Easy Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with flavorful tomatoes, parsley, and lemon. We love serving this tasty, ultra-fresh dip with our favorite crackers! (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free)
What is Tabbouleh?
Tabbouleh (also spelled tabouli) is a Lebanese tomato, herb, and bulgur salad. However this version swaps out the traditional bulgur for non-traditional quinoa to make it gluten-free. (Plus giving it an added nutrient boost!) The result is incredibly refreshing and light. Tabbouleh is considered a national dish of Lebanon (apparently originating in the mountains between Syria and Lebanon) and is popular in Middle Eastern cuisine.
How do you make Tabbouleh?
The highlight of tabbouleh is really the abundance of fresh parsley. (It seems like a lot but just go with it!) I use my food processor to help quickly chop, but simply hand chop if you’d prefer. Finding fresh, ripe tomatoes is also very important. In winter, you may want to opt for grape or cherry tomatoes for more flavor when tomatoes are out of season.
Many families have their own variations of classic tabbouleh. It’s a versatile, forgiving recipe, so have fun playing around to find your favorite style. Some popular alternate versions include fresh mint, cucumber, etc. (See the notes in the recipe for other possible additions.)
How do you serve Quinoa Tabbouleh?
Enjoy this light and fresh tabbouleh as a dip with crackers (our favorite!), in lettuce wraps, or with pita/naan bread. It’s also a great side dish to offer with Mediterranean or Middle Eastern meals. (Plus you can even add chickpeas for a more substantial dish!)
While you can eat immediately, it’s best served after chilling. (Refrigerating for a few hours or overnight will let the flavors further develop.) This makes it a great make-ahead option for picnics, potlucks, gatherings, or meal prep. Hope you enjoy as much as we do!
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- 1/2 cup white quinoa (or 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa)
- 1-2 large bunches fresh parsley (lots!)
- 2 cups ripe tomatoes, finely diced
- 3-4 green onions
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
- 1 clove garlic
- Salt to taste
Other possible additions:
- Fresh mint, lemon zest, cucumber, chickpeas, red onion, balsamic vinegar, cumin, dash of cinnamon
- Cook quinoa: rinse quinoa well. In a small pot over medium-high heat, add quinoa with 3/4 cups water. (Or vegetable broth for more flavor.) Bring to a light boil. Then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until liquid has absorbed.
- While quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients: finely dice tomatoes. (Remove some excess liquid if they're extra juicy.) Thinly slice green onions. Mince garlic. Then place tomatoes, onions, and garlic in a large bowl.
- Juice the lemons and add 1/4 cup lemon juice to bowl.
- Let the cooked quinoa cool a bit before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. After quinoa is added, toss well to combine. Salt to taste.
- Can serve immediately, but it really tastes best after it chills for a few hours/overnight to let the flavors combine.