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.


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



  • 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


  • 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


  • 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)


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.


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)


How do you make tabbouleh less bitter? ›

Let the tabouli salad sit in the fridge a good 1-2 hours before serving, allowing the bulgar to soak up the juices from the tomatoes and lemon, and the parsley to soften and lose any bitterness.

How long does tabouli last in the fridge? ›

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.

What pairs well with tabbouleh? ›

Tabbouleh makes a great side dish the same as any other salad. It is also delicious eaten together with hummus (make a hummus-tabbouleh bowl!). Tabbouleh is also traditionally eaten with romaine lettuce cups, as you might eat with pita bread, scooping up the salad in a piece of the lettuce to eat.

What is a tabouli salad traditionally 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!

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.

What cancels bitterness? ›

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 spice takes away bitterness? ›

Spices mask bitter flavors, so don't be shy. Add some spicy peppers or powders to your cooking, or sprinkle some onto your dishes for a little bit of extra heat. Black pepper in particular has compounds that counteract bitterness. Some other great spices include cayenne, red pepper, paprika, and chili powder.

Why is my tabbouleh 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.

Can you eat tabbouleh everyday? ›

This Everyday Tabouli recipe is so easy that you can happily enjoy this bulger, tomato, cucumber, onion, and herb salad every day! Tabouli is a great side that I could eat every day. I love the textures from the bulgar wheat and chopped vegetables. The flavors are bold from the fresh herbs and lemony dressing.

Is tabouli good for you? ›

Is tabbouleh good for you? Absolutely, aside from the olive oil in the dressing the dish is full of vitamins from the fresh ingredients. You also aren't wasting a lot of stomach space on less healthy “greens” like iceberg or romaine. The deeper greens of the parsley are more full of vitamins per bite.

What is a substitute for bulgur in tabouli? ›

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.

What is a fun fact about tabbouleh? ›

Tabouli, also known as Tabbouleh, is a vegan salad that originated in Lebanon and Syria, quickly becoming a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. And as a fun fact, Tabbouleh is so well loved in Lebanon that they even have an entire day dedicated to celebrate it.

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 is an interesting fact about tabbouleh? ›

The salad originally came from the mountains of Syria and Lebanon. It has become popular throughout the Middle East, and has spread to other countries. It is a popular ethnic food in Western countries. In the Arab world, particularly Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, it is usually served as part of a meze.

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.

How healthy is tabouli? ›

Tabouli (or Tabbouleh), is an excellent option! Packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, the bulgur wheat-based salad is easy to make and great for your heart!

What grain is tabbouleh made from? ›

Tabouli salad or Tabbouleh is a simple Mediterranean salad of very finely chopped vegetables, lots of fresh parsley and bulgur wheat, all tossed with lime juice and olive oil.

Is tabouli high in carbs? ›

Are There Carbs In Tabouli? As soon as I said wheat, I'm sure you realized that's not low carb. One cup of tabbouleh contains approximately 16 grams of carbohydrates.

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