This healthy, refreshing Tabbouleh Recipe is made with whole grains, chopped herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, and scallions. Plus the easy lemon and garlic dressing gives a punch of citrus flavor and makes for a tasty side dish.

I haven’t always enjoyed a Tabouli Salad, but made in the summer with the best of the best tomatoes and not using too much lemon in the salad dressing made a world of difference! This recipe is irresistible.

A taboouli recipe in a white serving bowl with 2 forks

Why You Must Try this Tabouli Recipe

  • It’s fresh and easy to make!
  • It’s also vegan and very healthy.
  • It’s full of nutrients and fiber plus it tastes great!
Overhead view Tabbouleh in a white serving bowl

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tabbouleh?

According to the Food Lover’s Companion, it is a Middle Eastern dish that originated in Lebanon and is made of bulgur wheat mixed with tomatoes, onions, parsley, mint, olive oil, and lemon juice. It’s served cold.

One source said that Tabbouleh or Tabouli (alternate spelling) is pronounced tuh-BOO-luh. But I usually pronounce the last syllable as lee, not luh. Nobody’s ever corrected me and that pronunciation was also verified.

What's in Tabouleh?

See the ingredients above. I also added garlic to the dressing along with the olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

Is Tabouli Healthy?

Yes! It’s vegan and all the ingredients have health benefits. Details are listed right above the recipe. Each ingredient provides wonderful nutrients including vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

Why is my Tabouli Bitter?

Parsley can be bitter if it’s not minced fine enough. I chopped it, then pulsed it in my food processor until it was finely minced.

PRO-Tip: Since I did this the day before I was serving, I spread it out on paper toweling to absorb any excess moisture to minimize deterioration in the refrigerator.

Does Tabouli Keep?

Yes, after it’s mixed with the dressing, you can store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Tips for Making Tabouleh

I had a cooking segment on our local CBS affiliate station. Tabbouleh was on the menu! So I tried a new recipe and it was perfection. As of late, I tend to make a Quinoa Tabouleh Salad, but this version is equally delicious!

  • I found that soaking the bulgur produced fluffier grains than boiling it. Check your package instructions, but I soaked equal parts boiling water and bulgur wheat and let it sit for an hour. Drain any excess water off so your salad won’t have any excess water.
  • Salting both the chopped cucumbers and tomatoes helps them to give off some of their moisture. This helps concentrate their flavor, plus salt is also a flavor enhancer. Again, drain before adding these salted ingredients to your salad.
  • Use the food processor to mince your parsley. This helps prevent bitterness by chopping the parsley into very small pieces. I like to air dry the parsley on paper toweling if processing it ahead of time. That will prevent any deterioration in the refrigerator due to moisture if storing overnight.
  • All the ingredients can be prepped the day before to make putting this whole-grain salad together so easy on the day you plan to eat it.
  • The salad dressing can be made ahead of time as well. Note that the olive oil will solidify when chilled, so bring it out of the fridge well before you plan to toss the salad.
  • This salad goes well with any grilled entree or Middle Eastern main dish on your menu.

My picky family wouldn’t normally eat this sort of dish. Bill would ask what was in the salad, and both bulgur and mint would scare him off. I knew I’d be eating it all myself and, let me tell you, I did. It was perfectly refreshing on a hot, humid Indiana day. And just as delicious as leftovers for the next couple of days.

A single serving of tabouli salad in a white bowl with a fork

Ingredient Notes

  • Bulgur Wheat– a whole grain that provides fiber and minerals
  • Tomatoes – provide Vitamin A, C, and K plus lycopene, an antioxidant
  • Cucumber – also contains Vitamin C, K plus Magnesium, Manganese, and Potassium. Its high water content provides hydration, plus they contain antioxidants like flavonoids and tannins.
  • Parsley and Mint – Parsley contains high levels of Vitamin K plus flavonoids. Mint may improve brain function and helps with digestive symptoms.
  • Scallions and Garlic – Eaten raw, both contain fiber, may fight stomach cancer, plus provide phytonutrients/antioxidants.
  • Olive Oil – One of the healthiest fats you can use. It’s rich in healthy monosaturated fat. Loaded with antioxidants. It may decrease blood pressure, the risk of heart disease, inflammation, and possibly help fight Alzheimer’s and reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Lemon Juice – High in Vitamin C, helps with iron absorption, improves digestion, and even helps fight against certain types of kidney stone formation.

More Healthy Salad Recipes:

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Overhead view of tabbouleh recipe in a white bowl garnished with parsley

This recipe was first shared in June 2011. Photos and text were updated in 2021. See what my photos looked like 10 years ago?

Overhead view Tabbouleh in a white serving bowl

Best Tabbouleh Recipe

A healthy, refreshing whole-grain salad with fresh vegetables, herbs and a simple garlic lemon salad dressing.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup bulgur wheat, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup diced cucumbers, I used the mini Persian cucumbers
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes, use garden tomatoes or grape/cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • 2 bunches curly parsley, process to a fine mince, stems included (I did not add it all to the salad)
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 minced garlic clove

Instructions

  1. Soak the bulgur in boiling water according to the package instructions. Drain off any excess water when it's finished soaking.
  2. Combine the cucumbers and tomatoes in a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.
  3. Toss and let rest.
  4. Process the parsley until it's finely minced, and place it in the serving bowl.
  5. Add the cooled bulgur, mint, and green onion to the serving bowl.
  6. Drain any excess water off the cucumbers and tomatoes and add to the bowl.
  7. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  8. Add about half the dressing to the bowl and toss. Add as much of the remaining dressing to the salad as desired.
  9. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and/or lemon juice if desired.
  10. Let rest about 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

Keep covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 301Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 643mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 11g

Thatskinnychickcanbake.com occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although thatskinnychickcanbake.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on thatskinnychickcanbake.com recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.

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