Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe

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This spin on the classic Middle Eastern salad, "tabbouleh," swaps traditionally used bulgur wheat (which you could also use) for nutritional, superstar quinoa, which is high in "complete protein," meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Serve it as a dinner side dish or store it covered in the refrigerator for a healthy and filling go-to snack.

Click here to see Quinoa: The Heart-Healthy Food with a Quirky Name.


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup seeded and finely diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup peeled and diced cucumber
  • 1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup minced scallions, white and green parts
  • 3 tablespoons slivered fresh mint leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish


In a small bowl or cup, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

In a serving bowl, toss together the quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, scallions and mint. Add the dressing, toss until evenly coated, and serve.

Not Just For Passover Recipes: Quinoa Tabbouleh

Here's twist on a favorite Middle Eastern salad, Tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgur wheat. This Not Just For Passover Recipe: Quinoa Tabbouleh quinoa is gluten free and packed with fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Here's a Passover twist on one of our favorite Middle Eastern salads, Tabbouleh. Traditionally made with bulgur wheat, this quinoa version is gluten-free and packed with fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. A light and nutritious addition to any meal, during Passover and all year round!

Do you want to make a traditional Tabouleh salad? Classic Tabouleh is a refreshing Lebanese salad made with fresh parsley, tomatoes, scallions, and bulgur wheat with a simple olive oil, lemon, and salt dressing. Find the recipe HERE



Step 1

Bring quinoa, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Step 2

Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Add cucumber, tomatoes, herbs, and scallions to bowl with quinoa toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining dressing over.

Step 4

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover remaining dressing and quinoa separately chill.

How would you rate Quinoa Tabbouleh ?

I adore this recipe. However I noticed a comment about it being too oily. I’ve ALWAYS doubled the recipe except for the dressing. I left the dressing measurements for a single recipe. It still has all the amazing flavors. Also, sometimes I add some feta cheese. like a “cherry on top”. Quinoa recipes are especially good for regulating blood sugar.

I found this recipe to be too oily. It didn't have the freshness that tabbouleh has because it felt weighted down. ugh

Absolutely delicious! I loved the recipe although I tweaked it a little. I didn't have scallions so I subbed it with half of a white onion. I used a lime in addition to the lemon and added the zest too. Also I added a pinch of cumin because why not! The result was delicious and everyone loved it! Definitely will make again.

Amazing amazing amazing. So simple and so delicious. I barely got this on the dinner table because my family kept sneaking spoonfuls when I turned my back.

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  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1 x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Various
  • Cuisine: Lebanese

Learn how to make delicious, authentic tabbouleh at home! This tabbouleh (also spelled tabouli) is even better than your favorite Lebanese restaurant’s. Recipe yields 6 servings (a little over 1 cup each).


  • ½ cup bulgur
  • 1 cup diced cucumber ( 1 small-to-medium)
  • 1 cup diced tomato* ( 1 large)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • 3 medium bunches curly parsley
  • ⅓ cup ( ⅔ ounce ) chopped fresh mint (optional but recommended—you can chop it in the food processor with the parsley)
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced green onion
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
  • 1 medium clove garlic, pressed or minced


  1. Cook or soak the bulgur until tender according to package directions. Drain off any excess water, and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the diced cucumber and tomato in a medium bowl with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Stir, and let the mixture rest for at least 10 minutes, or until you’re ready to mix the salad.
  3. To prepare the parsley, cut off the thick stems. Then, finely chop the parsley and remaining stems—you can do this by hand, but it’s much easier in a food processor with the standard “S” blade. Process 1 bunch at a time (it should yield about 1 cup chopped), transferring the chopped parsley to a large serving bowl before proceeding with the next.
  4. Add the cooled bulgur, chopped fresh mint (if using) and green onion to the bowl of parsley. Strain off and discard the cucumber and tomato juice that has accumulated in the bottom of the bowl (this ensures that your tabbouleh isn’t too watery). Add the strained cucumber and tomato to the bowl.
  5. In a small measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, garlic, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Pour it into the salad and stir to combine. Taste, and adjust if necessary—add another tablespoon of lemon juice for zing, or salt for more overall flavor.
  6. If you have the time, let the salad rest for 15 minutes before serving to let the flavors mingle. Otherwise, you can serve it immediately or chill it for later. Tabbouleh will keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days.


Make it gluten free: Bulgur is not gluten free (it’s cracked wheat). Substitute quinoa for an untraditional gluten-free option. You’ll use the same amount (½ cup) uncooked quinoa, or 1 ½ cups cooked leftover quinoa. Here’s how to cook quinoa.

*Tomato note: Use the most ripe and red tomatoes you can find! If you’re making this salad when tomatoes aren’t in season, cherry tomatoes might be your best bet.

Recipe Quinoa-Chickpea Tabbouleh

  • Calories: 370
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Total Fat: 10 g
    • Saturated Fat: 1 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 9 g

    Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad made with cous cous or bulgur, tomatoes, cucumber, and fresh herbs like parsley and mint. I substitute quinoa as the grain and add chickpeas to bump up the protein, transforming this side-dish into a substantial meal.

    • 1 cup cooked quinoa
    • ½ cup garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
    • ½ cup chopped cucumber
    • ½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
    • ½ lemon, juiced
    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley (optional)
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    In a medium bowl, combine the quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, and tomatoes.

    In a small bowl, prepare the dressing: Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, parsley (if using), salt and pepper.

    Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together to coat evenly.

    Tip: Quinoa is considered a whole grain, but it’s actually an edible seed that contains more protein than other starches. Toss in some beans and chopped veggies, and you’ve got a light, fresh vegetarian salad that delivers almost half of your daily recommended amount of heart-healthy fiber.

    For more delicious recipes and health tips, follow Joy on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

    Quinoa Tabbouleh

    Until fairly recently, I had no clue what bulgur was. Myyyy bad! I’ve been obsessed with Mediterranean food for ages and have eaten my weight in tabbouleh, yet had no flipping clue what I was actually scarfing!

    I’ve always just assumed it was quinoa or cous cous or some random unidentified balls of garlic in my parsley. I really should pay better attention to what I put in my mouth.

    Anywho! I decided that if I purchased bulgur, no matter how versatile a whole grain it is, it would wind up in the back of the pantry with the olives, millet, and the alluring-yet-intimidating black rice I purchased after an article promised it’s basically the best grain ever.

    It’s like Narnia back there. I’m pretty sure there’s a secret door behind the cous cous that leads to an alternate dimension. I bet they have a Whole Foods there.

    I, unfortunately, don’t have a Whole Foods within a 3 hour radius of my house.

    I do, however, have a costco-sized bag of quinoa and a giant pile of parsley.




    1. Rinse and cook quinoa according to package instructions.
    2. While quinoa is on the stove, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and herbs in a large bowl.
    3. Once quinoa is cooked and cooled, add into the vegetable and herb bowl.
    4. Add lemon juice and olive oil.
    5. Top with feta cheese if desired.

    Per serving: 200 calories, 9 grams fat, 2.5 grams saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 125 mg sodium, 23 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams dietary fiber, 7 grams protein

    Quinoa Tabouli

    2019 update: I actually recommend following my authentic tabbouleh recipe instead of this one (see the recipe notes for quinoa instructions). Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks to making better tabbouleh, and you’ll find those in my other post.

    This summer, my A/C window units are failing miserably in their fight against the relentlessly hot weather and the heat produced by my kitchen appliances. Every time I turn on the stove, I sweat up a storm and curse the heat, but I’m not about to give up and go out to eat for every meal. I’ve adapted by seeking out recipes that either don’t require cooking at all, or recipes that require minimal cooking and make great leftovers, like this one. It yields about six cups of salad, which I’ll ration out over the next few days.

    Tabbouleh, a classic Middle Eastern dish, is one of my all-time favorite salads. I order it every time I spot it on a menu. I’ve found that some more Americanized versions skimp on flavor by cutting back on the herbs and vegetables, but my recipe is about as flavorful as tabbouleh can be. Packed with summer produce, tabbouleh would be a terrific potluck dish for Independence Day!

    Traditional tabbouleh is plenty good for you, but quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) provides more protein, amino acids and minerals than bulgur wheat. Quinoa, unlike bulgur wheat, isn’t actually a grain. According to Power Foods, one of my awesome new cookbooks, quinoa is the seed of a plant related to chard and spinach. Combined with greens, lots of vegetables, and healthy fat, quinoa tabbouleh as nutritious as it is delightful.

    I used black quinoa for this salad, but red or a tri-color blend would be delicious as well. I don’t like white quinoa—it’s bland in taste and blah in color. The dark shade of this quinoa contrasts with the brightly colored vegetables and herbs, which produces a striking salad. Feel free to top it with feta cheese!

    Quinoa Tabbouleh + Summer Berry Cobbler from the Skinnytaste Cookbook

    I know a lot of you are really excited about The Skinnytaste Cookbook release. Well guess what?, so is Target! So excited in fact that they are carrying my cookbook which is now available for pre-order on Target.com.

    The Skinnytaste Cookbook has 150 recipes – 125 of those recipes are brand spanking new and have never been published on my blog. But I gave Target a sneak peak inside the cookbook and shared two exclusive recipes and photos from the book. (photo credit: Penny De Los Santos)

    I chose two of my summer favorites so you don’t have to wait until September 30th – you can start making them now
    while the weather’s warming up. The Quinoa Tabbouleh tastes so fresh – a
    perfect summer salad whether you serve this as a main dish or a side
    dish with grilled chicken or lamb. And this Summer Berry Cobbler – cobbler is my weakness and this is my absolute favorite way to utilize those sweet summer

    Did I tease you enough? Well that wasn’t my plan… head on over to Target’s A Bullseye View and get the full recipes.