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Best Quinoa Tabouli

Quinoa tabouli

Tabouleh (or tabouli) is a popular salad from Lebanon! It is usually made with bulgur (a cereal grain from cracked wheat groats), tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and is served with pita bread and hummus. It can also be scooped into lettuce leaves. What makes it so refreshing is the amount of parsley that is used combined with mint leaves. It is so good for you! The first time I tasted this salad, it was, to my surprise, so green that I couldn’t even see the bulgur! I thought for sure the chef must have accidentally added twice the amount of parsley!
This is another great summer dish to use up extra tomatoes, cucumbers, and parsley. If you don’t have bulgur grain, you can substitute couscous or quinoa for a gluten-free alternative.

Health benefits of parsley

Rich in antioxidants and chlorophyll, parsley helps to break down food and release nutrients. It is great for bad breath! It assists in the process of detoxification, and as a result, is recommended for weight loss.
It is known to help prevent diabetes and kidney stones.
It is a natural anti-cancer, rich in vitamin A, C, and K.

Speaking of health benefits, quinoa is also a powerhouse when it comes to antioxidants and protein since it contains all nine essential amino acids! 1 cup of quinoa contains twice the protein as a cup of rice! It has fewer calories and carbs too. Not to mention that it is loaded with fiber! Quinoa comes in white, red, and black. You can also purchase tri-color quinoa with all three mixed together.

Tabouli salad goes great with some rosemary beer bread, or some Foccacia bread, or even garlic naan bread.  Serve with a side of hummus. You will love it!

How to cook quinoa

3 types of quinoa
3 types of quinoa grain

Always rinse your quinoa by running water over a fine sieve.
Optional: you can roast the quinoa in a pan before cooking it (not mandatory).
1 cup of dried quinoa will yield about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.
Boil 2 cups of water and pour 1 cup of quinoa with a teaspoon of sea salt.
Cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes until the water has been absorbed.
Turn off the heat and cover the pot for an additional 5 minutes.
Fluff the quinoa.

How to cook bulgur

Dry bulgur wheat

If you want to make the traditional recipe, you will be using bulgur.
There are 2 ways to cook it depending on what you are making.
To obtain a firmer bulgur grain that is perfect for salads, it is recommended to pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 cup of bulgur and let it sit for half an hour. Drain excess water and it is ready.
For stews, you can boil it for 10-12 minutes. Drain extra water and fluff with a fork.

Quinoa tabouli

Best Quinoa Tabouli

Replace bulgur grain with quinoa for a gluten-free version of this Lebanese classic salad that is refreshing, tasty and super healthy.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 27 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Middle East
Servings 4
Calories 62 kcal


  • strainer



  • 1 large ripe tomato diced
  • 1 medium cucumber diced
  • 2 cups finely minced fresh parsley leaves (flat or curly)
  • 1/2 cup fresh minced mint
  • 1/2 cup diced green onions
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 pinch pepper


Cook the quinoa

  • Put 1 cup of quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse under running water.
  • Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add 1 tsp of salt and add the washed quinoa. Stir.
  • Cook on medium heat without a lid for 10-12 minutes until the water has been absorbed.
  • Turn off heat, cover, and let it rest for another 5 minutes.

Prepare the vegetables

  • Dice the tomatoes and cucumbers and set aside in a medium bowl.
  • Finely mince the parsley and mint.
  • Chop the green onion and garlic clove.
  • Combine all the ingredients in the bowl.

Prepare the dressing

  • Combine 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice with 2 tbsp of olive oil and add salt and pepper.
  • Stir well and pour on the salad mixing all the ingredients well.
  • Taste and season more if needed.


It is best to let the dressing soak the quinoa for an hour or so. 


Serving: 1gCalories: 62kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 582mgPotassium: 1mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 1IUCalcium: 1mgIron: 1mg
Keyword gluten-free
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