If you’re looking for a new salad recipe, we have just the one… Tabbouleh!
This famous Levantine salad is bursting with herby flavors from plenty of fresh parsley, veggie power from tomatoes and cucumber, and it has a hearty bite from bulgur wheat.
And once you drizzle on that easy homemade dressing… perfection!
We love finding new unique salads from around the world, especially in summertime. From Spain’s bright and fresh Pipirrana to Indonesia’s elaborate Gado Gado, there are so many great salads out there.
Now here comes Tabbouleh, one of the iconic salads out of the Middle East…
What is Tabbouleh
Tabbouleh is a flavorful Middle Eastern salad that originates from the Levant region, including countries like Lebanon and Syria.
It’s a vegetarian dish composed mainly of parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, mint, and bulgur wheat, dressed in a simple mixture of olive oil and lemon juice.
The proportion of parsley to bulgur varies, allowing for either a greener, herb-heavy salad or a grain-focused dish.
This salad can be served at room temperature or chilled, making it a versatile side dish, great along with gyros, shawarmas and a variety of other dishes.
In essence, tabbouleh is a vibrant, nutritious salad that highlights the fresh flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine.
Recipe Notes and Tips
- Fresh Ingredients: Tabbouleh is all about the freshness of the ingredients. Make sure your vegetables and herbs are fresh and crisp, and squeeze fresh lemon juice.
- Finely Chop: The ingredients should be finely chopped to create the right texture and allow the flavors to meld together.
- Bulgur Preparation: Make sure to properly cook and cool the bulgur before mixing it with other ingredients.
- Dressing: The salad dressing should be tangy and flavorful, balancing the freshness of the herbs and vegetables. Adjust the lemon juice and olive oil ratio to your liking.
- Resting Time: Allow the salad to rest before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together. If you can, let it sit in the fridge for an hour before serving.
- Adjustments: Tabbouleh is versatile. Feel free to adjust the quantities of herbs, bulgur, and vegetables to suit your taste.
- Bulgur Wheat – Provides a satisfying texture and heartiness. If you can’t find it in your local supermarket, try specialty stores or online.
- Parsley – The main herb in the dish, giving it a fresh and vibrant taste.
- Cucumber – Adds a cooling and crunchy element to the salad.
- Tomato – Contributes sweetness and a juicy texture to the dish.
- Mint – Complements the parsley with its refreshing and unique flavor.
- Green Onions – Offer a mild onion flavor without overpowering the dish.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Acts as the base of the dressing. Go with a good quality olive oil.
- Lemon Juice – Gives the salad its characteristic tangy brightness.
- Salt – Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Pepper – Adds a hint of spice and complexity to the salad.
Easy Tabbouleh Recipe
1. Cook bulgur wheat: Follow the directions on the package. Drain any excess water and allow to cool.
2. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
3. Toss the salad: In a large bowl, combine cooled bulgur, parsley, mint, tomato and cucumber. Add in dressing and mix until well combined. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
4. Serve: Tabbouleh can be served at room temperature, however we recommend covering the bowl with cling wrap and chilling it in the fridge for at least and hour. This allows the flavors to meld together nicely.
Tabbouleh Salad Variations
- Go gluten-free: Substitute quinoa for bulgur wheat for a protein-packed, gluten-free version.
- Couscous tabbouleh: Replace bulgur with couscous for a different texture and flavor.
- Give it a Mediterranean twist: Add chopped olives and feta cheese for a Mediterranean twist.
- Add a touch of sweetness: Add diced fruits like pomegranate seeds or apples for a sweet and crunchy variation.
- Make it spicy: Add a diced jalapeno or a dash of cayenne pepper for a spicy kick.
- Add some protein: Include chickpeas or diced grilled chicken for added protein.
What to Serve with Tabbouleh
Leftovers and Storage
Tabbouleh makes great leftovers, as the flavors have time to mingle. Unlike lettuce based salads, you don’t have to worry about it getting soggy.
Refrigerate leftovers for 3-4 days in an airtight container. Give everything a good toss before serving, in case the dressing has sunk to the bottom.
If you’ve never tried this classic Middle Eastern Tabbouleh salad, now is the time. These fresh and vibrant flavors are a sure shot summertime hit!
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Tabbouleh, in our Gypsy Bowl… enjoy!
- 1/2 cup uncooked bulgur wheat
- 2 bunches parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup cucumber, finely diced
- 1 cup tomato, finely diced
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- 3 green onions, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook bulgur wheat according to directions on package. Drain any excess water and allow to cool.
- In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, combine cooled bulgur, parsley, mint, tomato and cucumber. Add in dressing and mix until well combined. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
- Serve at room temperature, or chill in the refrigerator.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 104Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 0mgSodium 56mgCarbohydrates 6gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 1g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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