Easy Tabouli Salad Recipe (aka Tabbouleh) (8)
  • Finely mince herbs and finely chop veggies. How To Make the Best Easy Tabouli Salad Recipe (aka Tabbouleh) (9)
  • Add herbs and veggies to bulgur mixture and stir well.How To Make the Best Easy Tabouli Salad Recipe (aka Tabbouleh) (10)
  • Let sit in the refrigerator covered for 30 minutes and enjoy.

Variations

This salad already has a few fun variations off of authentic Tabouli. However, you may find that a few small adaptations makes this salad even more enjoyable. Here are a few ideas that may work well.

  • Add a 1/2 cup of crumbled or cubed feta for a bit of a zippy flavor.
  • Cayenne pepper can replace chili powder for a bit more heat.
  • Canned chickpeas is a satisfying addition.
  • Olives adds a wonderful salty flavor.
  • Bulgur wheat can be replaced with quinoa for gluten-free needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Tabouli be frozen?

No, I highly recommend not freezing it. This salad is meant to be eaten fresh and freezing would dramatically change the texture. In other words, the veggies would be soggy.

Can Tabouli be made ahead of time?

Yes. Making this a few hours ahead of time is absolutely fine. It does taste best when eaten the day it is made, so if cooking for company make and serve the same day.

How long will this salad keep in the refrigerator?

This grain salad will keep fresh for about 2 days. Any more than that and the veggies will loose too much water.

More Delicious Grain Recipes

Herbed Barley Salad

Shrimp and Farro Salad

Arugula Farro Salad

Beef and Barley Soup

Stovetop Short Grain Brown Rice

If you enjoyed this Tabouli Salad please let me know by leaving a comment and review below. Doing so helps to encourage others to make the recipe also. Thank you!

How To Make the Best Easy Tabouli Salad Recipe (aka Tabbouleh) (11)

Tabouli Salad

Tabouli Salad is a light and refreshing grain salad that works beautifully next to all kinds of meats or Mediterranean dishes. Made with bulgur wheat, tomatoes, English cucumbers, parsley and mint. This side dish is very easy to make and is delicious during the hottest months of the year.

5 from 3 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Salad, Side Dish

Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keyword: Tabbouleh, Tabouleh, Tabouli Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes minutes

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 225kcal

Author: Heather

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon Juice *about 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic *crushed or minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Salad

  • 1/2 cup bulgur wheat
  • 2 bunches Italian parsley (aka flat leaf parsley) *thick stems cut off and finely minced, about 2 cups
  • 1/2 cup green onions *finely chopped, about 4 green onions
  • 15 mint leaves *finely chopped
  • 4 Roma tomatoes *finely chopped (See Note #1 below)
  • 1 cup English cucumber *finely chopped, about 1/2 of large cucumber

Instructions

  • Rinse bulgur wheat and cook following directions on the package. Once cooked remove any excess water. (See Note #2 below)

  • Meanwhile, whisk the lemon juice into the olive oil. Add the remaining vinaigrette ingredients and whisk well. Add vinaigrette to cooked and strained bulgur. Stir well.

  • Wash and prepare remaining ingredients for salad and add to bulgur mixture. Stir well.

  • Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes if time allows. (See Note #3 below)

Notes

Please use as many organic ingredients as possible.

Recipe Notes

Note #1- Use ripe but firm Roma tomatoes. Tomatoes that are soft will cause the salad to become too watery.

Note #2- Rinse the bulgar in a fine mesh strainer.

Note #3- Once made the salad can be eaten immediately. However, letting it sit for 30 minutes to refrigerate will allow the flavors to marry with one another.

Nutrition

Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Sodium: 408mg | Potassium: 332mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2204IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg

Tried this recipe?Mention @thefedupfoodie or tag #thefedupfoodie!

How To Make the Best Easy Tabouli Salad Recipe (aka Tabbouleh) (2024)

FAQs

What is Middle Eastern tabbouleh made from? ›

Tabbouleh is basically parsley salad. There's technically no lettuce in it. It's a salad made up of parsley, tomatoes, bulgur wheat, and green onions – all finely chopped and tossed with olive oil and lemon juice!

What is a substitute for bulgur in tabbouleh? ›

While the classic tabbouleh recipe includes bulgur wheat, alternative versions can be made without it, using substitutes like quinoa, couscous, or even omitting the grain entirely. These variations allow for dietary restrictions or personal preferences while still maintaining the essence of the dish.

Why is my tabouli bitter? ›

The most likely sources of bitterness in a tabbouleh are parsley and olive oil. The parsley should be finely chopped to avoid bitter flavours.

How long will Tabouli last in the fridge? ›

Because of its ingredients, tabouli will last in the refrigerator for up to four days, so make sure you eat it before then.

Why is Tabouli so good? ›

Tabbouleh is a healthy, vegetarian food that has no cholesterol, is low in fat, and high in fiber, vitamins, and much more. Plus, it makes great use of the backyard gardener's abundance of parsley, mint, tomatoes and cucumbers. This vegan dish can be made gluten-free by substituting quinoa for bulgur wheat.

How do you keep tabbouleh from getting soggy? ›

Pre-salting the tomatoes and parsley removes excess liquid through osmosis, preventing the salad from becoming soupy later. Tomato water is re-infused into the salad by using it to soak the bulgur, enhancing the flavor. Soaking the bulgur in heated tomato water ensures it will soften, regardless of its grind size.

Does tabbouleh contain cucumber? ›

Tabbouleh (also spelled tabouli) is a super fresh herb and bulgur salad, with parsley being the number one ingredient. It's dotted with diced cucumber and tomato, and dressed simply with olive oil and lemon juice. It's refreshing, light and packed with healthy ingredients.

What is another name for tabouli? ›

Tabbouleh (Arabic: تبولة, romanized: tabbūla), also transcribed tabouleh, tabbouli, tabouli, or taboulah, is a Levantine salad made mostly of finely chopped parsley, with tomatoes, mint, onion, soaked uncooked bulgur, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and sweet pepper.

What kind of bulgur is best? ›

Fine bulgur wheat works best for dishes that require a delicate texture. For recipes that call for a firmer, heartier texture, like pilafs or grain salads, medium bulgur wheat is your go-to choice. Coarse bulgur wheat is perfect for dishes that benefit from a chewy, robust texture.

What neutralizes bitter taste? ›

Sweetness: From sugar, honey, fruits or otherwise, sweetness will counteract bitter and sour flavours. It can also be used to cut down the heat of a particularly spicy meal. Saltiness: Salt plays two very important roles in flavouring a dish. Firstly, it balances against bitterness.

What does tabouli taste like? ›

I love this tabouli salad recipe: it's refreshing and bursting with herby, lemony flavour. The genius of this recipe is that burghul is normally soaked in water but here it is soaked in lemon juice and tomatoes. The liquid slowly seeps from the tomato, softening and flavouring the burghul at the same time.

What kills a bitter taste? ›

Try using a cream sauce, milk, fatty cheese, olive oil, or similar fatty ingredients to help cover bitter tastes. This is a great trick to get kids to eat more bitter vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, or cabbage. Add some cheese or cheese sauce to their veggies and they won't notice the bitterness.

Is Tabouli good for gut health? ›

It's great for your digestive health and skin. Some versions of tabbouleh tend to be heavier on the bulgar wheat, whereas traditionally the parsley is the main feature. I like both varieties but if I'm serving it as a side dish or in a flat bread I prefer the lighter, greener type.

Is Tabouli good for high blood pressure? ›

Tabbouleh Salad Benefits:

Tomatoes, in turn, are rich in many vitamins, which contribute to reducing the acidity of the blood, and works to control the rate of blood pressure, thus contributing to maintaining a healthy heart and also contributing to the prevention of some types of cancer.

What does Turkish salad contain? ›

Ingredients
  • 225g (7 1/2oz) bulgur wheat.
  • 300g (10oz) tomatoes, seeded, quartered and sliced.
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped.
  • 100g (3 1/2oz) chopped walnuts.
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and diced.
  • 100g radishes, finely sliced.
  • 1 x 80g tub fresh pomegranate seeds.
  • 1 x 31g pack fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped.

Can diabetics eat tabouli salad? ›

Fresh mint, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice brighten this Middle Eastern dish.

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