Published May 12, 2023, Updated Jul 07, 2023
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This quinoa tabbouleh salad is made with protein-rich quinoa instead of bulgur wheat. It’s gluten-free, vegan, easy to whip up and makes for a great healthy side dish!
Do you like tabbouleh? Yeah? Me too! It’s delicious and such an easy recipe to play around with. I actually already have a few tabbouleh recipes on the blog like this grain-free cauliflower tabbouleh, hemp tabbouleh and classic tabbouleh, but today I’m sharing a quinoa tabbouleh variation for my quinoa lovers!
Like traditional tabbouleh, this quinoa version is loaded with fresh veggies and herby goodness. It’s a light salad that’s absolutely perfect on a warm spring/summer day. Any way you serve it, this tabbouleh is absolutely delicious and crazy easy to whip up.
You need only nine ingredients and one bowl! Once you have the quinoa cooked and cooled, the salad comes together in a matter of minutes.
Why Use Quinoa for Tabbouleh?
- Quinoa is a complete protein and has more protein than bulgur wheat when you compare them cup for cup. Quinoa = 8 grams per cup // bulgur wheat = 4 grams per cup.
- While both quinoa and bulgur wheat are whole grains and contain a similar variety of vitamins and minerals, quinoa is a bit more nutrient dense.
- Quinoa is gluten-free and bulgur wheat is not.
- quinoa – this is the base of the recipe and you can use any type of quinoa you like from white, black, red to tri-color. Any variety will work for this recipe.
- flat leaf parsley – the star of the show! Flat leaf parsley and curly parsley both work well in this recipe. Make sure your bunch of parsley is washed and dried well before chopping it!
- fresh mint leaves – I love adding additional fresh herbs for more flavor.
- cucumber and red onion – these fresh veggies add a nice crunch.
- cherry tomatoes – these little guys add such great flavor to the salad. Grape tomatoes will also work!
- dressing – for a super simple light dressing we’re just using fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. Easy peasy!
How to Make
Cook quinoa: Bring quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Let quinoa cool completely.
Combine: Once quinoa is cool, transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumber and red onion to the bowl and toss to combine.
Serve: Add lemon juice, olive oil and salt. Stir to combine and serve.
Notes & Substitutions
- Mix-ins – feel free to switch up your mix-ins for this tabbouleh… I often do! Sometimes I change up the veggies based on what I have on hand (I love adding green onions) and add extra herbs like fresh dill (so good!). Feel free to get creative and make this your own!
- Red onion – not a fan of red onion feel free to use yellow onion instead.
- Feta – adding feta cheese to this tabbouleh would be a great addition if you don’t need it to be dairy free.
- Avocado – want to add a little creaminess and healthy fats to your tabbouleh? Add in some chopped avocado!
- Protein – quinoa is already packed with plant-based protein, but if you want to amp up the protein in this salad I love adding chickpeas or white beans!
- Quinoa – don’t have quinoa on hand? Make this bulgur wheat tabbouleh salad, couscous salad, cauliflower tabbouleh or hemp tabbouleh instead!
How to Eat Tabbouleh
This is actually a super versatile dish! Traditionally, it is served with hummus, pita bread and falafel. I also love adding chickpeas or black beans and eating on it’s own for a light meal. I’ve also served it as more of a finger food with pita chips at a get-together and it was a hit!
Prepping and Storing Quinoa Tabbouleh
While this is best served immediately after making, it’s also awesome for weekend meal prep. Make a batch on Sunday and store in an airtight container for up to a week to use the dish for quick lunches throughout the week. I would not freeze this dish as it’s all fresh ingredients and the consistency will change when you freeze and thaw.
pro tip! If you are making this quinoa tabbouleh for meal prep you might want to add a little more olive oil and/or lemon juice before serving because as the quinoa sits it will soak up some of the dressing.
More Quinoa Salad Recipes
- Easy Quinoa Salad
- Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad
- Greek Quinoa Salad
- Chickpea Quinoa Salad
- Spinach Quinoa Salad
- Southwest Quinoa Salad
- Carrot Quinoa Salad
- Quinoa Salad with Corn and Avocado
- Sweet Potato Kale Quinoa Salad
More Middle Eastern-Inspired Recipes
- Fattoush Salad
- Za’atar Chicken Bake
- Easy Baked Falafel
- Falafel Bowls (Homemade Cava Bowls)
- Creamy Hummus
- Israeli Salad
- Easy Shakshuka
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups flat leaf parsley, chopped
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
- ½ cup cucumber, diced
- 1 cup red onion, finely chopped
- juice from 1 lemon
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- pepper, to taste
- Bring quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Let quinoa cool completely.
- Once quinoa is cool, transfer to a large bowl. Add parsley, mint, tomatoes, cucumber and red onion and toss to combine.
- Add fresh lemon juice, olive oil and salt and stir to combine.
- Portion onto plates and enjoy!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.